Saturday 5th August 2006
National Spotlight Falls on the Medieval Walls of Fethard
The IWTN was set up by the Heritage Council of Ireland in April 2005 to coordinate the strategic efforts of local authorities involved in the management, conservation and enhancement of historic walled towns in Ireland, both North and South. There are now 19 towns or cities in the Network represented by city, county, town or borough officials. The IWTN are already a potent and active force and the first half of 2006 has included meetings up and down the country from Youghal to Derry, with Athenry and Athlone in the midlands. Next is Kilmallock. The group have already been instrumental in providing support and technical input for the production of the detailed Conservation Plan for the remaining City Walls of Kilkenny. And the Athlone Walls Conservation Plan was launched in Athlone Castle on 21st March 2006. Drogheda’s Conservation Plan will be launched in November this year.
After the meeting, the Committee were given a guided tour of the entire circuit of the walls of Fethard led by Mary Hanrahan and Dóirín Saurus of the Fethard Historical Society. This comprehensive tour enabled the Committee to view sections of the wall that are not normally visited, including the almost complete stretch between Barrack Street and Burke Street and the massive section that runs from Barrack Street to the North Gate and then on to Madam’s Bridge via the grounds of the Convent. It is fair to report that as the tour progressed the Committee grew more and more astonished at the level of survival of so much of the ancient fabric of the town wall, most of which dates from the 15th Century or earlier predating the fabled walls of Derry by almost two centuries!
The Committee then enjoyed a light lunch at McCarthy’s Hotel and were joined by Hugh O’Brien, from South Tipperary County Council who provided valuable insights and advice. The importance of the contribution of those responsible for the restoration of the Clashawley section of the wall in the early 1990s was acknowledged.
The very illuminating and productive visit concluded with a consensus that Fethard has the most complete and undisturbed medieval town wall on the island of Ireland and that a ‘Walls of Fethard Conservation Plan’ must be put into effect as soon as practicable as a matter of national importance.
The IWTN Committee members attending were: Chairperson Eamonn McEneaney (Waterford), Deputy Chair Liam Ryan (Youghal), Alison Harvey, Network Coordinator
Ms Addie is in these parts for the Edinburgh Festival and is coming to Fethard to work with the Fethard Historical Society in putting on a Reading of her play in the home county of the Kellys.
So any actor, or would be actor, from Fethard, Moyglass, Cloneen and surrounding areas is invited to get ‘in on the act’, as there are many parts. Practice readings will take place on the evenings leading up to the eleventh. Brenda assures us that all will be well on the night as she has done this before in Australia. Potential readers can contact any member of the Historical Society or phone 052 23402 or 31936 and leave your name and phone number before Monday 7th August.
The play will be followed by a short audience discussion with the playwright and then light refreshments will be available to everyone. There is no need to book, tickets will be available at the door and entrance fee is €4.
At 10.15am we left Fethard-on-Sea amid a sprinkling of rain. After careful navigation from co-pilot, Eoin Whyte, Vincent Woodlock missed the first turn-off, adding an extra 1.5 miles to our journey. Through Arthurstown and into Passage-East for the ferry saw our first four minutes rest. A quick check on the ferry to tyres and wheel nuts saw the group climb from Passage on to Waterford. The rain was getting steadily heavier as we approached the Munster Bar. Here, Peter and Caitriona Fitzgerald put on a fabulous spread of sandwiches, soup and pasta. Reluctantly, we left the Munster Bar and out into heavy rain we cycled up the Quays, over the bridge towards Newrath and on in the direction of Mooncoin. By now the rain was incessant and the best of rain gear was rendered useless. After an hour and a half, twenty-two very wet cyclists stopped on the Pill road at the Esso station. While waiting for Tipp FM the cyclists were getting cold so, ahead of schedule, we continued to Kilsheelan. After some very skill-full marshalling by Grace and Anita Pollard, the group passed the village and the Ormond Stores. T’was here we saw our first sign-post for Fethard a welcome sign indeed.
At Kiltinan Barracks we rendezvoused with the junior cyclists and a very welcoming bunch of adults. Toby Purcell seemed to have forgotten his ‘gate’ though. Donning our ‘Heart-Safe’ Sponsored T-Shirts a group of about fifty cyclists headed for Killusty and onto the back road to Fethard. After some more ‘expert’ marshalling at Whelan’s Cross we cycled into Fethard. A huge crowd had gathered in the Square to welcome us back. To a rapturous applause we arrived in the Square safe and sound, with only one fall on the whole journey, which was expertly attended to by Matt Peters and his assistant of the Civil Defence.
Jimmy O’Sullivan did a great job of welcoming us all home and the conclusion of the launch of Slí na Sláinte, there was plenty of refreshments supplied by Thelma Griffith and her assistants. The cyclists disbanded to freshen-up and regroup in McCarthy’s at 5pm for a meal and a few drinks.
