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Keeper Forde thrilled by call up to Ireland squad for Euro 2012



Date Published: 10-May-2012


THE first Galway man to be selected for a Republic of Ireland squad ahead of a major soccer tournament was taking it all in his stride this week as goalkeeper David Forde was enjoying a brief holiday in the sun when word came through that he would be on his way to Poland.

At the end of a season which has been disrupted by a thigh injury picked up last November, the Millwall net-minder told Tribune Sport that he was thrilled to be part of Giovanni Trapattoni’s plans for next month’s Euro 2012 tournament.

A thigh had ruled Forde (32) out of Millwall’s English Championship campaign in recent months, but the native of Innishannagh Park in Galway City is now fully fit and raring to go before the 23-man squad meets up in Dublin next Thursday.

Realistically, Forde is unlikely to feature for Ireland against Spain, Italy, and Croatia, barring an injury to first choice ‘keeper Shay Given, but it is a huge honour for the former Galway United and Derry City goalkeeper to make the travelling party for the Republic’s first appearance at a major tournament in a decade.

“I was stuck for words when I heard the news, really,” he told Tribune Sport on Wednesday. “Looking back, I remember how excited I was looking at Euro 88 and the World Cups as a kid in Galway. I always dreamed of going away to a major tournament with Ireland. I always had that belief that I was good enough and I’m overwhelmed now to be involved.

“It’s a nice personal honour for me to be the first Galway man to make the squad for a major tournament. It’s going to be a great experience. I’m delighted for my parents and family, who are very proud, and for the coaches in Galway who helped me along the way. Quite a few of them back in Galway were talking about coming over, but they had to wait until Monday to see if I made the squad or not!”

Forde has enjoyed a new lease of life since signing for Millwall in June 2008, following spells at Galway United, Derry City, West Ham, and Cardiff City, and went over 200 games without missing a fixture for the South East London club. He became a club hero when a penalty save in a League One play-off semi-final secured Millwall’s place at Wembley in 2009.

Promotion followed with victory over Swindon Town at the end of the following season, and his series of top class performances in the second tier saw Forde finally earn his Ireland call-up at 31 years of age this time last year.

He came on as a substitute in a friendly against Northern Ireland in May of last year, replacing Shay Given, and then made his full debut between the posts in Ireland’s shock 2-0 win over Italy in Belgium on June 7.

Forde picked up his thigh injury in a home defeat to Bristol City last November and has struggled to regain his place in the Millwall side who finished 16th in the 24 team division this season.

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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