Walled Town Festival this weekend
Colourful ‘Family Day’
The Weekend of 22nd and 23rd August sees Medieval Fethard come alive like it never has before. The organisers have gone again for colour and pageantry and old style treats for all the family.
The main activity will again take place, on Sunday 23rd, down in The Valley in the shadow of the old Town Walls, a medieval urban setting that can not be equalled anywhere else in Ireland. Visitors are again expected from near and far, and hopefully the gods will once more favour the festival with great weather as in years before.
Saturday for openers
The weekend begins with the opening of ‘Fired by Colour’ ceramic exhibition in the Town Hall showing the work of Dóirín Saurus, Sarah Murphy, Liz O’Brien, Elke Wilson, Stella Kenna and Nuala Quirke, all of Crampscastle Pottery. The show opens at 4pm on Saturday 22nd August with a harp recital by Steve Haggerty of Kilcash. The exhibition will remain open in the Town Hall from Saturday 22nd August to Wednesday 26th August.
This event will be followed, at 5pm, by a Guided Tour of the Medieval Town for locals and visitors alike, with guide Mary Hanrahan.
Launch of Conservation and Management Plan
At 6.30pm on Saturday, a long awaited and important chapter will be written into Fethard history. Following nearly two year’s work and preparation, a ‘Conservation and Management Plan for the Medieval Town Walls of Fethard’ will be launched by Mr. John Bradley in The Abymill Theatre. This is a very thorough (and expensive) document commissioned by South Tipperary County Council in partnership with the Heritage Council through the Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) and completed by the consultancy firm Oxford Archaeology, from the city of the same name.
Their Head of Building Archaeology, Mr. Julian Munby will talk at 7pm on the findings and recommendations of the study. This report will now inform all future work on ‘The Wall’ and influence all developments along the line of the best-preserved town walls in the Republic. So it is a very important document indeed.
A reception and harp music will greet the people and it is hoped that a large attendance of townspeople will attend to hear at first hand what Mr Munby has to say about their medieval town.
The old Town Walls will start rocking after 8pm when Paul Brady’s solo Travellin’ Light Show kicks off at the back of McCarthy’s, open air by the Town Wall. It’s a while since Fethard had such a big-time event and the town should be buzzing for the occasion.
Paul Brady is touring venues across Ireland and outside the main-town gigs which he normally plays. Paul includes a vast repertoire in the show, playing songs from his forty years in the music business, visiting songs from his time with Planxty, The Johnsons, Andy Irvine as well as songs from his numerous solo albums. There are some tickets still available, priced at €37, from McCarthy’s in Fethard, Premier Music Store in Clonmel, or online at www.tickets.ie
Sunday promises to be a spectacle with more colour being added at every turn - from flags, to family shields, to tapestries, to Norman knights in shining armour and demur Irish ladies in their woollen ‘brats’.
Again, the day opens, at 11.30am, with the ‘Fired by Colour’ ceramic exhibition in The Tholsel (Town Hall), followed by live music in the Square beginning at 12 noon. It will not, however, be ‘square’ music as local youth bands, ‘Zero Tolerance’ and ‘Naked Mr America’ (winners of last year’s ‘Battle of the Bands’) will lash it out ‘til 2pm when the Medieval Parade takes off from the Town Hall.
The Fethard fancy dress parade was famous all over south Tipperary, and now its back again, but with a medieval twist. Prizes will again be given out to the best Adult and Children entries and those who push the medieval boat out to its colourful limits.
The Parade will be led by a ‘cheeky’ Trumpeter and a brace of Wolf hounds, and pride of place this year will go to the children and the Tapestry that is being created by approximately thirty-six of them in the Workshops that are taking place this week. The Knights, Ladies and Re-enactors will join in, and who knows who or what may turn up on the day.
The Valley Festival
Then it’s off down Main Street, turning left along the Clashawley and into The Valley where a tented village awaits. New additions this year will be a roasting pig and flying eagles, to join the Archery, the re-enactments, the Puppeteer, The Mandala, the Fortune Teller, Herbal Walks, food stalls and craft workers. There will even be an ‘Inquisition’, where - we are told anyway - you can win a prize as opposed to loose your head. And there should be ‘tests of skill’ for those with a keen eye and fast hands and legs and of course The Lee Valley String band will fill the Valley with music between 3 and 5pm.
Family Shields and Flags
As mentioned a few weeks back workshops are being held this week to paint the family shields of the descendants of the Norman families that came to Fethard from 1200 onwards. The Irish families- the Kennedys, O’Connors, Phelans, Ryans, O’Dwyers, McCarthys, O’Briens, McGraths, Mahers, O’Donnells, O’Neills, etc, will have their say next year when banners and flags will be created after their manner. The Irish chiefs and families did not take that readily to the introduced Norman heraldic system, although over time most Irish families had a ‘family crest’ attributed to them.
So if your family name is: Roche, Cromp, Desmond, Hackett, Wall, Mockler, Stokes, Tobin, Purcell, Butler, Everard, Neville, Shorthall, Prendergast, Walsh, Sinnot, Bermingham, Archdekin, Grant, Bray, Power, Grace, Burke, Hayes, Barrett, Mandeville, Nevin, Condon, Russell, Laffan, Netterville, Burden, Carbery, Stapleton, Dalton, Carew, Maunsell, Devereaux, Archer, Collier, Landy, Fanning, Cantwell, Keating, du Fresne, Tyrell, Cussin, Morris, Scadan — then please contact us at email@example.com or phone (052) 6131000, there might still be time left to get involved and have your family represented. There is no cost involved and the plan is to hang the shields on the Town Wall for this and future festivals.
Fethard Medieval Walled Town Festival 2009
This is the third year of the festival where South Tipperary County Council, The Heritage Council and the local community have come together to provide a genuine family day out where fun and laughter and chat are the number one priority. For further information on this year’s events visit: www.fethardfestival.com
There is one further ‘item’ of great interest in transit to Fethard, but until it reaches our shores we cannot be sure that it will appear. Suffice is to say that we all could strike gold if and when it does appear. Enough said!
As with every community event, voluntary help is crucial to its success. If you would like to help out at this year’s medieval festival, especially by the Town Wall on Sunday, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact (052) 6131000 and we will get back to you. We need help on our entertainment stalls and also during the parade – we have a lot of Irish Wolfhounds and each needs a handler! If you’re good with dogs be sure to let us know.
Childrens Colouring Competition Closing Date
A drawing by Tom Tierney of thirteenth-century nobility was chosen as this year’s Fethard Town Wall Medieval Festival colouring competition for 6 year olds and over.
A reminder to all those children who are interested in entering this Colouring Competition that completed entries must be submitted to the Community Office, Barrack Street, or Newport’s Newsagency by 4pm on tomorrow, Friday 21st August, 2009. Please make sure to put your name, age, address and telephone number on reverse. We would like to advise that the use of crayons, markers, colouring pencils and paint is permitted and that copies of the image (A4 size) can be downloaded from www.fethardfestival.com or are still available from Newport’s Newsagency and the Tirry Community Centre.
Legendary Loudest Whisper
Loudest Whisper will make a welcome return visit to Butler's Bar, Fethard, on Friday 28th August, when they play their unique blend of Folk/Rock music. The band is considered ‘Legendary’ in many quarters and should not to be missed.
Is your bird missing?
A Turquoise/Blue Budgie has been found alive and well in a garden in Fethard. If you are the owner, please make local enquiries or email email@example.com for further details.
Fethard GAA Club News
Fethard Senior Footballers will contest the South Final for the seventh time in ten years, when they renew their old rivalry with Moyle Rovers, having come through the semi-final in Clonmel on Friday 14th August. The final score was Fethard 1-13; Cahir 0-12. Best for Fethard was Cian Maher, Benny Hahessy, Kenneth O’Donnell, Eoin Doyle, John Paul Looby and Brian Coen. Fethard Team: Paul Fitzgerald, Tommy Gahan, Michael Aherne, Ian Kenrick, Tomás Keane, Damien Byrne, Cian Maher, Benny Hahessy (0-1), Jamie McCormack, Kenneth O’Donnell (0-1), Eoin Doyle, Shane Aylward, John Paul Looby, Jason Nevin (0-1), Brian Coen (0-10; 6f). Subs used: Michael Dillon, Declan Doyle for Jamie McCormack (injured) and John Fitzgerald.
The Annual Church Gate Collection for the Fethard GAA Club takes place on this coming weekend, August 22nd and 23rd. We would like to thank all our readers for their continued support to the club. We would also like to inform that the following competitions, in which Fethard are involved, are still in progress: Senior Football – South and County; Intermediate Hurling – South Semi-Final; Junior A Football – South Quarter or Semi-Final; Minor B – Hurling.
Fethard and Killusty Ladies Football Club
Fethard and Killusty Ladies Football Club would like to inform members that training has resumed for all underage players on Saturday morning at 11am in the GAA Field.
Also, the Under 13 Championship will commence on the 5th of September.
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on 12th August were 3, 10, 11 and 26. We had no Jackpot winner and no ‘Match 3’ winners. Three tickets were drawn to win €50 each:
Nellie Ryan, St. Patrick’s Place;
Catherine Kearney, The Green; and
Peg Gleeson, Coolmore.
The three following Lucky Dip winners received €50 each:
Chris O’Dwyer, Strylea, Fethard;
Phil Tobin, Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard; and
Corina Roe, Monkstown, Dublin.
Next week’s Jackpot continues at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1000.
You can now also play our lotto online from your own computer by visiting www.fethard.com/lotto.