Fethard awash with talent
Fethard Abymill Theatre was awash with talent on Monday 19th March, when twenty boys, whittled down from an initial entry of over 12,000, auditioned before a live audience for the lead part in a new West End production of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Only twelve of these boys will go forward to the final live TV series of auditions, which will commence on BBC1 on Saturday 31st March. The first two shows (March 31st and April 7th) are pre-recorded and subsequent shows (April 14th onwards) will be broadcast live weekly. Footage from the Fethard recording will be shown on the second pre-recorded show on the 7th April. Martin Scott, Editor, Light Entertainment BBC, was in charge of the production in the Abymill Theatre, which went off without a hitch.
The BBC television search show called ‘Any Dream will Do’ came to Fethard at the invitation of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “There hasn't been a male rock superstar cast in a role for some time and that's what I'm looking for somebody like Justin Timberlake.” He chose Fethard as the final test that would stretch the boys to their limit as he invited them to perform for his friends, family and local people at the Abymill and Kiltinan Castle.
Andrew Lloyd Webber welcomed the audience and Graham Norton acting as MC for the night. Stars in the audience included Westlife and Boyzone manager Louis Walsh as well as a former ‘Joseph’ and boyfriend of pop queen Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan.
Graham Norton used his free flowing humour to loosen any remaining inhibitions that a well catered audience may have had and then introduced a series of very polished acts where the boys preformed in various choreographed songs to display their individual singing talents and stage presence. The audience were given ballot papers to mark their choices after the auditions. These votes would also be taken into consideration by the judges when choosing the eight finalists to go forward.
The evening concluded with refreshments in the foyer where the artists chatted to locals, celebrities and guests. The artists then retired to McCarthy’s to let their hair down and relax. Some of these handsome and talented young men are going back to ordinary life once they are knocked out. That’s where reality TV bites. Louis Walsh said that he saw a potential group in a few others, so maybe they will make it too!
There was a concelebrated Mass in the Augustinian Abbey, Fethard, on Sunday 11th March to mark the Golden Jubilee of the ordination of Fr Timmy Walsh, O.S.A. Born in Ballylanders in 1931, after secondary schooling in Galbally and St Augustine's, Dungarvan, Timmy entered the Order of St Augustine in 1950. He completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University in Rome where he was ordained priest on 16th March 1957. He was appointed to the Augustinian mission territory in northern Nigeria.
In his homily, the Augustinian Provincial, Fr Gerry Horan, told the congregation that Fr Timmy, in one of his earliest postings was the first white man some of the people in Pulka had ever seen. At another stage he was living 120 miles from his nearest Augustinian neighbour, Fr Louis O'Donnell, later Bishop of Maiduguri, who attended the celebrations. Not many priests, as Fr Horan mentioned, can claim to have baptised a bishop, but one of the children christened by Fr Timmy is now the Archbishop of Jos, Nigeria, Dr Ignatius Kaigama. After twenty years in Nigeria, Fr Walsh was appointed to Buena Park in California where he was a founder member of a new Augustinian parish. Later he spent a further eight years in Nigeria. On returning to Ireland he ministered in Limerick, Dungarvan and Ballyhaunis before being appointed to the Abbey in Fethard where, with his phenomenal memory for names, he has been a well-loved member of the community since 2001. Ad multos annos!
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on Wednesday 14th March were 16, 22, 27 and 30. We had no Jackpot winner and three ‘Match 3’ winners who received €50:
Kiarron Gaule, Burke Street, Fethard;
Therese Ryan, Clerihan, Clonmel;
Eamonn Cullen, c/o Coolmore, Fethard.
The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Maura Trehy, The Green, Fethard;
Sean O’Callaghan, St. Patricks Place, Fethard;
Edwina Newport, Old Chapel Lane, Fethard.
Next weeks Jackpot is €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1,000.
Talk on Davin’s boat for Historical AGM
Fethard Historical Society will hold their AGM on Tuesday next, 27th March, in the Abymill Theatre at 8pm and everyone interested in the heritage of Fethard are welcome to attend. The coming year promises to be very exiting indeed for Fethard as the Heritage Council has agreed to fund an in-depth Conservation Plan for the full circle of the Town Wall.
Liffey Press, with Heritage Council funding, are producing a high quality book on the ‘Walled Towns of Ireland’ and, of course, Fethard will have its own chapter with much material supplied by the Historical Society. Failte Ireland are now also taking a keen interest in the town and with the active support of the South Tipperary County Council the people of Fethard can look forward to much improvement to the historic town over the coming years.
Maurice Davin’s ‘Cruiskeen’
After a short AGM, the Society are hosting a talk at 9.15pm, on the ‘Cruiskeen’ the famous rowing boat built and rowed to victory by Maurice Davin, the first President of the GAA. The talk will be given by Shay Hurley of the Workmen’s Boat Club in Clonmel. Shay has a keen interest in all matters relating to the River Suir and his ‘Boats, Cots, Punts & Wherries’ (Coracle press, 2004) on the notebooks left by Piltown boat builder Thomas Cuddihy is a gem of a book. The ‘Cruiskeen’ built in the late 1860s by Maurice Davin and his nine year old brother Pat has survived and its remarkable story and re-appearance will be recounted by Shay on the night. All are welcome to the lecture, fee is €3 and refreshments will be served afterwards.
On Tuesday 17th April, at 8.30pm, Gerard Crotty will give a talk on ‘Heraldry in the Fethard Area’. Gerard spoke to the Society in 1995 and his talk on heraldry and its symbolism proved fascinating. Gerard will now focus especially on plaques and shields from buildings and graveyards in the Fethard Area,
In June (provisional date Saturday 2nd June) Pat Looby, local artist will lead the Society on a coach outing to the high crosses of the South East of the country. The high crosses of Killamery, Ahenny and Kilkieran will be visited first and then the tour will travel to Castledermot and Moone in south Kildare. These trips, like all society events, are open to everyone and non-members and new members are always welcome.
Michael Philips stable, Ballyvaden, had two runners in the frame at Cheltenham last week. ‘Powerstation’ owned by the Fat Frog Syndicate ran 2nd in the Coral Cup and Killerk’s Cliff Wilkinson’s ‘Countess Trifaldi’ took 3rd spot in the 4 Mile National Hunt Chase. Fethard had a further connection with the Cheltenham festival through winner ‘Joes Edge’ bred by Mr Jim Barry, Coolmoyne. Jim also bred ‘Omerta’, twice a winner at Cheltenham. ‘Omerta’ provided Adrian Maguire with his first winner in England. Incidentally, both ‘Joes Edge’ and ‘Omerta’ were grand national winners. ‘Omerta’ having won the Irish Grand National and Joes Edge the Scottish equivalent.
Congratulations and well done to both Michael and Jim in maintaining the great tradition of Fethard horses in British national hunt racing.
Died in England
The death has occurred recently in England of Tommy Wall, formerly of The Green, Fethard. The late Tommy Wall left Fethard some sixty years ago as a young teenager. He never returned, not even to visit. Little was ever heard of him or from him and his only connection with his native town was through an old schoolmate, Philly McGrath, now returned from London and living in retirement in Cahir. Tommy Wall had an engaging personality as a schoolboy and those who remember him will regret hearing of his death. Interment took place in London.
The lowlands of Tullamaine have a number of unusual (for this area) but nevertheless very welcome winter visitors. Around fifty Whopper Swans have taken up residence there for the winter months. They need the marshy ground to feed on when their feeding grounds in their native Russia are frozen over. They arrive in November and stay where they land until March.
The Knockgraffon area holds vast amounts of Whoppers each winter. The get their name as they whoop like a pack of hounds in full cry when in flight. Our native swans are muter but tradition and mythology tells us they are alleged to sing before they die.
The spell on unseasonable wintry weather last week will remind us that previous generations were not too far wrong with the following saying:
“Button to chin, till May be in,
Cast not a clout, till May be out”
The Well Golf Society
Weather permitting, we hope to play Slievenamon Golf Club this coming Sunday 25th March. Tee off time is 11.30am and as always we ask members to arrive well in advance of tee off.
St. Patrick's Day
Well done to the teachers and those involved in organising the choir for St. Patrick’s Day. The 11am Mass celebrated in Holy Trinity Parish Church was enhanced by the singing from the children from Nano Nagle National School and St. Patrick's Boy's National School. It was also great to see the increased number of very smartly uniformed Fethard Boy Scouts and Fethard Girl Guides attending this year.
One question raised on the day was, when did the tradition of local national school children singing at the St. Patrick's Day mass start? Some have suggested it was a boys only choir started by the Patrician Brothers. John (Jackie) Maher from the USA said he remembers the Patrician Brothers school sang at the mass on St. Patrick's Day back in the 1940s. He said, “We rehearsed for weeks beforehand and sang the mass in gaelic.”
We would love to hear from any of our older readers who may remember from their own school days.
Social Dancing at Fethard Ballroom
For those interested in social dancing, who not come along to Fethard Ballroom on this Sunday night. Music by Brian McDermott and dancing is from 9pm to midnight. All are welcome.
Anyone for Cricket?
Some strangers were very surprised to walk into a bar in Fethard on Thursday last to see the customers roaring on the Irish cricket team. They asked if cricket was popular in the area only to be told that there was little or no interest, apart from a few British, Australian and New Zealand ex pats and a small number of local supporters (Mr and Mrs Kelly). The reason for the cheering was a monetary one. A Dublin man with Fethard roots waxed lyrical about how bad the Irish cricket team was. Asked to put his money where his mouth was working overtime, he agreed and offered odds of 100 to 1 on Ireland winning their match against Zimbabwe. One man wagered a euro. Another wagered five. The Dublin man then upped the odds to 150 to 1. A €10 bet was placed and then the Irish found form and started knocking the Zimbabwe team out, one by one, until it looked like the Irish were going to pull off a major upset and win the match.
The Dubliner went paler and paler, until the last minute when the match finished level. He stood to loose over €2000. It took a while to regain his composure, when he declared that he won the princely total of €26. He was a little quieter for the next match against Pakistan. Lucky for him, as the Irish team had a very happy St Patricks Day win. According to our resident cricket expert (Mr Kelly again), this win was about as expected as an Italian team beating Ireland in hurling. (VM)
Fethard GAA Club News
The Minor County Football League Division 2 final was played in Monroe on Sunday 18th March when we were outplayed in very difficult weather conditions by a Rocklow Rovers team that was stronger in all departments. They showed the difference between A and B teams in the county to deservedly take the plaque, which was presented by Football Board Chairman, Pete Savage. The final score was Fethard 0-4, Rocklow Rovers 2-7, it is interesting to note the half time score was Rocklow Rovers 2-7, Fethard 0-1, and the winners failed to raise a flag in the second half. Their defence were put to the test and held out the Fethard attack until five minutes to the end when we scored three points in the last few minutes. Maybe if we were able to break down there defence immediately when we had the wind in our backs we would certainly have been closer, with Alan Moloney 1-1, James Quigley 0-2, Stephen Byrnes 0-2, and Gavin Ryan 0-2 all scoring for Rockwell Rovers. They also got a goal from an og. The Fethard scores came from Eoin O Connell 0-1, Christopher Sheehan 0-1f, Alan O’Connor 0-1, and Dean Tobin 0-1. Those who gave of there best for Fethard were Cathal Gorey, Alan O’Connor, Adrian Lawrence, Dean Tobin, Christopher Sheehan and Eoin O’Connell. Team was: Ben Walsh, Gavin Fitzgerald, Cathal Gorey, Kieran O’Connell, Adrian Lawrence, Alan O’Connor, Dean Tobin, Declan Doyle, Chris Sheehan, Eoin O’Connell, Aaron Donovan, Thomas O’Connell, Mathew Fitzgerald, Eoin Condon, John Fleming. Subs used: Jack Sullivan and Kieran Ryan. We have no club fixture this weekend.
Club membership fees, Adult €25 and Juvenile €15, are now due. Please give same to Michael Dwyer (Chairman), Mary Godfrey (Secretary), Nicky O’Shea, or Noel Byrne (Treasurers) before 31st March. The County Board Draw is also coming up and we ask to please give your support to our promoters. On Friday 30th March medal presentations for current players and also the 1956 Killusty junior team will take place in the Fethard Arms commencing at 9.00pm
This week’s Lotto Jackpot €4100 was not won. The numbers drawn were: 4, 7, 23 and 25. There was no ‘match three’ winner so the following tickets won €30: Caroline Hogan (69 Fairfields Clonmel), Seamus Dorney (Woodvale Walk), Michael Dillon (Tullamaine), T J Sheehan (Killusty), The Ryan Sisters (Tullamaine). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Paul Fitzgerald (Kiltinan).
The numbers drawn last week were: 4, 9, 15 and 18. We had two match threes winners of €75 each to Theresa Walsh (Ballypatrick), and Niall O Dwyer (c/o Bob Fitzgeralds Clonmel). The €50 Lucky Dip going to Louis Coen (Killusty).
Badgers (over 30s soccer)
It’s that time again time to sit down and plan for the coming year. This past year has seen the club grow in numbers yet again and it seems a long way from the nights where we were lucky to have a three or four aside game. But there were some worrying times where too many players led to a tighter game and maybe some frustration as the games were not as free and open. So where do we go from here? It will be up to the members to decide at our next AGM which will be held on Friday night 30th March at 8pm in Burke's Bridge Bar lounge.
This is your chance to make your voice heard on topics you think are important, saying it on the field is no good. So get yourself to the meeting and be prepared to stick around for a while after and be sociable. If there is any specific topic that anyone would like to bring up for discussion on the night please contact the secretary before Wednesday 28th March. It is also hoped that the new shirts will be distributed at the game in the Killenaule astro turf on Wednesday 28th March, so please bring the extra euros required!
Fethard and Killusty Community Games
Just a reminder that county final of the under 14 quiz will take place this Friday night 23rd March in the Presentation Convent Secondary School, Thurles, at 7.30 pm. Table of four plus two subs may enter. Entries will be taken on the night. Teams may consist of either all girls, all boys or mixed and must reside in the area and be under 14 on the 31st July. We had four young ladies representing us last year who did very well and they might like to make a return journey on Friday and perhaps encourage some friends to join us for a great evenings entertainment.
The cross-country county final of will take place in Crokes Field, Thurles, on Friday 30th March
The county final of Art and Model Making will be held in Fethard Ballroom on Saturday 31st March. The area had a total of 140 entries in the local art competition with the majority of entries coming from Nano Nagle School, Fethard. We also had entries from St. Patricks Boys School, Presentation Patrician Secondary School, Killusty and Moyglass Primary Schools. We say a sincere thank you to all who competed and especially to the teachers and school secretaries, who were so supportive and helpful to us. The judging process is going ahead at the moment. Results will be published next week. Medals will be awarded to first three in each category and the first two in each event may compete in the county finals on 31st March.
Lourdes Table Quiz
The Secondary School Parents’ Association will hold a table quiz in the secondary school hall on Tuesday 27th March at 8.30pm. This quiz and raffle are in aid of the Lourdes Fund. Two students from 5th Year will travel with the Diocesan Pilgrimage in June as youth helpers. A good night's entertainment is promised, refreshments will be served and an invitation is extended to all.