However, their successful licensing appeal spells disappointment for Monaghan United who were planning on replacing Galway in the top-flight but now remain in the First Division for the 2011 campaign.
The Licensing Appeals body met yesterday at FAI headquarters in Abbotstown to consider Galway United’s case and acknowledged that “the tax affairs of the club were and are in order and it was clear that the club had made attempts to secure the appropriate documentation but due to exceptional events were unable to provide it on the date required.
“Given the full circumstances that pertain to this case, the Appeals Body overturned the decision of the Club Licensing Committee and awarded a League Licence — Premier Division to Galway United FC.”
United thanked the committee for the manner in which they dealt with the appeal and also thanked staff at the club, supporters who had made financial contributions and the people of the city and county for their support.
However, given severe budget cutbacks and player departures it looks as though Galway will have their work cut out to stay up this year. The latest player to leave Terryland Park is Derek O’Brien, who has signed for Cork City.
The 31-year-old said: “Being from Kerry, Cork City is a club I have always had an ambition to play for, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity now. I know some of the lads here already and, having spoken to them, I am really looking forward to being part of what I hope will be a successful season for the club.”
Manager Tommy Dunne was similarly enthused about his latest acquisition: “Derek is a very experienced player, who has been a regular in the Premier Division for a number of years now, and has been named on the PFAI Premier Division Team of the Year. He is an exciting player, and I believe he can make a big contribution.”