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Talks continue on the future of LOI football in Galway



Date Published: {J}

Keith Kelly

Officials from Mervue United are set to meet with representatives of the Galway United Supporters Trust (GUST) today for talks about joining forces for the 2012 Airtricity League campaign; talks which will be overseen by the CEO of the FAI, John Delaney.

The move comes just three days after a similar meeting was held between GUST and a delegation from Salthill Devon, at which a formal proposal was made by the Drom-based club towards accommodating the GUST group for the season ahead.


The approaches by both clubs to the fans’ group comes after the FAI made it known that, following the withdrawal of Galway United from the licensing process for the coming season, and the rejection of the licence application made by GUST, the association wanted to see a club playing in Terryland Park in the coming season in a maroon jersey and with the name ‘Galway’ in the title.

An open public meeting was held by GUST in the Galway Rovers hall in the Claddagh at Wednesday night where Galway United fans were told that GUST had been informed by the FAI that its licence application had been rejected on what appears to be the flimsiest of technicalities.

Initially, the reasons given were that the failure was down to the fact that GUST had not been formally invited to make a licence application, and that the application was late by eight days.

At a subsequent meeting, GUST was informed by the FAI that the reason its application was rejected was because it had missed the submission deadline, but the FAI has previous in throwing a blind eye to dates in the calendar, having granted licences to both Limerick 37 and Sporting Fingal when their applications had been made after the submission deadline in recent years.

Wednesday night’s meeting saw GUST officials outline the proposal made to it by Salthill Devon, and the bones of the offer being made by Mervue United – the initial offer from the Fahy’s Field-based club was an informal verbal one ahead of a meeting of its Board of Directors last (Thursday) night.

The Salthill Devon offer would see the club’s Airtricity League side rebranded as SD Galway FC, which would play in Terryland Park with a maroon and white ‘home’ jersey, and retaining Devon’s own club colours of blue, white and navy as the ‘away’ kit.

The newly-named team would be run under the rules of governance of Salthill Devon, with GUST offered positions on the Airtricity League sub-committee of the club, one of five sub-committees which runs operations at Devon, and which answers to an overall club board. The arrangement would be reviewed after the 2012 season.

That proposal was hammered out after a long night of discussions in the Ardilaun Hotel on Tuesday night which saw GUST delegates in one room, Salthill Devon representatives in another, and officials from the FAI – including Delaney – going between both rooms to try and broker a deal.

Mervue United told the FAI they were unable to meet with it and GUST on Tuesday evening, and it was thought that meant it was ruling itself out of any talks, but late in the night, contact was made by Mervue saying it was interested in opening lines of communication between it and GUST.

As a result of that, an informal offer was made to GUST the following day inviting it to join forces with the east-side club, which would see Mervue rename its Airtricity League side as Galway & Mervue United FC.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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