End of an era as ‘Newport’s’ says farewell to Fethard after 93 years
The Nationalist, June 6, 2013
It truly was the end of an era when the popular Fethard newsagents ‘Newport’s’ closed its doors for the final time in 93 years, on Bank Holiday Monday.
After five generations, and a very changing world, current manager Edwina Newport has decided the time has come to move on to other things, and so brings to an end the close relationship between the shop, its customers and with The Nationalist - which has been sold in Newport’s for those 93 years!
Of course as The Nationalist’s Fethard correspondent for many years, Edwina’s father Tony is also a great friend of the paper. On Monday long-term customers and friends called to wish the Newports all the best with their future plans.
The little newsagents shop was first opened by Edwina’s grandmother Catherine Kenrick on March 19, 1920. The premises was in fact in operation as a tailors and outfitters for at least another 80 years or more before that, that we know of. Edward Kenrick, Catherine Newport’s father and her grandfather Patrick Kenrick were both tailors. The records in existence go back to Patrick Kenrick’s era. The first entry in a day book of his period records: “to making a trousers for Philip Neville, Kilnockin, 3/6’ (three shillings and six pence).”
The shop has served as a social centre and meeting place down through the years. Patrick and John Kenrick were very much involved with the Fenian Movement. It was the first premises in Fethard to make and sell its own ice-cream and was also the first place where tomatoes were available, with many people, especially on fair days, enquiring “what are the little red things in the window?”
It was across the shop counter that Catherine met her husband, Englishman Aubrey ‘Bert’ Newport. Following their wedding in 1928, Bert took over the running of the shop until ill health forced his retirement in the early 70. That was when Tony and his wife Mary took charge, Tony moving up the street from his sister Goldie’s grocery shop (which closed several years ago).
Edwina became the fifth generation of the family to run a business in the premises when she took the reins in 1998.
Newport’s was a much loved centre of the town and will be missed. All associated with the shop are wished well in their future endeavours.
Fethard – a ‘Model Town’
Friday night last was a night of celebration in Fethard when a large scaled model of the medieval town was unveiled at a function in the Convent Community Hall.
The 8ft x 4ft mounted model was the result of a year’s work by the Transition Year students of the Patrician Presentation Secondary School under the guidance of their art teacher Patricia Looby. The project was greatly assisted by former pupil Michael Costello, a trained architect’s technician, who gave of his expertise to ensure that the model was a true-scaled replica of the medieval town.
The model itself is based on the work of artist Daniel Tietzsch-Tyler, who works out of Limerick and is one of the national experts at executing 3D drawings, especially of medieval towns, castles and fortifications of all types. Mr Tietzsch-Tyler was present and explained the measurement system of ‘perches’ that was used eight hundred years ago by the builders of the new town and used to divide the town into ‘burgage plots’ for the new residents who came with the Norman invasion.
New Medieval Town Trail Brochure
Dan Tietzsch-Tyler’s work, in turn, was commissioned by the Fethard Historical Society so as to publish a new visitor brochure to the medieval walled town. His drawing is set in the year 1650, which is, coincidentally, also the year that one Oliver Cromwell passed this way. This publication was supported by the Leader South Tipperary Development Company and will match the Fáilte Ireland supported signage/information system that was erected by the County Council in the last year or two.
The brochure will be distributed to all the businesses in the town where they can be picked up by visitors who want to wander around what is now regarded as the best example of a walled town in Ireland.
Both the town model and the new brochure were launched by Ms Labhaoise McKenna, the Heritage Officer for South Tipperary. On the night Ms McKenna was presented with a bunch of flowers by the chairperson of the Fethard Historical Society, Patricia Looby, as Labhaoise is leaving her post in the next few weeks and is going to the Department’s headquarters in Dublin.
Terry Cunningham of the Historical Society, who acted as MC for the night informed the large gathering that Labhaoise McKenna did huge work for heritage issues in the county over the last five years and that she was a great friend of Fethard, having sourced funds-especially from the Heritage Council and the County Council for a myriad of projects, including funds for the creation of the model of the town that she unveiled on that very night.
Gathering Festival Launched
Maurice Moloney then spoke about the exciting ‘Gathering Festival 2013’ which will take place in Fethard from Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23. The festival was officially launched and fliers and posters were distributed on the night, copies of both can be downloaded from the fethardbusiness.com website.
