Fethard Medieval Festival best yet!
National Walled Towns Day was celebrated in style in Fethard on Sunday 22nd August. Over two thousand people came from all parts of Ireland, and further afield, to attend the medieval festivities by Fethard’s Valley park set in the shadow of the old Town Wall, where our forefathers used also sport and play over eight hundred years ago. This, our fourth annual Medieval Festival, was declared the ‘most successful yet’, helped immensely by great weather.
Again, the Town Wall along by the Clashawley was ablaze with colours of flags and family shields of the Norman families that first came and founded the actual town over 800 years ago. Liam Mannix, Project Manager Irish Walled Towns Network at The Heritage Council, and also Alison Harvey (Heritage Council of Ireland) — a great friend of all things 'Fethard' — attended the festival and were truly impressed with the medieval frolics in the Town. The Heritage Council also sent a TV crew to film sections of the events which will be later available on their website www.heritagecouncil.ie Our thanks again to the Heritage Council and South Tipperary County Council who helped part-fund the event with the local Medieval Festival Committee comprising of members of Fethard Historical Society and Fethard & Killusty Community Council.
This year’s festival kicked off on Saturday with the opening of the ‘Fired by Bees’ ceramic exhibition by local artist Dóirín Saurus in the Town Hall and was followed at 6.30pm by a guided tour of the Medieval Town by Mary Hanrahan of the Historical Society. At 8pm, Tony Newport launched Michael O’Donnell’s book ‘Fethard County Tipperary 1200-2000’ in the Abymill to a full house. Following this tremendously successful event those with energy retired to McCarthy’s Marquee to hear the unique singing and songs of John Spillane from Cork, who was supported by Laura Rice from Brookhill.
Sunday was simple magnificent, the sun shone to all our delight, the people came and a great show awaited them starting on the Square where the Fayreweather Band entertained the gathering spectators and participants of the Medieval Fancy Dress Parade. It was again great to see ninety-seven year old Nellie Shortall arriving in full medieval attire at the parade with chauffeur Sean Ward. I don’t think Nellie has missed a parade in all her time living in Fethard.
The very colourful parade, marshalled by Tony Hanrahan, made its way to the Town Wall via Main Street to loud applause from the spectators as they passed.
The Valley looked great in the sunshine. All the work of the Tidy Towns, County Council staff and locals was a joy to behold along with the great flags fluttering in the wind overlook the Town Wall decorated with the Norman family shields, well it surely made a pretty picture. The afternoons entertainment provided by medieval re-enactors, childrens activity tents, craft stalls, fun and games, archery, dog show, bird displays, food stalls, exhibitions, music was continuously enjoyed by huge crowds of all ages, making it our most successful festival to date.
Medieval Fancy Dress Costume Prizewinners. Adults: 1st Prize - Niamh Hayes, Burke Street; 2nd Prize - Lena O’Connell, The Valley; and 3rd Prize – Willie O’Meara, Killusty.
Children: 1st Prize – Roisín McDonnell, Ard Alainn; 2nd Prize – Cassie Needham, Slievenamon Close; and 3rd Prize – Bríd Kenny, Nenagh.
Winner of ‘Ye Olde Picture Quiz’ was: Jack Spillane, Tullamaine
Children’s Art Competition winners: 1st Prize: Philip Crowe, Tipperary; 2nd Prize: Shannon Thompson, Fethard.
Dog Show Results
Best Large Dog. 1st: Megan Coen with ‘Ali’; 2nd: Chelsea Kenny with ‘Daisy’; and 3rd: Paddy Nolan with ‘Duke’.
Best Small Dog. 1st: Philip Keane with ‘Zoe’; 2nd: Amy Morrissey with ‘Fifer’; 3rd: Bailey Gavin with ‘Ebony’; 4th: Nora Lawerence with ‘Duke’.
Dog Most Likely to Take Home. 1st: Natalie Saunders with ‘Tuffy’; 2nd: Una Shanahan with ‘Susan’; 3rd: Harry English with ‘Boo’.
Best Groomed Dog. 1st: Robbie Noonan with twins ‘Ruby’ and ‘Poppy’; 2nd: Sally Nagle with ‘George’; 3rd: Tony O’Reilly with ‘Speedy’.
Best Dog in Medieval Attire. 1st: Zoe Stokes with ‘Elvis’; 2nd: Adrian Kaye with ‘Rocco’.
Show Champions: ‘Ruby’ and ‘Poppy’
Raffle Winners: 1st, Lamb suitable for deep freeze (Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard); 2nd, Meal for Two and Bottle of Wine at McCarthys Restaurant (Cathy Dineen, Bennettsbridge, Co. Kilkenny); 3rd, €50 Voucher for Sadels Restaurant (Darragh Doyle, c/o 10 Strylea, Fethard); 4th, Gift Hamper from O’Sullivan’s Chemist (Ann Walsh, Jossestown, Fethard); 5th,Voucher for Lonergan’s Restaurant (Katie Murphy, Coleman, Fethard); 6th, Two Pictures from Carrolls Framing (Eamon Walsh, Fedamore, Co. Limerick); 7th, Voucher for Wash & Blow Dry at Mandy’s Hair Salon (Philip Butler, Main Street, Fethard).
We take this opportunity to thank the Civil Defence for their voluntary help and attendance at the Festival; Fethard Ballroom for their use of tables and chairs; Fethard Scouts for their tents; Rev. Barbara Fryday and her many helpers for their wonderful co-operation and support over the weekend’s events; to Liam Daly, Barry Purcell, Jimmy O’Shea, Pat Carroll, Jimmy O’Sullivan for their help in providing essential facilities; to Pat Culligan and Catherine Kearney who organised our first hugely successful Dog Show; to all the local organisations that participated and helped on the day; our very wet young volunteers who lived on the edge of the ‘Dunk Tank’ for hours; and, of course, our local sponsors of prizes for dog show and raffle. This year was great – next year will be even better!
