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Saturday 03rd May 2008

Fethard’s Sister Town Relationship
Over thirty-five people came along to Fethard’s Tirry Community Centre on Friday 25th April to hear Dave Cummings and Mike Cahill speak about the similarities the Town of Saratoga has with Fethard and the benefits both would receive with the establishment of a sister town relationship. Fethard & Killusty Community Council convened the meeting, which commenced at 8pm.

Saratoga is a town in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 5,141 at the 2000 census. It is also the commonly used, but not official, name for the neighbouring and much larger city, Saratoga Springs. The major village in the Town of Saratoga is Schuylerville, which is often, but not officially, called Old Saratoga. The Town of Saratoga is located up-state New York on the eastern border of the county and is located east of Saratoga Springs, twenty-five miles north of Albany, three hours drive from New York City and three hours west of Boston.

Joe Kenny, chairman Fethard & Killusty Community Council, introduced guest speakers Mike and Dave and spoke of the tremendous advocate they both are for Fethard in Saratoga. Mike and Dave had both previously visited Fethard and are convinced that both towns are similar in many ways. They identified historical and equine links to work towards, including tourism, youth and economic development.

Dave went on to explain that the Town of Saratoga was the location of the ‘turning point’ battle of the American Revolutionary War when British General John Burgoyne surrendered to American General Horatio Gates at the end of the Battles of Saratoga. He said it was also a major dairy and equine centre. Dave has already identified ninety people mentioned in the parish records in the Town of Saratoga that are direct descendents of Tipperary people. Saratoga also has to offer numerous museums, art, dance, horseracing, kayaking, wind-surfing, historical buildings, old mills in particular, and five of the best golf courses in New York state.

Following addresses by our American guests, Cllr. Jimmy O’Brien spoke and extended a warm welcome and committed his wholehearted support to the initiative. Chairman of South Tipperary County Council, Cllr John Fahey, seconded what Cllr. O’Brien had said, and while acknowledging that there was a considerable commitment required from both sides, gave his backing to the project. Cllr. Fahey stated that the tourist potential of both horses and history was immense and that a twinning process could be facilitated by South Tipperary County Council as soon as the benefits to both communities were identified.

Maurice Moloney spoke and said there was a huge interest and support for the proposal and that the potential of the equine connection would be huge. The erection of signage on approach roads promoting the ‘Saratoga’ link would be phenomenal, particularly for American visitors to Coolmore.

Dave presented various items of interest from Saratoga to members representing the Community Council, Slievenamon Golf Club and Historical Society and offered an open invitation to anyone interested in visiting Saratoga. Various suggestions of possible links were taken from the floor following a question and answer session. The overall consensus from the meeting was very positive and for a start Fethard could organise a ‘tourist period’ spanning a few weeks where events and tours of local and neighbouring attractions could be organised to promote tourism and facilitate visitors to the area. It was also suggested to create links between young people in Saratoga and Fethard who would exchange videos and documentary to promote economic development in both locations.

At the conclusion of the meeting Mike Cahill was delighted to meet neighbours of his late cousin Eily Cahill from Coolmoyne and see many photographs of her when she was alive.
Attendance included: Joe Kenny, Dave Cummins, Mike Cahill, C.J. Harrington, Ger Manton, Edwina Newport, Brendan Kenny, Suzanna Manton, Marie Murphy, Tony Newport, Joe Ahearne, Margaret Flanagan, Roseanne O’Carroll, Mary Cummins, Dave Harris, John O’Flynn, Colm McGrath, Terry Cunningham, David Woodlock, Maurice Moloney, John Slattery, Cllr John Fahey (Chairman South Tipperary County Council), Cllr Susan Meagher, Cllr Jimmy O’Brien, Tim Robinson, Brian Sheehy, Herbert Schubert, Abby Schubert, Austin Godfrey, Mary Godfrey, Sean Moloney, Willie Quigley, Fionnuala O’Sullivan, Jimmy O’Sullivan and Marie Crean.

Fethard Bridge Club
We played the fourth and final round of our Player of Year competition on 23rd April and the results were:
1st Gross: Nell Broderick and David O’Meara;
2nd Gross: Carmel Condon and Brendan Kenny;
1st Nett: Patty Tobin and Mary Tobin;
2nd Nett: Suzanne Opray and Ellen Rochford.
On 7th May we play for the Lucey Trophy, and on 14th May we play for our President’s Prize. Anyone looking for a partner please contact Berney Myles at 32038.

Administration Committee for Fethard’s Town Hall and Town Wall
The steering committee formed on 31st January 2007 to oversee the Conservation and Management Plan for Fethard met on Friday last, 25th April, in the Tirry Community Centre to discuss the composition and form required to apply the 2008 grant of €193,000 awarded for the ongoing conservation of the Town Wall in Fethard and €57,000 designated for a feasibility study for the Tholsel (Town Hall).

