Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Devon and Mervue Utd on their guard



Date Published: {J}


Flashback images of a black weekend in late April/early May will be prevalent in the minds of the Salthill Devon and Mervue United players as they face daunting ties against Derry City and Shelbourne on Friday and Saturday respectively.

In the corresponding Airtricity First Division fixtures earlier in the season, Salthill Devon suffered a humiliating 7-0 defeat to Derry, while Mervue United collapsed on a scoreline of 4-0 away to Shelbourne. Eleven goals conceded between the two, it was one of the bleakest ever weekends for League of Ireland football in the city.

Consequently, memories of those harrowing defeats should prompt – and demand – some sort of a retort. Devon Head Coach Emlyn Long – who takes his charges, on the back of a first League win, up the Brandywell to face First Division runaway leaders Derry this evening (7.45pm) – agrees.

“We do, but the other thing we have to remember is that we were also on a high going into that game (7-0 defeat), after scoring the late equaliser against Mervue, and Derry ran away comfortably with the win. Here we are on a high again, and that point will have to be driven home to the lads. We didn’t show up on the day for that game and Derry just put us to the sword.”

Long says that Devon will have to be much more focused this time around, particularly with the game in the Brandywell, although he is the first to admit that Salthill will have it all to do against the League leaders. “They are a quality side and the couple of recruits they brought in – a player from Celtic and a young lad from Newcastle – during the season shows they are a side with ambition.

“In fact, I would say they would not be out of place in the top three in the Premier Division. So, it is a massive, massive test. We showed, though, that we were very up for the match against Mervue last weekend – we were physical and we were hungrier – but it is no good producing performances like that and not being able to do it when you travel to places like the Brandywell. So, we have to be prepared to do the same against Derry this weekend.”

In addition to the automatic suspension of Victor Collins – who received two yellow cards against Mervue – Devon do have injury concerns, with defenders Breen Geraghty (ankle) and James Whelan (hamstring) both in a race to be fit for this one. “I would say they are 50/50 at the moment,” says Long.

Should they fail to make it, Devon may have to rush back Sean Murphy, who has been struggling with a knee injury. They are also continuing to monitor striker Mikey Gilmore, after he had a slight reaction to his cartilage injury when undertaking a late fitness test before the Mervue game on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Mervue United – who will be looking to lift themselves following their loss to derby rivals Salthill last weekend – must face a Shelbourne outfit that inflicted a crushing 4-0 defeat on them the last time they met.

“That was our biggest defeat of the season, so we know it is going to be a tough game,” says Mervue manager Tom French. “Obviously, we are going to have to work on tightening things up.

“Not only that, though, the performance against Salthill was very disappointing. We weren’t up for it and we just went through the motions in that game. So, our performance was very disappointing in terms of attitude and application. It means that, for us, every game from now until the end of the season is a cup final.”

French’s only injury concern ahead of this one is midfielder Mike Tierney, who is struggling with a foot injury. Tierney could only manage 20 minutes against Salthill, although he did subsequently return to training on Tuesday night. The player’s fitness was to be further monitored when United took on English League Two side Port Vale in a friendly yesterday evening.

Kick-off in the Mervue United v Shelbourne Airtricity fixture at Terryland Park on Saturday evening is 7pm.

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading