Fethard at Your Fingertips
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FETHARD NOTES ARCHIVE

Saturday 26th February 2005


Working at ‘The Bulbs’
The only thing missing were the windmills. All around in every direction were the yellow, purple and red heads of the acres of tulips. Only the stonewalls and rolling hills left you in no doubt that this scene was not in Holland, but in the heart of the Tipperary countryside. It was, from the early sixties to the mid nineties, a common sight on Mr and Mrs  Hulsebosch’s Annsgift farm just two miles outside of Fethard.

‘The Bulbs’ was the name of the work provided for generations of youngsters from the area. Almost every teenager worked on the farm each summer. Those that were too young or didn’t get the job, dreamed of working there. It was where everybody spent the holidays. It provided a win win situation for all concerned. The teenagers had a job, which meant that their parents didn’t have to look at them for the entire summer holiday listening to statements like, “We’re bored!” or, “There’s nothing to do in this place”.

A job also meant that the hands weren’t always out looking for pocket money.  The teenagers, on the other hand, were spending all their Summer together without having to look at their parents exasperated faces, plus they could afford to go to Clonmel on Saturday’s and buy the latest LPs (these were also called records . . . I refer to this as a  twenty year old girl recently referred to seeing one of those black plastic things with a hole in it in her grannies house. I felt old.) and the Hulsebosch’s got their bulbs picked.

Raleigh Choppers, ‘High Nellies’, racers and ‘Triumph Twenties’ were cycled each morning to Annsgift by the hordes of bulb pickers. The day was spent on your knees following a drill, which had been churned up leaving the bulbs on top of the ground. These were picked and put in wooden crates. The whole operation was supervised by Jack Leahy assisted by his sons, Donal and Martin and his brother Willie.  There was no messing when Jack was about. Heads were down and the only break outside of the lunch hour was to go for a pee in the ditch. When supervision was less tight, you could expect a well aimed bulb in the back of the head from some of the pot shots in the field.

By evening, everybody was glad to get on their bikes and waste whatever energy was left in a race back to town. For many, the brown envelope handed out by Jack on Friday evening was their first ever pay packet. By summer’s end, the bulbs were sent off to Holland, most of the money was spent and the schools reopened for another nine months, before the cycle started all over again. 

(N Gawe)

Lost his head
The story told about Oliver Cromwell when we were growing up showed the citizens of Fethard to be a crafty lot.  Cromwell, as we all know, was sent from England to subdue the revolting citizens and convert them to Protestantism. This he did with rather a heavy hand.  You either surrendered to him or he would subdue you with the might of his army.  He had 20,000 men, which easily outnumbered any resistance that he met. If you still had your head attached to your shoulders after the battle, you were given a choice. You could go, “To Hell or to Connaught”.  The far side of the Shannon river wasn’t desired by Cromwell or his men who confiscated the land from the Catholic rulers as they went through the country subduing the population.

He arrived, we were told, at the outskirts of the town. An early version of email (a young fellow on a fast horse), had warned the town of the advancing army.  As Fethard had no great defences other than the walls surrounding it, milk churns were placed along the wall to resemble cannons, which, according to legend, frightened off the approaching army.

The true story is a little different.  The people of Fethard signed a treaty with Cromwell, opened the gates and allowed him in. He stabled his horses in the Abbey church and treated the citizens fairly. Whilst here, legend has it that he fell from his horse on Barrack Street. He was so angry that he cursed the street. Whether that is true or not, no funeral to this day passes through the street on the way to the cemetery, even though it is the shortest route there.

Kiltinan, the next stronghold after Fethard, wouldn’t open the gates to Cromwell, so he opened them himself, with his cannons.  More heads rolled.  Eventually, Ireland was subdued and he returned to England. A few years later, he found himself out of favour with the ruling monarch who duly gave him what most Irish people felt was his just reward.  He chopped his head off.

(N Gawe)

Fethard ICA
Fethard ICA Guild will hold their next meeting on Tuesday 8th March in the ICA Hall on Rocklow Road at 8pm. The guest speaker will be Siobhán Duffy from Dublin who is the EU Representative in Ireland.  Siobhán will speak on, “Knowing your rights in the European Union in Health Care and other aspects of life”, she will also speak on the impact of EU enlargement.

It should be an interesting night for everybody and non-members are very welcome.  Hostesses are the ‘Green Group’ and the competition theme is, “A host of golden daffodils”.

The Cripple of Inishmaan
The Fionn McCumhaill Players will perform their production of “The Cripple of Inishmaan” by Martin McDonagh, in Cloneen on Tuesday 10th, Friday 11th and Saturday 12th March. Admission is €10 and curtain is 8.15pm.  No booking. Enquiries: 086 0834208 or 087 2544229.

Lourdes Table Quiz
The Patrician Presentation Secondary School Parents’ Association will hold a table quiz in the secondary school hall on Wednesday 16th March at 8.30pm.  A raffle will also be held in conjunction with the table quiz.  Attractive prizes will be on offer.  Proceeds are in aid of the Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund.  Two fifth year students will travel with the invalids in June as Youth Helpers.

A good night’s entertainment is promised, refreshments served and an invitation is extended to all.

Hunting News
Goodbye and Hello

This week marks the end of the 2004/2005 hunting season for the Tipperary Foxhounds and the Ballylusky White Heather Harriers. The Tipps held their final meet at Bansha on Wednesday 2nd March.  The White Heather Harriers finished their season at Cloneen on Sunday 27th February.

Hunting Ban
A few English hunting people visiting Tipperary recently are really devastated by the introduction of the ‘Hunting with Dogs Ban’ which came into operation in Great Britain on 18th February 2004.  Could the same thing happen here?  Definitely not say all, however, hunting people would not want to become too complacent.

The small but very vocal anti-hunting brigade keep banging their drum constantly through local and national press and radio.  Personally we have seen the same anti-hunting letter on at least four papers daily and weekly.  In a free country everyone is entitled to their opinion and the feelings of those who do not like to see any animal, wild or domestic, hunted or killed, must be respected.  However, newspaper editors must be taken to task for publishing the wild ridiculous and unsubstantiated statements and accusations made in their letters to the editor page by people who obviously have never hunted in their lives, are embittered against those who do, and have not the slightest idea of what they are talking about.

One thing for sure, if their balaclava clad violent hunt saboteurs arrive in Ireland telling Irish people what the may or may not do in their own country in certain areas, another peace process will have to be implemented without delay!

Fethard & Killusty Anglers Club AGM
‘The year moves on and the old order changeth’.  A sure sign that Spring is here is the Annual General Meeting of the Fethard & Killusty Anglers Club.  The meeting takes place in Fethard Community Centre on this coming Friday night, 4th March, at 8pm.  All members and intending members are earnestly requested to attend.  The fishing season on the Clashawley and Anner rivers opens on St. Patrick’s Day, 17th March.

Wedding Bells
The wedding took place at Fethard Augustinian Abbey on Saturday 26th February of Áine, daughter of Mr Thomas and Mrs Anna Henehan, The Square, Fethard, to Mr Scott Kelly, Dublin.

Mean theft
The bicycle, chainsaw, lawn mower sales and service premises of Mr Sean Morrissey, Kerry Street Cross, were entered by thieves on weekending 19th February. Sean’s entire stock of new bicycles and chainsaws, in addition to a large number of chainsaws in for service and repair, were taken in the raid.  This was a particularly mean type of robbery.

Sean works hard and long at his business.  His shop being a lock-up single storied premises is uninsurable and he therefore has to stand the entire financial loss himself which he reckons represents a whole year’s work.  The robbers gained access through breaking a hole in the roof at the rear of the premises.

Sean Morrissey, busy and all as he is, always has a smile and a friendly greeting for customers and passers-by.  He understandably is not quite so happy these days, he does however, greatly appreciate the number of locals who called to commiserate with him.

Here’s hoping the thieves, who in all probability are living off the state, will in due course be brought to justice.

GAA Club News
On Tuesday 22nd February the Lotto Draw took place at The Well Bar.  The numbers drawn were 5, 9, 11 and 21. Our Jackpot of €2,800 was won by Martin Burke of Burkes Bridge Bar (Lower Main Street). Congratulations to Martin. The €50 Lucky Dip went to Ann McGarry (Woodvale Walk). We start again with a new Jackpot of €1,000.
Senior football training resumes on Tuesday 8th March in the Community Field at 7.30pm sharp.
Our intermediate hurlers resume training on this Thursday evening, 3rd March. On Saturday we have a challenge game in Fethard GAA Park at 2.45pm with match away at 4.00pm.

In the South Tipp U-21 Football Championship our B footballers had a very comprehensive victory in the first round, winning on a scoreline, Fethard 0-14 (0-6) to Brian Borus (Fr Sheehys /Ballylooby) 0-4 (0-2).  We now advance to the last six with the open draw expected this weekend.  Full match report on sports page.  The team last Saturday was: Glen O’Meara, Connie O’Flynn, Shane Walsh, James Smyth, Mike Kelly, Darren O’Meara, Richard Gorey, Jamie McCormack 0-1, Michael Dillon 0-3, Emmet Burke 0-3, Ronan O’Meara, Shane Aylward 0-2, Johnny Leahy, Ronan Maher, Paul Kenrick 0-5f.  Subs used were: PJ Morrissey for Ronan Maher, Alan Browne for Johnny Leahy, Ronan Maher for Glen O‘Meara.

The Tipperary County League Division 2 football game was played on Sunday last, away, and we had a convincing win on a scoreline, Fethard 3-15 (1-10), Boherlahan 2-4 (1-2).  To be fair to our opposition they had to play an under-21 championship game an hour after our game so a large number of there regular panel was unavailable for selection. Our team on Sunday last was: PJ Morrissey, Mike Kelly, Aiden Kenrick, Darragh Corbett, Gavin Aherne, Diarmuid Burke, Connie O’Flynn, Brian Burke, John Hanrahan, John Noonan, Kevin O’Donnell 1-2, Shane Aylward 1-5, Paul Kenrick 1-3, John Fitzgerald 0-1, Philly Croke 0-1. Subs: Alan Burke 0-1, Damien Donovan 0-2, Paddy Cooney for P J Morrissey. Our next game in this competition is at home to Clonmel Og.
Our sympathies are at this time with Carmel Hannon and family on the death of her brother Georgie Mathews (England). Go ndeanai Dhia trocaire orthu.

Fethard Community Sportsfield
The time has arrived, Saturday night next, 5th March, the big event on the local social calendar. The Community Sportsfield Dog Night will take place at Thurles Dog Track with the first race commencing at 7.50pm.  This is a ten race card and the sportsfield committee are contributing €50 per race to the prize money for nine races and €200 to the prize for the main race of the evening.  Seven hundred and twenty tickets have been sold for a ‘Buster Draw’, which is the combination of six dogs in the correct order in a designated race on the evening.  There are seven hundred and twenty combinations; someone will win a prize of €600.

The winning nomination of each of the ten races will go into a hat and a draw will be made for a prize of €300 to one lucky buyer. There is the added attraction on an auction for an Irish and a Munster Rugby Jersey signed by the players, which is sure to be in great demand.

Various sporting personalities will attend so it promises to be an exciting evening. Please make an effort to attend and support this worthy cause.  The committee really appreciate all the wonderful support already pledged to this venture.  It really has been the case of the butcher, baker and candlestick maker, every door has been visited by committee members.  Contributions have been made from near and far ranging from some of the most recent business in the town, ‘Town & County’ and ‘Carrolls Picture Framing’ to world wide tycoons, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.  Lords of the Ring racing syndicate owners of four time winning mare, ‘Feathered Lady’ who unfortunately had a setback and misses Cheltenham, have sponsored a race and we hope they will be lucky.    Among those who have supported the fundraising to date are:  Auctioneers, Banks, Boutiques, Builders, Butchers,  Beauticians, Chemists, Cycle Shops, Grocers, Supermarkets, Photographers, Publicans, Video Shops, Furniture Shops, Upholsters, Hotels, Guest Houses, Garages, Stud Farms, Steel Fabricators & Erectors, Doctors, Vets.,    

