Fethard Medieval Festival this weekend,
Friday, August 17, to August, Sunday 19
The 6th annual Fethard Medieval Festival is on this weekend and will be every bit as colourful, if not even more so, than in previous years. The Fethard festival is now regarded as ‘the daddy of all medieval festivals’ as scores of people get decked out in medieval attire and the location of the Festival Fair on Sunday 19 – along by the Town Wall and the Clashawley River – is without doubt the most ‘atmospheric’ in the whole country.
The highlight of Festival weekend is the Parade, at 2pm, on Sunday from the Town Hall to the Valley Park where a tented village miraculously appears for the day. The parade has bands, wolfhounds, Wobbly Circus, Humpty Dumpty, lots of knights and ladies and then a host of ‘camp followers’ who seem to just turn up and join in the fun. There is always the added bonus of winning the Best Costume Competition. There are three prizes for Adults and three for Children: Best Lady €25, Best Man €25, Most Original Group €50 and €20, €10 and €10 for Children.
Carnival Fair in The Valley Park
There really is something for everyone in the Carnival Fair by the Town Wall on Sunday afternoon. The re-enactors strut their stuff, a folk-rock band ‘Hudwink’ from Drogheda, lashes it out, the Wheel of Fortune spins out the winning numbers and the Dunking Tank never runs short of wet-shirt volunteers.
The Dog Show, sponsored by Killusty Pony Show, at 3.30pm has a place for all shapes and size of dog and this year a new historical prize for ‘Best Irish Native Breed’ is being added. The Dog Show has proved very popular in previous years - with young and old alike - so it is a great bit of family fun and with a competitive edge thrown in for good measure. So, if you want to boast that your dog is the fairest in the land, well then festival Sunday afternoon in the Valley Park is your chance to prove your point. All the usual class prizes will be up for grabs again this year: (1) Best Large Dog, (2) Best Small Dog, (3) Dog You Would Like To Take Home, (4) Best Groomed Dog, (5) Best Tail Wagger, (6) Best Dog in Medieval Attire, (7) Best Dog of an Irish Native Breed.
Then there is a large activity tent for children, with Art and Craft and Bio-diversity activity. The ever popular Falconer returns as does the real Hog Roast and Joe Channon brings his full scale forge that practices a trade that is as old as time.
The children’s ‘Humpty Dumpty on Fethard Wall’ art completion will be judged and Humpty himself will dish out the money prizes being sponsored by T Hennessy Spar in Fethard. (Entries to Community Office, Tirry Centre, (052) 6131000, by 1pm.
This year Wolfhound Archaeology are coming with their major four tented ‘hands on’ archaeology exhibit where the children – and adults – can get dug in and start looking for lost treasure or even a skeleton or two! This ‘roadshow’ is a major coup for the festival and should prove a big hit with young and old alike.
Food, Crafts, Games, Pet Farm
Then there are Craft stalls and demonstrations, a stone mason making a ‘Sheela na Gig’, stick makers, wood carvers, a silversmith hand-striking the Fethard Coin, a hand drummer giving workshops ,an ABC Quiz, a Raffle and games and ‘try your hand’ stands of all sorts. Lastly, but not least, there are food stalls,BBQ stall, an ice cream stall, Tea/Coffee stalls and the aforementioned Hog-roast of course.
The Big Tipp-Kilkenny Match on a Big Screen
For those you want to watch the match in a family friendly place, the new state of the art Youth Centre near the Fair will show the match (free) in their Mini Cinema and of course the nearby bars will all be glad to see you as well.
Family Shield Book Launch on Saturday Night
Saturday night, 18th, sees the launch of ‘Heraldic Memorials in Fethard’ a book by Gerard Crotty that lists and explains twenty four ‘Family Memorials/Plaques’ that are to be found in the old buildings in Fethard, i.e. in the The Town Hall, old Holy Trinity Church, Augustinian Abbey and one (to Robert St. John) in St. Johnstown Castle.
The full list of names is: Everard, Roche, Butler, Hackett, Rokel, Jolly, Tobin, St. John, Fitzgerald, Barton, Wale (Wall), Sankey, Cooke, Purefoy, Poe, Frend, Palliser, Carran (Curran) and Meagher and some other unusual ones. For instance in Holy Trinity Church there is a stone slab of the arms of King Henry VIII of England which indicates that Fethard was of some importance to the English realm at the time.
All and every citizen of Fethard and area are very welcome to the launch on Saturday night, at 8pm, in old Holy Trinity Church where many of the memorials are situated. The launch is being hosted by the Fethard Historical Society and further details can be got on www.fethardfestival.com
Barton Wine Connection
Fethard has many other world-wide connections, continuing on to the present day of course, but for two hundred years the great Baron wineries of Bordeaux were one and the same family as the Bartons of Grove here in Fethard. This connection will be honoured in word - and deed - on the night, especially since the Barton family are still very much in ownership of their wine estates just outside Bordeaux in South West France.
Children’s Art Competition
Many of the ‘Humpty Dumpty on Fethard Town Wall’ masterpieces are already completed but there is still time (up to Friday, August 17) for the children of the area to get their pencils and brushes out and create a possible winner in the art competition.
The organisers of the festival are delighted that they can offer nine very handsome cash prizes due to the great sponsorship of Tom Hennessy Spar in Fethard. There are three prizes in each of the three categories: (A) Under 8 Years, 1st €20, 2nd €10, 3rd €10; (B) 8-12 years and (C) 13-18 Years, so there is a good chance of being in the money!
Historical and Silent Tours to Secret Places
On Friday afternoon, Backs to the Wall Tours (.com) have a guided historical tour at 2.30pm. Meet up at the new Youth Centre by Madams Bridge, no need to book, just turn up, fee for Adults is €5 and children go free.
A Silent Tour to Fethard’s Secret Places takes place on Saturday at 3pm. This is all a bit mysterious, will again take about one and a half hours and you go where you are led and wait and see what happens. See fethardfestival.com for booking details and latest information on all events of the festival over the weekend.
‘Green / Barrack Street Reunion’ this Saturday
60 page booklet commemorating The Green and Barrack Street
The Green & Barrack Street Reunion will take place on this coming Saturday night, August 18, at 9pm in the old Convent Hall. The evening will be informal and consist of wine reception, buffet, refreshments and display of old photographs. Tickets (limited) for this event are €10 and price includes a copy of a 60 page booklet with commemorating The Green and Barrack Street, published in conjunction with the reunion and sponsored by Fethard & Killusty Community Council. For tickets contact Niamh Kenny, Centra, The Green. Tel: 086 1940016.
Informal Walk to revive memories
An informal 'Walk around The Green & Barrack Street' will take place in the afternoon to revive some memories of residents in the past. This will take place around 4.30pm and anyone is welcome to join in.
Mass for deceased residents of The Green and Barrack Street
Saturday night Mass, at 7.30pm in the Augustinian Abbey will also be offered for all deceased residents from The Green and Barrack Street. All are more that welcome to come along and remember those residents now past on.
Holy Year Cross Pilgrimage to Slievenamon
After a slight bit of confusion and misunderstanding the pilgrimage to the Holy Year Cross went ahead as planned last Sunday. Conditions were wet underfoot and while there were concerns for people’s safety our climbers are a hardy bunch so would take more than a few showers to dampen their enthusiasm. Rosary was recited at the Mass rock for those who were unable to make the climb, and when the walkers returned, Mass was celebrated by Fr Anthony McSweeney.
We must say a few words of thanks to those who made this day possible, firstly to the O’Donnell family, not just for their effort on the day, but for all the work they put in during the last few weeks. Thanks once again to the Fethard Boy Scouts for the use of their marquee, and also to the lads who erected the crosses. A special word of thanks to all those who led the Rosary during the climb, to our Mass celebrant Fr McSweeney, and finally, to all who came to celebrate this special day and for keeping the tradition alive. Next year we hope to reorganise the Holy Year Cross Committee and anyone who wishes to be involved are more than welcome.
Killusty Pony Show to feature on RTE Nationwide
This year’s 50th Anniversary Killusty Pony Show will feature on RTE’s Nationwide programme on Friday, August 17. The 50th show, held on July 7, enjoyed fantastic weather and included a lot of extra events and displays to mark this special event. A ‘history tent’ told the show’s story in photographs since that first show was held in 1962. Many were intrigued to see so many familiar faces that had started their equestrian (and other) careers in the ring at Killusty. Local primary schools Art competition entries were also on display. The dog show was judged this year by Roz Purcell well-known local elegant model.
There will be another opportunity to see the display of photographs from the past Killusty Shows when they are put on display in Holy Trinity Church of Ireland on the Saturday and Sunday of Fethard Medieval Festival, this coming weekend.
Flash Floods in Fethard
On Monday, August 13, Fethard experienced its worst flooding in many years when, after heavy rainfall overnight, the Clashawley burst its banks and caused severe flooding in the Valley area. A wall opposite Glanbia Country Life store collapsed under the pressure and caused flooding on the Knockbrack Road. Houses at Abbeyville were also affected with some older residents claiming it was the worst flooding they could recall in Fethard since 1947.
The most obvious flooding was by Fethard Town Wall where floodlighting was completely submerged. This was also the site of the Annual Medieval Festival which is due to take place next weekend. Coincidently, this time last year when the Festival was due to take place, there wasn’t a drop of water flowing in the Clashawley.
