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Tierney’s goal stuns FAI Cup holders



Date Published: 08-Jun-2010

A 36th MINUTE strike from Mike Tierney helped Mervue United towards a surprise draw against a much-fancied Sporting Fingal side in an entertaining, hard-fought FAI Cup contest at the Morton Stadium, Santry last Friday evening.

The game began in scrappy fashion as Mervue set about containing what is, on paper, a dangerous Fingal front three. Tom French’s charges did start off quite brightly, but the home side soon got into their groove, and had their first real opportunity on ten minutes when striker Eamon Zayed found space in the box to shoot, but his effort deflected off a defender and away for a corner.

The former Bray star got it right just four minutes later though, as he slotted home from close range following an enticing cross by Conan Byrne on the right. On the run of play, this lead was no more than Liam Buckley’s men deserved, and they very nearly doubled their advantage on 19 minutes when Byrne burst through on goal, but Mervue’s Under 19 International goalkeeper Ger Hanley denied him with a stunning stop.

At this point, it looked like there was only going to be one winner from this game, but Mervue started to grow in confidence, and were beginning to cause their top tier opponents a number of problems. There was a slight claim for a Mervue penalty with 27 minutes gone as Shaun Maher appeared to handle a Pat Hoban cross, but nothing was given.

It was clear the Galway men were up for the challenge now, however, and they were back on level terms nine minutes before the break when Fingal ‘goalie Brendan Clarke flapped at a corner, and had to look on in agony as midfielder Tierney coolly slotted low to the net from an Enda Curran pull back.

This did Mervue’s confidence a world of good, but represented a huge setback for Fingal, and things would get worse for the North Dublin outfit as Maher was shown a straight red card for an apparent two-footed lunge on goal hero Tierney just five minutes later.

It looked somewhat debatable as to whether Maher deserved to be sent-off, but that was the decision of match referee Declan Hanney, and it meant that Mervue would go into the second period with an extra man, and a live chance of causing an upset come full-time.

The pressure was now on the cup holders to produce the goods and, to be fair to Fingal, they didn’t look like they were playing with ten men in the early stages after the break. Indeed, they very nearly regained the lead after 54 minutes when Hanley dropped a Ger O’Brien rightwing cross, but the excellent Kevin Crehan was on hand to block Alan Kirby’s six-yard shot.

Mervue, in turn, weren’t creating as many openings as they would possibly have liked, but they were defending extremely well, and they weren’t giving anything away too easily in the midfield sector either.

As the game entered into the final half-hour, Fingal looked to their bench for some inspiration, as Shane McFaul replaced the ineffective Dawson on the right-side, while Mervue introduced some fresh legs in the form of Kenny Farrell and Evan Connolly, with Darren Young and Enda Curran making way.

As the minutes went by, there was plenty of hard-work and endeavour from both sets of players, but there was little in the way of clearcut chances, as a draw was beginning to look like the probable outcome from this encounter.

Unsurprisingly, this was the way it turned out in the end, and even though Zayed and Tierney both went close to winning it for their respective sides, both managers had to be content with a draw coming away from this game.

After a recent good spell of form, which has seen them beating Athlone Town and Finn Harps in the league, this result showed just what Mervue are capable of and they won’t be intimidated wither when they welcome Fingal to Terryland Park for the replay.


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

Galway have lot to ponder in poor show



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013




GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.

The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.

There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.

It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.

Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.

Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.

Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.

Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.

Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.

Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Archive News

Mervue United advance to the quarter-finals of U-17 FAI Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

On a weekend when the vast majority of the action fell by the wayside due to the inclement weather, Mervue United U-17 struck late to snatch a winner in Donegal as they qualified for the last eight of the FAI U-17 Cup following a success over Swilly Rovers.

Local League action saw just three games survive as OLBC notched a second half winner to defeat Hibernians to move into third position in the Premier League.

In the lower Divisions, table toppers Mervue United B and Moyne Villa continued on their merry ways with away wins over Bohemians and Naomh Briocain.

Swilly Rovers 0

Mervue United 1

In a game that was switched to a playable pitch in Fanad, Mervue United took a long time to assert their authority before striking late to give the home side no chance to respond.

The 89th minute winner was created by an Andrew Connolly flick on following a Ryan Manning thrown in and Schoolboy International Conor Melody made space for himself in the box before firing past Caolan Bolton.

It was no less than the visitors deserved against a young home side, but they had to work extremely hard for their victory.

While Anthoine O’Laoi missed a good first half opportunity, just a long range Manning free kick tested Bolton otherwise. Substitute John Migel Soler almost made an instant impact on the resumption, but was denied by a smart save.

Connolly, O’Laoi and Paul Healy all threatened a break though for the visitors, before a fine-tuned Melody eventually saved the day and secured the Mervue passage.

Mervue United: P Healy, Barry, Bailey, P Healy, Carroll, Melody, Assagbo, Manning, Cunningham (Soler), Connolly, O’Laoi.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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