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FETHARD NOTES ARCHIVE

Saturday 15th January 2005


Great Train Robbery
Most people the world over are familiar with what is known as the great train robbery. The story is about a gang of thieves who planned the robbery of a train carrying a large amount of cash. The operation went as planned and they got away with a fortune although the police eventually caught up with them. It was one of the crimes of the century and has gone down in legend as such.

Not so well known is the Fethard train robbery. The story of this robbery had been forgotten for many years until a bag of old photographs was found in McCarthy’s attic in the Main Street a few years ago. A black and white photograph was discovered which showed a train hanging from a railway bridge down at Drumdeel on the back road to Clonmel. Nobody appeared to have ever heard about the incident. Eventually, one man was shown the picture who knew the story of the train on the road. Mikey O’Connor, late of Grove, actually witnessed the train on the road when he was a young man working in Grove Estate.

A local wing of the old IRA blew up the bridge. This was to cause as much disruption to the British transport infrastructure as possible. The men then proceeded to the railway station in Fethard where they uncoupled the carriages from a train and pushed them two miles down the track to the bridge past Grove Wood, where they ended up stuck in the damaged bridge.  Not many train robbers actually steal the train itself so this may be the greatest train robbery.

It would have been a great coup for the rebels if word got out and havoc ensued, but their luck ran out. A division of army engineers had broken their journey between Dublin and Cork with an overnight stay in the Barracks in Fethard. They got to work on the problem early the following morning and the bridge was repaired before anybody knew about it. Except for Mikey and two of his workmates from the farm, and whoever took the picture. Ironically, the same bridge which was blown up almost a century ago, still stands today. (N. Gawe)

Hunting News
Tipperary Foxhounds had a day to remember from their meet at Mullinahone on Monday 10th January. From the first draw at Crokes they had a very fast 30 minutes before making to ground. This itself was a good run but, however, the best was yet to come. Drawing on towards Finane Wood hounds found in a rough piece of ground near the road. This fox made straight for the wood where he was given no respite. Hounds hunted him with a cry that fairly shook the trees before pushing him out on the lower side.

Running to Killaghy Castle he turned right handed back to the wood once more. Not dwelling too long this time hounds had had him away through Moroneys and Duggans towards Michael Bretts. Running straight to Lismolin he circled the quarry to the castle. Turning right-handed again he crossed the road back to Finane Wood once more. Hounds at this stage were fairly screaming and looked like as if they were getting close.

Leaving the wood once more he crossed the main road and headed towards Crokes.  Hounds were stopped here after the best hunt of the season so far.  As horses and hounds had done about enough, having hunted already in the morning, they headed for country.

This was an excellent run of one hour and forty five minutes with scarcely a check, during which hounds were never touched, with a four-mile point and double that as hounds ran.

The Ballyluskey White Heather Harriers meet on Sunday next at Loughcopple at 12 noon.  Winners in the White Heathers January draw were, €200 Mr Bobby Guiry, €100 Ms Mary Eakins, Cashel. The committee greatly appreciate Bobby Guiry’s generous gesture in donating a large portion of his win to club funds.

Up Tipp Again
Congratulations and very well done to the Tipperary senior footballers and their mentors, on their win over Kerry in the McGrath Cup at Clonmel on Sunday last.  This was an excellent display all round.  Forget the begrudgers and their, “Kerry only set up a weakened team on them.” Any Kerry footballer that pulls on a green and gold jersey is well worthy of the honour and improves two store, in handicap terms, by wearing it.

The game overall was top class.  The reason being first of all, two very sporting teams and the new pick-up off the ground rule added immensely to the free-flow of play, in addition to a top class referee. Great credit is due to both teams for the fact that the sin bin rule was only once implemented during the game.

Well done again Tipperary and here’s hoping for greater and better things from our very underrated footballers.

Country Markets AGM
The annual general meeting of Fethard Country Market will take place in the Town Hall on Friday 28th January at 10.30am.  All members are invited to attend.

Yoga Evening reached its Goal
The overwhelming generosity of the Fethard Yoga group and friends was very evident last week in the ICA Hall on Rocklow Road. Food to feed a multitude was on the tables, where was talk and laughter, sharing and warmth, and a very healthy bucket of funds collected for GOAL to help the very needy victims of the Tsunami disaster.

