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Mervue Utd and SD Galway return to League action



Date Published: 30-Aug-2012

Keith Kelly

The local battle to avoid the bottom of the Airtricity League First Division resumes tonight with both Mervue United and SD Galway in action, following last weekend’s break for the FAI Cup.

The two city sides have spent the season at the foot of the table, cut adrift from the other six clubs and left to wage their own battle for local bragging rights, and two wins on the trot for SD Galway – one of which was against Mervue United – has seen them close the gap to their cross-city rivals at the foot of the table to just a point, with just six games of the season remaining.

Mervue United should have seen action last weekend, having defeated SD Galway in the Third Round of the FAI Cup, but their Fourth Round tie away to Waterford last Friday night was postponed less than three hours before kick-off due to a waterlogged pitch at the Regional Sports Centre in Waterford.

The game was refixed for last Monday at the same venue, but Mother Nature intervened again, with the pitch still declared unplayable, resulting in the game being called off again. The one slight saving grace for Johnny Glynn and his players was the fact they had not left Galway on Monday when the game was called off – they had almost arrived in Waterford last Friday before getting word about the postponement.

That double cancellation will have hardly helped their preparations for tonight’s league game with Finn Harps (kick-off 7.45pm), but at least they will enjoy home advantage against a side they defeated at Fahy’s Field back in April.

Tonight’s game is the fourth meeting between the sides this season, with the three previous meetings going the way of the home side – Harps won a thrilled by the odd goal in seven in Finn Park in March, and recorded another single-goal victory in Ballybofey in July, Alan Murphy’s brace not enough to prevent a 3-2 defeat for United.

In between those two defeats came their only meeting so far this year in Fahy’s Field, and goals from Murphy, Jason Molloy and Barry McEntee sealed a 3-0 win for Mervue, their first win of the season in nine attempts.

The fact that those three games between the sides produced 15 goals suggests there will be plenty of goalmouth action tonight, and in that respect, the loss of Mike Elwood to suspension will be a blow to Glynn’s side.

Harps, however, have been hit even harder on the disciplinary side, with Thomas McBride, Aaron O’Hagan and leading scorer Kevin McHugh all ruled out of tonight’s game, while there are injury concerns surrounding Gary Merritt, Tommy Bonner and Paul McVeigh, and the fact that they have lost on all four of their previous visits to Fahy’s Field should tilt the balance in Mervue’s favour.


If that is the case, they will stay off the bottom of the table, but any slip-up will open the gate for SD Galway to leapfrog them in the table, as they also face a very winnable game tonight, away to Wexford Youths in Ferrycarrig park (kick-off 8pm).

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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