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United back at 2010 happy hunting ground



Date Published: {J}

Keith Kelly

GALWAY United return to the scene of their greatest win in the 2010 campaign this Friday night when they travel to Dalymount Park to take on a Bohemians side that is once again challenging at the top of the table, having taken seven points from their opening three games (kick-off 7.45pm).

Having won just three times at the ground in the previous 33 years, United took maximum points from their two visits to the Phibsboro ground last season, including a stunning 2-0 win in August in a game where United were reduced to 1-0 men before half-time after Stephen O’Donnell was sent off, and the last 15 minutes with nine men after Paul Sinnott’s 74th minute dismissal.

United also won the first meeting between the sides in Dalymount last April, Stephen O’Donnell’s injury time penalty seeing United take all three points on a 3-2 scoreline. They also took four points from a possible six at home to Bohs last season, and the failure of Pat Fenlon’s side to take more than one point from four games with United effectively cost them the league title.

Bohs were then hit with major financial problems in the close season, forcing Fenlon into releasing a number of his squad which resulted in his side’s chances of the title being written off, but Bohs opened this season with wins against Bray Wanderers and Drogheda United – admittedly, two of the sides predicted to struggle this season – before dropping their first points of the season in a scoreless draw away to Dundalk last weekend.

As for United, they got their first point of the season last Friday night, but it should have been all three only for some poor finishing and inspired goalkeeping by UCD’s Ger Barron. Alan Murphy made a welcome first start in 16 months for United in that game, but Steve Feeney limped off with a knee injury in the 10th minute and is expected to be ruled out for a number of weeks.

Feeney is United’s only injury concern, with Shaun Kelly expected to be back in contention having overcome a bout of tonsillitis, which will be welcome news for manager Sean Connor who will fancy getting a result in Dublin.

Bohs could be without former United striker Anto Flood, who picked up an injury in a friendly with Hibernians in Edinburgh on Monday night, but despite having to release the likes of Jason Byrne, Mark Quigley, Raffael Cretaro, Gareth McGlynn and Ken Oman before the start of the season, Fenlon has plenty of quality at his disposal with Killian Brennan and Mark Rossiter capable of moments of brilliance, while Chris Fagan has been to Bohs what Karl Moore has been to United.

Meanwhile United get their EA Sports Cup campaign underway in Terryland Park next Monday night when they host Donegal side Cockhill Celtic in the First Round (kick-off 7.45pm).

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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