The amount collected on the night was €821 and an envelope of old money. The Euro amount was deposited in the GOAL account and the old currency was donated to the Augustinian Abbey collection.

The organisers would like to thank all the people who contributed so generously in so many ways to this very successful evening.

Celebrating 700 Years School Art Competition
As part of the celebrations to mark the Augustinian Abbey’s 700 years in Fethard a School Art Competition has been organised.  The subject of the entries must have a connection in some way to the Augustinian Abbey in Fethard, be it in relation to its appearance, past, present or future. It may also refer to a particular feature in the Abbey Church and grounds, or its past history — Blessed William Tirry, Cromwell etc.  These are merely suggestions. We welcome diversity.

Size of your artwork must be not smaller than A4 (210mm x 297mm) and not larger than A2 (594mm x 420mm). The work that you submit may be drawn or painted using paints, crayons, colouring pencils, charcoal or pen and ink.

When completed please submit your entries in flat format (not rolled, folded or framed) to your teacher for collection, or hand deliver to the Augustinian Priory, Abbey Street, Fethard.  On the back of your work please clearly print your name, age, class and school. The signature of your parent, teacher or guardian is also required, as being your original and unaided work.

Categories for Primary Schools are: (A) third and fourth class pupils; (B) fifth and sixth class pupils. Categories for Secondary Schools are: (C) under 14 years; (D) under 16 years; (E) under 19 years.

Closing date for entries is Wednesday 2nd February 2005.  Prizegiving will take place on Saturday 12th February 2005 in conjunction with the opening Triduum events.

Bad Hair Day
The high winds last week left us all know who is the boss — Mother Nature. Whether we like it or not, we have no control over the elements. The high winds ripped the slates from an old house in Burke Street and more or less closed off the street for the day. Another less serious victim of the wind was a man with the classic Irish hairstyle, the comb over. This covering of the head is a last gasp effort to retain the vestige of youth by covering over the bald patch. As the hair on top gets lighter, the start of the crease in the hair moves further south until it almost hits the top of the ear. One such man walked up the square in the blustery conditions with his comb over blowing a foot out from his head. It looked like a wing protruding on one side of a ball.

Other attempts to cover the receding hairline include placing a wig on the offending patch. Most of those are, unfortunately, so poor in quality that it sometimes looks like a small animal has decided to set up house on the top of the wearers head.  One high profile sports celebrity who visits Fethard on a regular basis is reputed to wear a wig. He is a wealthy individual so his replenished locks look real. A gale force wind wouldn’t budge the stuff on his head. So confident is he of his piece that he even dives from a diving board into a swimming pool with it on. Some friends of his, who weren’t quite sure if he really had a wig or not but were determined to find out, decided to play a trick on him. They waited until he dived into the water and threw a wig that they had bought into the water behind him. As he rose from the water, someone pointed behind him and told him that he had lost something. He looked around, saw the floating hairpiece, grabbed it from the pool, slapped it onto his head and ran to his room.  Sometimes it might be better to grow old disgracefully. Sorry, gracefully. And not worry about high winds or diving boards. (N. Gawe)

Tipperariana Book Fair
This year’s Tipperariana Book Fair will take place on this Sunday 13th February in Fethard Ballroom and promises to be bigger and better than ever.  The annual Tipperariana ‘Book of the Year’ award winner will be announce shortly

If you have books to donate to the Historical Society for their second hand book stall, please contact Terry Cunningham, Tel: 052 23402; or Dóirín Saurus, Tel: 052 31936; and we will arrange to have them collected.

Fethard GAA Club News
Training has resumed for our under 21 footballers and with competitions starting early this year, it is possible we play the county adult league on Sunday13th February so a return to the field is advised. Membership fees, €20 adult and €10 for juvenile, must be paid before playing.  Fess are now due and can be paid to the secretary or treasurer.
The Lotto resumes this week with some modification. The Jackpot is €2400 and the draw takes place in McCarthys Hotel on Tuesday 25th January at 9pm. Please support our Club by contributing €2 per week to any of our promoters, members or players, who are all helping to keep seniors, juveniles, sports centre and camogie on the road. We appeal to those who are not already subscribing and thank those who are contributing for their continued support during the past year and year ahead.
It was great to see our county senior footballers back in action last Sunday and the greater plus was to see them victorious in the McGrath Cup quarterfinal against all Ireland champions Kerry played in Clonmel. Best of luck to the team in the semifinal on this coming Sunday. It was disappointing to see no representative of the 2004 county champions on view last Sunday at such an important occasion after thirty-five weeks of no county football action. Well done to our representatives on the panel.
We offer our sympathies at this time to Dick Cummins (Life President Fethard GAA Club) and his family on the death of his wife Margaret. Go nDeanai Dhia Trocaire ar an Ainmeachta.

