The death has occurred on 30th December at Our Lady’s Hospital Cashel, of Mr Michael McCarthy, Main Street, Fethard. The late Michael McCarthy was very well known to regular travellers on the Clonmel Fethard road as he made his three or four times daily trips on his bicycle to his farm and stock on Market Hill. Michael had become something of an institution in the Fethard district and he will be greatly missed by a wide circle of friends. Sincere sympathy is extended to his sister Kitty and relatives. Interment took place at Holy Trinity Church, The Square, Fethard.
Local Christmas Weddings
The wedding took place on Tuesday 28th December at Secret Heart Church, Cloughoge, Newry, Co. Down, of Mr John Kelly, Rathvin, Fethard, to Ms Claire Love, Newry.
The wedding took place on Wednesday 29th December at the Augustinian Abbey Fethard of Mr Eoin Prendergast, Cashel Road, Fethard, and Ms Gillian Ryan, Clonmel. The couple are spending their honeymoon in South Africa.
The wedding took place on Wednesday 29th December at Gambonsfield Church, Kilsheelan, of Mr Shane Kenny, St. Patrick’s Place, Fethard, to Ms Niamh Connolly, Kilsheelan. The couple are spending their honeymoon in USA.
The wedding took place on Thursday 30th December in Fethard Parish Church of Ms Lorraine Treacy, Congress Terrace, Fethard, to Mr Ed Collum, Kilsheelan. The couple are spending their honeymoon in Kenya.
The source of temptation lay on the side of the road, abandoned by its previous owner, the Fethard litterbug. It was shining, resplendent in red and white. The driver had a strong urge to drive over it, as most drivers do when presented with a target like this one on the side of the road. Normally, he would just have swerved the two feet across to the side of the road and rolled over it. But not today. This was different. The driver had a few hundred people following him as he drove at walking pace. There are some things that you just can’t do when you’re driving a hearse. The coke can was spared. (N Gawe)
Fethard GAA Club
Reminder to all our members that the club’s Annual General Meeting takes place on this coming Sunday, 9th January, in the Abymill Theatre at 2pm (sharp). We would like to see a full attendance present.
Our lotto jackpot of €2,200 was not won. The numbers drawn at Lonergans Bar, The Square, were 4, 15, 17 and 23. We had six match three winners who received €25 each: Eddie Thompson (37 St Patrick’s Place), Dick Fitzgerald (56 St Patrick’s Place), Brian Coen (Killusty), Nicky O’Shea (Killusty), John Aylward (Roebucksland), Tony Maher (56 Woodvale Walk). The €50 Lucky Dip winner was, Nuala McCormack (c/o Cambells Soup, Thurles). The Christmas Special €50 Lucky Dip was won by Nicky O’Shea (Killusty) and Rory Walsh (Grove Rd). We wish a Happy New Year to all our patrons.
We are accustomed to various warning signs around Fethard when the weather takes a turn for the worst. The occasional sign is placed by the council to warn people about slippery roads, dangerous bends, road works, floods or ice. Once in a blue moon we have got to look out for snow.
A few years ago, driving along a remote coastal road towards Cape Palliser on the south coast of the North Island of New Zealand, a backpacker from Fethard noticed some unusual signs nailed to the telephone poles. These signs carried a warning urging people to look out for Tsunami’s. He had to find someone to ask what a Tsunami was.
Unfortunately, after the recent tragedy in South East Asia, almost everybody in the World now knows what a Tsunami is. The people in the worst affected countries need help. To see what you can do, look up www.redcross.ie (N. Gawe)
Fethard Ballroom Raise Funds for Tsunami Disaster Relief
Fethard Ballroom committee have donated proceeds from their New Year’s Eve and the following Sunday night’s dance held on 2nd January, to the Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund. The proceeds of the dance, together with donations from dancers, plus the proceeds and donations from the weekly Friday night card game have realised a total of €1,500 which was presented to Fr. Tom Breen P.P. on Tuesday night last 4th January. The committee would like to thank everyone for their great support.
Lawton Family Information
We had a request from Steven Lawton from Evansville, Indiana, USA, (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) who is doing research on the Lawton family. Steven’s great grandfather, Patrick Andrew Lawton, was born in Middleton Ireland in 1861. His parents were John Lawton and Mary [Cronin] Lawton. He doesn’t know if they had any brothers or sisters, or who John and Mary’s parents are. Patrick Lawton arrived in New York in May of 1883. If anyone has any information on this Lawton family, Steven would love to hear from them.
