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Injury-hit United have no answer to lively visitors



Date Published: {J}

Galway United 1

Derry City 4

Keith Kelly at

Terryland Park

Galway United grabbed their first home goal of the season on Friday night, but that is as about the only positive to be taken from the defeat at the hands of a Derry City side that moved joint-top of the table courtesy of their comfortable victory.

Already with a skeleton squad, United suffered a major blow on Thursday when striker Joseph Yoffe damaged his ankle in training. With Alan Murphy also on the injury list, that left Sean Connor with just one fit recognised striker with League of Ireland experience, Enda Curran, who started on the bench.

When your squad is stretched to breaking point, you have to take a gamble on your younger players at some stage, and Connor had promised to ring the changes after the poor display against Drogheda United the previous week.

The United manager did make two changes for last Friday but both were enforced, with Eduardo Duci retaining his place in the side, having replaced the injured Murphy a week previously, while Yoffe’s training ground mishap saw Steve Feeney thrown in up front, leaving Curran wondering what he has to do to get a run in the team.

He has not the most prolific record, and is prone to the odd fit of temper, as seen in his clash with Victor Ekenam in Drogheda just over a week ago, but he has good strength and bags more pace than Feeney, although to be fair to the Sligoman, he did well on Friday, particularly in the air.

The defeat means United have taken just one point from their four games at Terryland Park this season, and that does not look like changing any time soon with defending league champions Shamrock Rovers the next visitors to the Dyke Road on Friday week for a game that will be televised live.

Before that, United travel to the Carlisle Grounds this Friday to take on the early-season surprise packets, Bray Wanderers, who are just a point off top spot, and if they are to take anything from their trip to the Wicklow coast, United will need to show more concentration in defence, more commitment in midfield and more potency up front.

The frustrating thing about Friday night is that United were marginally the better side for much of the first half in front of a crowd that was down more than 900 bodies on the previous home game with Sligo Rovers.

Derry brought a far smaller crowd than they traditionally do, but the main reason for the low numbers was surely the folly of there being three big games taking place with the same kick-off time, as Mervue United were hosting Limerick in the First Division, while Cardiff were the visitors to the Sportsground for Connacht’s last home game of the season.

The FAI in particular have a case to answer for scheduling two games in the city on the same night, and there is more of the same to come. United and Mervue’s next two home games will also clash, while United and Salthill Devon will have clashing games two weeks later again. Surely if the FAI were serious about supporting their clubs, something could have been done to avoid this.

Bobby Ryan took just 12 seconds to let off the first shot in anger on Friday night, dribbling forward from kick-off before shooting from 25 yards, his effort just clearing the crossbar. It looked like a statement of intent from United, one that was continued in the next five minutes by Sean Kelly, Feeney and Ryan again, who all had attempts on goal.

It took Derry a dozen or so minutes to settle, but their response to the early onslaught was impressive. James McClean – who had a cracking game – drilled a ball across the United six-yard box, which was met at the near post by Eamon Zayed. The Libyan international side-footed goalwards, but Greg Fleming got down brilliantly to claw the ball away.

McClean gave Shaun Kelly a right going-over on the night, and it was he who supplied the ammunition again in the 15th minute later, sending in another cross from the left, but Gareth McGlynn couldn’t direct his cheeky back-heel on target.

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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