Date Published: 03-Nov-2009
HALLOWE’EN may have taken place on Saturday night but the nightmare arrived a day early for Mervue United as they were made to look second best throughout their clash with Sporting Fingal in Terryland Park.
The gulf in class between the two sides was evident all through the game, with Mervue’s frustration with their opponents’ dominance leading to the home side going down to nine men before the final whistle was blown.
Indeed, so much were the visitors in control that the game was over as a contest before half-time as three goals in the space of seven minutes from Fingal’s Gary O’Neill, Conan Byrne and Eamon Zayed sealed the win at an early stage.
Mervue did get a consolation goal thanks to a Mark Ludden tap-in, but the Dublin side soon added insult to injury thanks to a superb long range shot from Colm James hitting the back of the net.
Mervue’s supporters would have been disappointed but not surprised by the final scoreline, as in fact Fingal had several other chances that could have seen them stretch their lead even further. Even though the home side were without the injured Damian O’Rourke and the suspended Mike Tierney and Alex Lee, Sporting Fingal’s dominance meant that their presence would have had little effect on the scoreline.
The first of many goal chances for Fingal came on the eighth minute, as Mervue goalkeeper Eoin Martin did well to save when he was left one on one with Robert Bayly.
However, the visitors continued to pile on the pressure and didn’t have to wait long for their efforts to be rewarded. On 14 minutes a Fingal corner into the Mervue penalty area left the assembled players scuffling for the ball. Unfortunately for the home side the ball arrived at the feet of O’Neill, who tapped it in for the first goal of the night.
Mervue may have been disappointed by conceding such a scrappy goal, but they had no time to contemplate their mistakes. Just four minutes later, a superb Fingal cross from the left (one of many on the night) through to Byrne on the right side of the Mervue goal made it easier for the Fingal player to dispatch the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.
On 21 minutes another cross from Fingal’s Eric Foley gave team-mate Zayed the opportunity to score a third, and while his header initially hit the ground, its bounce worked in his favour, reaching the Mervue goal and leaving the home side shocked by what had happened in the previous seven minutes.
Mervue’s resulting frustration then reached a climax on 28 minutes as Nicky Curran was sent off for raising his leg in a clash with Fingal’s Colm James.
The visitors continued their dominance, and should have had their fourth after 41 minutes when Kevin Dawson got past the Mervue goalkeeper topass the ball to team-mate Zayed. However, despite the open goal just yards away, Zayed shot to the left and wide, giving Mervue a rare moment of luck.
Fingal continued their dominance right from the start of the second half, but Mervue battled on, and to their credit clawed a goal back after 54 minutes thanks to Ludden shooting from short range into the centre of the away side’s goal after a pass in from Pat Hoban.
However, this just spurred Fingal on to make more scoring chances and the visitors were unlucky when a long range shot from Byrne flew just over the Mervue goal on 65 minutes. Their perseverance eventually paid off, though, six minutes later when a superb shot from James at least 25 yards outside the home side’s goal went past Martin to reach the back of the net.
Some good link up play from Mervue almost paid dividends on 83 minutes, when a cross from Ludden to substitute Neil Douglas, who was unmarked in front of goal, was intercepted by Fingal ’keeper Darren Quigley.
But it just wasn’t to be Mervue’s night, and the final nail in the coffin came two minutes later, when Hoban received a red card for a challenge on Brian Gannon.
Going into their last game of the season away to Wexford Youths, Friday night’s performance would have given Mervue little optimism about ending their first year in Division One on a high. Still, after last week’s decision by the Mervue board to remain in the division, at least they’ll have another chance to impress next season.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Olive helps people deal with cancer diagnosis
Date Published: 24-Jan-2013
None of us wants to get cancer and nor do we want to see anybody we love suffer from it either. However, the fact is that one in every three of us will be diagnosed with the illness at some time in our lives. About 30,000 people a year get cancer in Ireland, but according to Olive Gallagher from the Irish Cancer Society, mostly it’s not serious and can be treated.
For anyone who has to deal with cancer, it’d be a blessing to have Olive on your side. She is the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Nurse at UHG, who supports and advises people who have been diagnosed with the illness and also supports their families.
It’s a role the former Oncology Sister sees as hugely important in patients’ lives.
