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Archive News

Eager Abbey outfit complete the Cup and league double



Date Published: 02-Jun-2010

TWO opening-half goals by St. Bernard’s set them on the way to a comfortable victory in the Joe Ryan Cup final at Terryland Park on Saturday and, in the process, completed a First Division League and Cup double.

Early strikes by Eoghan Roche and Mathew Finn gave St. Bernard’s the perfect start in their bid to retain the cup and a late Jason Finn goal sealed the deal.

Despite both sides having completed their league programme some time ago, this was a competitive encounter. The Abbeyknockmoy side were by far the more threatening in the opening half and their advantage was based on the predatory instincts of the goal scoring duo, while Mervue couldn’t make a number of set pieces count in their best opportunities.

Certainly, Bernard’s were the more creative in the opening quarter and could have taken the lead on just six minutes, but Roche could not keep a Jason Finn cross on target from close range. However, the front man certainly finished in style when he made it 1-0 on 13 minutes.

Collecting a throw in on the left from Mathew Finn, he swivelled and drilled a 25 yard effort in to the far top corner as ‘keeper Roche was rendered helpless. Mervue responded to the challenge and St. Bernard’s goalkeeper Colm King brought off a smart save to keep out a Darvin Dowling shot. A terrific challenge by Daryl Finn then ended a threatening Dermot Ward run in the box before a swift counter attack at the other end produced a half chance for Kevin Ruane, but after rounding the advancing Roche he could not apply the finish from a tight angle.

However Bernard’s made it 2-0 on 23 minutes when Jason Finn delivered from the right and Mathew Finn was positioned ten yards out to drill in an effort that went in off the underside of the crossbar.

Just twice more they threatened in that opening half as Mark Finn steered a Ruane pass off target, while a Ruane free kick was tipped on to the crossbar by Roche at full stretch.

Meanwhile, set pieces always looked the most likely avenue of a Mervue fight back. King reacted well to an Alan Tormey header with a reactive tip over and from another Dowling delivery, Ger McGrath headed over. A close range Ward effort tested King and just before the break a Lubos Valcek free kick deflected off the defensive wall for a corner.

The resumption saw Mervue force the early pace and a combination of King and Mathew Finn denied Lloyd Concannon on 48 minutes, but from the resulting Dowling corner Tormey applied the low finish to make it 2-1.

A brilliant full length save by King denied Ward an equaliser on 54 minutes after the front man hammered in an effort from outside the box.

The highlight of the game came on 56 minutes when Darren Roche produced three cracking reflex saves in quick succession. A Kevin Ruane cross set up Eoghan Roche, but from six yards Roche spread himself to keep out the shot and from the rebound he got up to push away a Mathew Finn effort before then scrambling across the line to push away a loose ball as Bernard’s wondered how they didn’t make the opportunity count.

Substitute JP Keary had a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside just minutes after his introduction, before the winners lost their way a little and Mervue became the more threatening side the last quarter.

Another brilliant Colm King save maintained the status quo on 72 minutes when Dave Cummins set up McGrath, but once more the custodian performed his duty with a crucial stop.

Then when Cummins broke through, Bernard’s skipper Dwane Finn produced a marvellous challenge to help maintain their slender lead. A Dave O’Boyle effort looked goal bound until Adrian Roche was in the right place at the right time to deflect it away and following a Dowling free kick, Dave Walsh was just off target with a subtle lob.

However the missed chances were put in perspective when a smart counter attack produced the crucial third goal for Bernard’s on 86 minutes. A Carey pass released Eoghan Roche down the left and when his pace took him clear of the cover, his unselfish pullback from almost on the by line gave Jason Finn a simple tap in for a 3-1 advantage.

However the game did not have a happy conclusion for Mervue United goalkeeper Darren Roche as he injured an elbow in attempting to prevent the goal and he had to depart the fray to get medical attention and was replaced by Dave Walsh.


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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