The river Clashawley is often written off as a mere stream, yet it is spanned by more than ten bridges plus a few more crossings, such as poles and iron girders. Four of the bridges are in the town itself; Madam’s Bridge which crosses the river at the ballroom; the Millennium Bridge, a recently built footbridge over the river (better known for a while as The Bridge over the River Why?) which has proven very popular with walkers since the river walk was opened; Watergate Bridge, home of Jimmy Ryan’s geese and the weir bridge opposite the Abymill theatre.
One of the least well known had fallen into disrepair over the years, but is currently being restored is Tinsley Bridge, located beside the equally anonymous graveyard at Kilmaclugh. Generations of Fethard people probably know it as the bridge just down the river from Newbridge, just down from the border between the Grove and Kiltinan Estates. The restoration process has been going on for some time. The architect who designed and gave his name to the bridge is Clonmel born William Tinsley who emigrated to the USA and was renowned as a Victorian Gothic Architect. He died there in 1885 but not before he designed many churches and public buildings and amenities in his adopted State of Ohio.
Luckily, most of the structural repair work had been carried out on Tinsley bridge before the flooding earlier in 2004, as the remaining scaffolding was ripped from the bridge by the racing flood waters. Write the Clashawley off as a stream at your peril. (N Gawe)
Grants for Conservation of Protected Structures 2005
Applications are invited by South Tipperary County Council for Grant Assistance under the Scheme of Grants for the Conservation of Protected Structures. The purpose of the scheme is to assist the owners/occupiers of protected structures to undertake necessary works to secure the conservation of the structures or part of the structures. A wide range of conservation works will qualify for grants, generally amounting to 50% of the cost of the works up to a maximum of €13,000. Works consisting of routine maintenance, alterations or improvements will not qualify. Application forms and details are available from the undersigned or by e-mailing email@example.com
The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Thursday, 20th January, 2005. Contact: M. McGivern, Administrative Officer, Aras an Chontae, Clonmel.
Ninety mounted followers turned out for the Tipperary Foxhounds annual New Year’s Day meet at Fethard on Saturday. The Tipperary Foxhounds, who had a very good run in the afternoon from their Ballingarry meet, found foxes very hard to find in the McCarthy’s Bog, Ballybough, Rathvin, Rocklow, Rathcoole and Powerswood draws. Perhaps the wild and windy conditions prevailing had driven them underground.
Mr Jorrock’s statement, “Never bring your hounds out on a very windy day”, certainly proved correct on New Year’s day. Tipperary Foxhounds meet next Saturday at Kedrah, Cahir, and all proceeds of the cap will go towards the Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund. Participants are asked to give generously on the day.
The Ballylusky White Heathers had a very good morning from a bye-day meet on Slievenamon on Tuesday 28th December. Finding on the lower slopes at Walshbog, hounds ran three large circles with great cry, through the uncut forest before eventually pushing their fox out on the hill where they were stopped.
Ballylusky White Heather Harriers meet on Sunday 9th January at Peppardstown House.
To pee or not to pee
Some people have a phobia about cracks in the pavement. They just wont walk on them. They believe that to do so will bring them bad luck. It’s called cracknaphobia or something like that. More people have a similar fear of walking on wet patches on the path which seem to appear late at night. They are only visible on dry nights, and are more numerous on the weekends.
Should the artists who spray this pavement art get apprehended by the Gardai, they can be hauled before a judge and fined for their behaviour. One young Tipperary man was recently caught in the act by a Garda in Dublin and fined over three hundred euro by a judge. The young man’s irate mother called the council to find out how many public toilets were open in the city at the hour of the night that her son was caught short. The answer was . . . none! Not one public toilet in a city of over a million people. It’s no wonder the streets get treated like a public urinal. (N Gawe)
Fethard ICA Meeting
Fethard ICA Guild will hold their next meeting in the ICA Hall, Rocklow Road, on Tuesday 11th January at 8pm. Guest speaker will be Mr Denis Ryan, secretary of South Tipperary Beekeepers Association. Competition theme is, “Any type of honey pot”, and the hostesses on the night are the ‘Red Group’.
