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Tierney’s goal stuns FAI Cup holders

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



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

Judy Murphy



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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Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

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A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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