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Two see red as Mervue are spooked



Date Published: 03-Nov-2009

HALLOWE’EN may have taken place on Saturday night but the nightmare arrived a day early for Mervue United as they were made to look second best throughout their clash with Sporting Fingal in Terryland Park.


The gulf in class between the two sides was evident all through the game, with Mervue’s frustration with their opponents’ dominance leading to the home side going down to nine men before the final whistle was blown.


Indeed, so much were the visitors in control that the game was over as a contest before half-time as three goals in the space of seven minutes from Fingal’s Gary O’Neill, Conan Byrne and Eamon Zayed sealed the win at an early stage.


Mervue did get a consolation goal thanks to a Mark Ludden tap-in, but the Dublin side soon added insult to injury thanks to a superb long range shot from Colm James hitting the back of the net.


Mervue’s supporters would have been disappointed but not surprised by the final scoreline, as in fact Fingal had several other chances that could have seen them stretch their lead even further. Even though the home side were without the injured Damian O’Rourke and the suspended Mike Tierney and Alex Lee, Sporting Fingal’s dominance meant that their presence would have had little effect on the scoreline.


The first of many goal chances for Fingal came on the eighth minute, as Mervue goalkeeper Eoin Martin did well to save when he was left one on one with Robert Bayly.


However, the visitors continued to pile on the pressure and didn’t have to wait long for their efforts to be rewarded. On 14 minutes a Fingal corner into the Mervue penalty area left the assembled players scuffling for the ball. Unfortunately for the home side the ball arrived at the feet of O’Neill, who tapped it in for the first goal of the night.


Mervue may have been disappointed by conceding such a scrappy goal, but they had no time to contemplate their mistakes. Just four minutes later, a superb Fingal cross from the left (one of many on the night) through to Byrne on the right side of the Mervue goal made it easier for the Fingal player to dispatch the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.


On 21 minutes another cross from Fingal’s Eric Foley gave team-mate Zayed the opportunity to score a third, and while his header initially hit the ground, its bounce worked in his favour, reaching the Mervue goal and leaving the home side shocked by what had happened in the previous seven minutes.


Mervue’s resulting frustration then reached a climax on 28 minutes as Nicky Curran was sent off for raising his leg in a clash with Fingal’s Colm James.


The visitors continued their dominance, and should have had their fourth after 41 minutes when Kevin Dawson got past the Mervue goalkeeper topass the ball to team-mate Zayed. However, despite the open goal just yards away, Zayed shot to the left and wide, giving Mervue a rare moment of luck.


Fingal continued their dominance right from the start of the second half, but Mervue battled on, and to their credit clawed a goal back after 54 minutes thanks to Ludden shooting from short range into the centre of the away side’s goal after a pass in from Pat Hoban.


However, this just spurred Fingal on to make more scoring chances and the visitors were unlucky when a long range shot from Byrne flew just over the Mervue goal on 65 minutes. Their perseverance eventually paid off, though, six minutes later when a superb shot from James at least 25 yards outside the home side’s goal went past Martin to reach the back of the net.


Some good link up play from Mervue almost paid dividends on 83 minutes, when a cross from Ludden to substitute Neil Douglas, who was unmarked in front of goal, was intercepted by Fingal ’keeper Darren Quigley.


But it just wasn’t to be Mervue’s night, and the final nail in the coffin came two minutes later, when Hoban received a red card for a challenge on Brian Gannon.


Going into their last game of the season away to Wexford Youths, Friday night’s performance would have given Mervue little optimism about ending their first year in Division One on a high. Still, after last week’s decision by the Mervue board to remain in the division, at least they’ll have another chance to impress next 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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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