The Daffodil Centre opened in 2009 at University Hospital Galway. The first in the Ireland, it is now one of seven countrywide. Olive has been at UHG Centre for the past 15 months. Before that she worked in oncology wards in St Luke’s in Dublin and in the Galway Clinic.
Olive describes the Daffodil Nurse’s role as bringing information to people at the point of diagnosis and treatment.
“It’s here and it’s free and you don’t need an appointment,” she says from her tiny office on the ground floor of the hospital.
“I don’t know what’s going to come in the door any day. It could be the patient, or it could be brothers, sisters, a parent or a child, looking for practical or emotional support.”
Her role is to help them, whatever is required.
“It’s very practical information sometimes, such as ‘what can I expect from chemo?’ because having knowledge takes a lot of the fear out of it. And it’s also saying to people ‘you are not alone’. When a person goes into a [cancer] clinic and gets information from a doctor or nurse there is only so much you can retain. For instance, a woman with a diagnosis is trying to protect her husband and her kids, so this is somewhere she can come to and acknowledge her fears and get psychological support.
“And if we don’t know the answer to something someone asks us, we’ll find out.”
People are sent to her by nurses or doctors and also hear about the service via word of mouth.
Olive doesn’t have access to patients’ case notes or have any information about them, except what a person chooses to tell her. She’s just there to help.
“When people need help to navigate their way through the system, it’s there. Sometimes it’s about helping them to verbalise questions for the doctor – to give them the language to discuss their illness, or to break down the language for them.”
She also helps with information on diet and complementary therapies, and says that “coming here is about people having a bit of control. Decisions are being made for them in the system and this is about giving them back a bit of power”.
Basically, it’s about patients having somebody there for them and also for family members who might want a coffee and a chat.
“Not to feel on your own is what a lot of it is about. If there is good news, great. But we are also there for the bad news and to support people. For me oncology nursing was always about the person and what you could do to make their journey easier. Sometimes it’s about holding a hand or sitting with somebody.
“We are there when people need us. And everybody’s needs are different. Some people want loads of information about what’s happening to their bodies and others want the bare minimum. Neither is right nor wrong.”
Some people can be angry and just want to vent, which is OK too.
“It’s about being where they are in their journey, giving them a safe place, where they can let stuff out in a confidential environment.”
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Jazz, folk and rock-inspired Syd Arthur set to hit the road
Date Published: 30-Jan-2013
Combining jazz, folk and rock influences, Syd Arthur play Róisín Dubh on Thursday, February 14. The Canterbury-based band are Liam Magill (vocals/guitar), Raven Bush (violin), Fred Rother (drums) and Joel Magill (bass). As he prepares to hit the road with the band, Joel recalls how they met.
“Me and Liam are brothers, so obviously we’ve known each other for a while,” he laughs. “We met Fred, our drummer, at school and started jamming together. Then we met Raven a bit later on, when I was 19 or 20. It went from there, basically.”
Some parents may be wary about their children going the rock ‘n’ route, but Joel and his friends met no such obstacles.
“We were always interested in it, and encouraged at school and by family,” he says. “Later on, the discovery of the Canterbury sound had a big influence on us.”
The ‘Canterbury sound’ refers to a scene that emerged in the late Sixties and early Seventies, spearheaded by groups with a taste for avant-garde and progressive rock music.
“I would always think of The Soft Machine and Caravan, and Hatfield and the North,” says Joel. “They’d be the big ones for us.”
In a previous incarnation, Joel and his bandmates went under the moniker of Grumpy Jumper. Why did they change their name?
“That was a long time ago, before Raven was in the band,” Joel explains. We were just playing locally and we made a CD under that name. When Raven joined, we felt like it was a new thing, so time to move on.”
Their new name comes from Siddhartha, a Buddhism-inspired novel written by Hermann Hesse.
“We all discovered that book around the same time,” says Joel. “It went round the whole band at the time we were trying to come up with a new name. We took a little bit of a play on it, made it a bit English. We used to pronounce the name of the book ‘Syd Arthur’.”
Last year, Syd Arthur released their debut album On And On, which was recorded in their own studio in Canterbury. Having their own space allowed the quartet to become familiar with recording, producing and mixing their music.
“Three or four years ago we got access to this space from Raven’s family,” says Joel. “It was an old dilapidated building that was on their property. We were often underwhelmed by going into the studio, spending a lot of money and generally not coming out with anything as good as one would hope.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.