May I take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the day, particularly those I mentioned above and more especially those who I may have forgotten to mention. To all our sponsors, we thank you from the bottom of your pockets! Finally to the cyclists themselves well done to each and every one of you. Ye put in a lot of effort, gave up your time for this very worthy cause. It’s a far cry from our first night of group training when Noel Blake nearly fell into the graveyard . . . and that was only at the start! Well Done All.
Launch of Fethard Heartsafe Programme
The highlight of the afternoons proceedings was the welcoming home of the cyclists from the Fethard-to-Fethard Sponsored Cycle. Twenty-three senior cyclists and nine junior participants, who had joined in at Kiltinan Barracks, arrived home to rapturous applause. The cyclists who participated in the event were: (Seniors) Kathleen Anglim, Tom Anglim, Noel Blake, Paddy Boyle, Joe Burke, Sr. Betty Cagney, Kevin Coffey, Vincent Cummins, Jerry Dargan, Ruth Dargan, Seamie Hickey, Ger Houlihan, John Hurley, Bill Kennedy, John McLean, John Neville, Michael Nevin, Michael O’Gorman, Erica Purcell, Tom Quinn, Fintan Rice, Paul Shanahan, Eugene Walsh and (Juniors) Lucy Butler, Jack Devaney, Kevin Hayes, Ruby Kennedy, Isobel Kennedy, William Morgan, Jack O’Connell, Richard O’Gorman and Matt O’Sullivan.
After the cyclists had been introduced to the crowd and complimented on their achievement the official launches got underway. The Slí na Sláinte designated walking route was officially launched by Jimmy Connolly, Treasurer Fethard & Killusty Community Council, Tanya Comber-Rait, National Co-ordinator with the Irish Heart Foundation, and Leo D’Arcy, Education Officer, An Bord Altranais. This route, known locally as the Ballybough route, is 4.8km in length and commences at The Square with the entire route being marked by bright colourful signposts, which are not numbered and are situated at 1km intervals. The promoters would like to appeal to drivers to take extreme caution on the approach roads to the town and to heed the warning signs on this route.
Following this the Fethard AED Heart-Saver Programme was officially launched by Mr. Seamus Moore, Local Health Manager, South Tipperary HSE. This initiative will facilitate the provision of a number of Defibrillators to be placed in strategic, accessible, locations throughout the town. To date a number of lay-responders have been trained in their use, should the need arise. The ongoing fundraising efforts of the cyclists and the wonderful support received from many businesses and individuals have contributed greatly towards the cost of these devices.
When the official proceedings were completed a party atmosphere pervaded the area thanks to the presence of musicians from the band, Black Velvet, and a sumptuous selection of healthy snacks and drinks, provided by Thelma and her assistants, ensured that no-one went home hungry.
Slieve na mBan Holy Year Cross
Once again we say to those of you who have never attended one of our ceremonies or have missed a few years, why not make this the year to join us.
St. Patrick’s School Monster Draw Results
The proceeds of this draw go towards the School's repair fund. Many thanks to the management, parents, staff and friends of St. Patrick's B.N.S who sold tickets and helped towards the success of this fund-raising effort.
Fethard & Killusty Community Games
Badgers Youth Soccer
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The death occurred on Tuesday 25th July of Mr Frank Burke, Main Street, formerly of Loughrea, Co. Galway and Dublin. Interment took place in Calvary Cemetery.
The death has occurred of Mrs Mary Lucey, Cois Falla, formerly of Clonea-Power, Co. Waterford, and Cork. Interment took place in Clonea-Power on Monday 31st July.
Junior B Hurlers had a good draw in their last match played in Fethard on Sunday evening, 30th July, on a scoreline, Fethard 2-4 (1-2) Marlfield 1-7 (0-4). Team was: Michael Lawrence, Mike Kelly, Tommy Gahan, William Harrington, Daniel Lonergan 1-1, Paul Hackett, David Kelly, Diarmuid Burke, Philly Croke, John Hanrahan, Gabriel Horan 0-2, Kevin O’Donnell, Paul Kenrick, David Flanagan 1-0 and Glen O’Meara. Subs used James Smyth, P J Morrissey, Paddy Cooney, Darragh Corbett for Tommy Gahan (Inj), Alan O’Meara 0-1 for Glen O’Meara (Inj). Their next game is on Wednesday 9th August in Monroe against Clerihan at 7.15pm.
Our Lotto Jackpot of €3,300 was not won. We had 3 ‘match three’ winners who received €50 each: Michael Sheehan (Killusty), Pat Bradshaw (The Green) and Con Doyle (Woodvale Walk). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Tom Ryan (46 St Pats Place). Tickets kindly supplied by Harrington Developments Ltd.
Our sympathies at this time are with the families of the late Alice Coen (Rocklow Rd) and Frank Burke (Main St).