Ironworks, Hairdressers, Organic Farmers, Opticians, Oil & Fuel Suppliers, Solicitors, Launderettes, Agri Contractors, Taxis, Credit Union Insurance Company, Newsagents and Newspapers. The following clubs: Athletic, GAA, Rugby, Soccer, Community Games, Senior Citizens, ICA, Macra, etc, etc.,  A full list is published in Race Card.  Owners of dogs are as follows:  Gleeson Quarries, Dr. Carmel Condon, Fethard Athletic Club, GAA Senior & Juvenile Clubs, Sports Centre, Rugby Club, Badgers Soccer Club, Killusty Soccer Club, Community Games, Snr Citizens, Macra, Eamon Cullen, Kiltinan Castle Stud, Eoin Walsh, Academy Lads, Registration Lads, Medite, Lisa Laaksonen, Tom Hayes, Liam Daly, Eddie Irwin, Boyles, O Connor, Vet. Surgeons, Manton's Solicitors, WashCo, Rev. Fr. Tom Breen, Rev Canon James Power, Tom Quigley, Pat Melody, Rocklow Stud, John Fitzgerald, Brendan Coffey, Its Carrigan, Peter Dougan, West Gate Antiques, The Well Bar, Clonmel Rugby Club, Eamon McKeever, Premier Music, Clonmel Kieran Duggan, Co Tipp & South Tipp Community Games CE, Eugene Cooney P.J. Colville, Wards Garage, Hotel Minella, Minogue’s Furniture, Ladies Syndicate, Jack Mockler, Percy O Flynn,  An Teach, Matthew Tynan, Tadhg Gleeson, Neartic Blookstock, Dermot Rice, John English Fabrications, Sean Griffin, Robert Whelan, Larry O’Keeffe,  A.N Other. Those who are presently selling admission tickets in the area are also getting a good response. Thank you so much to everybody who have made a contribution of any kind and to those who have assisted the committee with sale of tickets to Philip Furnell who did such a good job on the advertising and to Primus Marketing for their assistance.  Admission to Dogs is €7. Looking forward to seeing many faces from Fethard and surrounding areas in Thurles on Saturday night.  You never know who one might meet.   We really need to hit a big jackpot here to avoid further fundraising in the immediate future in order to provide the youth of Fethard district with a facility to be proud of.

Fethard & Killusty Community Games
Just a reminder that closing date for all entries in the Art & Model Making competitions is Friday, 11th March   Pictures along with entry fee of €2 will be collected in all schools on that day. Those who do not attend school in Fethard or Killusty may drop in their entries to Community Games Office, Grove Road, on or before that date or to area secretary, Bernard Feery, Tel. 052/31023.

Progressive 25 Results
Results for Progressive 25 Game played on Friday 25th February. Winners on 14 games: Bernie and Robert Phelan. Runners up on 10 games: Teresa Cummins and Alice Quinn, Lory Byrne and Tom Tobin.  Table prize: Micky Phelan and Hannie Leahy. Tickets: Tom Phelan, Jackie Devitt, Michael Brown, Willie Kennedy and john Muldowney. Rubbers: Mary and Jim Garrett. Tom Phelan and Bob Gleeson, John Martin and Bridie Lee

It was a special night for veteran player Micky Phelan. Fr. Tom Breen congratulated him on reaching 90 years of age and his constant attendance at the game in Fethard which is appreciated by the card committee. After receiving a card, signed by all the players present and the blowing out of candles, everyone wished Micky lots of trumps in the future. Next game takes place in Fethard Ballroom on Friday 4th March at 8.30 sharp.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto Results
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Tuesday 22nd February were: 18, 27, 29 and 30. There was no Jackpot winner and one ‘Match 3’ winners who received €150 each:

Aaron Corbett, 26 Willow Park, Clonmel

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Dermot Brennan, 50 Church View, Clerihan

Mary Rose Neville, c/o Group Homes, Fethard

Tom Gahan, Cloneen, Fethard

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

More Horse Tales
Tips for horses are as common as potholes on a country road in a town like Fethard. Almost everybody has got something to do with a horse, from world-class thoroughbreds to pet ponies to piebald trotters. Dead certs and sure things are reported from the horse’s mouth every day of the week, leading punters to invest on a gamble everywhere from flapper tracks to the Breeders Cup. Alas, many of these bets don’t come off. What follows is a cautionary tale.

The punter has many obstacles to face. The first one is the horse. It must be determined if it is any good. If it turns out that it is, well done, you’ve passed obstacle number one. The next obstacle is the jockey, followed by the course, the going on the ground, the direction of the track, the fences, hail, rain, snow, the other horses, the other jockeys and last but not least, the trainer.  I would include the owner or syndicate but they have little influence outside of paying for the animal’s keep.

A story is told about a trainer who instructed the jockey to bring his mount past the post in fourth position, no better or no worse. The jockey did as he was told and the horse was placed where the trainer wanted him. Asked if the horse could have beaten the three horses that finished in front of him, the jockey replied with confidence that he could beat them any day of the week. He added a note of caution however, saying that he wasn’t sure if he’d beat the three that finished behind him. Punters beware!

(N Gawe)



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