The group now functions as the Fethard Plans Administration Committee under the umbrella of Fethard & Killusty Community Council and is made up of the following members: Chairman, Hugh O'Brien (Forward Planning Section South Tipperary County Council); Secretary, Tim Robinson (Fethard Historical Society); Treasurer, David Gleeson (Coolmore); Seamus Maher (South Tipperary County Council & Irish Walled Towns Network chairman); Terry Cunningham (Rural Tourism Adviser, Teagasc); Joe Kenny (Fethard & Killusty Community Council); Peter Grant (Fethard & Killusty Community Council); Jimmy Kearns (AIB); Ann Ryan (Community & Enterprise South Tipperary County Council); Dóirín Saurus (Fethard Historical Society); Pat Looby (Fethard Historical Society), Eoin Powell (Fethard Area Engineer); Cllr John Fahey; and Barry O'Reilly.
In view of the fact that the Plans Administration Committee remit may at some time extend to the implementation of the Public Realm proposal it was concluded that representatives from the relevant organisations and agencies be added to the contact list. These will include: Damian O'Brien (Failte Ireland); Liam O'Brien (FÁS); Heritage Council; OPW; County Museum and Church of Ireland.
In view of the fact that the centre of Fethard is a recorded monument and any works to it will necessarily involve the whole community, it was concluded that the Plans Administration Committee (PAC) might best be constituted as a sub-group of Fethard & Killusty Community Council from whom it should derive its authority. The proposal for an officially embedded sub-committee will be put formally before the Community Council.

The Chairman reported that the Public Realm Plan is due to be delivered by James Hennessy of the Paul Hogarth Company in the week commencing Monday 5th May and that the Conservation and Management Plan for the Town Wall is due to be delivered by Oxford Archaeology in the week commencing Monday 28th April. Both these plans must then be presented immediately thereafter in a public meeting for any final comments and adjustments.
It was concluded that the tender documents must be sent out as soon as possible so that consultants can be appointed by the end of May to implement the capital works programme for 2008.

The feasibility study should commence as soon as practicable, however, details of this need to be agreed with the Heritage Council. The works to the Town Wall should commence as soon as practicable to make the most of the summer weather. All works must be completed before 31st November 2008. This gives a window of six months commencing 1st June.
The next meeting will be held in mid-May date to be decided.

Clean-Up of Fethard Walking Route
In conjunction with An Taisce's premier Annual anti-litter campaign 'National Spring Clean' a clean up of Fethard's favourite walking route around Ballybough was organised again this year. The same area was covered as last year: Rathcoole to Fethard and Fethard to the Rocklow Road via Ballybough, in all six miles of ditches. Last year 30 bags of rubbish were collected and this year, unfortunately, it was not much less at 25 bags! Waste that was collected comprised of the usual plastic drinks bottles, coke/beer cans, glass spirit bottles, nappies, sandwich packets, take-away wrappers, plastic coat hangers and an assortment of other rubbish. All of the rubbish that was collected appeared to have been thrown out of people's cars!
After registering with An Taisce (01-4002219) for the Spring Clean, the Environmental Awareness Officer in South Tipperary County Council (Bernadette 1800 202627) agreed to accept the bags at the Donohill Tip Head near Dundrum.

Badgers are Back
Badgers Over 30's Soccer Club is now back at their home ground in the Community Field from Wednesday 7th May. Normal time of 8pm kick off, so please come along early to set up and warm up. Our Annual General Meeting will take place in Butlers Sports Bar on Friday 9th May at 7.30pm. There will be the usual refreshments afterwards so please come early and stay late.

St. Vincent De Paul
The Society of St. Vincent De Paul wish to announce the annual holiday for Senior Citizens is in Carne, County Wexford from 31st May to 6th June, 2008. Application forms available from the Secretary Denis Burke, Phone 31852.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on Wednesday 23rd April were: 3, 4, 29 and 30. We had no Jackpot winner and no ‘Match 3’ winner. Three tickets were drawn and the following won €50 each:
Liam Hayes, Red City, Fethard;
Willie Fitzpatrick, c/o Esther Breen;
Senna Coen, Fethard.
The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Dermot Darcy, St. Patricks Place, Fethard;
John Russell, Drangan;
Carol Kenny, The Green, Fethard.
Next week’s Jackpot continues at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1000.

Tea Day for Alzheimer’s Society
The Fethard & District Day Care Centre will host a Tea Day on Thursday next 1st May for the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland. It will be held at the Tirry Centre in Barrack Street between 10am and 12.30pm. Please come along and support this very worthy cause.

Chairman’s Reception for Fethard
The Cathaoirleach of South Tipperary County Council, Cllr John Fahey, has awarded Fethard Day Care Centre and Community Council a ‘Chairman’s Reception’ in the Council Chamber, Aras an Chontae, Clonmel, on Wednesday 30th April 2008 at 6pm. Cllr Fahey is a regular visitor to the Tirry Centre in Fethard and is very impressed with all the community services provided there.

Wasting Time with People!
Best wishes to Alice Leahy, TRUST Director and Co-Founder, whose new book ‘Wasting Time with People?’ was launched by Pat Kenny on Tuesday 29th April at City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin.
The book, compiled and edited by Alice, is dedicated to James McCormick and Frank Purcell.

The late Prof. James McCormick was an inspirational figure in Irish medicine, somebody who changed the lives of the many patients, students and colleagues who met him. In his long working life he was a family doctor, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Community Health in Trinity College, Dublin, founding President of the Irish College of General Practitioners, chairman of the Eastern Health Board, author of many seminal papers and books on medicine, and long-time chairman of TRUST. Pomp and ceremony were not his thing: James preferred the currency of truth and companionship. This wisest of owls is now gone, but there remains a tree full of legacies that all who knew him cherish dearly.

The late Frank Purcell grew up in Fethard, Co. Tipperary but spent most of his adult life in Dublin. He was passionate about Gaelic games, horse racing and motor sports. He played football for his local club, Moyle Rovers, and also for the Tipperary minor football team. He worked all his life in the motor trade in Dublin, winning the Bosch European Salesman of the Year Award in the late 1970s. He was a very successful businessman and was once described by a colleague as “one of life's true gentlemen”. He knew of the work of TRUST and was a great friend of the organisation.

Alice was recently interviewed by Eamon Dunphy and featured on his ‘Conversations with Eamon Dunphy’ radio programme broadcast by RTE on 19th April. The programme is available as a podcast from the RTE website.

Fethard GAA Club News
In Minor A Football over the last week we played two games. The first was on Wednesday 23rd April in Cloneen against Moyle Rovers, losing on a scoreline, Fethard 1-6, Moyle Rovers 3-10. It was the misfortune off conceding 3 goals and 6 points in the opening half that made our uphill battle in the second half almost impossible. But to be fair to our boys, they knuckled down and in the second half scored 1-4 to the opposition’s 0-4, showing a big improvement on the opening half. Best on the night was James Kelly, Adi Lawrence, Dean Tobin, Eoin O’Connell, Alan Lawrence and Daniel Hickey who was making his debut. Team was: J P McGrath, Gavin Fitzgerald, James Kelly, Kieran O’Connell, Thomas O’Connell, Adi Lawrence, Jerome Ahearne, Aaron O’Donovan, Dean Tobin 1-0, Jonathan Fleming, Eoin O’Connell 0-2, Alan Lawrence 0-3, Daniel Hickey 0-1, Glen Maher and Kieran Ryan. Subs were Brian Delahunty and Eoin Healy.

As the championship is run on a League basis we bounced back on Saturday 26th April with quite a few missing and only making the required fifteen by half time, we overcame Clonmel Commercials on a score, Fethard 4-9, Commercials 1-10. The first half was fairly evenly balanced and we led at the break by a point with a great goal from Frankie Donovan leaving the score, Fethard 1-4 to Commercials 0-6. But it was in the second half we turned on the style with our young and tenacious players coming very much to the fore scoring 3-5 to Commercials 0-6, with the goals coming from Adi Lawrence, one from a penalty from Dean Tobin who also got a great goal from play.
This game saw the return of Christopher Sheehan after a long lay off due to injury. His appetite for the game was a tower off strength to all, The full back line of Gavin Fitzgerald, James Kelly and Kieran O’Connell all played a great game and others that shone on the night were: Dean Tobin, Adi Lawrence, Tomas O’Connell, Eoin O’Connell and Frankie Donovan. The team was: JP McGrath, Gavin Fitzgerald, James Kelly, Kieran O’Connell, Thomas O’Connell 0-1, Adi Lawrence1-1, Jerome Ahearne, Aaron Donovan, Dean Tobin 2-0, Jonathan Fleming, Eoin O’Connell 0-3, Frankie Donovan 1-1, Brian Delahunty, Chris Sheehan 0-2, and Eoin Fitzgerald 0-1. Subs used were Eoin Healy for Brian Delahunty, Tommy Sheehan for Eoin Fitzgerald.

This win puts us on three points out of a possible six with a reasonably good chance of making the final three. We await and will see after exams. We wish all our boys who are sitting their Leaving Certificate exam the very best of luck.
The senior footballers are back in action on Sunday 4th May at 3.30pm in Kilsheelan with a South Senior Championship game against Moyle Rovers.

The Lotto Jackpot €9,700 was not won. The numbers drawn were 16, 23, 24 and 30. We had two match three winners who received €75 each: Michael Black (Drom, Templemore), and Josie Fitzgerald (Kiltinan, Fethard). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Bernie Byrne (Claremore, Fethard). We thank Fethard & District Credit Union for supplying the tickets.


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