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Archive News

10-man Mervue go out



Date Published: 09-Feb-2010

THE tone was set early in this Umbro FAI Junior Cup tie in Fahy’s Field on Sunday afternoon as 15 seconds had just elapsed when Tommy Walsh won the ball in a crunching challenge and the opening minute had not long gone when Paul Tobin was equally competitive as he too thundered into a challenge for the visitors.

All were fair and so was a much softer one on Stephen Cunningham by goalkeeper Derek Breen on just 5 minutes, but unfortunately this challenge resulted in the young Mervue striker having to depart the fray in an ambulance as a serious leg injury was the outcome from this clash just inside the box.

After a break of more than 40 minutes, matters got worse for the home side for within a minute of the resumption they were down to 10 players as a pumped-up Shane Kelly was maybe harshly issued with a straight red card for certainly a wild, but not intentional, challenge on John Connery.

The general consensus was that a yellow card would have been sufficient for the misdemeanour. To be fair to the home side they never threw in the towel, but the reality was that they were outplayed for the duration as Michael’s played the ball about and certainly had more flair and ability than the home side. Allowing for the fact that this is not the best team in the club, it was a little alarming at the difference in ability between the two sides.

From the back the Tipperary side – who included three Irish Junior international players – were able and willing to go through the channels and throughout the park they had game breakers, while in contrast Mervue just didn’t have the cohesion and ability to match them in any department.

However playing with a man less for 83minutes does leave one at a distinct disadvantage and no doubt this, and the early injury, didn’t help their cause.

As a result Mervue’s attacking forays were pretty limited in the opening half, as a long range effort by Dermot Ward was well off target, as was a header by Miko Nolan following a Tommy Walsh delivery. The home defence, which included Liam McKenna in for the injured Robert Connolly, was pretty solid throughout, while the midfielders’ job for the day was just one of hard labour as they spent the majority of time back peddling and covering the mobile runners of the visitors.

For all their possession, the visitors were not exactly overproductive in the finishing stakes and their first effort on goal by David Ryan was easily gathered by David Curran at his near post on 18 minutes.

However there was little he could do as the Tipperary side took the lead just nine minutes later. Paul Tobin provided the

cross from the left and while Eamonn Feeney did well in getting back goal side of his opposite number Tommy Heffernan, he could not avoid being hit with the delivery and there was heartbreak as the ball rolled into the net for an own goal.

The visitors continued to be wasteful as Quinn, Ryan and Connery all failed to finish when further opportunities were presented before the break.

Mervue started the second half with renewed energy and Ward just got to a Feeney cross before ‘keeper Breen, but his flick with the outside of the boot went just outside a post. On the hour mark Breen was extended for the only time when Walsh ran on to a Colie Kelly lay off on the edge of the box, but his cracker was well pushed away by the custodian.

However the reality was that St Michael’s were always the more threatening side and after a few misses they made it 2-0 on 75 minutes when Pat Quinn got on the end of a Jimmy Carr cross and he eventually forced the ball past Curran at the second attempt.

However all the fight had not gone out of the home side and when Rynal Browne latched on to a Kelly knockdown, the substitute’s lob was exquisite from close range and it was competitive again at 2-1.

Any thoughts of a happy ending were dismissed five minutes later, however, when Quinn got on the end of a Ryan pass to notch his second of the game and seal a place in the last 32 against Clonmel Celtic.


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

Galway have lot to ponder in poor show



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013




GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.

The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.

There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.

It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.

Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.

Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.

Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.

Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.

Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.

Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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