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United hoping for happy trip to seaside



Date Published: 12-Aug-2011

HAVING created one piece of unwanted history with the defeat to Derry City last week, Galway United travel to the east coast tonight where they would very much welcome creating another unique stat.

The 3-0 loss to Derry City was United’s 20th consecutive defeat, a new League of Ireland record, and with Sean Connor’s side desperate to end that wretched run which has seen them lose every game since April 8, a scoreless draw tonight – which would be a

first between United and Bray – would be a hugely welcome result.

Connor insists that he goes into every game looking to win it, but if you offered him a scoreless draw before kick-off – the sides have never played out a scoreless draw in 46 previous meetings – the under-fire manager would probably snatch your hand off as he

looks to end the worst run by a club in the 80 year history of the league.

Bobby Ryan is a doubt for the trip to the Carlisle Grounds after he picked up a head injury, but Yob Son comes straight back into the squad, having missed the Derry game as a result of being sent off on his debut against Drogheda United in the previous game.

Gary Dempsey has been in imperious form in Bray’s 3-0 and 2-0 wins over United this season, and while Connor singled out Paul Sinnott for praise after last week’s defeat to Derry, there is a very strong case to have the more physically imposing Son picking up

the Bray captain tonight.

Laurence Gaughan struggled a little on his debut last week, but his partnership with Eric Browne at the heart of United defence certainly looked like one worth sticking with for a few games, which would free Son to play the defensive role in midfield and provide United with that much-needed physical presence.

While central midfield has been a problem this season, the fact is that the majority of goals that United have conceded have been out wide. Evan Preston Kelly is struggling this season, understandably so given it is his rookie year in first team, while Stephen Walsh has struggled to come close to his brilliant form of last year.

Neither player can be accused of giving anything less than 100%, but if Connor goes with Son in the middle of the park, it will free up Sinnott to play right back, and the feeling is he is much better as a defender than midfielder.

While the loss of Ryan is a blow due to the experience he brings to the game, he has had a poor season. The problem for United is their lack of strength in depth, so while not his ideal position, the hunger and energy of Mikey Gilmore – not to mention his pace – makes him a candidate to get at Bray full-back Dane Massey.

That still leaves left-back as a problem, and the failure of Connor to retain the services of Derek O’Brien for this season is more disappointing with every defeat, but with Jingu Kim having two full games under his belt, the hope is he will provide more cover for

Walsh than he has had for the season so far.

Both sides come into the game on the back of defeats – as United were losing to Derry, Bray were being turned over at home by Drogheda United, although that result comes with a caveat as Pat Devlin’s side were missing four players through suspension.

For more of Keith Kelly’s preview see this week’s 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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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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