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Search begins for another manager



Date Published: 08-Dec-2009

GALWAY United have started the process of appointing a new manager following the shock departure of Ian Foster late on Friday, with the club advertising the position on its website last night.

The Terryland Park-based outfit are in the hunt for their fifth manager in just 20 months after Foster walked out on the remainder of his contract on Friday to take the reins at Dundalk, saying the fact he was owed money by United allowed him to speak to the Oriel Park club, despite United refusing him permission to do so.

Speaking to Sentinel Sport from England yesterday, Foster insisted he was well within his rights to speak to Dundalk as a portion of his wages from United was outstanding, which he claimed was a fundamental breach of his contract, and he believes United do not have a leg to stand on should they pursue either him, Dundalk, or both, with a compensation claim.

“I got advice from the FAI and from the League Managers’ Association [in England]that I was within my rights to speak to whoever I wanted as I was owed money by United. Look, I don’t want to dig out anyone at the club, but I was owed money and I couldn’t get any assurances from the club so I had to make the decision that was right for me,” Foster said yesterday.

“I left on amicable terms, I am genuinely disappointed to be leaving Galway as I really enjoyed my time there and I worked with a very good bunch of lads, but I couldn’t get assurances on my own wages, never mind on a budget for next season.

“Portia [Foster’s wife] is expecting our first child in February, and I needed assurances on wages. She is coming over with me in January, we would have settled in Galway as she really liked it there any time she was over, but I will have a family to think of in February and I needed assurances on wages, which I didn’t get. Another club put an offer on the table and I thought it best I took it,” he said.

United CEO Nick Leeson admitted to Sentinel Sport yesterday that Foster – who had another year to run on his contract – was owed money by the club, but he insisted it was “an exceptionally small fraction of the €100,000 he would have got from the club in the past two years”.

“Ian Foster is Friday’s news – today is Monday, I’ve forgotten about him already. The question surrounding him being owed money and that being a breach of his contract is a legal issue, and I don’t want to get in to it, but we will be issuing a compensation claim against Dundalk,” Leeson said yesterday.

Leeson said the club would cast the net far and wide in the search for a new manager, and insisted there would be no “pre-judgements” made about any candidate. Potential candidates will undergo an “intensive interview process”, he said, and while he wouldn’t be drawn on any favourite for the job, one gets the sense from what he says that the club may opt for someone already based in Galway.

“We will advertise locally, nationally, and internationally, and we don’t have someone in mind. I am not going to say we want someone local, but one aspect of the job is that we need better integration with the local league, something we have not had with the last two managers [Foster and Jeff Kenna] for one reason or another,” he said yesterday.

A number of local names have been mentioned since Friday, but the majority of those contacted by Sentinel Sport yesterday ruled themselves out of the equation, including Stephen Lally, Derek Rogers, Johnny Glynn, Mark Herrick and Jim Noone.

Tony Mannion – who has had three previous spells as manager at United, and would be a popular choice with many fans – was uncontactable as he was travelling to Holland in his role as Coach Educator with the FAI, but it is understood he would be unable to comment owing to his role with the FAI.

Two people have confirmed to Sentinel Sport their interest in the job. Tom French, who was Foster’s assistant manager last season, and has also worked at the club in the role of trainer, said he will be throwing his hat into the ring, as will former United manager Paul ‘Ski’ McGee.

United in crisis again – see page 30.

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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