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Archive News

Stirring comeback sees United grab share of the spoils



Date Published: {J}

Galway United 2

Sligo Rovers 2

Keith Kelly in

Terryland Park

GALWAY United came from two goals down to grab a share of the spoils in a cracking Connacht derby that was played in horrendous conditions in Terryland Park on Monday night.


United looked dead and buried when the visitors went 2-0 ahead in the 36th minute as the home side struggled to deal with the waves of attack crashing down on their defensive wall on a night made for the sitting room rather than the stand.

However the one thing this United side have is bags of character, and they got back into the game just two minutes after watching former team-mate John Russell double Sligo’s lead when Gary Curran fired home to reduce arrears, and Karl Sheppard popped up with a cheeky equaliser midway through the half to deny Sligo a first win in Terryland since 2007.

The United staff also possess a degree of irony, the PA belting out The Stunning’s Brewing Up A Storm as the sides took to the pitch before the game in driving wind and rain that suggested any chance of decent football was a remote one.

That is what the sparse crowd of 668 got in spades, however, as both sides defied the conditions to play some lovely football on what was a very greasy surface. There can be no argument that the visitors were the more polished outfit – Paul Cook’s crew are one of the most attractive footballing sides in the league – but United certainly contributed to what was a thrilling contest.

It was the visitors who had the benefit of the elements in the first half, and it was little surprise that the dominated the opening exchanges, although they suffered an early blow when centre back Derek Foran was forced off with a head injury in the sixth minute.

It was former United defender Alan Keane who had the first shot in anger, lashing a spectacular effort from 30 yards which caught on the wind and forced Barry Ryan to scramble across his goal and push the shot away for a corner.

United failed to properly deal with the ensuing set-piece, clearing the ball only as far as Richie Ryan, and the Sligo captain smashed a shot into the far corner on the half-volley as Ryan could only look on, which was the least a strike of such quality deserved.

United sought an immediate reply, Stephen Walsh forcing a cracking save from another former United player, Ciaran Kelly – a goalkeeper criminally overlooked during his stint here five seasons ago – but it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous, and Ryan had top be at his best to deny Romauld Boco in the 22nd minute.

Ryan won the battle between the two seven minutes later, gathering a singer of a shot from the striker at the second time of asking as Sligo continued to press for a second goal, which duly arrived in the 36th minute.

It is galling for many United fans to see John Russell in the kit of another team, moreso as it is the provincial rivals, and he showed the Terryland faithful what they are missing on Monday night. Taking possession just outside the Sligo box, he fed the ball right to Gary McCabe, who attacked down the channel.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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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