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Glynn adds Forde and Walsh to Mervue squad



Date Published: {J}

Keith Kelly

Mervue United manager Johnny Glynn has announced his first two new signings for this season’s Airtricity First Division campaign, while the club has also confirmed four preseason friendlies for next month, with the possibility of more being added.

Although discussions are being held today between the club and the Galway United Supporters’ Trust in relation to forming an alliance and a new team for the coming season, the club has had to plan for this not materialising, and is working on preparing for the new season as Mervue United FC.

To that extent, Glynn has snapped up goalkeeper Ronan Forde, who moves across the city to Mervue United from Salthill Devon, while defender Stephen Walsh makes the shorter journey of switching from Terryland Park and Galway United to join the Fahy’s Field-based side.

The addition of those two players brings to 13 the number of players Glynn has at his disposal for the new season, which begins on the weekend beginning Friday March 2, as 11 of the squad which finished seventh in the First Division last year have re-signed with Mervue.

Martin Conneely, Pat Hoban, James Casserley, Jason Molloy, Mark Ludden, Alex Lee, Mike Elwood, Barry McEntee, Peter Dravins, Michael Collins and Shane Keogh have all put pen to paper with Mervue for the coming season, but there are a couple of notable absentees from that list – underage internationals Ger Hanley and John Mountney.

Hanley is understood to be on the verge of signing from Premier Division side Dundalk, and the goalkeeper could be joined at Oriel Park this season by midfielder John Mountney, who has been training with the County Louth club this week.

Sean McCaffrey, who was in charge of Irish underage international sides from 2003 to 2010, has been named as the new manager at Dundalk, replacing Ian Foster, and both Hanley and Mountney have featured on international sides under him.

Both are expected to sign for Dundalk over the coming days, hence the decision to move for Forde to replace Hanley, though there is still uncertainty over that move as the clubs are believed to be still working on an agreement over the proposed move.

In relation to preseason friendlies, Mervue United are expected to begin their preparations for the new season with a game against Drogheda United on Friday February 10, though that game is subject to FAI approval – Drogheda will also play a preseason friendly against Salthill Devon at Drom the following day as part of their trip to Galway.


Mervue’s second friendly will be away to newly promoted Shelbourne on Friday February 17, with the club then heading to Reading for a preseason training camp, which will include a game against a Reading XI on Monday February 20, which could feature Karl Sheppard, the former Galway United striker, who joined the English Championship side last week.

The final preseason friendly confirmed by Mervue United is against St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday February 24, though it is believed there may be at least one more game added to that list, which the club has yet to confirm.

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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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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