Fethard History Book Launched
The Abymill Theatre was the launch venue for Michael O'Donnell's 557 page history of the town, ‘Fethard, Co. Tipperary 1200–2000’. The book, the result of a lifetime of detailed study, is truly a great gift to the town and now Fethard must rank as also 'the best-informed small town in Ireland’. The book, selling fast, is now on sale in Newports Newsagency shop for €40.
The night, hosted by The Fethard Historical Society, opened with welcomes in Irish, French and Welsh - the three languages that would have been heard in Fethard when it was founded back in 1200.
Michael, when he spoke, listed out all the histories of a Fethard interest that have now been written and he also presented a copy of his book to the three schools in the parish.
Tony Newport, in launching the book, ranged over many aspects of Fethard's past and regaled the full house audience with 'tall tales' and anecdotes that probably did happen but even if they didn't, they surely made great entertainment!
Then a 'big spread', catered by Louise Pattison, was available in a marquee erected beside the Abymill where John Birmingham provided wonderful music and song before and after the launch. All in all, a night to remember.
Jon Kenny appearing at the Abymill Theatre
Jon Kenny is back and better than ever and will be performing his brand new show in the Abymill Theatre in Fethard on Saturday 18th September.
His new show, ‘Jon Kenny Live’ heralds a return to the type of work that gave him the reputation as one of the most talented comedians in Ireland. Formally one half of the hugely successful duo, d'Unbelievables, Jon Kenny is a multi talented actor, stand-up comedian, musician and singer who uses the changing face of contemporary Ireland as the scaffold on which to build his hilarious observations and characters in this new show. Running through such contrasting experiences as supporting Munster rugby to visiting a health spa, Jon takes no prisoners and delights in emphasizing the humour in everyday life.
Tickets for Jon Kenny at the Abymill on Saturday 18th September are now available at €20 each from McCarthy’s (052) 6131149 or O’Flynn’s Menswear (052) 6131254.
Paul Barrett Benefit Fund
A Table Quiz will be held in Butlers Sports Bar on this Friday 27th August at 9pm sharp, proceeds in aid of the Paul Barrett Benefit Fund. This is an opportunity for Paul’s local community to show their support for Paul and his family at this difficult time. Table of four costs €40 and further details can be had from Dinny Burke (6131852) or Gus Fitzgerald (6131354) who are pre-selling tickets for the quiz.
Best wishes to Jimmy O’Brien who will open his new business ‘Meat At The Square’ on Friday next, 27th August. This premises will open from Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to 6pm and will offer a wide range of meat and meat products. The official opening will take place at 11am on Friday. An open invitation is extended to the people of Fethard and surrounding areas to attend.
Fethard Ballroom support Pakistan
Fethard Ballroom committee would like to thank everyone who supported their dance on Sunday 15th August all proceeds of which were donated to the Pakistan relief fund following devastating floods triggered by a week of torrential monsoons that put one-fifth of the South Asian nation under water and are affecting up to 20 million people.
A Triduum in honour of St. Augustine will begin at The Augustinian Abbey on this Thursday 26th August. Mass and prayers to St. Augustine will be offered each evening, Thursday to Saturday, at 7.30pm. Fr. Francis Ahearne OSA will be guest speaker each evening. The 28th August is the feast day of St. Augustine.
A new ‘Fab Fitness’ morning class starts in The Ballroom, Fethard, to suit people dropping children to school or playschool. These classes are designed to suit all levels of fitness and everyone works within their own range. Those who wish have the option to weigh-in and stay for a chat about healthy living with some valuable tips and sound advice. Classes start Friday 3rd September with registration at 9.30am. Cost is €49 for 7 weeks. Contact Bridget O’Dwyer 087 6410352.
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on 11th August were: 7, 11, 15 and 31. We had no Jackpot winner and seven ‘Match 3’ winners who received €25 each: Johnny O'Dwyer, Strylea, Fethard; Yvonne Mulvihill (on-line ticket); D. O'Meara, c/o Tom Purcell; John Kenny, The Green, Fethard; Martin Leahy, Annsgift, Fethard; Alfie Brett, Rocklow, Fethard; and Tony Maher, c/o Arthur Daly.
The three ‘Lucky Dip’ winners won €50: Dermot Darcy, St. Patricks Place, Fethard; Michael Conway, St. Patricks Place, Fethard; and Margaret Kane, The Green, Fethard.
The numbers drawn on 18th August were: 2, 11, 22 and 26. We had no Jackpot winner and no ‘Match 3’ winner so the following drawn tickets received €50 each: Dick O'Brien, c/o Arthur Daly; Niall Connolly, c/o Eileen Connolly; and Paddy Grant, St. Patricks Place, Fethard.
The three ‘Lucky Dip’ winners won €50: Tricia Fitzgerald, Cloneen, Fethard; Nora O'Meara, Milestown, Cloneen; and Johnny O'Dwyer, Strylea, Fethard.
Remember you can purchase your lotto ticket online at fethard.com. Buy seven weekly tickets and get one free! Check on the website for lots of special offers. Next week’s Jackpot continues at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1000.
Rugby Training commences soon
Fethard Rugby Club training starts again on Friday 10th September with the minis starting at 6.45pm and older teams at 8pm.
Speech and Drama Classes
Speech and Drama Classes will take place in the Tirry Centre, Fethard, commencing Saturday 11th September. For bookings or further details contact Nancy Farrell at 086 3432526.