Senior Citizens Outing
Reminding all members of Fethard Senior Citizens' Club, that our August outing will take place on Tuesday, August 21. Bus departs from the Main Street at 1pm.
Musical Society Hog Roast
Slievenamon Musical Society will hold a Hog Roast and BBQ in Cloneen Sports & Social Club on Saturday, August 18, at 9pm. Music by John and Eric, tickets €15. Great night guaranteed.
‘Buster’ Dog Race
Killusty soccer club and Cloneen Sports and Social club have joined forces to hold a ‘Buster’ dog race at Clonmel greyhound track on Sunday, September 2. Tickets at €10 are available from club members and proof of purchase on the night will get you half price admission to the races. This is the first fundraiser of its kind for both clubs and we ask for your continued support.
Juvenile GAA Club
Last Tuesday, our U12 football panel represented Tipperary in a tournament at Croke Park. It was a great club day and the children represented themselves, their families and club impeccably. Thanks to all the players, mentors and strong support group that enriched the whole experience of Croke Park. We had three generations of Hacketts there, Seamus and other members of the Hackett family travelled to mark the event with some travelling from different parts of the world displaying the tradition and pride associated with Fethard GAA.
We have been very fortunate this year to have very dedicated management with our U12s. Credit must go to Ronan Fitzgerald (assistant coach), Eddie Crotty and Ciarán O’Meara (coaches) and Brian Delahunty (coach/manager), who have taken their roles with true commitment to the kids, played by the rules, which sometimes made their roles very difficult, put a few parents and committee members in their place and always put their team first. Fethard GAA could do with more young coaches on board with this enthusiasm and dedication. A huge ‘thank you’ to all for what has been a really good year for the U12 football.
Now our U12 hurling panel will need to concentrate on their Group 3 semi-end Premier Hurling game against Clonmel Og which will be played this coming week. This is going to be a very difficult fixture to come away winners, as Clonmel Og have trounced any team that they have played in Group 3 this year. So Fethard, lets all get out there and support our team, give them encouragement and show how proud Fethard is of our young GAA players. Details will be on Facebook and text sent to all GAA members whose contact number we have.
Kellogg’s Cúl Camp 2012 the biggest yet, will be starting in Fethard on Monday, August 20, running through to Friday, August 24, from 9.30am until 2.30pm each day. We are still looking for help with lunchtime supervision, so if any parent has an hour to spare, one day in this week, please let Ann know on 086 8963925.
We would like to thank in advance those lads who will be assisting the coaches this year: Eoghan Hurley, David Hayes, Brian Healy, Frankie O’Donovan and Dion Butler. We could do with one or two more Fethard minors or U21 players to come along for the five days. The GAA Park in Fethard will be closed to all from 9am until 3pm on the Cúl Camp days.
We have a raffle taking place, tickets are €2 per strip or 3 strips for €5, to cover the administration costs during the week. Annette O’Donovan, will be take photographs throughout the week, and these photographs will be for sale later.
If any parent, who's child is attending Cúl Camp this year, is unaware of GAA Cúl Camp policy please ask Ann on the first day and she will give you the information.
Fethard Ladies Football
On Thursday, August 9, the Under 14 girls won their League match against a Clerihan team that were absent some of their regular starters. Among those who stood out for Fethard were Muireann O'Connell, Molly O'Meara, Rebecca Coen, Sadhbh Horan and Kate Davey. On Saturday, the Under 12 girls won their League match against Moyne Templetuohy with great performances from all the players including Laura Harte, Laura Stocksborough, Rebecca Kenny, Caoimhe O'Meara and Aoibhe Browne. Later on Saturday, the Gaelic4Mothers team travelled to Youghal to play a series of three short matches. Our thanks to M.J. Croke and Tommy Sheehan for their help on the day, and to the Youghal team for the refreshments they provided after the match.
Sincere thanks to everyone who supported our Church Gate collection over the weekend. We had a terrific response, and will be putting the proceeds towards the cost of providing a new set of jerseys for the youngest of our teams.
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The lucky numbers drawn on August 8 were: 3, 10, 13 and 14. There was no Jackpot winner and two ‘Match Three’ winners of €75: Megan Earl, 18 Slievenamon Close, Fethard; and Gus Slattery, Kilnockin, Fethard.
The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also won €50 each: Christine Brett, The Valley, Fethard; Catherine Kearney, The Green, Fethard; and Keenan Aherne, Prospect, Fethard.
The next Lotto draw will take place on August 15, and you can also purchase your lotto ticket in local shops or online at www.fethard.com. Buy seven weekly tickets online and get one free! Check on the Fethard website for lots of special offers. Next week’s Jackpot commences at €3,700 and the Jackpot seller’s prize is €370. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.