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Saturday 4th January 2003

The next meeting of Fethard & Killusty Community Council will take place on Tuesday 21st January at 8.30pm in the Tirry Community Centre.

Justin Nelson, in his ‘Down Memory Lane’ series of photographs each week in The Nationalist, has asked for identification of the mother and baby photographs taken at a baby show some forty years ago in Powerstown Park Clonmel. One of the photographs in last week’s edition is of Mrs Kitty Ahearne, Main Street, and her son Frank. Mrs Ahearn remembers the occasion well and she says her prize was a plentiful supply of Cow & Gate baby food. The prize certainly did not do Frank any harm as he is some baby now standing about 6 feet 2 inches and weighing around 14 and half stone.

The wedding took place at Killusty Church on St. Stephen’s day of Sarah, daughter of Mr Louis and Mrs Mary Coen, Killusty, to Mr Tony Shelly, Killenaule.

The problems we are asked to solve through this column are certainly many and varied. This one is to settle a wager. Who was captain of the Killenaule senior hurling team, winners of the South Tipperary S.H. Championship in 1963. Our guess is Killenaule and Tipperary hurler Tom Ryan. Perhaps if the great man himself reads this he might get in touch.

The death has occurred on January 4th of Mrs Alice Croke, Tullamaine. The late Alice Croke was employed at Cashel Hospital for almost 30 years. Her tenderness and kindness and helpful way to all she came in contact with during the course of her employment was widely spoken of and certainly greatly appreciated. The large attendance at the removal of her remains and funeral showed the appreciation in which she was held by all. Sincere sympathy is extended to her husband Michael and family. Interment took place at Calvary Cemetery. A guard of honour at her funeral was provided by her colleagues from Cashel Hospital.
Ned Power, Wolverhampton, England, has informed us of the death of his brother, Michael Power, aged 60, who died on the 12th December 2002. Michael was the son of Richard (Grawn) Power who lived in St Patrick's Place and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Fethard Youth Club held their annual Table Quiz in Joe Ahearns Pub and would like to thank those who made it such a roaring success, most sincerely. A huge thank you to Miceál McCormack who was our quizmaster for the night. Even Anne Robinson would have been impressed, but perhaps, by no means as lenient. A big thank you to Tom McCormack for giving us a run for our money in the questions he put together for us on the night. We would also like to thank those parents who actually turned up to support this worthy cause. Thanks must also go to Joe Ahearn for allowing us, yet again to use his premises

Fethard Historical Society will hold their annual Tipperariana Book Fair in Fethard Ballroom on Sunday 9th February from 2pm to 6pm. The society are also interested in receiving any unwanted books that you may have, please contact any of the committee who will arrange to have them collected and sold at the Historical Society’s second-hand book stall (proceeds to Historical Society). If you wish to have your own stall, please contact Terry Cunningham, Grangebeg, Fethard, Tel: 052 23402, to book a stall.

The death has occurred in London over the Christmas period of Frankie Rafferty. The late Frankie Rafferty came as a very young teenager as an apprentice jockey to Major Vigors in the 40s. A most popular local personality, having ridden a few winners he emigrated to England and drifted out of racing. He never lost his love for Fethard and visited periodically on his holidays to renew old acquaintances. His wish, through his friend Nellie Shine-Heffernan, was to be buried in Fethard. His wish will be carried out in the near future. Sympathy is extended to his wife and family.

Sincere sympathy is extended to the O’Halloran family. Kylenagranagh, Cloneen, on the death of Tom O’Halloran recently in Listowel. A Department of Agriculture official, the late Tom O’Halloran was a past-pupil of Fethard Patrician Brothers Secondary School. He was actually one of the original 37 pupils in the first secondary school for boys in Fethard, founded on 1st September 1941 at the request of Most Rev. Dr. Harty, Archbishop of Cashel and Rev. Canon Ryan P.P. The first teachers included Bro. Albert (principal), Bro Mark Lee and Bro Colman Burke, who replaced Bro Liguori Commins after a short period. Tom on his visits home regularly called to meet some of his old school mates by whom he will be greatly missed.

The death has occurred of Mr Andrew ‘Sonny’ Goldsboro, Ballingarry, a life long follower and committee member of Ballylusky White Heather harriers. Huntsman of the pack, Donnie Slattery, blew the plaintive ‘Going Home’ call on the hunting horn at Sonny’s interment as a last farewell from his hunting contemporaries. Last Sunday’s meet was cancelled as a mark of respect.
The Ballylusky White Heathers harriers meet next Sunday, January 12th at Ballylusky, on Sunday 19th at Cappagh Cross, and on Sunday January 26th at Loughcopple.

This year 2003 marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction into Ireland of the awful rabbit disease myxomatosis, a highly infectious disease caused by a virus, leading to swelling of the mucous membranes and the formation of tumors similar to myxomas. For ten years at least the catching of rabbits by snare, trap, ferreting or whatever was widely followed by many young and not so young men in rural Ireland. A never-ending demand for rabbits in England saw many leave employment and go rabbit catching full-time. Indeed, Jimmy Sheehan from Killusty wrote a song on the subject, the opening lines were, “Three and nine for a rabbit, fifteen bob for four, no wonder the bunnies are being killed by the score.” Fifteen bob or shillings was a week’s wages for a man at that time.
Then came the Myxomatosis! Within a couple of years the rabbit population was almost wiped out, at least ninety percent of the total rabbit population were exterminated. They were regarded at that time as an agricultural plague. However, nature will not be mastered or tamed and within five or six years the few remaining bunnies built up immunity to the virus and slowly but surely made a comeback and are now almost as plentiful as ever. The demand, however, never did and Carr of Mallow in the seventies was the last rabbit exporter to visit the area buying rabbits. In better times, two local exporters of rabbits were Johnny Dempsey of Kilsheelan and Donald Aird, The Green, Fethard, who both travelled far and wide buying rabbits. Travelling musician, singer songwriter, ‘Pecker’ Dunne, wrote a monologue on myxomatosis that he performed regularly at his gigs, it was entitled ‘The Little Rabbit’ and detailed the horrific death that the virus caused.
Yes the myxomatosis is gone, the rabbits are back, and the agricultural problems their eradication was going to solve still remain. This week alone, the farming community felt obliged to stage a tractor parade protest to Leinster House to highlight their plight. The badgers are next on the list for extermination. Spreading Bovine T.B. is their problem. No doubt when they are gone, the problem will still be there and the loss added on to the billions already spent on the scheme. Yes indeed, nature will never be mastered or tamed!

The Fethard rugby teams and supporters travelled to Waterpark last Sunday where the under-8s played very well in their match. It was a quick paced match in which it was apparent that the key to their success was their teamwork. In the 1st half we were leading 2-1 with an early try from Eoin Walsh and the later one from James Holohan. In the second half with stronger opponents, Waterpark scored, but that was to be their last with Gregory Henry and Philip Maher scoring two tries and some good runs from Colin Meagher. The final score was a 4-2 victory. The team was: Gavin Delaney, Eoin Walsh, James Holohan, Keith Bergin, Jack Devaney, Luke Keating, Colin Meagher, Philip Maher, Steven Tierney and Gregory Henry. In the second match they all played well and won 2-0 with tries coming from Philip Maher, Gregory Henry and Stephen Tierney.
The u-10 team was: Robert Maher, Matt O’Sullivan, Conor Kavanagh, Jack O’Connell, Joseph O’Brien, David Bergin, Kevin Hayes, Daniel Hickey, Paul Tierney and Andrew Kelly. At half time Fethard were winning 5-2. In the second half Waterpark came back much stronger and with a minute to go it was 6-5 to Waterpark but just before the whistle was blown Daniel Hickey scored a try to leave the score tied at 6 all. Matt O’Sullivan, Joseph O’Brien and especially Kevin Hayes all played very well.
The u-12s had a tough match. The team was Dave Gorey, Sam Manton, James Kelly, Shane Kavanagh, Paul Mackey, Colm Blackmore, Joe Kelly, Mike O’Hagan and J. P. McGrath. It was an enjoyable skilful match to observe with all the players playing well. Paul Mackey played very well. There was a lack of team work which can only be improved by regular training sessions. Training continues as usual on Saturday at 11am and there will be a blitz held in Cashel on Sunday.


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