The Festival will include a ‘Battle of The Bands’ in the marque at Fethard Convent Community Centre from 7pm to 10pm on Friday, June 21; ‘Rose of Fethard’ competition at Lonergan’s Bar on the same Friday night from 9pm to 12.30am. On Saturday the ‘Country Markets Gathering’ will take place from 11am to 4pm; and that night the Festival Barbecue and Dance will take place in the marque with music supplied by the fantastic live band ‘20th Century Gold’. This event promises to be one of the festival highlights and tickets are available from the committee members. On Sunday the traditional Medieval Festival and Parade will take place by the Town Wall and this year’s event will be complemented by the staging of the semifinals of the Irish Strongman’s ‘Highland Games’ by the Town Wall. From 6pm to 7pm local pubs will compete in the ‘Magnificent 8’ Pub Challenge, which will take place on the streets and should be great fun.
The Festival will have lots of other sporting and fun events throughout the weekend and full details are available on the festival poster or website.
Bring Them Home Draw and Refreshments
The evening was rounded off with the big ‘Bring them Home’ draw for €5,500 worth of travel vouchers organised by Fethard Business and Tourism Group. The winning ticket for €3,000 was drawn by Rev. Barbara Fryday, and won by Dearbhla O’Brien, Cahir; Second prize for €1,500 was drawn by Canon Tom Breen P.P. and won by Ger Manton, Main Street, Fethard; third prize for €1,000 was drawn by Fr. Martin Crean OSA and won by Mary Murphy, Marlfield, Clonmel. The proceeds of the draw will go towards bringing the Town Hall and Main Street back to life as a busy hive of activity for locals and visitors alike.
The evening concluded with plenty of food and drinks for the happy audience who could see the great work being done in the town by many organisations including the schools and the Convent Community Hall committee. Of equal importance is the knowledge that the official bodies are fully behind the community in Fethard mainly because they always deliver when they set their mind to doing something.
Fethard Bridge Club President’s Prize
At our President's Prize dinner held in the Minella Hotel on Friday, May 17, the following prizes were presented:
President's Prize to Ellen Rochford and Sean O'Dea; Committee Prize to Rita Kane and Kay St. John; Club Championship (Hayes Trophy) to winners Berney Myles and Kathleen Kenny; Player of the Year (O'Flynn Trophy) to winner Carmel Condon; Individual Champion (Dick Gorey Trophy) to Rita Kane; Lucey Trophy to Betty Walsh and Monica Anglim.
Club Championship results
1st Gross: Betty Walsh and Monica Anglim;
2nd Gross: Carmel Condon and Brendan Kenny;
3rd Gross: Nell Broderick and Anna Cooke;
Joint 1st Nett: Frances Burke and Gemma Burke; Bridie Lee and Mike Burke;
3rd Nett: Rita Holohan and Mary Delaney.
Player of the Year: 1st Gross - Betty Walsh; 2nd Gross - Jim Lahert; 3rd Gross - Rita Kane; 1st Nett - Kay Walsh; 2nd Nett - Kathleen Kenny; and 3rd Nett - Philly Kenny.
Bridge is finished in Fethard until September but summer bridge continues at the Bridge Centre in Clonmel on Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm and in Ballinure on Thursday evenings. All are welcome at summer bridge.
Fethard sports achievement award nominees for May
The following nine nominations were received for the May ‘Fethard Sports Achievement Award’, promoted by Butler’s Sports Bar in Fethard. The aim is to recognise and reward sporting achievement be it at participation, coaching or administration level. Nominees must be over 18 and from Fethard parish, work in Fethard, live in Fethard (play for Fethard teams) or from Fethard but participate in sport elsewhere.
(1) Stephanie Johnstone – Second time nomination for this local athlete. During May she had some very strong performances including 2 seconds in her category in Clonmel and Ballylinnen County Laois as well as a 3rd overall in Wexford.
(2) Joe Murphy – Local horse trainer who had a great victory during May with his charge Euphrasia winning a Group 3 race at Naas racecourse Co. Kildare.
(3) Mary Kenrick – Mary kept up her winning ways on the golf course with victory in the ladies McGarry cup at Slievenamon. The McGarry cup was presented in memory of Marys nephew Johnny who was tragically killed a number of years ago.
(4) Noreen Hackett and Eoin Tynan – Fethard racquetball coaches. Recently two of their young players, Emma Jayne Burke and Megan Hackett, won gold and silver respectively at the all Ireland championships played in Templederry.
