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Saturday 21st May 2005

Celebrations for St. Rita a great success
The third series of events to celebrate 700 years of the Augustinians in Fethard began on 14th May with a Youth Mass in the Abbey, celebrated by Fr. Michael Barry.  It was wonderful to see such a big turnout to hear the
uplifting words of Fr Michael and to request divine help for forthcoming

The Novena to St. Rita of Cascia commenced on the following Thursday
evening and concluded on Sunday morning, the Feast of St. Rita, with the
Blessing and distribution of rose petals, shipped specially for the
occasion from the garden of Cascia.

St. Rita, illuminated by a constant supply of candles, stood truly
resplendent amidst the magnificent array of flowers, most notably red
roses, which were so ably arranged on an altar erected for this
celebration, to give the public an opportunity to pray to her.

A large congregation attended each of the four days for mass and novena
prayers.  Fr. Michael Collender, a native of Waterford and currently in the
Augustinian Priory in Cork, was the guest preacher on all four occasions.
He linked St. Rita, a family woman and concerned mother who endured
great hardship and suffering in her lifetime, with the troubled times we
live in today. He emphasised that people can transform difficulties firstly
through acknowledgement and then through faith, courage, prayer and
love. His words were thought provoking and very inspirational.

St. Rita's intercession is invoked especially for those who are sick, for those preparing for examinations and for those experiencing any kind of
difficulty in their lives. It was encouraging and heart-warming to witness
such devotion expressed in such large numbers by the people of Fethard
and surrounding areas.

On Saturday evening, following the novena ceremony in the Abbey, we were all put into a celebratory mood when we were treated to musical entertainment and refreshments in the adjoining Abymill Theatre.
Our entertainers were the local ‘Pheasant Pluckers’ and as ever, they
proved to be immensely popular.

The centenary committee would like to thank all those who attended any
or all of the functions associated with our celebration and all those who
helped in so many and varied ways to make the occasion such a success.
 The co-operation experienced was magnificent, with people willingly
giving of their time and expertise. As Fr. John Meagher would say, “Take
a bow”.

The Centenary Celebrations will continue in August 2005, when we
celebrate the Feasts of St. Augustine and St. Monica.
"Ní neart go cur le chéile".

Fethard GAA News
The very best of luck to Paul Fitzgerald, Damien Byrne, Glen Burke, Cian Maher who travel on Sunday for Tipperary’s senior football championship match against Kerry in Thurles.  We also send best wishes to Tipperary’s ‘Primary Game’ players, Daniel Hickey (Killusty NS) the first time ever the school had a representative, Mathew Fitzgerald (Fethard NS), and Owen Fitzgerald (Gael Scoil NS), who were all chosen to play on the Tipperary Primary School team plays at the half time interval during the senior match in Thurles on Sunday. 

Please lend your support as all under-16s are free to the match and it will be great to see the All-Ireland champions of 2004 start their title defence on such a splendid surface as Thurles.  Remember what happened in Thurles in 2002 against Cork!
Our intermediate hurlers were beaten by Newcastle in the county league in Fethard and so ended our interest in this competition.
The Lotto Jackpot of €1,200 was not won. The numbers drawn in Butlers Bar were 4, 9, 12 and 16.  We had six ‘match threes’ who received €25 each: Paddy O’Flynn (Burke St), Raymond Phelan (Butlerstown), Willie Fitzpatrick (Kilmoganny), Tom Healy (c/o Rita Doyle Woodvale Walk), Alison Condon (Stephanie’s Fethard), and Olive Curran (67 Woodvale Walk). The €50 Lucky Dip going to Tony Maher (56 Woodvale Walk).

