Kilkenny Archaeology amazed with Town Hall discoveries
Kilkenny Archaeology workers, currently surveying Fethard’s Town Hall, were fascinated with the many discoveries unearthed in the building while undertaking the excavations as part of the community development plan for the building under the direction of Fethard Business and Tourism Group. The following are excerpts from the Kilkenny Archaeology Facebook page, which is also illustrated with lots of amazing photographs of work in progress in Fethard.
In the early 1600's the Evarard lords of Fethard built what was at the time the largest almshouse in Ireland. Fethard was like a 'mini Kilkenny' in the seventeenth century, a thriving town where a suite of fashionable Renaissance style buildings were constructed of the finest limestone. The building's four walls survive almost to their full original height and many of its windows can be seen in the facade. Kilkenny Archaeology are carrying out a detailed study of the building over the next week, removing plaster and excavating to discover the structure's original configuration and its evolution. We have three main questions. 1. Does the early 17th century almshouse incorporate an earlier, medieval, building? 2. What was the seventeenth century configuration of the structure, its windows, doors and fireplaces and how was the space utilised for the almshouse? 3. Is there a cellar beneath the ground floor? The work is being carried out for Fethard Community Development and Shaffrey Architects, who are restoring and reusing the structure for a cafe and exhibition space.
On Day 1 they discovered a seventeenth century fireplace in the west gable, first floor; another fireplace, three new windows, a door and possibly a cellar.
This site is the gift that just keeps on giving! The second day we discovered another (yes a third!) seventeenth century fireplace, perfectly intact in the east gable of the almshouse. And our trench in the rear yard has proven that the building (or at least its rear wall) is around two-hundred years older than was previously thought, dating from around the later fourteenth century. We know this because a piece of pottery that was made in the mid-fourteenth century pottery kiln at Highhays, Kilkenny, was found in the backfill of the almhouse's construction trench.
On Day 3 we have confirmed that the seventeenth century almshouse building was founded on an earlier, probably fourteenth century, building. Historical sources suggest this may have been a hospital. And right at the very base of our trench, stuck into a wet silt layer was the remains of one of the scaffold posts used to build the structure! And there is definitely a cellar to the building - is it full of wine we wonder? And finally, opening up of the plaster in the east gable has revealed a well-preserved window embrasure that may also relate to the earliest phase of the building.
We'll be heading back to Fethard town hall for final surveying this week. More updates to come.
All finished now at Fethard town hall. We've learnt so much about this fascinating building. We now know it is at least two hundred years older than was previously thought and that much of this earlier structure still survives, including its basement. We also found three new seventeenth century fireplaces, three window embrasures and an ope for what may be a garderobe. All of this information can be used now to reconstruct how space was used in the Everard almshouse by its inmates and dignataries. And best of all the fruits of our work will be presented in the restored building. A publication for the Tipperary Historical Journal is presently being prepared also. And lastly, if you've never seen Fethard you have to go there and see this extraordinary medieval town!
Texas Hold’em League
Texas Hold’em has been played annually in Butlers Sports Bar for the past six years, and two years ago management decided to incorporate their weekly game into a league system. The league involves amassing points for the top five finishers on a weekly basis and culminating in an annual final night where the best players over the season play for a sizeable pot.
The league winner receives a trophy and top chip count at the final table, which was held on last Friday night, January 18, when John O’Meara was crowned the overall league winner.
Texas Hold’em continues every Monday night and new players are always welcome!
Ned Kelly in the news again
Ned Kelly, the famous or infamous Australian outlaw, is very much in the news again both here in Ireland and in Australia. As most people know by now, Ned’s father was John Kelly from Clonbrogan in Moyglass and John was ‘transported’ to Australia for seven years in 1840 for the stealing of two pigs in Ballysheehan near Cashel.
When John’s eldest son Ned was hanged in Melbourne Jail in 1880 his body was not given back to his family but buried in prison ground. Recently his body was identified using DNA analysis from a living relative and following a court case his remains (minus the ‘lost head’) were given back to his descendants for burial in consecrated ground. He was buried on Friday last, January 18, in Greta cemetery very near Glenrowan where he fought his last battle. He is buried near his mother Ellen (Ellen Quin from County Antrim) and his brother Dan and other gang member Steve Hart, both of whom died at Glenrowan.
RTE Nationwide Programme
Prompted on by the developments in Australia and as part of The Gathering initiative RTE Nationwide covered the Ned Kelly and John Kelly stories on Wednesday, January 16, on RTE 1.
Mary Kennedy and crew spent Monday, January 7, in the Moyglass area where they were shown around by local guide Terry Cunningham, who in 1988 identified the location of the Kelly home in Clonbrogan for the first time using the 1840 map and Griffith’s Valuation. The same sources also show that the Kelly home in Clonbrogan was gone by the mid 1850s and local people point out the spot where the Kellys then moved to set up their new home.
The programme was great publicity for the Moyglass area and the Village Inn in particular with its authentic recreation of the famous suit of armour that the Kelly gang wore at Glenrowan. The programme also highlighted local Fethard guiding duo of Terry Cunningham and Colm McGrath of Backs to The Wall Tours (www.backstothewalltours.com) are available to take visiting coach groups on tours of Kelly Country here in Tipperary.
Fethard and South Tipp Macra Notes
With the provincial Macra Vice Presidency elections taking place this April, South Tipp Macra are delighted to announce that Michael Moclair of Fethard Macra will be running for candidacy.
Michael has been in Macra for nine and a half years and has a great deal of experience having chaired at county and club levels. He was South Tipp Macra Development Officer for three years, a National Council Representative for one year, served on the organising committee for the National Macra Rally, committee chair for the first ever South Tipp Macra New Years Eve Ball, and received the Stephen Cullinane Scholarship in 2004. Michael has also set up three clubs in the South Tipp Region.
In addition to this Michael also has great involvement in competition having competed in most of the competitions that Macra offered. He was a finalist in the drama competition in 2007 and runner up in the drama competition in 2010, and even received the highest honours at competition level at the sheep stock judging in 2012.
Michael is loved and well respected by all in Macra and the official launch of his campaign takes place in McCarthy's Pub, Fethard, this Friday, January 25, at 8.30pm. There will be music and finger food available on the night and all are welcome to come along and give their support on the night.
Well done to the South Tipp Macra members who took part in the National Caper quarterfinals in Tullow, Co. Carlow, on Saturday, January 19, with Holly Williamson of Fethard Macra getting the prize for best producer.
Hard luck to the Suirvale members who travelled to Meath on Sunday, January 13, to represent South Tipperary at the NDC indoor soccer finals. Although we were extremely unlucky not to make it out of the group, a great day was had by all with every member of the team giving it their all. Over the next few weeks Suirvale will be competing in the South Tipperary round of ‘Kerrygold Club Quiz’ and will be preparing basketball teams, both men's and women's for competition in March.
Volleyball continues every Thursday night in Clerihan hall at 8.30pm, and there are many more events coming up both social and sporting to look forward to.
For enquiries or if you're interested in joining Macra contact Laurann 085 7337432 or Una 087 4165826
Fethard Musical or Show?
Are you interested in being part of a musical show? Come to the back room in McCarthy's on Monday, January 28, at 8pm and give us your ideas and share your feelings.
Tipperariana Book Fair
The Fethard Historical Society is busy once again getting ready for the Tipperariana Book Fair that takes place this year in the Fethard Ballroom on Sunday, February 10, 2013. Our regular book dealers are already lined up for the event and, as usual, we will have a number of Tipperary authors present on the day who will be happy to discuss their books.
We will have all kinds of books from antiquarian to the latest best-sellers, funny and serious, special interest and children’s so you’re bound to find something that suits you. It’s a great family day out, a chance to browse at leisure, meet old friends, enjoy the piano music and have a cuppa and some nice homemade cakes in the café.
Our admittance fee has stayed at €2 and accompanied children are free.
We also welcome donations of books for our own stall, so if you have books you wish to dispose of, or indeed if you would like to help out at the Book Fair, please contact one of the following committee members: Patricia Looby, 087 6908330 Mary Hanrahan 087 9009722 or Terry Cunningham 087 9305232.
Fethard and Killusty Community Games
Fethard and Killusty Community Games are now affiliated for 2013 and competitors are urged to start preparing for their local competitions as soon as possible.
Due to changes in the HSE Community Games National Programme there will be only two national finals this year, the first being on weekend of May 24 to 26, and the second on August 16 to 18. As a result many of the individual events which would normally be in August have now been transferred to May.
Girls Swimming is an event requiring immediate attention at local level as the county final of same will take place in Clonmel Pool on Sunday, February 10. Closing date for entries is Saturday, February 2. The boys’ county final will be held in Clonmel Pool on Sunday March 3. Entries at a later date. So ladies if you are interested in competing in Freestyle U8, 10, 12, 14 and 16; Backstroke U10, 12, 14 16; Breaststroke U12, 14; or Butterfly U14 and 16; please call 086-8110768 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Remember all entries must be made through local secretaries and competitors must reside in the area and be under the age specified on July 31, 2013. Entry fee is €2 per child and only two children per event per area are allowed to enter.
Our Art Competition will also take place in Clonmel so children may commence on their pictures whenever convenient. Date for collection is schools will be issued shortly.
The county finals of the Talent Competition will take place in Lattin Cullen on Saturday, February 23. If anybody would like to enter the following group events for children U14 years: Music, Drama, Singing (panel of 6) or Set Dancing (panel of 10). Individual events are: Recitation U12, Music U13 or Singing U14. For entries please contact Peggy Colville.
Remember Girl’s Swimming is the urgent event needing attention to entry at the moment.
Michelle upsets the odds with her first runner as trainer
Fethard born Michelle Nevin saddled her first ever runner ‘Teaks North’ as trainer on January 19, in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Turf Stake in Gulfstream Park Florida in an upset victory to beat the odds on favourite ‘Doubles Partner’.
Bred by Brylynn Farm, Teaks North is a full brother to stakes-winning filly Teak Totem, who herself has produced two stakes winners including Grade 2 winner Adios Charlie; and half brother to grade II winner Wooden Phone and stakes winner Chief Okie Dokie.
Well done Michelle, looking forward to many more winners.
Ballyluskey White Heather Harriers
Ballyluskey White Heathers meet on Sunday, January 27, at Coolbawn Cross and on Sunday, February 3, at Poulmucka, both meets at 11am.
Months Mind Mass
The Months Mind Mass for the late Rev. Fr. James Holloway RIP (former Parish Priest of Pallasgreen and Templebraden and late of Madamsland Fethard) will be celebrated on Sunday, February 3, in Kilteely Parish Church, Co. Limerick at 11am.
Dancing at Fethard Ballroom
Dancing at Fethard Ballroom next Sunday night, January 27, to the music of Tommy Carroll. All welcome to come along and enjoy a great night’s entertainment and social dancing.
Fethard Ladies Football AGM
The AGM for Fethard Ladies Football Club will take place this Friday, January 25, at 8pm in the Tirry Centre. We hope to see a big turnout, so all players, members and parents of underage players are asked to attend.
Fethard Bridge Club Results
The results of our game played on Wednesday, January 9 were: 1st Gross, Marie Delaney and David O'Meara; 2nd Gross, Monica Anglim and Betty Walsh; 3rd Gross, Anna Cooke and Bernie O'Meara; 1st Nett, Frances Burke and Breda Walsh; 2nd Nett, Carmel Condon and Brendan Kenny; 3rd Nett, Anne Connolly and Eileen Frewen.
On Wednesday, January 23 we play for sponsored prizes. Anyone looking for a partner contact Berney Myles 6132038.
Computer 8-Week Classes starting in Youth Centre
Computer classes for all levels will start at Fethard Youth Centre on Wednesday, January 30, and run every Wednesday for 8 weeks. There will be two separate classes running each day, from 10am to 11.30am for Beginners and from 11.30am to 1pm for More Advanced. The cost is €5 per class. Tutor is Mary Quinlan and all are welcome. Places are limited so call or text Margaret on 087 6536374 for more information or to book your place.
Fethard Athletic Club
Fethard Athletic Club run every Monday and Friday at 7.15pm and the meeting point is the carpark across from the ballroom. New members of all levels welcome, Why not make running our 4 mile 'Walls of Fethard' event your goal for 2013. Find us on Facebook for further information about the club and events.
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on January 16, were: 9, 22, 27 and 28. We had no jackpot winner and no ‘Match Three’ winner so the following drawn tickets received €50 each: Anna Bradshaw Cooke, St. Patricks Place, Fethard; Mary McCormack, Kerry Street, Fethard; and Mary O'Sullivan, Clerihan.
The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners won €50 each: Breda Wilson, Rathkenny, Drangan; Brian Sheehy, Garrinch, Fethard (online ticket); and John Maher, c/o Tom Purcell.
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 draw takes place on Wednesday, January 23 and the Jackpot is €6,850 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €685. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.
Moyglass Tennis Coaching
Junior tennis coaching will resume at Moyglass with Paschal Whelan on Saturday January 26, for ages 6 upwards. Also, an after school class will be run from 3pm on Thursday afternoons commencing in February. Cost for both sessions is €60 for ten weeks. Places are limited and advance booking is required. Please phone or text Emma on 086 8717237 or 052 6131111.
Died in USA
The death has occurred on September 18, 2012 of Thomas F. Tobin of Thiensville, Wisconsin, USA. Thomas’s death was preceded by the death of his wife, Mary Tobin, on September 7, 2012.
As a Fethard emigrant, Thomas enjoyed reading the Fethard & Killusty Emigrant’s Newsletters and Fethard website for many years. He always updated his family on the latest news of his Fethard classmates. This was also much appreciated by his late wife Mary who was also an emigrant. May they both rest in peace.
Patrician Presentation Jottings
Monthly Draw for Best School Attendance
Prizes of €10 phone credit December Results: 1st Year: Amye O’Donovan and Jack Spillane. 2nd Year: Kate Davey and Megan Coen. 3rd Year: Katie Whyte and Annie Prout. Transition Year: Cormac Horan and Anthony Clair. 5th Year: Danielle Sheehan and Michelle Walsh. 6th Year: Molly O’Dwyer.
South Tipperary Dementia Education Project
The second Year Art Class will take part in an art competition in conjunction with an innovative South Tipperary project on Dementia. The pupils had first of all a very interesting presentation on the project by members of the project team. The project is called ‘The 5 Steps to Living Well with Dementia in South Tipperary’ and is structured around activities, information and supports relevant to the different stages of the disease. The project aspires to transform the life experience of people with dementia and their families by increasing public awareness, dispelling myths, reducing stigma and encouraging people to come forward for early diagnosis and treatment.
Primary School Visit
Pupils from Holy Trinity Primary School took part in a Cookery class in the school on Monday, January 21. This class was facilitated by Ms Marie Maher. The pupils will visit the school again in the near future for Art and Dance Classes.
The school’s Mock Exams will begin on Thursday, January 31st and the pupils are urged to work hard in preparation for these exams. Organisation and self-discipline help enormously in achieving success in school.
Catholic Schools’ Week
As usual, the school is organising activities to coincide with National Catholic Schools’ week which takes place this year from January 27th- February 2nd . This year’s theme is Share the Good News.
Tipperary Regional Youth Service
On Thursday, January 10, Ms Pauline Cummins from Tipperary Youth Service delivered a very interesting seminar to the Transition Year Pupils on Stress. In these days of uncertainty¸ it is useful for young people to have a knowledge of the skills required to cope with the pressures of everyday life.
Items for inclusion on the weekly Fethard News page on The Nationalist can be emailed before noon on Mondays to email@example.com or delivered by hand to Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard.