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United face daunting FAI Cup quarter-final trip to Tallaght



Date Published: 16-Sep-2010

Keith Kelly

Galway United make the first of two trips in a week to the Tallaght Stadium this Friday night to take on Shamrock Rovers in the quarter finals of the FAI Cup (kick-off 8pm).

Undoubtedly the league meeting between the sides on Friday week is the more important of the two games as United continue their now annual scramble to avoid relegation, but given the fact United are 13 years without a major trophy (1997 League Cup), and have won the FAI Cup just once (1991), success-starved fans would love to make it all the way to the Aviva Stadium in November and watch Barry Ryan follow in the footsteps of Johnny Glynn and lift the cup.

Sean Connor is certainly of the former frame of mind, saying that if it came to a choice, he would rather ensure the club’s Premier Division survival, but that is not to suggest United won’t be looking for victory on Friday night.

“It is unusual to meet back-to-back in different competitions, and I find that when that happens, usually both teams get a result each form the games. If pushed, I would take our league survival as being more important, but there is a semi-final place in the cup at stake, so when you get this far in the competition, you want to keep progressing,” Connor told Tribune Sport.

United go into the game on the back of a hugely impressive display against Sligo Rovers on Monday night, when Sean Connor’s side came from two goals down to grab a point thanks to goals from Gary Curran and Karl Sheppard.

The result exorcised the memories of the horror show in Bray the previous Friday, when United’s five-game unbeaten run was brought to a shuddering halt by Bray Wanderers, who hit four goals without reply to record their first win over United in 10 attempts.

“It was a very positive result for us, to come from two goals down to get the draw. Yes there were unusual results elsewhere with Dundalk and UCD both winning, meaning we have slipped back into the bottom three, but we are only behind UCD on goal difference and have made up quite a gap on them in the table in the past few weeks.

“We slipped up badly in Bray, but with the good run we were on, we were able to bounce back from that and get a result against Sligo, and at this stage of the season it is important to pick up points whenever you can.

“Obviously, for survival, I would prefer a win in the league game with Shamrock Rovers, but we go into every game looking to win it, and Friday won’t be any different. The games between us have been very tight this season, they only beat us 1-0 in Terryland twice, and even when we lost 2-0 up there, both their goals came form set pieces.

“They are a big, strong physical side so we need to work on that aspect of our game, but all the pressure will be on them, there is huge expectation around the club, and that could work in our favour,” Connor said.

While United were battling to a draw in the Connacht derby, Shamrock Rovers were suffering a nightmare on the plastic pitch of Oriel Park, conceding four goals in the first-half to a Dundalk side that made it two wins on the bounce, having gone eight games without a victory during a horrible spell for Ian Foster’s side.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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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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