Fethard Bridge Club Results
Results of Fethard Bridge Club game played on Wednesday 12th January for prizes sponsored by FBD Investments were:

1st Gross: Rita Kane and Kay St. John

2nd Gross: Brigid Gorey and Betty Walsh

3rd Gross: Teresa Cummins and Berney Myles

1st Nett: Nell Broderick and David O’Meara

2nd Nett: Frances Burke and Breda Walsh

3rd Nett: Philly Kenny and Margaret Mary McCormack

Anyone looking for a partner please contact: Annie O’Brien, The Square, Fethard. Tel: 052 31862.

Fethard Community Sportsfield
Fethard Community Sportsfield was among the lucky groups who received funding from Tipperary S.R. County Council Amenities Grant in the Council Chambers on Monday last.  The Sportsfield Committee were delighted to receive a grant of €15,000 and the support of South Tipperary County Council is very much appreciated. 

This money will go towards the cost of containers used as temporary dressing rooms, and the purchase of toilets etc.  The committee are presently floodlighting the pitch and extending the car park.  The cost of this venture is expected to run into a large amount of money. 

A Dog night will take place in Thurles Greyhound Stadium on Saturday 5th March to help raise further funds.  The cost of sponsoring a race is €300; buying a dog €100, and advertising rates in the race card cost as follows: full page €150, half page €80 and quarter page €50.   Philip Furnell is advertising manager and he will call to all business people in the area in the near future.

Tickets are currently on sale for a ‘Buster Draw’ and all of these tickets must be sold before the next committee meeting which will take place on Tuesday 25th January.   These tickets are only €10 each and it is expected that everybody will buy one of these to play their part in assisting with this worthwhile development.

Fethard & Killusty Employment Scheme Renewed
I think most people are aware at this stage that there has been a lot of unrest and uncertainty surrounding Community Employment Scheme over the past three years.  In late 2004 it was decided by the powers that be that current schemes had to be cut back. This was to do with reducing the overall numbers and also the bench marking, which was introduced in 2004.

Unfortunately some schemes were closed and other schemes were amalgamated.  The Fethard & Killusty Scheme was lucky enough to be one of the latter.  Because of the caring nature of the scheme we escaped this time.  We also took over the responsibility of three participants who work at St. Bernard Group Homes. This is obviously good news for Fethard and most especially the Day Centre.  We live to fight another day.

We welcome on board our new people and look forward to working with them. All we can do know is hope that the goalposts will not be moved once again.

Thanks a Million!
On Sunday 16th January, Fethard Website passed another milestone when its counter passed the 1,000,000 mark.  The site now has an average of well over 500 visits per day from people all over the world, including home.  These visits, when converted to hits, amount to a staggering average of 14,239 hits per day.

Progressive 25 Results
Results of Progress 25 game played on Friday 14th January. Winners on 12 games: Bridget Gorey and Theresa Cummins.  Runners up on 11 games: Nora Lee and Nora O’Donnell, Fergus Flynn and Chris Maher. Table prize: Chas Keane and Jackie Devitt. Rubber finals: Bob Gleeson and Tom Phelan, Lily Maher and Dave Bradsom, Michael O’Brien and Sean Callaghan, Alfie Brett and Jimmy McCarthy. Next game takes place on Friday 14th January in Fethard Ballroom at 8.30pm sharp.

Killusty Soccer Club
Peake Villa 2, Killusty 1

I suppose you could say it was a bad weekend for our club. Firstly, on the soccer front we suffered our third defeat of the season away to Peake Villa. Going a goal down in the first half, the lads battled back and after ten minutes of the second half, substitute Philip Ryan was on hand to score a fine goal. However, with ten minutes remaining Villa scored what was to be the winning goal. To their credit Killusty tried hard to draw level but it was not to be. Next week we play Two Mile Borris in Killusty.

On a more serious note, it's a poor reflection on our society when we have to report on the wanton destruction of our dressing rooms. Words cannot describe the extent of the damage. This act of sheer vandalism had all the hallmarks of a drink and drugs fuelled attack. Also last Friday night, the premises of our local publican was broken into. It's a sad state of affairs when the elderly in our area now live in constant fear of being a target for mindless vandals. Hopefully the Garda investigation will prove successful and the culprits will be made to pay for their crimes.

Dumping on Knockelly Road
We’ve had some complaints of rubbish being dumped on the Knockelly Road.  The matter was looked into and the relevant authorities contacted.  Anyone convicted of dumping can be liable for heavy fines under new legislation so we ask whoever is responsible to remove same.

Preservation of Killusty Sheep Dip
The County Council has recently demolished many of the now redundant ‘Sheep Dips’ along our country roads.  This is probably due to insurance reasons.  It would be a shame not to retain some of these features as historical furniture of times past.  These ‘Sheep Dips’ were the meeting place of country people for decades and hold memories for countless children and adults alike.

Following representations from concerned Killusty residents, Fethard and Killusty Community Council have approached South Tipperary County Council with a view to retaining and maintaining the ‘Sheep Dip’ outside Killusty village and keeping it as a reminder of what farming was like before the EU.

The Well Golf Society
Preparations for next season are nearly complete with six definite bookings and one other to be confirmed this week. Membership is the same as last year at €25 and €10 for juniors. A committee meeting takes place on this Friday night at 8pm in The Well.  All members are asked to attend.

Died Recently
The death has occurred of Margaret Cummins, Main Street, Fethard, who died on Saturday 16th January. Remains left her home at Lower Main Street for Holy Trinity Parish Church Fethard at 7.30pm on Monday 17th January. Requiem Mass took place at 11am on Tuesday followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Died Recently
The death has occurred of Mrs Mary O'Connell (nee McInerney), Strylea, Fethard, on Sunday 9th January. Remains left McCarthy's Funeral Parlour on Tuesday night 11th January for Augustinian Abbey Fethard. Requiem Mass took place at 11am on Wednesday followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Community Lotto Results
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Tuesday 11th January were 4, 10, 14 and 30. There was no Jackpot winner and five 'Match 3' winners who received €30 each:

Selina Gleeson, Coolbawn, Fethard
Hazel Cleary, Chancellerstown, Clonmel
Kitty Delaney, Parsons Hill, Fethard
A. & L. Sheehan, Killusty, Fethard
Michael Hassett, Bailey Street, Killenaule

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Mary Sayers, Crampscastle, Fethard
Breda Burke, Main Street, Fethard
Megan Sceats, Crampscastle, Fethard

Next weeks Jackpot remains at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is now €1,000.

Text or txt
Four lads were sitting along a wall. Teenagers . . . sitting quietly . . . which is something that teenagers don’t usually do. All heads were down as they concentrated on their mobile phones. They were all texting.  The spellchecker on my computer just popped a line under the word texting. Even my computer isn’t familiar with this new language.

Growing up, we learned English as our number one language. Most of us were force fed Irish and one European language, usually French or German. Some of us even had to try our hand at Latin, which has stood us well over the years. With glee in my heart I listen to the crowds at matches chanting with good nature at the players. “Quo vadis? Brendan Cummins”, you might hear them yell , or “Veni, vidi, vici”, with a conspiratorial wink to Ronan O’Gara after another Munster win. Ah, the joy.

These days, you don’t even have to be able to speak to communicate. You just need a thumb and a mobile phone. Literacy is also irrelevant. The sound of the language is enuf, sorry, I mean enough. Slowly the language once known as the ‘Queen’s English’ is being eroded. Actually, the Queen herself may have to concede to text to communicate with her errant grandson Harry. I can imagine her relaxing in her sitting room, picking a snack out of her tupperware container while watching her favourite soap on television, texting the third in line to her throne. “stp pting ur ft n ur mth. Dats ur grnfthrrs jb. Luv grnny.” (for those of you who, like me,  have trouble  reading text, the  translation is “Stop putting your foot in your mouth. That’s your grandfathers job, love Granny”. (N. Gawe)



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