The news that came out way last night that compromise has been reached in the ongoing campaign to have a single unified team representing Galway city and county in League of Ireland football is to be welcomed. Although, as is the case with most compromises, the solution is not ideal for all parties who may have had to budge from their original positions, it is good news for the football fan who has missed the fortnightly trips to Eamonn Deacy Park.
Now, next season, if the forthcoming licence application is successful, a team representing Galway city and county Galway FC will play their home games at the Dyke Road venue.
The success enjoyed by native Galway players and former locally-based players in the colours of other top sides has shown just what a strong and competitive set-up existed here before the difficulties of the last few years. The hope now is that the new setup will be equally successful in uniting all the interest groups, ensuring that once again, watching soccer on a Friday night in Galway will be something to be enjoyed by several thousand.
There is ample evidence to suggest that the compromise will be a successful one, given that the board will be composed of reasonable football people, all of whom hold a strong passion for the game. The Directors of Galway FC include Tom Lally and John Flannery ( representing GUST ), Joe Keating and Declan Mooney (Galway FA ), Donnie Farragher and Declan McDonnell (Mervue United ), and Jim McSpadden and Ollie Daniels (Salthill Devon ) with Bernie O'Connell acting as the independent Chairperson. John Flannery will serve as Secretary, while Declan McDonnell, a former Mayor of Galway, will be the Treasurer.
An official launch of the club will take place in the coming weeks and there will be ample opportunity for all football fans to play our part in promoting the club and its ideals right across the region to ensure that a strong and successful football club is created and sustained.
It is only when something disappears that you miss it and truly appreciate it. The loss of our airport is something that is still felt when you pass it by. The loss of the Friday night occasions in the former Terryland Park were only truly missed as well when you had to sit home and watch the Late Late Show and other Friday night offerings.
Galway FC also revealed that the possibility of a cooperative ownership structure is being examined. “The club has already founded a sub-committee charged with the task of examining how a cooperative structure can be formed whereby members can be elected to the Board at the end of the 2014 football season.”
This is a model that is commonplace on the continent and one that might ensure that the events of the past few years will never happen again.
And so today we say a big well done to all who took part in the trying process to reach this compromise. All the parties were well entitled, on the basis of their experience, to stand their ground and fight for their corner. It is only when the furthest extremes are brought together in any debate that a compromise is reached.
Galway FC has been born. It is now up to the rest of us to nurture it, to feed it with support and passion, to allow it to grow by bringing young children to it bedecked in club colours.
The city and county are full of thriving clubs with young members. They should all experience the thrill of a Friday night on the Dyke Road with the mist coming in from the Corrib and the smell of burgers floating on the air. Well done, to one and all who has made this happen.