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SD Galway’s poor run against Finn Harps continues



Date Published: 07-Aug-2012

 A SECOND-HALF brace from Kevin McHugh helped Finn Harps extend their unbeaten run to five games with a third win of the season over basement side SD Galway at Finn Park on Friday night.

The Harps skipper broke the deadlock on 63 minutes with a close-range effort before sealing all three points for the home side with a second from the penalty spot five minutes from time.

The visitors, who had offered a stern resistance before the first goal went in, ended the game with ten men after David Meehan’s illegal intervention that led to McHugh’s second goal saw the SD Galway man receive a straight red card.

With Aaron O’Hagan and Tommy McBride both ruled out through suspension, Harps were given a welcome boost beforehand with Tommy Bonner passing a fitness test to start in the middle of the park alongside Shaun McGowan.

SD Galway – Salthill Devon in a former guise – had failed at eight previous attempts to defeat their counterparts from Donegal and have only managed the one win all season in what has so far been a thoroughly disappointing campaign for Tony Mannion’s side.

A cagey first half yielded very little in the shape of goal-mouth action, with both goalkeepers enduring a relatively stress-free opening 45 minutes.

Harps were the more commanding but a well organised SD Galway rearguard restricted the home side from converting their territorial advantage into shots on target.

Paul McVeigh headed narrowly wide from a James Doherty cross early on, while Brian Geraghty forced a fine point-blank save out of Ciaran Gallagher, following a perfectly-weighted through ball from Ronan Conlon.

McHugh then had his first sight of goal on 20 minutes, the Harps striker heading just over the bar from a Gary Merritt cross, following a timely intervention from Tommy Bonner on Timmy Molloy.

Harps continued to control most of the first half but James Keane managed to get to the break without having to pull off a save of any real significance, although a 25-yard effort from McGowan was only inches away from finding the bottom corner.

The home team began the second half strong and James Doherty almost found the top corner with the first attack after the restart – the full-back latching onto a loose clearance by the visiting defence before rifling a thunderous volley over the woodwork.

Moments later and the hosts dissected the SD Galway defence courtesy of a cushioned through ball by McVeigh to release McHugh. The striker timed his run to perfection and although he managed to beat the onrushing Keane, full-back Eugene Greaney arrived in the nick of time to produce the timeliest of blocks.

Having threatened with a series of corners in the early stages of the second half, it was no surprise to see the deadlock broken from another of Merritt’s expertly angled dead-balls.

Paul McVeigh did well initially to win the corner and from the resulting delivery by Merritt, McHugh was perfectly placed to guide home a Thomas McMonagle flick on from close range.

Matt Harkin then went agonisingly close to adding to the goal he got against Waterford United last week with the sweetest of connections from a Merritt corner.

SD Galway responded with a brief flurry but a deflected Mike Harty shot from distance that drifted just wide of the post was the closest they came to finding an equaliser.

In fact, from that same phase of play, Harps doubled their advantage following a quick throw out by Gallagher to release McVeigh. With Harkin racing through on the overlap, the former Fanad United man opted for a lofted ball over the top to McHugh, who was prevented a clear run on goal by the outstretched hand of Meehan.

The second-half replacement received a straight red card by referee Rob Harvey before McHugh stepped up to rifle home his second of the night and ninth of the season.

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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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