(5) Annette Connolly, Mark Prout and Michael Spillane – Coaches to Fethard under 12 girls football team who recently made history by becoming the first ever community games team to win a South final.
(6) Paul Kavanagh – Head coach to Fethard Rugby club under 14 team who recently completed a fantastic year for the club with victory in the East Munster cup. The victory came with wins against Dungarvan, Nenagh, Thurles and Waterford. Its worth noting that several of the same players were earlier in the year narrowly beaten by Dungarvan in the under 15 final.
(7) Fintan Rice – A well-known local athlete who had some memorable performances during May. He won the Ballynonty 3 miler, 4th in Cahir, 5th in the county senior hosted by Fethard AC and was narrowly beaten in the last 100 metres of the recent Walls of Fethard 4 miler where he finished second.
(8) Kay Spillane – Captain of the Fethard ladies football squad who recently won their league beating Thurles, Cahir and Mullinavat along the way. This is the first piece of silverware of the year and augers well for the championship.
(9) Bernadette O’Meara and Michael Hayes – Coaches to Fethard under 14 ladies football team. Nominated in recognition of the fact that 5 of their young lady footballers recently played on a successful Tipperary team that won a Munster title against Clare. The Fethard players in question are Megan Coen, Molly O’Meara, Ciara Hayes, Katie Davey and Laura Stocksborough.
The May winner will be announced at a function in Butlers Sports Bar on Friday June 14th at 10pm. All are welcome.
Thank You Marina!
A big thank you to Marina Mullins and her backroom staff who organised the Children's ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Show on Monday night, May 20 at Fethard Ballroom. Marina raised €1,500 for Holy Trinity National School, for which we are extremely grateful. A most enjoyable night's entertainment was had by all present. The children, who ranged from Junior Infant level to Transition Year level, captivated the large and appreciative audience from the moment the first two couples took to the floor up to the tie-breaker at the end of the night. It was great to see the talent on display. Again Marina we say a big ‘Thank You’.
Fethard Choral Society’s first outing a remarkable success
On Sunday, May 19, Fethard Choral Society, travelled to New Ross to take part in their first competition. The AIMS Choral Festival, now in its 29th year, is noted for its high competitive standards together with its friendly informal atmosphere. Overall, the festival attracts over 1,000 participants with the best of choral music in all its many forms. Fethard Choral Society, under musical director Ann Barry, entered the Sacred Music Open competition which had fourteen choirs from all parts of Ireland. The competition was of a very high standard and many of the choirs were previous prizewinners at New Ross and other choral festivals. Against very stiff competition, Fethard Choral Society came sixth out of fourteen which was a remarkable achievement for a first-time entry and for a recently-formed choir. “What a bright, confident sound this choir produces! Already you have accomplished much here.” And, “With some young members this choir shows potential for even more exciting performances in the future!” were just two of the comments the adjudicators made.
Rugby Club’s ‘Cash For Clobber’
Fethard and District Rugby Club will continue with the cash for clobber collection over the summer as a valuable source of fundraising. Please put into plastic bags all items of clothing, old school uniforms, in any condition, footwear including wellingtons, runners etc, bed linen (no duvets or pillows), curtains, blankets, soft toys, old schoolbags and in particular old mobile phones. No books allowed. Collection dates are this Friday, June 7, and Friday, July 5, at the rugby clubhouse from 7pm-8pm.
For help with collection please contact Alice on 086 0612306 or Mary on 086 1688158. Thank you very much for your continued support.
Fethard ICA talk on Reiki
Our next Meeting is Tuesday 11 June at 8pm; our guest will be Deirdre Brady, who will speak on Reiki. Catering is by the Yellow Group.
Our annual outing will take place on Thursday, June 27, to Russborough House & Gardens, and then onward to Rathwood, stopping for a meal in the Lord Bagenal Inn Leighlinbridge. Deposit of €20 to be paid at our next meeting on June 11. Anyone interested in this day trip please contact Secretary Margaret Phelan at 087 9717748.
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on May 29, were: 17, 19, 21 and 24. We had no jackpot winner and on ‘Match Three’ winner who received €150, Mary Keane, Knockelly, Fethard.
