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Saturday 13th August 2005

Slieve na mBan Holy Year Cross 2005
Once more we were blessed with a beautiful day for our annual pilgrimage to the Holy Year Cross.  This year also marked the 55th anniversary of the erecting of the first cross, and I’m sure that the people who established the tradition of the August 15th pilgrimage would be proud to know that it’s still going strong all these years later. In fact, judging by our visitors’ book that we opened for the first time this year, we had in excess of 200 people in attendance. As well as the hardy annuals, it is also nice to see that a growing number of people from outside the parish are coming to join our celebration. This is a trend that we hope will continue to grow in the coming years. Ceremonies began at the hill wall, where Fr. Malachy Loghran OSA led the procession to the Holy Year Cross, while down at the mass rock in O’Donnell’s field, Canon James Power and Fr. Timmy Walsh OSA led the rosary for those who were unable to make the climb. On the return of the walkers, mass was celebrated by Canon Power and Fr. Loghran. Once again, when the ceremonies were concluded, the locals provided much appreciated tea and refreshments. Judging by the amount of food that was prepared, they could have fed as many more again. One thing is certain, no one went home hungry.

Of course a lot of preparation was needed to make this day the success that it was. Special thanks must go to our dedicated clergymen who give so freely of their time. Also to Jimmy and Eileen O’Donnell for the use of their field, and we must also take this opportunity to wish Jimmy a speedy recovery after his recent accident. To all the locals who helped in any way, be it erecting the crosses, food preparation or altar preparation. Take a bow one and all. To our Dutch friends Bert and Janneke for providing much needed refreshments on our way to the mountain. To Tommy Butler and Premier Music, Clonmel, for providing the amplification. To Merrys’ of Clonmel for their generous sponsorship. To Joan Dunphy, Clonmel, and Willie O’Meara for their work on the visitors’ book and stand. To the man who single-handedly keeps Fethard and Killusty accessible to our friends and relatives far away, Joe Kenny.  And finally, to all of you who took the time to be there, your attendance made our efforts worthwhile. We hope to see you all again next year.

Visitors to Fethard
During the past week we had a visit to Fethard by Mrs Pearl Jarvis and her husband Bryan. Pearl’s maiden name was Stinson but her grandma was formerly Bridget Coffey who was born on 28th December 1893 to James and Mary Coffey from The Green, Fethard. Pearl and Bryan would like to sincerely thank Canon James Power who supplied them with details of their grandmother, along with details of the rest of her brothers and sisters.  They went on to say, “He really is a kindly man - we know that he visits Pearl's father's cousin Edith Murray who is being looked after at a care home near Fethard. Having visited her there ourselves at the weekend, we could see that the staff are a grand bunch too.  It was a real treat to visit Pearl's family in Fethard and to meet so many really grand people. We both left Fethard with a real sense of belonging.”

Fancy Dress Parade
A ‘Fancy Dress Parade’ will take place at 3pm on Sunday 28th August as part of the celebrations for the Feast of Saint Augustine. Lots of prizes to be won! Banna Cluain Meala and Majorettes will lead the parade from the Ballroom to the Abbey Grounds where a fete will take place, which will include a recital from the award-winning trio of girl musicians, ‘Amadeus’. All are welcome to take part in this celebration, which is organised as part of the Augustinian 700 Anniversary Celebrations in Fethard.

Fethard Bridge Club News
Fethard Bridge Club plans to run a series of classes for beginners commencing mid-September in the Tirry Centre.  Once the basics of bridge have been mastered we hope to continue with a weekly bridge game at which beginners can put into practice what they have learned and continue to get help and advice from more senior players.  Anyone interested should contact our president, Marie Delaney, at 052-31148 or our secretary, Gemma Burke, at 052-31799 for further details.

Regular bridge at the Tirry Centre resumes on Wednesday, 7th September at 7.30pm. We would encourage former members to think about returning to the club – you will be made most welcome.  Young adults, with time on their hands during the winter months  and who enjoy a challenge, might also consider taking up bridge.  It exercises the mind and is a very pleasant way to spend an evening!

Clontarf Cowboy in Town
Music fans in McCarthy’s were treated to an impromptu performance by legendary guitarist Philip Donnelly, when he joined the Pheasant Pluckers for a session last Saturday night. Philip got the nickname “the Clontarf Cowboy” playing as a top session musician in Nashville. H e spent some time playing in the Everly Brothers band and had landed himself a top job with Elvis Presley, but that fell through with the unexpected demise of the King. 

On his return to Ireland, he spent some time in the Fleadh Cowboys, many of whom became members of the Blue Moon Orchestra that backed Nanci Griffith. Philip usually carries the guitar around with him in the boot of the car and has been known to turn up to sessions with musical friends like John Prine, Donovan and many others. It’s been nine years since he last jammed with the Pheasant Pluckers, but he doesn’t intend waiting another nine to play with them again. Plans are underfoot to bring Philip to play in Fethard in the near future. Watch this space.

(N Gawe)

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on Tuesday 9th August were: 5, 13, 16 and 23. There was no Jackpot winner and one ‘Match 3’ winner who received €150:

Margaret Bradshaw, Congress Terrace, Fethard.

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Michael & Paul Walshe, Barrack St., Fethard,

Conor Ryan, c/o Nelly Ryan, Fethard,

Biddy O'Donnell. Slainstown, Fethard.

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

Light Music at the Abymill
An evening of light music will take place in the Abymill Theatre on this Saturday 20th August, at 8:15pm, featuring "Cór Cois Abhann" from Cork who will entertain us with their repertoire which varies from the classic. This promises to be a very enjoyable evening not to be missed.  Tickets are €15 and booking is now open at O’Flynn's Menswear, Burke Street, Fethard, Tel: 052 31252, or from any Jubilee 700 Committee member.

Fethard GAA Club News
The Senior Football South Semifinal against Grangemockler takes place on Sunday 21st August in Kilsheelan at 6.30pm. Best of luck also to Damien and Paul who are on the Tipperary Senior Football panel to play Roscommon in the semifinal of the Tommy Murphy Cup.

On Sunday last our Intermediate Hurlers got a set back in Clonmel when Ballybacon defeated them on a scoreline, Fethard 1-8 (1-7), Ballybacon 1-11 (1-5).  They now must win their last match against Kilsheelan, which will be played in Cloneen on Saturday 27th August at 6.45pm.  The team on Sunday last was: Paul Fitzgerald, Shane Walsh, Michael Ryan, Michael Carroll, Tomas Keane, Stephen O’Donnell, Michael Aherne, Michael Dillon 0-1, J P Looby, Aiden Fitzgerald, Alan Burke, Brian Coen 0-1, Kieran Treacy 0-6 (5F), Miceál Spillane, and Kenneth O’Donnell 1-0. Subs used were: P J Aherne and Kevin O’Donnell.

Junior B Football started on Friday 12th August with a game against Kilsheelan played in Marlfield.  We came away victors on a scoreline, Fethard 3-11 (2-8), Kilsheelan 1-8 (1-2).  The second game against St Patricks is fixed for this week.  Match report next week. Back to last Friday’s game — the team on the night was Glen O’Meara, Philly Prout, Kevin Coffey, Connie Flynn, Paul Hackett, Diarmuid Burke, Mike Kelly, Gabriel Horan 0-2, William O’Brien, M J Croke 1-2, John Hanrahan, John Leahy 0-3, Paddy Cooney, Shay Coen 1-2, and David Flanagan 1-2.  Subs used were: Miceál Sean McCormack, Alan Burke and Peter Gough.

Congratulations to our Under-12 B Hurlers who won the South Championship in Monroe on Sunday last on a scoreline, Fethard 2-2 (2-1), Kilsheelan 1-2 (0-0).  The last time won was in 1997 and we wish them the best of luck in the County semifinal this weekend.

Don’t forget our Annual Church Gate Collection takes place this weekend, 20th and 21st August, at all Masses in Fethard and Killusty. Thank you for your continued support.

The Lotto Jackpot of €2,400 was not won.  The numbers drawn in Burkes Bar were 3, 16, 23 and 24.  We had one ‘Match Three’ winner of €150, to Michael Mallon, Sandymount, Dublin. The €50 Lucky Dip going to Denis O’Meara (St Patrick’s Place).

Early Morning Call
A group of lads were sitting in the pub on a quiet night when one of them looked at the clock. “I’d say that the two boy’s are just about touching down in Sydney as we speak”. John Fitzgerald and Cian Maher had left a few days earlier to meet up with the Fethard contingent in Australia. One of the group said that they were being met at the airport by a certain Fethard lady, so they decided to give her a ring to see if the boy’s had landed safely. The phone went unanswered the first few times. Eventually a sleepy voice said hello. “Are the lads there yet?” she was asked. “Oh shite . . . I should have been at the airport an hour and a half ago . . . I’ve slept it out.  Bye”. An hour later, the boy’s were welcomed to Australia. They appear to have settled in quite well and have spent the past few days parachute jumping from 14,000 feet, white water rafting, scuba diving and purchasing a car for their road trip from Cairns in Queensland down the East coast of Australia to Sydney.

(N Gawe)

South Hurling Champions
Pride of place this week must go to our under/12 juvenile hurlers who won the South Final against Kilsheelan and played in Monroe last Sunday morning.  Anyone lucky enough to be there witnessed a brilliant game of hurling that had everything.  Fethard won the toss and decided to play with the wind.  From the throw-in they took the game to Kilsheelan, after a period of very strong pressure Damien Morrissey latched on to a loose ball and burst through the Kilsheelan defence and buried the ball in the back of the net for a great goal.  Winning plenty of ball in the back line, where Cathal Hurley was outstanding, a long delivery was controlled on the stick by Ronan Fitzgerald and without looking, dispatched the sliotar over the bar to the enormous cheers of the Fethard crowd. With Alan Lawrence and Aaron Conran dominating the midfield, Damien Morrissey yet again latched on to another ball and via the same route buried our second goal to leave us 7 points up going in at halftime.

The second half started like the first in a whirlwind fashion with Kilsheelan scoring a point in the first minute.  Kilsheelan were now throwing everything at us and it was vital we stood firm in the back line, with Mikey and John making important switches it was not long before we got into the rhythm again.  Solid in all positions and starting to get on top, Aaron Conran made a couple of tremendous runs and was rewarded when he put over a vital point to put us 7 up again and with Dylan Fitzgerald making all the right decisions we were guaranteed a good supply of ball.  Owen Dillon, Tommy Sheehan and Garreth Lawrence were outstanding in the back line, pulling on everything and making sure nothing easy was going to get through.  Cathal Hurley, Ger Maher and Captain Brian Delahunty were rock solid and stood firm in the final minutes. Alan Lawrence was cleaning up behind Ger Maher and man of the match, Eoin Fitzgerald, was winning everything.  When the final whistle blew we were 4 points up.  Every player was a hero on the day with Dylan in goal, Eoin, Tommy, Garry, Brian, Ger and Cathal all outstanding.  Alan and Aaron dominating midfield with Ronan, Frankie, Ciarán, Brian, Eoin and Damien all brilliant.  All the subs played their part too throughout the championship, Kyle, Mike, Eoin Walsh, Eoghain, Joedy, Adam, Garry and the two Morgans, Joe and Willie.  Sincere thanks to Mick Smith for his very generous sponsorship and who sent us to McDonnell’s to celebrate.  On arriving home we took to the streets in the cars to the applause from the Fethard people, a special thanks to Mickey Ahearn and John Hurley for the tremendous work done to achieve this well deserved title and also to the supporters who came to the match to shout the boys on.

Fethard & Killusty Community Games
Best of luck to the boys and girls from Fethard & Killusty Area who will compete at the National finals of Community Games in Mosney, Co. Meath on this coming week-end.  We have a total of twenty competitors and three managers.

Competitors are:

Art: Aine Proudfoot, Strylea, u-8, Louis Rice u-12 and Laura Rice u-14, both from Everardsgrange.  Judo:  Emma Walsh, Main St., Padraig O’Shea, The Valley, Natalie Cahill, Woodvale Walk, Samantha Feery, Killusty and Cathal Gorey, Moanbeg. Girls u16 Volleyball Team:  Lisa Anglim, Sinead Coffey, Carrie Sweeney, Chloe Gough, Sarah Conway, Gráinne Horan, Ida Carroll, Sarah Hayes, Niamh Fanning, Lesley Looby, Debbie Lawrence and Mary Anne Keane.  Managers:  Denis Burke, Redcity, Alice Feery, Killusty and Fintan Rice, Everardsgrange.  Area Sec., Bernard Feery has been appointed to act as a National Official on both weekends.

Boys Art will commence in American Bar at 9.30am.  Girls Art, same venue 2.30pm.  Judo is in Indoor Bowles Room commencing at 10am.  Girls Volleyball will take place in Gormanstown College at 2pm.  All these events are on Saturday, Aug 20th.

Bus will leave Thurles Swimming Pool Car Park on Friday, Aug 19th at 11am sharp, returning on Sunday night. Time to be confirmed.  The committee wish to thank all those who attended the meeting last week and wish everybody a safe and fruitful journey.

Proposed Housing Development at Strylea / Rocklow Road
The Fethard & Killusty Community Council would like to state their objections in relation to South Tipperary County Council’s proposed housing development at Strylea / Rocklow Road, Fethard.  While the advertised proposal of twenty houses and ten sites seemed suitable, the actual development of approx. eighty-five houses and ten sites with provision for a crèche and shop is in our opinion neither warranted nor welcome.

Over the past few years the Community Council have been in regular contact with various sections of South Tipperary County Council (Forward Planning, Community & Enterprise, Planning, Housing and the County Development Board) in relation to current and future development in Fethard and projects currently being undertaken by ourselves.  We find it incomprehensible that a development such as the one being proposed would be considered when it directly conflicts with many of the opinions outlined in previous submissions and seriously compromises the future development of Fethard. 

While we appreciate the necessity for South Tipperary County Council to provide housing for those who are unable to do so for themselves, we cannot fathom the need for eighty-five more houses in Fethard.  According to the recently compiled Fethard Local Area Plan 2005 there are currently fourteen approved applications on the housing list for Fethard town. 

The committee and members of the Community Council feel very strongly about the imbalance between public and private housing development to date in Fethard.  Public housing schemes in Fethard (Woodvale Walk, Fr. Tirry Park, Canon Hayes Court, Slievenamon Close, Barrack Street and Kilnockin View) provide one hundred and eighty-one houses. In contrast private housing schemes consist of approx. forty-six houses completed (Strylea, Cedar Grove, Cois Falla, Abbey Close) and approx. thirty-three under construction (Killenaule and Cashel roads). By including the (proposed) additional eighty-five houses this increases the public housing stock to 246 units – a ratio of 3:1.  These figures speak for themselves.

The County Development Plan 2003 stipulates that, “balanced communities (will be generated) through a range of housing types.”  It also states that, “the social and cultural needs of rural communities will be safeguarded”. The Housing Section obviously does not assign these principles to their decisions about Fethard.  The concentration of all public housing in the one area with the absolute exclusion of play / amenity areas has caused many social problems.  So much so that Fethard is one of the seven areas within South Tipperary identified by the South Eastern Health Board as being most deprived.

The design and interior layout of some of the house types proposed leaves a lot to be desired and will, in our opinion, encourage unfavourable behaviour, which will contribute towards anti-social activity in the vicinity.  The provision of little more than one room on the ground floor is certainly not conducive to family living.  Furthermore, it is critical that the design of houses, particularly those close to Rocklow Road, are compliant with the Conservation Area Design Guidelines (Appendix 2 FLAP) as they are within view of Sparagoleith, the only remaining gate in the Town Wall - a monument of not alone local but National and European importance.  The brick material proposed for use on the exterior of the houses is not appropriate to the historical character of Fethard, as a matter of fact 5.7.0 of the FLAP (Fethard Local Area Plan) states that, ‘brickwork …… should be avoided’.

Community activists and residents have for some time now been concerned with the closure of many shops in the town in recent years and the subsequent lack of vibrancy in the town centre.  Between 1975 and 2002 the number of shops in the town decreased by 59% - a startling statistic.  The concept of including a shop in the proposed development while the town centre grinds to a halt is ludicrous.

The Community Council are currently in the final stages of preparing plans for the redevelopment of the Convent Hall.  This development will facilitate the integration of childcare, eldercare and the establishment of a youth centre.  Tipperary Institute are at present completing a Feasibility Study on the project which they carried out on our behalf.  The inclusion of a crèche at Strylea completely jeopardises our efforts. 

Now it is time for the people of Fethard to say ‘Stop!’  Let the Housing Section reconsider their proposal and follow the direction set out in the Fethard Local Area Plan 2005.  In this document the Council pledges ‘ . . . to work closely with community (and other) bodies in order to ensure the provision of adequate social and community services’. The Community Council, on behalf of the people of Fethard, are more than willing to liaise with South Tipperary County Council.  We have many suggestions for the proposed development area and we have engaged the services of professional advisors to corroborate our ideas. 

In order to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion we request that South Tipperary County Council establish a forum whereby these issues can be discussed in a specific and co-ordinated way.


This site is maintained by Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.