The National Hunt Racing Festival at Cheltenham is once again almost with us. The Irish entries have been finalised for the various events and their chances are being diligently discussed by the keen students of form. Will any area in Ireland or indeed anywhere else equal the record of locally bred horses at the centre of National Hunt racing in England.
The year was 1957 when the first four home in the Cheltenham Gold Cup were all bred in close proximity to Fethard. The winner ‘Linwell’ was bred by Mr. Jimmy Delaney, Redcity, Fethard, who bought the dam ‘Ruby Linda’ from Dr. Stokes for £100; second was ‘Kestin’ bred by Mr. Con Burke, Watergate, Fethard. ‘Kestin’ apart from ‘Dawn Run’ was probably the best National Hunt mare to come out of Ireland in post war years. Third was ‘Rose Park’ bred by Mr. E. Purcell, Ballynattin, and fourth was ‘Lochroe’ bred by Mr. Brian O’Donnell, Bannixtown, Fethard. ‘Lochroe’ was winner of many top class chases during his cross-channel career.
Fethard bloodstock breeders have bred many National Hunt winners in England in the intervening years. Will we have Fethard bred winner at this year’s festival? Maybe, or mayby not, but surly Fethard, the home of the racehorse, will never again equal the wonderful record of 44 years ago.
Fethard had two break-in robberies over last weekend. Wards garage, Kerry Street, was entered on Friday night last when a small amount of cash and sundry items were taken from the office. On Saturday night Mrs Stokes yard at Watergate was the target when thieves, in what is considered the lowest form of crime, made off with six hens and a cock.
Fethard cubs and scouts have resumed their weekly meetings in the Town Hall on Monday nights.
Ballyluskey White Heather Harriers meet at Annesfort on Sunday next 28th January at 12 noon.
Stephen Curran, Woodvale Walk, was moved to hospital in Cork following being found with serious head injuries on a pavement in Clonmel on Friday afternoon last. His injuries were feared to be life threatening. We are glad to report that he has made excellent progress at Cashel Hospital to where he was returned and was greeting visitors there on Sunday night last.
If you can drive and have some time to spare during the day your services are much in need by Fethard’s Meals-on-Wheels committee. Help is badly needed in the delivery of meals to our elderly. Those willing to help on a rota basis can contact Carmel Rice, Brookhill, Fethard, telephone: 052 31134, or Joan O’Donohoe at the Community Office in the Tirry Community Centre, telephone 052 31000.
The next meeting of Fethard Historical Society will take place on Tuesday night 30th January at 8.30pm in the Abymill Theatre. All members are welcome to attend.
WALL TO WALL BOOKS
Sunday, Feb 11th is the date for this years Tipperariana Book Fair, and again book dealers and book lovers and collectors will come from all over the county and country to Fethard Ballroom. If anyone would like to donate books, sell books or have books sold for you, then contact any committee member of the Fethard Historical Society or Terry Cunningham at 052 23402 or Dóirín Saurus at 052 31936 so that collection and arrangements can be worked out. The book fair is the Historical Society's main fund raising event of the year so any donation of books is much appreciated.
FETHARD GAA CLUB
On Sunday 21st January in Ardfinnan we lost the (2000) South semifinal to Moyle Rovers on a scoreline: Moyle Rovers 2-9 (0-4) Fethard 0-10 (0-7). Team P. Fitzgerald, T. Anglim, C. Maher, M. Ryan, D. Byrne (0-1, M. Quinlan, W. Morrissey (0-1), A. Fitzgerald, M. Spillane, C. McCarthy (0-5), B. Burke, G. Burke (0-3), J.P. Looby, T. Sheehan, C. Allen. Subs used K. Byrne for A. Fitzgerald, K. O’Donnell for C. McCarthy, M. Aherne for T. Anglim. Subs not used M. Carroll, S. O’Donnell, N. Murphy, T. Gahan.
Training continues every Friday for all players. Membership fees now due for 2001.
A church gate collection will take place next weekend, 27th and 28th January, please give generously.
FUNDING FOR TINSLEY BRIDGE
Further verification of Fethard's historical importance was announced this week with the Heritage Council of Ireland generously agreeing to give a substantial grant towards the urgent repair of 'Tinsley's Bridge' built c.1840 over the river Clashawley at Grove. The restoration project is currently being organised and those wishing to help or get involved can contact Rosemary Ponsonby, Grove House, Fethard, or by email at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
ELECTRIC LIGHT POLES 100 YEARS LATER
ESB staff were erecting new street lighting poles on the Square and Main Street this week. It is a coincidence that an entry recorded in the late Patrick J. Lonergan's personal diary states that the first electric light poles erected on the streets of Fethard was on 24th September 1901 (100 years ago). In another entry on the 8th December 1901 he recalls seeing electric light working for the first time, maybe in his own premises on the Square. On Monday 20th January 1902 the street lights were turned on. Patrick J. Lonergan is the grandfather of Paddy Lonergan the present owner of Lonergan's Bar.
MAIN STREET PREMISES DAMAGED BY FIRE
Reflections Hair Saloon on Main Street was damaged by fire at 5am on 17th January when fire broke out in an upstairs flat. The fire was luckily discovered in time to prevent further damage to adjacent premises.
COMMUNITY LOTTO RESULTS
The numbers drawn on Tuesday 16th January were: 11, 18, 21, 28. There was no Jackpot winner and no 'Match 3' winners. Five £20 prizes drawn: Ken O'Donnell, Monroe, Fethard; Sean Ryan, Cashel Road, Fethard; John Power, c/o Tony Morgan; Darren Phelan, 5 Slievenamon Close; Dorothy Wall, Knockelly. This weeks Jackpot is £5,900.