The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners won €50 each: Darren O'Donohoe, Monkstown, Cork; Bernie O'Brien, c/o Kathleen Connolly; and Junie Lawless, c/o Lonergan's Bar, 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 draw takes place on Wednesday, June 5 and the Jackpot is €2,650 and the Jackpot seller’s prize is €265. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.
Cleaning up Red City Graveyard
Calling all volunteers to help clean up Redcity Graveyard beginning on Wednesday, June 5, and continuing every Wednesday until work is completed. Please bring a strimmer if you have one. For further details contact Seamus Barry at: 086 2547162.
Social Dancing at Fethard Ballroom
Dancing at Fethard Ballroom on Sunday Night, June 9, to the music of the Pat Hogan. All welcome to come along and enjoy a great night’s entertainment and social dancing. Dancing 9pm to midnight and admission is €7.
On Sunday night, May 26, a cheque was presented to South Tipperary Hospice Movement proceeds from the Annual Mick Aherne Dance Competition. Members of the Ballroom Dance Club presented the cheque for €1,435. Breeda Ryan, chairperson of South Tipperary Hospice, thanked all the dancers and sponsors who supported the night and also thanked the organisers.
Fethard GAA Sports Lotto
The numbers drawn on May 28, were 1, 18, 22 and 24. There was no jackpot winner and no match three winner, so the following five drawn tickets won €30 each: Kerry Ryan, 10 Cedar Grove; Denis O'Meara, St. Patrick’s Place; Jack Neville, Kilnockin; Bee Gould, Claremore; and Cora McGarry, Burke Street. The €50 lucky dip winner was Josie Fitzgerald, Kiltinan.
Next week’s draw takes place on Tuesday, June 4, in Lonergan’s Bar. The jackpot will be €6,600. Ticket sponsor is AIB Fethard and good luck and thanks for your valued support.
Fethard Athletic Club well supported
One hundred and fifty-nine athletes took to the streets of Fethard for the 13th edition of the Walls of Fethard 4 mile road race on May 29. With an entry almost double that of 2012, coupled with a new course and a new Race HQ, the evening was always going to be a bit of a adventure. The sun was shining bright and with a large crowd gathered a carnival like atmosphere was in the air with folk treated to on-street music on the bank corner of Main Street. After a short delay to cater for the large crowd the action got underway. It was great to see a 30 plus entry headed by Fintan Rice from the host club, again demonstrating the growing popularity of the sport and the good work that has been done locally since the dark cold nights of last autumn.
The new route was chosen with the town’s scenic beauty in mind and with many witnessing some of the landmarks for the first time, it got a massive ‘thumbs up’ from some of the counties finest athletes, with Jesuit's Walk in particular coming in for praise as one of the town’s hidden gems.
The race itself was a good one for ‘girl power’ with Siobhan O'Doherty of Borrisokane AC taking the overall win, just holding on from the fast finishing Shane Mullaney of Thurles Crokes who denied Fintan Rice of Fethard AC victory in the last 100 meters of the men’s race. Fintan’s efforts fell agonisingly just short in his bid to become the first Fethard winner of the event, with 10 seconds covering the first four across the finishing line. County Champion, Dympna Ryan of Dundrum AC was runner up in the ladies race ahead of local resident, Claire Annan of Carrick AC, in third. There was many other category winners on the night with Michael Moclair 12th man taking first local man and Aine Doocey 9th lady taking first local woman. Jennifer Rice and Judy Doyle, Fethard AC, took wins in the Juniors and Over 55 Ladies sections and Paddy Shelley, Ballynonty AC, taking the Over 65 men’s award. Cahir Physiotherapy provided post race rubdowns while refreshments and prizegiving took place in The Convent Community Hall which also came in for praise from everybody in attendance.
Club chairperson Miceál McCormack thanked the large crowd for there support, Clonacody House Accommodation for coming on-board as title sponsors and Paraic McCormack for promoting the event and securing sponsorship of the many other prizes up for grabs on the night, as well as our club ladies for catering.
The club would like to thank Dr Carmel Condon, the Gardai, South Tipperary County Council, the Convent Community Centre, Niall O'Sullivan of Clonmel AC and the many steward including the crew from Tipperary Raceway for showing goodwill in the Community and making this all possible. A full list of our sponsors will be posted on Fethard.com and on our Facebook page asap and we would encourage the support of those who support us.
Items for inclusion on the weekly Fethard News page on The Nationalist can be emailed before noon on Mondays to firstname.lastname@example.org or delivered by hand to Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard.