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Saturday 10 December 2005

The late Dick Cummins
The news of the death of Dick Cummins, who died on Saturday, 10th December, was greeted with much regret in his native Fethard. Dick, who would have reached his 94th birthday had he lived to 1st January, was an integral part of Fethard itself. Indeed, one of his associates remarked on hearing of his death, “It is like as if a part of the old Town Wall had been demolished.”

Dick, who spent his entire long life in Fethard, will be best remembered for his life-long association with Fethard GAA and also with football in particular, at club, divisional and county level. An active member of Friends of Tipperary Football, he was an honorary life vice-president of Tipperary South Board GAA and was, at the time of his unexpected death, researching material for the history of the South Board, which is currently being compiled.

The late Dick Cummins came from a family steeped in GAA tradition. His late father, Dick Cummins, was a founder member of the club in 1884 and it is almost beyond belief that Dick carried on the family connections with Fethard GAA 120 years later.

He followed the fortunes of Fethard and Tipperary football through good times and bad. When Tipp won the Junior All-Ireland, captioned by Fethard man Tommy Sheehan, Dick said, “I’ll die happy having lived to see Tipperary win an All-Ireland football title. He was also thrilled to see Tipperary footballers play so well in the qualifiers at Croke Park against Donegal, and although unable to travel to the game was overjoyed by Tipperary’s win over Wexford in the Tommy Murphy Cup final at Croke Park last September.  His brother Ned played on the last Tipperary senior football team to win an All-Ireland senior football title in 1920. The last time we spoke to Dick, he asked what we thought he should do with Ned’s All-Ireland medal. When suggested that he might give it to the GAA Museum in Thurles, he remarked, “I had thought about that but if at all possible I would like to leave it in Fethard. That medal belongs to the two streets and a pump.”

This was Dick’s affectionate name for his native town. “Come on the two streets and a pump,” was the rallying cry of Fethard supporters during the great Fethard football years of the teens and twenties.

Dick Cummins had a very long and active life. He was the patriarch of Fethard GAA and his passing leaves a void that will not be easily filled. Dick will be greatly missed by his niece Kathleen, his nephew Liam, and by a wide circle of friends in Tipperary GAA. He will be especially missed by his two close Fethard friends, Waltie Moloney and Miceál McCormack. Waltie, in recent years, was his chauffer to matches in Tipperary and beyond. Miceál was a regular caller to his house and indeed, with Dick’s very strong opinions on many matters, they often agreed to differ but always remained the best of friends.

Dick would have been proud had he lived to witness Miceál being installed this week as Chairman of South Tipperary Board GAA — the first Fethard man to hold the position in fifty years.

Dick Cummins was a GAA icon. He will not be forgotten in Tipperary circles. A deeply religious man, he was more than well prepared for his journey to eternity. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dilis.

Fethard man South Tipp Chairman
Congratulations to Miceál McCormack who this week is being installed Chairman of Tipperary South Board GAA. Miceál, a 100% GAA man, is more than capable of handling the duties of his new role. Going way back to his juvenile days, Miceál has served the GAA literally from the grass-roots up, being a player, referee, selector, trainer, coach, committee member, secretary and chairman with Fethard GAA club. He has also had a long experience promoting athletics at all levels. He was served as chairman with the old NACA up to national level and, as some may find out to their cost, his vast experience of correct running of meeting procedure.

Miceál is the first Fethard man to hold the position of chairman of Tipperary South Board GAA since the late John Keating 1954/55. All true Fethard gaels will join in congratulating Miceál and wishing him the very best of luck during his term at the head of South Tipperary GAA.

The Caseys of Sneem
One Fethard man taking a great interest in the programme ‘Cogar’ on TG4 television on Sunday night was Joe Ahearn of the Fethard Arms. The programme featured the sporting triumphs of the seven Casey brothers from Sneem, Co. Kerry, especially their exploits at international level in rowing, wrestling and boxing. Joe worked with the Caseys during his term in London. Paddy Casey, the London dance hall proprietor, was a regular visitor to Joe when home on holiday. One local in the Fethard Arms, when Paddy called, described him as “having to turn sideways to come in the door,” — truly mighty men.

Modesty forbids us mentioning the name of the Fethard man who may have had an input in the erection of a statue to undefeated heavyweight wrestling champion of the world from 1938 to 1947, Steve Casey, in his native Sneem. Following a visit to Sneem, our Fethard friend wrote to the equivalent of the Sneem Parish Council that he found it strange that while there were monuments to General De Gaulle and Erskine Childers on Sneem village green, there was no statue to their famous native, Steve Casey.

He never received a reply to the letter but within a few years, lo and behold, a magnificent bronze replica of Steve Casey in his prime now stands in Sneem. Maybe it is only a coincident, but we would like to think, maybe not!

Hunting News
The Ballylusky White Heather Harriers will meet at the following venues during the Christmas season. On Sunday 18th December — Peppardstown House; St. Stephen’s Day — Drangan; Sunday 1st January 2006 — Ballylusky; Sunday 8th January — Ballingarry. All meets at 11am. Winners of the December Draw were: 1st Prize €200, Noel O’Donnell; 2nd Prize €100, Maggie Sayers.

Marilyn Manson and Tipperary
Much was made of Marilyn Manson’s recent visit to Fethard in the national media, concentrating mainly on his aide’s worry about the security risk involved in allowing him into a pub full of locals. In the ensuing rush to get the rock star to safety, nobody paid much attention to a middle aged American couple that appeared a bit lost. It turned out that they were the star’s parents who had been left behind by the fleeing entourage.

They were relaxed about the incident, regretting that their son hadn’t entered the bar, saying, “Brian (as his mom calls him) would have loved this place”. They chatted to a few locals and said that they had really enjoyed the hospitality shown to them by the people of Tipperary. They then said that the family had Tipperary roots that they intended to research when they got home. It seems that Marilyn Manson’s ancestors on his mother’s side are O’Dwyers from some part of Tipperary. His father’s people are Scottish, and they travelled to America after settling first for a few years in Tipperary.

So if your name is O’Dwyer and you see a tall white-faced man standing at the door in the future, don’t be alarmed. It’s probably just Marilyn looking for his ancestral home.     

Died in England
With regret we record the death of yet another of Fethard’s emigrants, Pat Hennessy, formerly from Derryluskin. Pat’s death occurred in Edgware, London. Remains were brought home to Fethard and left McCarthy's Funeral Parlour, Fethard, on Wednesday 7th December for Lisronagh Church. Interment took place in the adjoining cemetery following 12 o'clock requiem mass on Thursday 8th December.

Fethard Community Dinner Dance in Fethard Ballroom
Tickets are selling well for the Fethard & Killusty Community Council’s 30th Anniversary Dinner Dance, which will be held in Fethard Ballroom on Friday night 13th January.  Music will be supplied by the big band sound of ‘Opus I’. Catering for the occasion is by Slievenamon Golf Club. Tickets at €35 each are available at Newport’s Newsagency or from any member of the committee. A ticket could be the ideal ‘Christmas Present’ for someone you know!

Carol Singing for CRC
The Annual Santa Bear Appeal ‘Carol Singing’ on the streets of Fethard will take place (tonight) Thursday 15th December, commencing at Fethard Town Hall at 7.30pm. All are welcome to come along.

Neilie’s Tenth Run for Charity
For his tenth year in succession Neilie Hall, St. Patrick's Place, has run the Dublin City Marathon for charity. This year Neilie raised €1,022 for South Tipperary Hospice. On behalf of all who benefit from his tremendous efforts, we would like to say, again, Congratulations Neilie!

Fethard Coursing Club
A meeting of the Fethard Coursing Club will take place on Friday 16th December at 8.30pm in the Tirry Centre.  All members are requested to attend this meeting and all nominations must be in on the night.

Carol Service at Holy Trinity Church of Ireland
The annual Carol Service at Holy Trinity Church of Ireland will take place on Sunday 18th December at 8pm. All are welcome.

Presentation to Trust
Trust, the charity organization founded by Fethard woman Alice Leahy, recently held an event in City Hall in Dublin to mark its 30th year in existence. The event was hosted by RTE presenter Pat Kenny, who has helped highlight the homeless by giving Alice lots of airtime, on both radio and television, over the years. A large number of Tipperary people travelled to lend support to Alice on the night. One group from Fethard were happy to present Alice with a check for €17,500, the proceeds of a golf classic and musical evening organized by Frank Purcell and Vincent Murphy. This was the third such fundraiser which is going from strength to strength each year. The organizers would like to thank all those who supported the cause.

St. Vincent de Paul
We would like to thank sincerely all who contributed to our annual church gate collection last weekend. A magnificent total of €2,316 was collected for which we are extremely grateful. Anyone who has applied for help and have not heard from us by Monday 20th December, please phone any member of the committee.

Christmas Market
Fethard Country Markets will hold their Christmas Markets on Friday 16th December and Friday 23rd December from 8am to 11am. Please come along early and don’t be disappointed. Fresh eggs, honey, jams, cakes, puddings, mince pies, holly, Christmas wreaths and sways are among the many home produced products for sale.

Community Christmas Lotto
The numbers drawn on Wednesday 7th December were: 10, 15. 17, and 26. We had no Jackpot winner and two ‘Match Three’ winners who received €75 each:

Maura Fitzpatrick, Ardsallagh, Fethard;
Catriona Boland, Knockura, Drangan.

The €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Mary O'Mahony, Tullamaine, Fethard;
John O'Connor, Main St., Fethard;
Seamus Hackett, Strylea, Fethard.

Special Christmas draw for Turkeys:
Tommy Gahan, Cloneen;
Maura Meagher, Killenaule;
Bridget Walsh, Tullamaine, Fethard;
Mary Kenny, Drangan;
Sean Smyth, Killusty.

Special Christmas draw for Hams:
Gerry Spillane, Killerk North, Fethard;
Sonya Cullen, c/o Bob Maher, Barrack Street, Fethard;

Maurice Hickey, Killusty;
Nick Stokes, Fethard;
Julie Wall, Barrettstown, Fethard.

Next weeks Jackpot remains at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1,000. Don’t forget that every ticket bought has ten extra chances to win a prize in our ‘Christmas Special’ draw. The weekly draw takes place on Wednesday mornings at 11am in Fethard Day Care Centre, Barrack Street. All are welcome to come along.

Environmental award for Nano Nagle School
Nano Nagle School are delighted to announce that we have received 1st Prize in the Fethard Electoral Area of the Tidy Schools Competition. Presentation of prizes took place in Hotel Minella, Clonmel on Monday, 5th December at a very pleasant awards ceremony, hosted by Brendan Fennessey, Environmental Officer. The prize was received, on behalf of the school, by Rachel Prout, Molly Proudfoot, Annie Prout, Áine Proudfoot and Mrs Maureen Maher. The occasion was also attended by Phillip Prout and Mary Proudfoot. An enjoyable evening was had by all.

We would take this opportunity to thank and complement South Tipperary County Council for running the Tidy Schools Competition and providing the incentive towards more environmental involvement. We are, indeed, very environmentally aware in Nano Nagle School and feel very encouraged to keep up the good work.

Killusty Soccer Club
Judging by the huge turnout for our Battle of the Brains table quiz, this is the one they all want to win. With the cream of the parishes grey matter on show the result was going to go to the very last question. When the results were tallied, second place went to the Redcity Revellers team of Matty and Greta O'Dwyer, David and Michelle Lawton. They came with a wet sail in the second round but just failed to catch the outright winners and BOTB titleholders from Killusty/Naas, Sean Aylward, Ciara Aylward, Lucy Sheehan and all the way from Naas, Emily Aylward.

The winners were modest in victory and promised not to lord it over their country cousins, who didn't trouble the judges! We must thank all those who turned up on the night, your support as always is greatly appreciated. Thanks also to our hosts Mick and Marie Smyth, to all who helped out, and finally to all those who donated prizes for our raffle. It was great to see our former captain, Nicky Murphy, on quiz night, he flew in from OZ for the event. He figured if Philly could win it … and going on recent results Nicky, you came back just at the right time.

Barrett and Tehan Information
Your website does a great job of showing and telling us about Fethard. The photography entices us to visit on the next chance one of our family visits Ireland. As introduction, my great grandparents, William Barrett and Ellen Tehan were married at Fethard on 20th November, 1859. Ellen was the daughter of James Tehan and Anne Ryan of Fethard. They were married at Fethard on 29th November 1827. Your website lists James Tehan as the hardware merchant on Main Street in Fethard. Does evidence of the Tehan hardware business exist today?  Near Fethard (approximately 1.5 miles) I have seen references to Barrettstown, Barrettstown Castle National Monument, Barrett’s Crossing, and Barrett’s Grange. Are these all one and the same?  Can you give me any background on the origination of this identity? Is the Cambro-Norman Barrett originator known? What exists today? Any information would be appreciated.

Merry Christmas, William Barrett, Grand Rapids, Michigan USA (email: w_barrett@sbcglobal.net)

Patrician/Presentation School Jottings

Table Quiz Success — A table quiz in aid of school facilities was held in the Secondary School recently. There was a fine attendance of young enthusiasts and some more seasoned campaigners. As it happened experience won out on the night, but the young will try again. The junior students’ table prize was won by four knowledgeable third years, Cian Grogan, Colm Horan, David Gorey and J.P. McGrath. The senior prize was won by Marian Gilpin, Anne Fleming, Mary O’Sullivan and Marie Danagher. Beidh la eile . . . congratulations to the many prizewinners.

The Parent’s Association would like to thank the sponsors of the beautiful prizes and all those who helped with the occasion, which was an outstanding success. We would like to thank all who supported the Raffle by buying tickets and all who helped supply and serve the refreshments. Go raibh maith agaibh.

Cross-Country Success — Congratulations to Eoin Healy (1st Year), who won a school’s Cross-Country race held in Marlfield, Clonmel, last week. 1st Years from all over South Tipperary participated in the race, with Eoin coming out successful against twenty-four other contestants.

Science Quiz — Two TY science-enthusiasts, Declan Doyle and Chris Sheehan, are currently organising a science quiz for third year students in the school. They see the quiz as a means of making science more appealing to young people in Fethard. “It’s going to be great,” stated Chris, who is working hard in preparation. “It’ll be fabulous to promote science to the youth, especially seeing as the school’s labs are being renovated,” announced an enthusiastic Declan. The quiz will take place next week, and is free of charge to all participants.

Christmas Religious Services — As is usual this time of year, pupils from the school will attend penitential services in the Convent Chapel and the Parish Church during the week of December 16th. The 4th and 5th year students attended confession on Monday and received an inspiring talk from Fr. Breen. The school Carol Service will take place on Friday 16th December.


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