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United boss upbeat



Date Published: 30-Oct-2009

GALWAY United travel to Dublin tonight for a game against title-chasing Shamrock Rovers (kick-off 7.35pm), and all associated with the club are hoping it will be United’s last away game of the season.

United are one place and three points outside of the relegation play-off spots with just two league games remaining, but with St Patrick’s Athletic – the team in that final play-off spot – facing a very winnable game against Drogheda United in United Park this evening, United are likely to need at least a point from their visit to Tallaght to ensure their destiny remains in their own hands.

The FAI have changed the kick-off to tonight’s game to 7.35pm so that the game will be played at the same time as the clash between Bohemians and Sligo Rovers in Dalymount Park.

RTE are screening that game live, but cameras will be in Tallaght Stadium and coverage of the Bohs-Sligo game will be interrupted to show any goals from United’s game.

United manager Ian Foster acknowledges it will be a tough ask for his players tonight, but he insists he will send out a team looking for a win, and promises that the desire of his own players won’t play second fiddle to those of the hosts. “I can assure you the Shamrock Rovers players won’t want it [the win] any more than my players, we are looking for a win. It will be tough there, but we can take great heart from last week’s performance., Yes we lost 2-0, but it was against a very good side and you have to look at the positives, how we kept working, kept trying, kept showing a desire, and I want more of the same on Friday.

“It will be very tough up there, they are still on the coat tails of Bohemians and they will want to finish their season at home on a high, and yes, if we try and match them up in a 4-4-2 for example, that will leave us very vulnerable on a big pitch, so that is why I am looking for something different,” he said.

Shamrock Rovers had been on a stunning five month, 22- match unbeaten run until they came undone at home to Cork City 10 days ago, and Michael O’Neill’s title-chasers certainly won’t want to finish their first season in their new home with two home defeats.

They have what Foster describes as the best centre-half pairing in the country in Aidan Price and Craig Sives, but he agrees with the suggestion that strong as they are in the air, the pair, and Rovers’ defence in general, are not the fastest in the league.

“They are very good and strong but yes, they are not the quickest, so hopefully the pace of the likes of Derek O’Brien and Aaron Greene will hurt them. As I said, it will be tough, but we are going there with a positive attitude and hopefully we can get a result,” he said.

There were stories in the national press during the week which attributed comments to Foster along the lines that he will quit the club if his budget is drastically cut for next season, but he denied to Tribune Sport making any such comments.

“That story was in all the papers. I spoke to them [national press] after last Friday’s game and said I didn’t know what my budget would be, but I imagine it will be cut. That is all I said, but they went and got a story out of that,” he said.

He said that preliminary meetings have been held in relation to a playing budget next year, but said there was no question of him issuing an ultimatum to the board over making finance available. “We have sat down and had a look at it, we need to know where the money is coming from but to be honest it is not coming from anywhere. It is the same at most other clubs, though. I do expect my budget will be cut – yes, in an ideal world I’d like more money, but that is not going to happen.

“As for issuing an ultimatum, no, I haven’t – what would be the point, there is not much money there, and if I did do go looking for money, they could turn around and ask me what division we’ll be in next season and I don’t know that, though hopefully results on
Friday night will change that.

“I have enjoyed my first year as a manager, it has been great working with the players. Yes there have been tough times, like when the budget was cut in July, that affected the players and my coaching staff, but it is a learning curve that I am enjoying.

“We have been in the top seven all season, and if you offered us that at the start of the season, and the fact we have our destiny in our own hands with two games remaining, obviously anyone would have taken that.

“We have to tough games to come, but so do the teams around us. We will compete in the next two games, and if that sees us safe, great. If we have to go into a play-off, well that still gives us a chance to stay in this division, but hopefully it won’t come to that,” he said.

He is without Mark O’Toole (hand) and John Russell (ankle) for tonight’s game. Russell had an MRI scan on Wednesday, and is due to see a surgeon on Monday, but given the fact he has been unable to train for a month, and has missed the last few games, his season looks like it has ended.

Alan Murphy has not trained all week, and Iarflaith Davoren only trained on Monday, but Foster is hopeful that both will be available to at least make the 16-man squad for tonight’s games.

Rovers are at full strength for tonight’s game, but O’Neill says he is expecting a tough test from United.

“There’s a lot to play for and every fixture this weekend has something hinging on it – and our game against Galway at Tallaght Stadium is no different. “They had some good results recently and may have felt that they were safe, but in the last couple of weeks they’ve gone back into a dangerous position so this is a big game for them.

“We expect a tough game from Galway, but we know it’s a must-win game for Shamrock Rovers and that’s what we’ve prepared for and what we intend to do,” he said.

Rovers have won the three previous league games between the sides this season, recording 3-1 and 1-0 wins in Terryland, and a 1-0 win in Tallaght back in June.

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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