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Monday 25th October 2004

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Gortnahoe & Glengoole - Killenaule - Mullinahone - Ballingarry

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New Cab Service in Fethard
We are happy to report that a new cab service has opened in the town. 'Jim's Cabs Fethard' is now open for business and proprietor Jim Smyth can be contacted at the following number 086 1742456.

The late Jimmy ‘Buckie' Ryan

Jimmy Ryan, Watergate, photographed with Fossett's Circus ringmaster Marian Fossett in 1999, while performing in Fethard on one of their annual visits.

Fethard lost one of its better-known characters on Monday 18th October 2003 when Jimmy 'Buckie' Ryan died at his lifelong home at Watergate Street at the age of 67.

Jimmy Ryan, better known to most as 'Buckie', did not lead an ordinary life. His mother, a schoolteacher, tried her best to give him every chance to lead a life that most of us would refer to as normal, but he just wasn't interested. He was born on the 13th May 1937 and christened Michael, a name he only ever used for official documents. He received his education in Rosegreen National School, The Irish College in Ring and in Rockwell. He often spoke of how he shared a bench in school with a man called Paddy Hillary, who went on to become the President of Ireland.

Though very intelligent, Jimmy didn't display any signs of following in his mother's footsteps. Instead he decided to do his own thing. A job to Jimmy was a means to an end. He got a job, got it out of the way as quickly as possible, got paid, and then set out to enjoy himself. He liked a drink or two — before breakfast. He liked the ones that followed even more. He was well known in hostelries all over the world. If you named a town or village almost anywhere in Ireland or England, Jimmy's next line would be, "Isn't there a pub there called . . ." and he would proceed with a story about how he drank there when he was working with someone or other.

Jimmy worked as a farmer, a fishmonger, a trucker, on building sites, in pubs, hotels, restaurants, on ships and even did several stints travelling with various circus troupes, as well as once serving as ‘Mayor of Fethard', a title he received for collecting more money than his opponents in a community fund raising competition for the building of the Abymill Theatre.

Jimmy sold shamrock to the Irish punters in Cheltenham if St Patrick's Day happened to fall in the middle of the racing festival, an event which he attended for almost sixty years, missing it only once due to ill health. Hard as he was on the drink at times, he usually gave it up for a month or two prior to his departure to Cheltenham each March. This was so that he could spare a bit of cash to go on the annual Irish orgy of drinking in the shadow of the Cotswold Hills. He always stayed in the Queens Hotel, which becomes the headquarters for the Irish invasion each year, but he never booked a room. His bed was the couch on the top landing of the hotel — if he happened to make it that far each night. His return trip from the festival varied from year to year, but he usually got back to Ireland in time for Listowel races in September. The bachelor festival in Lisdoonvarna was normally his last port of call before he returned to Fethard. He often returned home with a woman, but never a wife.

As soon as Jimmy heard a foreign accent, he was immediately drawn to the person. He might have visited their town, so he had to determine where they were from. One day, a couple told him that they were from Cape Town.

"I was there once for a day", Jimmy replied. "Were you on a tour of South Africa", they asked. "No", said Jimmy, "I was working on a ship and we docked there. The captain gave us all a day off, so I went and found a pub. I woke up the following day in a house full of women, and I wasn't in a convent if you know what I mean. That's all I saw of Cape Town".

A chance meeting with author and wit, the recently deceased Pete McCarthy, got many of Jimmy's hilarious stories and yarns into print in the best selling book, "The Road To McCarthy". Jimmy's adventures also feature in Raymond Smith's racing book, "Better One Day as a Lion". He was never one to shy away from publicity and often featured in newspaper and magazine articles. As a younger man he delighted in trying to shock the crowds who turned up to watch the annual carnival parade through the streets of Fethard. His antics weren't as wild in his latter years, but he still remained unique wandering about wearing one of his trademark Stetsons, with 'Kaj', his three legged, Guinness drinking dog by his side. Jimmy certainly lived a life less ordinary.

Our sincere sympathy to his sister Mary Hanlon who lives in Dublin, his family, relatives and close friends. Interment took place in Holy Trinity Parish Church Cemetery Fethard.

Gone Jimmy — but not forgotten
The following message was received from Philippa Coady who flew over from Brussels to attend the funeral of Jimmy Ryan. Philippa's father, grandfather and great grandfather all came from Fethard and she first met Jimmy when she travelled to Fethard to trace her family history in 2003.

Fethard's mourning for the loss of Jimmy Ryan,
Everybody's friend, kind, wild as a lion.
A generous compassionate man who was loved by many,
A man whom money never troubled who'd give you his last penny.
He's buried in the churchyard on the left as you go in,
A vantage position strategically chosen by him.
So say hello in the mornings as you pass on your way,
Or goodnight in the evenings at the close of the day.
Fethard will miss him, it'll never be the same,
Its greatest character has gone — Jimmy Ryan was his name.

From your loving friend Philippa in Brussels,
but whose heart is in Fethard

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto Jackpot €10,000
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Tuesday 19th October were 7, 15, 21 and 26.  There was no Jackpot winner and two 'Match 3' winners who received €75:
Mairead Ni Siochain, 25 Ait Naomh Phadraig, Fethard
Alfie Brett, Rocklow Road, Fethard
The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Pauline Morrissey, 48 St. Patricks Place, Fethard
Louise Nagle, Cashel Road, Fethard
Mary Newport, Congress Terrace, Fethard
Next weeks Jackpot is €10.000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €905.

First Aid Classes
Fethard Civil Defence will commence with a 9-week First Aid Course in the Tirry Centre on Tuesday 26th October at 8pm. All ages over-16 are welcome to take part and the course is free. For further information contact Rory Walsh, Tel: 086 0802782 or Civil Defence Headquarters, Clonmel. Tel: 052 34455.

Annual Newsletter
Photographs or articles for inclusion in this year's Annual Emigrants' Newsletter are requested as soon as possible. Work on compiling this year's issue has already commenced and we invite individuals and club secretaries to submit articles, typed where possible, to Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard. Email:

Fethard Players rehearse 'Blithe Spirit'
Anne Connolly, who plays the role of Madame Arcati in Fethard Players forthcoming production of 'Blithe Spirit'.

Fethard Players are deep into rehearsal for their forthcoming production 'Blithe Spirit', an improbable farce by Noel Coward. The play is scheduled to hit the boards in the Abymill Theatre from Sunday 14th November to Saturday 20th November. Written and first produced in 1941, at a time when Britain faced destruction and invasion by Nazi forces, Blithe Spirit is a droll comedy about life and death in English society.

Fethard Bridge Club
On Wednesday 13th October we played for the free sub gross and the winners were:
Nell Broderick and David O'Meara.
2nd Gross: Berney Myles and Margaret Hackett
1st Nett: Carol Kenny and Gemma Burke
2nd Nett: Anna Cooke and Bernie O'Meara
Subscriptions of €25 are now due. Anyone looking for a partner please contact: Annie O'Brien, The Square, Fethard. Tel: 052 31862.

Fethard Tidy Towns
At our AGM the following officers were elected: Peter Grant (chairperson), Nellie O'Donovan (vice-chairperson), Thelma Griffith (secretary), Anna Cooke (treasurer) and Diana Stokes (public relations). Our committee members remain the same. We invite and look forward to some new members joining us in the coming year.

Peter Grant (left) making a presentation to Martin Bolger on completion of his four-year term working with Fethard Tidy Towns

A presentation was made by Peter Grant, chairperson of Tidy Town on the 4th October to Tom Purcell and Martin Bolger to say 'thank you' for four years of work well done for the Tidy Towns. Both were presented with table lamps, handcrafted by Johnny Sheehan, St. Patrick's Place.

Peter Grant (left) making a presentation to Tom Purcell on completion of his four-year term working with Fethard Tidy Towns

Killusty Soccer Club Munster Junior Cup
Killusty 3, The Commons 0.
Killusty advance to the next round of the Munster Junior Cup after a workman like display against a spirited Commons team. We took the lead midway through the first half with a goal from the penalty spot, scored by Karl Maher. In the second half Commons tried hard for the equaliser but the lads battled well and were rewarded for their efforts with a well taken goal from Philly Croke. A third goal late into the half from John Noonan completed the scoring.

Next Sunday it's back to the league with an important away game against Two Mile Borris. Borris have recorded some great results in the last few weeks so the lads will have to be at their best to get a result.

Finally, it's farewell and 'Bon Voyage' to our team captain Nicky Murphy who is travelling 'down under' in an effort to improve his ball control. No, joking aside it's really to improve his tan. All the best Nicky and remember, we're only a www away.

Ladies Football
Well done to Fethard Ladies Junior Football team who scored 2 goals and 8 points to draw with the ladies from Moyne Templetuohy who scored 3 goals and 5 points in Gortnahoe on last Sunday evening. The replay of this match will take place again in Gortnahoe on this coming Sunday afternoon at 4.30 pm. Best of luck to all.

St. Patrick's Boys' School
St Patricks School played their last group match against Killenaule in the Barrack Field on October14th. They had a good win on a scoreline, 5-6 to 1-0. They now meet Ardfinnan in the semi-final to be played on Thursday. Best of luck to all.

Brother James a Patrician Brother from Abbeyleix is bringing a team to Fethard to play a challenge match on Tuesday next. It's great to see the Fethard connection with the Patrician Brothers being continued.

ICA ‘Interior Design' Workshop

Photographed at the Fethard ICA 'Interior Design' evening are L to R: RTE 'Beyond the Hall Door' presenter Lisa McNulty, Sheila O'Donnell (vice-chairperson), Lesley Swarbrigg (TV3), Nuala Delaney (chairperson) and Ann Gleeson (secretary).

Fethard ICA Guild were delighted to welcome two TV Personalities to their meeting in the ICA Hall on Tuesday 12th October, Lisa McNulty from 'Beyond the Hall Door' series gave a great talk on 'Interior Design'. She filled us in on all the latest trends, telling us that wallpaper is back in fashion, deep pile carpets are big, and wooden floors are out. Leslie Swarbrigg from TV3 was also present to answer all our DIY questions. Both speakers were brought to the meeting curtsey of Woodies DIY Stores and we would like to thank Brian O'Neill from Woodies Head Office for making the evening possible for us. Woodies also kindly supplied the raffle prizes for the evening.

Photographed at the Fethard ICA 'Interior Design' evening are L to R: Phyllis McDonnell, Aggie Barrett and Kitty Delany.

Photographed at the Fethard ICA 'Interior Design' evening are L to R: Nellie Shortall, Breda Slattery, Kay McGrath and Noll O'Brien.

Photographed at the Fethard ICA 'Interior Design' evening are L to R: Kate O'Flynn and Joan Anglim.

Photographed at the Fethard ICA 'Interior Design' evening are L to R: Celia Byrne and Mary Lucy.

Our Fethard Guild members were delighted to welcome visiting guild members from Cloneen, Killenaule, Powerstown and Lisronagh, to the very enjoyable night.

Fethard Athletic Club
The County Even Age Cross Country Championships took place last Sunday in Dundrum. Fethard A.C. was represented by a team of 22 athletes who ranged from 8 to 15 years of age. First to race were the girls U-10 team who were led home by Nell Trehy in 43rd position followed by Hannah Stapleton in 47th, Sophie Meehan 54th, Kate Quigley 58th, Hannah Tobin 60th and Jennifer Rice in 64th place.

Next to compete were the boys U-10s as Ciaran O'Connor ran strongly to finish 23rd followed by Ashley Laslett in 39th and David Heffernan in 43rd position.

Roisín Trehy and Radka Janacikova were Fethard's representatives in the girls' U-12 competition. Roisín ran a well-judged race to take 12th spot while Radka, suffering from stiff legs, battled gamely to finish 19th. The boys U-12 were next to line up as Gregory Henry sought to add to his U-11 gold medal of the previous week. This time, however, the ever-competitive Gregory had to settle for a very creditable 4th place followed by Louis Rice in 14th and Brendan Gleeson in 28th place.

Our U-14 girl's team were also victims of stiff and sore syndrome having taken part in a coaching session in Waterford the previous day. Nonetheless, Hannah Trehy had a great race to claim 7th place, next to score was Aisling O'Connor in 13th followed home by Sarah McManus in 23rd and Laura Rice in 31st place.

Fethard U-13 boys were prominent in their race with Ryan Laslett taking an excellent 13th place and Adam O'Donnell an impressive 16th in his first championship race.

Mary Gleeson was Fethard's sole competitor in the girl's U-16 2000m race and as usual Mary gave a marvellous display of cross-country running. Mary led the race from start to finish and despite a tough challenge from Carrick's Rebecca Briscoe ran out a convincing winner of the coveted County Gold Medal.

Due to shorter daylight hours training times have been put forward to 6.15 pm.

Fethard GAA News
The Junior A Football South semifinal takes place this Saturday 23rd October at 4pm in Kilsheelan when we play Moyle Rovers, with Cahir and Commercials competing in the other semifinal.

The county senior football final has come and gone to Loughmore-Castleiney who last won the competition against Fethard in that very much talked about 1992 final, also played in Cashel, which went to a replay and Fethard losing on a scoreline, 1-9 to 0-10. On that occasion Loughmore had to go out within 24 hours and play their Munster club championship game. We wish them the best of luck against the Waterford champions in their next game.

The GAA Lotto Jackpot €1,200 was not won. The numbers drawn in The Well were 5, 8, 12 and 20. We had no jackpot or match three winner so we drew five €30 which were won by: Dick Fitzgerald (St Pats Plc), Edwina Newport (Main St), Sean Casey (St Pats Plc), Willie Quigley (Garrinch), and Majella Drea (St Pats Plc ). The €50 Lucky Dip went to Thomas Shine (Monroe).

Fethard Judo Club
The Irish Open international judo championships 2004 were held last weekend in the basketball arena in Tallaght. There was a very high attendance from all parts of the country and overseas which included Welsh, English, French, German, Dutch and Danish. The standard of judo at the Irish Open was very high and Fethard maintained a high standard with the following medallists: Senior Ladies (Saturday): Josephine O'Donnell won silver in the masters and bronze in the senior.

Youths: Well done to Richard Gorey, Martin O'Donnell, Orla O'Donnell and Stephanie Lawrence who all fought well in the youths but were unfortunate on this occasion not to bring home medals.
Juniors (over 63 kg): Stephanie Lawrence, bronze in the junior under -66 kg; Cathal Gorey, bronze, Junior under -40 kg; Lorraine Feery, bronze, junior under -37 kg; Niall O'Donnell, bronze, junior under -31 kg; Padraig O'Shea, bronze, junior under -27 kg; Aobh O'Shea, bronze, junior under -25kg; Gary Bradshaw, gold.

Well done to Alan Brannigan, Tom Woodlock, Stephanie Lawrence and Jake Walsh, who fought in the juniors but were unlucky on this occasion. Well done to all competitors and to coach Eric O'Donnell, coach Josephine O'Donnell and coach Roy Gorey who keep turning them out.

Calling our Leaving Cert Class of 1984
Calling all our scattered Leaving Cert Class of 1984, or indeed, any school class at that time, to attend a school reunion in Butler's Bar, Main Street, Fethard, on Saturday 27th November 2004. Slowly some are beginning to surface — Paul Looby already has his flight booked from London, lets hope the rest will follow his example!

The organising committee would like anyone who has photographs of school outings, sports events, etc. they might bring them along on the night. Also, people are requested to pass the word on that the reunion is taking place, as not everyone might see the Fethard Website or indeed, the Nationalist. For any further information contact Lydia (Newport) Kelly at 087-6792992 or Helen Murray at 052-35915 or 086-3595290.



This site is maintained by Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.