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on Tuesday 17th May were: 4, 26, 28 and 29. There was no Jackpot winner and no ‘Match 3’ winner. Three tickets were drawn and the following won €50 each:

Dermot Darcy, St. Patricks Place, Fethard

Abigail Doyle, 66 Woodvale Walk, Fethard

Ann Walsh, Jossestown, Fethard

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Sheila O'Sullivan, Main Street, Fethard

Jim Keane, Knockelly, Fethard

Kitty Boles, Jossestown, Fethard

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

Fethard Bridge Club President’s Prize

At our President’s Prize dinner in Slievenamon Golf Club on Friday 20th May 2005 the following prizes were presented:

President’s Prize: Nora Lawrence and Madeleine O’Donnell;

Committee Prize: Teresa Cummins and Alice Quinn;

1st Gross: Betty Walsh, Brigid Gorey;

1st Nett: Breda Walsh, Frances Burke;

2nd Gross: Kay St. John, Rita Kane;

2nd Nett: Berney Myles, Fr. J. Meagher;

3rd Gross: Nell Broderick, David O’Meara;

3rd Nett: Carmel Condon, Brendan Kenny;

4th Gross: Bernie O’Meara, Anna Cooke;

4th Nett: Mary Lucey, Tony Hanrahan;

5th Gross: Gemma Burke, Carol Kenny;

5th Nett: Philly Kenny, Margaret Mary McCormack;

6th Gross: Ellen Rochford, Suzanne Opray;

6th Nett: Mary and Patti Tobin;

Player of the Year, for which the O’Flynn trophy is presented:  Kay St. John;

Club Champions, for which the Hayes trophy is presented: Betty Walsh and Brigid Gorey;

Individual Champion, for which the Dick Gorey Trophy was presented for the first time:  Betty Walsh;

The Suzanne Opray Trophy, presented for the first time this year as well, was won by Nell Broderick as the player who reduced their handicap by the most during the year.

All-Ireland Champions  (Photo: ‘Champions’)

Friday the 13th was certainly not an unlucky day for the Junior Boys’ Volleyball team who won the Under-14 All Ireland A Final against Loughrea in an exciting ‘nail biting’ game in Loughrea, Co. Galway.  ‘Man of the Match’ was Adrian Lawrence from Woodvale Walk. Huge support from the school travelled with the team and led by a convoy of cars, they arrived victorious back to the Square at 5.30pm on Friday evening.

This is the first flush of success for this young team and great credit is due to them and to their coach and P.E. teacher, Bernie O’Connor.  The team’s new jerseys and shorts were sponsored by Coolmore Stud and they looked pretty ‘classy’ on a ‘classic’ day.

Killusty Soccer Club
The curtain came down on our season last Sunday, when we had a most enjoyable social evening.  The night began with a beautiful meal at Slievenamon Golf Club, and afterwards we retired to The Well, where we discoed the night away. Our club awards were also presented on the night and the results are as follows: top scorer award went to Karl Maher, whose goal tally come closing time had reached 106.  Our ‘player of the year’ award was a close run thing with a number of players up for nomination. In the end Martin Coen was the deserving winner. Our sportsperson of the year was a three-way tie, between our three lovely committee members, Emma Fitzgerald, Sarah Shelley and Sharon O’Meara. Their work rate and energy this season has given the club a much needed boost.

Chairman Tony Shelley, on behalf of the players, made a presentation to team manager Chris Coen, in recognition of the work he has done for the team. Finally a few thank yous, firstly to all those who made the effort to be with us last Sunday; to Slievenamon Golf Club, especially Mark and his team who provided such an excellent meal; a word of thanks also to Mick and Marie Smyth, The Well, for putting up with us for another season; finally to all those who have supported us, not just vocally but everyone who supports our weekly lotto, and a special word of thanks to all those who supported our advertisement hoarding venture. These are now in place around our pitch and have been commented on most favourably.  Last but not least, our inspirational ex captain Nicky Murphy, who has kept in constant touch through the Fethard website. Nicky, we hope Eddie O’Brien hasn't led you astray, we need you (and Eddie) back in one piece.

Parents’ Association Meeting
A meeting of the Parents’ Association of St. Patrick’s Boys School will be held on Thursday 26th May, at 8pm in the school hall. All committee members are asked to attend.

Fethard Ladies Football
Fethard under-12 team had a great victory over Clonmel Commercials in Clonmel on Wednesday last, 18th May on a wet and windy night.  This was a first victory for this age group and we now go on to play Galtee Rovers on Saturday next, 28th May at 2pm in Fethard GAA Park in the county quarterfinal.

The under-14 team played Lattin Cullen in Fethard on Saturday last where we had a very easy win.  All girls gave a great performance especially Debbie Lawrence who was outstanding on the day.  The sponsored walk which was due to take place on Monday last has been rescheduled for this coming Monday, May 30th, commencing in the square at 7pm.  All are welcome to take part in this exercise, which will be around the Ballybough circuit. Sponsorship cards are currently in circulation. 

Fethard Junior team play their first match of the season against Cappawhite on Wednesday, 25th May, in the GAA Park at 7.30pm.

Community Games County Judo Finals
Town Hall, Fethard was the venue for the County finals of Community Games Judo on Saturday night last.  Fethard Club had competitors from Clerihan, Drangan, Fethard, Killenaule and Lisronagh areas.  Clonmel Club also had competitors from Fethard, Cahir, Powerstown and St. Marys.

Fethard Community Games Area has a total of five gold medallists who will travel to Ballincollig to contest the Munster Finals on July 9th.  Winners are: Emma Walsh, Tullamaine, Natalie Cahill, Woodvale Walk, Samantha Feery, Killusty, Padraig O’Shea, The Valley, Cathal Gorey, Monroe.  Silver medal winners from the area were: Aobh O’Shea, Gary Bradshaw, Gerard Gorey, and Lorraine Feery.
Well done to all concerned.  Thanks to Fethard Club for providing the venue, mats and equipment, and to Eric O’Donnell, Roy Gorey, Orla O’Donnell and international referee Michael Power, Clonmel, for refereeing all the contests.

Community Games Volleyball
Fethard Area boys and girls volleyball teams will represent County Tipperary at the forthcoming Munster finals in Cork on Saturday 9th July.  The boys under-15 team are drawn against Limerick in the semifinal, winners to play Clare in the finals.  Team members are: Thomas O’Connell, Eoin O’Connell (both Coolmoyne), Adrian Lawrence, Glen Maher, Michael Costello (all Woodvale Walk), Jonathan Fleming, Jerome Ahearne (both Redcity), Ciarán Ryan (Slievenamon Close), Kevin Hayes (Killerk), Joseph Sheehan (Clarebeg), Darren Prout (Derryluskin) and James Kelly (Rathvin). Team manager is Denis Burke.  The girls under-16 team got a bye into the final and will play the winners of Limerick v Clare.  Names published next week.

Corpus Christi Procession
The annual Corpus Christi Procession takes place on this coming Sunday evening, 29th June, at 7pm, commencing from outside Fethard Parish Church and proceeding to the Augustinian Abbey.  Pope John Paul II declared October 2004 through October 2005 as the "Year of the Eucharist" and urged that Catholics participate in a procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi. Please come along and take part.

The custom of carrying the Blessed Sacrament in procession through the town on Corpus Christi Day developed in the early fourteenth century. During the later Middle Ages these processions developed into splendid pageants of devotion and honour to the Blessed Sacrament. They are still publicly held, and often with the ancient splendour, in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, in the Catholic sections of Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Canada, Hungary, and in the Slavic countries and South America.

St. Rita's Camogie Club
St. Rita's Camogie Club are holding their annual fundraising Barbecue on Friday 3rd June at Butler's Bar, Main Street. Tickets are available from all team members and cost only €5 each. We have lots of spot prizes, good food and great music on the night. Please come along and support.

Fethard Community Sportsfield
This is your last chance to place a bid on the framed Irish Rugby Jersey, signed by all members of the Irish squad, currently on display in McCarthy's Hotel window.  There is also the Rowing T-Shirt signed by five times Olympic Gold medallist Steve Redgrave. The phone-in auction closes at the end of May so phone either: 086 1704874 or 052 31906 to acquire either of these desirable items.

Juvenile GAA News
Pride of place will have to go to the under-12 football team who qualified for the South A Final beating local rivals Moyle Rovers in a thrilling game in Ardfinnan last Sunday evening on the scoreline, 2-06 to 2-05. Playing against the wind in the first half we opened the scoring with a great Tommy Sheehan point but then Rovers took control and we found ourselves down by 8 points.  In fairness to the boys they gathered themselves and cut the score to 2 with goals from Alan Lawrence and Cathal Hurley.

In the second half we levelled the score with two points from Alan Lawrence and Eoin Fitzgerald, but again Rovers took control and scored 2 more points with the game in the balance.  A point from Eoin Fitzgerald and a great Aaron Conran point we levelled the game and in the last minute, up popped Eoin Fitzgerald, who seemed to be the calmest person in Ardfinnan, to kick Fethard into the lead, which they were not to loose.

There were some outstanding displays on the night by the six backs, Ciarán, Gerry, Eoin, Ronan, Frankie, and Brian; the two Eoins in midfield; and Tom, Aaron, Dillon, Philip, Alan and Cathal in the forwards. Subs on the night were Willie, Joe, Mike and Jack.

Great credit must go to both teams and managers. We now meet the favourites, Commercials, in the final and it looks like this weekend. Time and venue to be decided. Best of luck to all involved.

Under-6, 8 and 10 training takes place on Saturdays from 3pm to 4pm. We hope to have games for all these on Saturday week. Will have more information next week.

Under-14 football team played Clonmel Og last week and were unlucky to loose by a point.  They have now played three games, winning one and losing two, but with a couple of wins could still make the semifinal.  These boys have a couple of games to play which have to be re-fixed so trainers will be informed.

All hurling training is now well under way. So to all players, now is the time to get the ball skills done as to be ready for the championship, which is just around the corner.  All fixtures for hurling should be out this week.

At our recent meeting we decided to run our Summer Camp from Monday 15th August to 19th August.  We will be sending forms to the schools and inform you more in the coming weeks. 

There are still some membership fees outstanding and the club will not be able to play anyone who is not a member as they will not be covered by insurance. We would like to wish Paul Fitzgerald, Damien Byrne, Glen Burke and Cian Maher the best of luck on Sunday.  As former juveniles it is great to see the lads represent our club and parish against all All-Ireland champions Kerry.  It is also great to see Daniel Hickey, Matt Fitzgerald and Eoin Fitzgerald all playing for the Tipperary Primary Game team against Kerry at the same venue. The juvenile club will run a bus to Thurles on Sunday. Contact Caroline for details.

Fethard Judo Club
Fethard Judo Club took part in the Community Games in Fethard Town Hall on Saturday 21st May and the following were medallists: Emma Walsh 1st (under-30k); Natalie Cahill 1st (under-35k); Lorraine Stapleton 2nd (under-45k); Hanna Stapleton 3rd (under-45k); Samantha Feery 1st (under-50k); Stephanie Lawrence 1st (open); Jake Stapleton 1st (under-25k); Gary Bradshaw 2nd (under-30k); Gerard Gorey 2nd (under-40k); Cathal Gorey 1st (open); Tom Woodlock 2nd (open); and Padraig Mullally (under-50k). Thanks to all our supporters and all who participated.

Just in Passing
Champion National Hunt jockey Ruby Walsh was a very promising Gaelic footballer before his rapid rise to fame in the racing world obliged him to give up the football.

Question for sports fans: With what Tipperary club did Ruby Walsh win an under-16 divisional championship medal?

Law 2005 Style
Fair dues to the district court judge who recently refused to grant legal aid to a defendant. The judge in question remarked that a man who was drawing unemployment benefit and who could arrive at court in a €17,000 ’04 car should easily be able to afford legal aid.

His worship, on being informed that the man was 12 years drawing the dole, remarked, “Most extraordinarily I note he has paid €900 compensation to the injured party, and it is more extraordinary still that while non-nationals are streaming in from all over Europe and finding work here, this man has been unemployed for 12 years.”

He also noted that a solicitor representing a defendant on free legal aid had recently applied for a change of date for the hearing as his client had booked a foreign holiday for the original date set for the hearing.

Some, no doubt, certainly know how to milk the system!

Hearing on the double
Seen locally recently was a man speaking on two mobile phones at the same time.  Is this a record or is it just two mobile phones?  Modern technology is no doubt affecting all of us in one way or another!

Riding success
Congratulations and an extra special ‘Well Done’ to Katie Hannigan, Sladagh, on her win at the International One-Day Event Equestrian Competition at Ballindesk, Co. Cork.

Katie, riding her own six-year-old mare ‘Pagentry’, took the red rosette from an entry that included some very well known international riders.  A leaving certificate student, Katie, in her first season out of underage competition, is the youngest ever winner of the event.

Goodbye to Lego Land
Feeling the effects of modern technology also is the children’s game ‘Lego’, for so long top of the popularity list in children’s games.  Apparently PlayStation games and the like have taken over from the traditional favourites such as Lego. 

Interviewed on RTE recently, a very articulate and also very young boy said he prefers PlayStation games to Lego as he likes to “Kill People”.  This train of thought is most disturbing.

Dr Marie Murray, doctor of Psychology, stated that parents should be extremely careful of the amount of violence children are exposed to in these games, through all stages of their development.

Driving us out of control
With nine-billion euro overspent on roadways, highways, by-passes, gridlocks, traffic jams and pollution, not forgetting the 136 people killed on Irish roads so far this year, where are we going?  Just imagine what a fraction of nine-billion euro would do for our much maligned hospital services.

A report on Monday’s Independent that a National School in Ballaglea, Co. Galway, has had to close the school’s playing field due to the danger of pupils who had to cross a public road to reach it, shows one of the many effects the motor-car is having on modern living.

Paddy Kenrick, who drove HI-1, the first registered car in South Tipperary, has been recorded as stating that his mother used to come out and sprinkle it with holy water, sayi8ng it was an instrument of the devil.

Perhaps this was overdoing it slightly, but one thing is certain, that in the motor-car, we have created a monster that is gone beyond control.

The Power of Advertising
Fethard people do take notice of advertising on the television. This was proven recently when an undertaker was adjusting the pins that hold a coffin in place in the hearse. A man stuck his head in the window of the hearse and said, “You’d want to get that right or you’ll be like the fella on the ad on the telly. You know the ad.  The one that says, The damage was done by yer man  in the back”.

(N Gawe)

The Rubber Band
Bands come and go and as teenagers change fads and fashions, one band is readily swapped for another as soon as their fifteen minutes of fame is declared over.  But the latest band on the scene is not a boy band or a girl band, it’s a rubber band.

According to local DJ and radio presenter Ian O’Connor — a man in the know about such things — the latest fashion is to wear a rubber band on your wrist. These bands represent the wearer’s support for worthy causes and different colours represent the different concerns.

It appears, however, that the causes are becoming secondary to the colour of the band. Many people are now wearing the colours that represent their favourite team, regardless of the causes concerned.  The fashion in Fethard is to wear the blue and white bands, the same colours that are sported on our local team jerseys.  The white bands, according to our man in the know, represent world peace.  The blue ones represent something else — nobody seems quite sure.

Today, every charity or cause seems to be jumping on the fashion bandwagon and producing a different colour band, which are sold from two euro each, to fill their coffers. The market place is becoming so flooded that there aren’t enough colours left to go around.

But this fad I’m sure will pass and when it does, I suggest that the older generation reuse and recycle the rubber bands. The more forgetful could use them as shopping lists when heading for the supermarket. White could represent a carton of milk, a yellow some eggs and the red, a bottle of wine. Just be careful not to wear them too tight in case you stop the blood circulation to your hand. If you do, we believe the green band represents the gangrene support group.

(N Gawe)

A number of Fethard Munster rugby supporters were sitting in the stand in Thomond Park at the Munster versus Edinburgh match last week when they noticed many plumes of smoke rising from various parts of Limerick City.

As they mentioned it, a man turned and said that bonfires were traditionally lit up on Mayday in Limerick (or the night before in this case). Another man turned and said that he hoped that it wasn’t the Fethard lads car on fire.  “We’re all right”, replied the Fethard man looking in the direction of the smoke, “Our car is at the other side of the stadium”. “Or at least it was when ye left it”, came the reply.

(N Gawe)


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