We hope all our members had a lovely Christmas and we take this opportunity to wish you a very happy and peaceful New Year.
Michael McCarthy 1928-2004
“That bicycle could almost make it up the hill on it’s own”, said one of the men who passed it on the way into the church. Michael’s black bicycle, his sole form of transport, lay against the wall of his house on Main Street, from where he departed many times daily to his farm on Market Hill. Family, neighbours and friends knew him as Michael, others knew him by his nickname only, “Doodles”, a name which he wasn’t very enamoured with. Many more knew him as the ‘man on the bicycle’ on the Clonmel road. Generations of Fethard people were familiar with the sight of Michael cycling up the hill with a bale of hay or a bag of feed for his livestock balanced on the handlebars.
He managed to farm into the twenty first century without ever owning any kind of engine propelled vehicle. If and when he needed a tractor to mow his hay or deliver something to his yard, he hired one. Neighbours had a special regard for Michael, as he rose earlier than anyone else and would often tap on a window to let someone know that one of their cows was calving and might need a bit of help.
Michael was interested in horses all his life and very well read on the matter. He kept up to date each week studying the Irish Field newspaper, and would often race into the house to produce an article from the paper with some relevance to the Fethard equine sphere.
He stood, one day, with his brother Jimmy beside their bicycles laden with bales and feed. A well known racing personality stopped for a chat and asked them if they would consider taking life a bit easier by putting a few brood mares on their farm and making money off of them instead of dragging bales and feed up the hill on their bicycles.
“We tried that”, replied Michael, “And that’s why we’re still on bike’s. Good day to you!”. And off they went up the hill once more.
The town of Fethard has an obvious medieval past which can be seen in our town wall, street structures and various artefacts. Not so obvious is the town’s rich agricultural heritage. Fethard was once host to a Fair Day, where cattle were brought from all over the county to be sold on the streets. Many of the older generation have spoken of herding animals through the night to be in town early in the morning to get the prime spots, and hopefully the best prices, from the dealers.
Once purchased, the animals were brought to the train station, loaded up and sent to the ferries which brought them to Britain where they were on the table within a few days. The farmers and drovers usually retired to one of the many pubs and hotels in town for a feed and a drink before heading home. A special dispensation was granted to these outlets which allowed them to open their doors at seven in the morning. The staff started work at four, to have the meals ready.
Those days are gone, but certain elements remain. A walk through the streets of Fethard will reveal a variety of barriers which were erected to protect the citizens of the town from the assembled herds. A cow is quite a large beast and a window is a fragile thing. A swerve the wrong way could have ended in disaster as a cow propelled it’s way through a fragile pane of glass into someone’s sitting room or shop, so metal guard rails were placed in front of most of the towns windows. Many of these still remain, ranging from simple single iron rails to the more elaborate cast iron railings which are beautifully maintained in some parts of town.
When the Fair Day was over, and the cows were on their way to a distant oven, many of the barriers were taken down, as all were not permanent. It was then that the fire brigade was called out. Not to quench the fires started by the riotous revellers who had been drinking since early morning, as some might presume, but to hose down the streets. A lot of cows leave a lot of mess. Take a look around the next time you walk down the streets of Fethard. The Fair Day is gone, but the barriers remain. (N Gawe)
A dangerous section that might need closer attention is the bend at the top of Market Hill. This was a potentially deadly area on Monday evening after Christmas following an accident near the base of the hill. The road was blocked for a while, so the cars that arrived on the scene were forced to stop. This line soon extended to the bad bend at the top. One driver reported that he came around the bend and had to jam on his brakes when he saw the flashing hazard lights of the car stopped on the road in front of him. He was travelling slowly so he halted in time. He then sat in his car waiting for the next car to arrive. He braced himself for an impact. The next driver would have less space to stop than he had and that was little enough. A few seconds later he saw the shine of the oncoming headlights. Thankfully, this car was also travelling slow and stopped in time. Seconds later a van arrived with no room left to stop. There was a screech of brakes and some good handling by the driver as he swerved to the other side of the road and turned up the lane on the top of the hill. Eventually, somebody found a torch and began flagging down cars before they got to the bend.
Maybe a mirror is needed at the top of the hill in case something like this happens again.