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Monday 21st February 2005

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Community Lotto Results
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Tuesday 15th February were: 6, 12, 23 and 25. There was no Jackpot winner and two ‘Match 3’ winners who received €75 each:
Mark Leahy, 7 Congress Terrace, Fethard
Patrick Sheehan, Killusty, Fethard
The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Eileen Purcell, Burke street, Fethard
Gemma Burke, Red City, Fethard
Jimmy Smith, 15 Cois Falla, Fethard.
Next weeks Jackpot remains at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1,000.

Hayes demands urgent action on Fethard factory
There was increasing pressure placed on both the South Tipperary County Council and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), this week in relation to the advance factory in Fethard. Local TD, Tom Hayes expressed his frustration at the ongoing situation saying that moves must be made now to realise the potential of the facility. "I want the deal between the IDA and the County Council over the Fethard advance factory to be concluded as a matter of urgency. This is an unnecessary and unwarranted roadblock to developing the full potential of this facility and site", he said.

Speaking on Monday the Tipperary South TD stated, "there are many local parties interested in utilising the factory, but cannot proceed until the deal with the IDA is sorted out first. Once we get over this hurdle, a employer can occupy the factory and provide much-needed employment and a shot in the arm for the local Fethard economy", Deputy Hayes said. "I have written to both the County Council and the IDA in relation to this issue and am urging them to take action to close the deal as soon as possible so we can see the creation of jobs and all the associated spin offs that will bring for the community of Fethard and the surrounding areas", he concluded.

I want to be good Lord, but not just yet!

Concelebrating mass at the Abbey 700 Celebrations Vigil Mass for youth and their parents were: L to R: Fr. Timmy Walsh OSA, Fr A.B. Kennedy, Fr Malachy Loghran OSA, and Fr John Meagher OSA.

The 700 Anniversary Celebrations of the Augustinians in Fethard got off to a great start with large attendances at the opening concelebrated mass and ceremony on Thursday night 10th February, the Mass of Healing’ on Friday night and on Saturday the Vigil Mass con-celebrated by Fr A.B. Kennedy, for the youth of the area and their parents, with Fr. Malachy Loghran OSA, Fr Timmy Walsh OSA and Fr John Meagher OSA.

Fr A.B., who was reared across the road from the Augustinian Abbey, spoke affectionately of his younger years as an altar boy and the fun and games that boys got up to at that time. He reminded us of Saint Augustine, the one responsible for us all being present at these 700 anniversary celebrations, the one who has made such a huge impact on the church's teaching over the centuries, the one who broke his mother's heart before he finally changed his ways, but whose intentions were good, particularly when he said, "I want to be good Lord, but not just yet",

Speaking very frankly of the church, he went on to say:
“The Church had huge power in the 1950's and 1960's, perhaps too much. Everything centred around Church and dare anyone question her authority. The Roman Catholic Church was the one true church, outside of which no one could be saved. I remember as a teenager being unable to accept the fact that because someone wasn't a Catholic they were damned to hell for all eternity. I remember saying to myself, "If the God I know and love is behind this teaching, you can have your God, I don't want anything to do with him." And it's not that I was a rebel, I don't think I had the courage to be one at that time. But I remember being in primary school here and when we stood up to say a prayer at the beginning of the class, the Protestant students present had to stand outside the door until we were finished praying. Surely God must have been cringing looking on at the things that were done in His name. Sending an innocent baby to a place called limbo because it didn't have time to be baptized; burying a person in un-consecrated ground because he or she, in the depths of despair or depression took his or her own life.

St. Augustine says, "Walk the ways of faith and you will attain the vision of God". This statement is spirituality at its best, the study and practice of all that gives life. Give me spirituality before religion any day because religion in the wrong hands is absolute dynamite. The religious leaders of Jesus' time were the ones who gave him most grief, the sinners were the ones he ate with and partied with.

True spirituality means entering into the sacrament of the present moment. It's about becoming more and more present to what's all around us, seeing how everything in interconnected as the branches on the vine of life. The vine has three branches, and each expresses a right relationship, with nature, with society and with God. Such is community.”

At the close of his homily Fr A.B. received a rapturous round of applause from the full attendance present at the Vigil Mass. Following the mass, the prizes for the Augustinian 700 Celebrations Primary School Art Competition were presented to the successful children.

Prize winners in the Augustinian Abbey 700 Celebrations national school art competition who were presented with their prizes at the conclusion of the youth mass held on Saturday night. Back L to R: Alice Murphy, Lisronagh (3rd third and fourth class), Ellen Murphy, Lisronagh (2nd fifth and sixth class), Laura Rice (1st under-14), Gráinne Horan (2nd under-14), Joseph Morgan, Killusty (3rd fifth and sixth class), Padraig O'Shea (highly commended fifth and sixth class), Shannon Hickey, Killusty (highly commended third and fourth class). Front L to R: Evie O'Sullivan (1st third and fourth class), Deirdre Dwyer (highly commended third and fourth class), Louis Rice (1st fifth and sixth class), Brian Delahunty (highly commended fifth and sixth class), Colin Grant (2nd third and fourth class) and Michelle Walsh, Killusty (highly commended third and fourth class). Other prize winners were, John Frewen (1st under-16), Sarah Conway (3rd under-14), and Nicole Looby (highly commended third and fourth class).

Fr Malachy Loghran OSA talking to Kathleen O'Connell.

Fethard & Killusty Community Council
The next meeting of Fethard & Killusty Community Council will take place on Tuesday night 22nd February at 8.30pm in the Tirry Community Centre.

Pedestrians Ponder Perilous Parking
A number of people have complained about parked cars which cause an unnecessary hindrance to pedestrians. As Fethard is blessed with wide footpaths, it is possible to park on part of them while still leaving enough space for people to pass, with the added bonus of keeping your wing mirror intact. Some road users have taken to parking fully on the footpath, leaving no room to pass. The pedestrian has the option of walking on to a busy road to get around the car. This is dangerous. The other options are to walk over or crawl under the car. This is a bit of a problem for the aged, the infirm or those with prams. Have a bit of consideration for these people and leave a gap big enough to allow people to pass the car. Before someone coins the phrase footpath rage.

Do you smoke Winfield?
There seems to be a growing problem with litter around the town of Fethard. Our attention was brought to a straight stretch of road at Grove. Passing the site of the former dump there are several bags of waste dumped along the edges of the road, and many items such as mattresses, prams etc.

Closer to town, one landowner reported that someone dumped a bag of household waste over the wall of their house! The culprit smokes 'Winfield' cigarettes, reads the 'Sun' newspaper and shops in Centra. If the culprit reads this, please realise that this anti-social behaviour is illegal and no longer acceptable. It is now time to pay your waste charges like most households in the Fethard area.

Tipperariana Book Fair

Photographed at the Tipperariana Book Fair in Fethard are L to R: Mary and Dr. Proinsias Ó Drisceoil (editors of the Tipperary Historical Journal), Siobhán Armstrong (Director of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland), Enda O'Driscoll, Barbara O’Driscoll and John O'Driscoll.

The tenth annual Tipperariana Book Fair was its usual bustling self last Sunday in the Ballroom in Fethard, but a note of sadness prevailed also due to the very recent death of Rudi Holzapfel, the nationally and internationally known poet, scholar and bookdealer from Tipperary.

Photographed at the Tipperariana Book Fair in Fethard are L to R: Hillary Neylon, Phyllis O'Halloran (Dualla) and Nuala Delaney (Fethard).

A Book of Condolences was opened at the fair in recognition of the help that Rudi gave the Fethard Historical Society over the last ten years, especially his completion in 1997 of a catalogue of Tipperary books which he named ‘Tipperariana’ and thus was born the title of the now nationally known book fair.

Photographed at the Tipperariana Book Fair in Fethard are L to R: Dr. David Butler Mrs Peg Butler, Carrigeen Castle, Cahir.

At four o’clock, Maeve O'Hehir from Loughmore spoke on behalf of his many friends to a hushed audience of hundreds and outlined in brief the story of Rudi’s life. She told of his birth in Paris, his childhood in California, his youth in Dublin and of his time in Trinity College where he studied with distinction. She continued that he then went to live and work in Germany, his father’s homeland, but he eventually returned to Ireland and settled in Cappawhite in 1989, opening bookshops, first in Cashel and then in Tipperary town. Rudi died on Sunday, 6th February, in Germany where he was receiving medical treatment and was buried in the city of Bonn in that country.  A minute’s silence was then held in his honour. In time a fuller report of his life and work will appear in this and other publications.

Brian Sheehy, Fethard, and his daughter Hanna.

National Event
The Book Fair itself was again a great occasion where books were bought and sold for prices ranging from 50 cents to hundreds of Euro. Thirty one dealers were present from all over the country, with two regulars coming all the way from Armagh city. Dealers from Dublin, Wicklow, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, Laoise, Westmeath, Carlow and of course Tipperary were also present and all seemed to be doing brisk business, whether with the public or between themselves. The Tipperariana Book Fair has now become a national event for all those involved in the second-hand and antique book trade.

L to R: Chris Butler, Mary Coughlan (Cappawhite) and Birdy Cunningham (Clashmore)

Fethard Ballroom
The Fethard Ballroom has proved a splendid venue for this and similar events. The ballroom has a large usable space and car park and is maintained to a very high standard of décor by the Ballroom Committee, a completely voluntary local group that saved the ballroom and turned into a very successful venue with regular dances every Sunday night.

Helping at the Fethard Historical Society's second-hand book stall are L to R: Jane Kenny, Amy Grant and Laura Rice.

All going well the 11th annual Tipperariana Book Fair will again take place on the second Sunday in February next year, Sunday 12th.February 2006 .

Photographed at the Tipperariana Book Fair in Fethard are L to R: Liam O Duibhir, Clonmel, and Michael Hall, Kyle, Drangan.

Fethard GAA Club News
The senior football Munster league commenced on Saturday 12th February, away in Cork. The team manager had difficulty in fielding a team with training not resumed and some county players not available and others not due to work, college, and other commitments. We thank those who made themselves available and travelled to Cork.

In the opening half we were very much in touch with four points separating the teams at the interval, Fethard 1-6, Bishopstown 2-7. In the second period we ran out of steam and also losing John P Looby through injury, Bishopstown ran out comfortable winners on a scoreline, Fethard 1-7, Bishopstown 5-12. The team was: Paul Fitzgerald , Michael Carroll, Willie Morrissey, Connie Flynn, Darren O’Meara, Cian Maher, Brian Coen, Eoin Doyle, Jamie McCormack, Emmet Burke, John P Looby, Kenneth O’Donnell 0-2, Conor McCarthy 1-2, Brian Burke 0-2, Jason Nevin 0-1. Sub used was John Fitzgerald.

On our previous meetings with Bishopstown in 1999 we beat them in the semifinal and lost the final to Clonmel Commercials. In 2000, our last year in the Munster League, we lost to Bishopstown in the league section. Our next game in this competition is away to Coolaclare.

The junior football county league commenced last Sunday 13th February away to Loughmore. Under very difficult playing conditions in Castleiney, we came away with a share of the spoils on a scoreline, Fethard 0-5. Loughmore 0-5. The team was: Glen O’Meara, Connie Flynn, Diarmuid Burke, James Smyth, Emmet Burke, Darren O’Meara, Ronan O’Meara, Jamie McCormack, Kevin O’Donnell, John Noonan, Brian Burke, Brendan Brett 0-2 (1f), Paul Kenrick, John Fitzgerald 0-1, John Leahy 0-2.

Well done, particularly to those who played on Saturday and Sunday so early in the season. Our next game is on Sunday 20th February in Fethard at 2.30pm against Solohead. The final thirty-six who are not eligible to play in this competition are: Paul Fitzgerald, Aiden Fitzgerald, Michael Aherne, Tom Anglim, Ronan Maher, Karl Maher, Cian Maher, Stephen O’Donnell, Kenneth O’Donnell, Damien Byrne, Kenneth Byrne, Tomas Keane, Willie O’Meara, Jimmy O’Meara, John O’Meara, Chris Coen, Shay Coen, Colm Coen, Brian Coen, Alan Phelan, Willie Morrissey, Michael Dillon, Michael Quinlan, Miceál Spillane, Glen Burke, John P Looby, Ian Kenrick, Eoin Doyle, Michael O’Riordan, Michael Ryan, Willie Quigley, Michael Teehan, Johnny Neville, Carl Gahan, Conor McCarthy and Nicky Murphy.

An important meeting for all adult football players, including under 21, will take place this Saturday 19th February in the Abymill Theatre at 8pm.

Our sympathies are at this time with the McCormack family from the Green on the passing away of their grandchild and nephew, Elliot from Clonmel. Go ndeanai Dhia Trocaire ar an ainmeachta.

Married Recently

Married on 28th December last were John Kelly, Rathvin, Fethard, and Claire Love, Newry, Co. Down. The wedding took place in the Sacred Heart Church, Cloughue, Newry. The wedding party photographed above are L to R: Michelle Fox. Geraldine Love, Gemma Love, John Kelly and Claire Love, Gabriel Horan, David Kelly and Mike Kelly.

Lights and Loos
Fethard Community Sportsfield Committee are delighted to announce that both floodlighting and toilets were connected this week. The floodlighting is excellent and gives tremendous lighting to the field without hindering adjacent housing, and does not interfere with traffic on the Killenaule Road. There are three toilets in one unit, two male and one female, together with wash hand basins etc. The children and coaches using the field on Friday night were very impressed with the development despite the terrible weather. These toilets were badly needed and will be an asset to all those using the facility in the future. Next on the agenda is the provision of soccer goal posts and we hope to have these in place as soon as possible.

Finance is the usual stumbling block and our ‘Dog Night’ on Saturday 5th March is getting very close so we make this final appeal to all to support this venture by sponsoring a race for €300, buying a dog for €100, or advertising in the race card for either €150, €80, or €50. Please contact any member of the committee. Fintan Rice is our treasurer (Tel: 052 31670) and Philip Furnell is advertising manager (Tel: 052 31917).

We would ask people to make a note of this date, 5th March, for a social night out. Come to Thurles Greyhound Stadium and join in the fun and excitement. Special thanks to all those who have contributed to date and to Sean Devaney who did trojan work during the past week assisting with the ‘Lights & Loos’ operation and to all committee members who are working so hard to make a success of the fundraising. Pick up the phone now and make your contribution to this very worthy cause.

Hunting News
The hunting season now drawing rapidly to a close has really been one of mixed fortunes. Hunting pre-Christmas was not of the highest order with local packs and packs nationwide all having the same experience. Hunting has improved immensely since Christmas.

The Ballyluskey White Heather Harriers had a good run from their meet at Ballyluskey on Sunday. From their meet they ran from Whelans to the cross on Crohane Hill, where wheeling right, Charlie did a u-turn running back almost to where he was first found, where he went to ground. The White Heathers hold a lawn meet at Priestown House, Drangan, on Sunday 20th February at 12 noon.

Risteárd Prendergast, B. Sc. Pharm.
Risteárd Prendergast, B. Sc. Pharm., Cashel Road, Fethard, was recently conferred with his Licence Certificate from the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. The conferring ceremony for newly qualified pharmacists took place in the RDS Ballsbridge. Risteárd is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin.

Mick strikes again
Congratulations and well done to local trainer Mick Ahearne who had a double at the Tipperary Foxhounds Point-to-Point in Clonmel on Sunday last. Having won the opening event, the Four-Year-Old Maiden’ with his son P.J.’s, ‘Keenans Future’, Mick went on to win the following race with his wife Monica’s, ‘Can’t Talk Now’. Both winners were ridden by Mr B. Hassett.

Tailed Off
Everybody has heard of the star jockeys and horses, Lester, McCoy, Dunwoody, Carberry, Arkle, Dawn Run, Red Rum, Beef or Salmon — the list is vast. Equally vast is the list of horses and jockeys that never make the grade. These are the men and animals that are often just making up the numbers, and if they get a rare turn of luck they might land the occasional win.

One such jockey recalled a particular horse that he had the misfortune to ride. The horse was never going to make the grade but the trainer had to justify the horses existence and his training bill by racing him every so often. The jockey knew that he’d be lucky to get around the course without ending up on the ground, but as rides were scarce, he had to take what was offered. The same scenario took place after each race. He would ride back to the parade ring to meet the trainer and the disappointed owners. The usual excuses were given. The horse didn’t like the ground, the going was too slow, the going was too fast, a falling horse hampered her, she might have a bit of a cough and on and on went the list of excuses.

Eventually, the jockey was fed up with lying for the trainer. He told the owners that he heard the horse make a strange noise as he rounded the last bend. This was a totally new excuse so they enquired what kind of sound he had heard. Even the trainer stopped to listen as he hadn’t heard this one before. The jockey paused and then said that it sounded something like this, took a deep breath and went Heeee Haaaw Heeee Haaaw. He never had to ride the horse again.
(N Gawe)

Sheela: Goddess of the Celts

Photographed at Dr. Maureen Concannon's talk on Sheela na gigs in Fethard are L to R: Kitty Delany, Michael and Sylvia Delahanty, Lisronagh, Clonmel.

In a public talk on Sheela na gigs held by the Fethard Historical Society, on Saturday, February 12th, Dr. Maureen Concannon looked at what she considered were the three great early stands of Christianity in Ireland. According to this view Bridget represented Celtic spirituality, Patrick represented Roman Orthodoxy while Colmcille represented the merger and unity of the other two strands. Dr. Concannon believes the Sheela na gigs stem from Bridget's more earthy Celtic spirituality and were used as a pagan representation of birth, abundance and fertility. Following the Synod of Whitby in 500 AD in England, Celtic Christianity suffered a reversal of fortunes allowing Roman Orthodoxy the advantage.

Dr. Maureen Concannon (right) signing a copy of her book, ‘The Sacred Whore: Sheela Goddess of the Celts’, for Sheela Price (Kilsheelan) at her talk on Sheela na gigs in the Abymill Theatre Fethard.

After the conquest of Ireland by the Normans, they began to place the old stone carvings in the new churches and castles which they constructed over the following centuries. In their political attempt to reconcile traditions and to embrace the cultural artefacts of the defeated natives, the Normans used the Sheela na gigs in a more decorative style and they were now reinterpreted either as hags or to serve as a warning about the dangers of lust. As an example of her demotion from Goddess status a slide was shown of the Cashel Palace Sheela where it had been placed by the back door of the Bishopry, an entrance rarely associated with Bishops.

Over the following centuries Sheela na gigs were largely neglected until the last decades of the twentieth century when they again came to general attention. Sheela na gigs are to be found primarily in the middle of the country especially in places associated with churches and monastic sites. Very few are to be found in Ulster, destroyed she believes during the plantation, and few are to be found in coastal counties.

L to R: Aoife Giles, Dr. Maureen Concannon, Terry Cunningham and Margaret O'Sullivan.

Contrary to academic historical opinion Dr. Concannon does not believe they date from just the medieval period but claims they existed from early pre-Christian times and notes the existence of similar figures in other cultures especially in countries who have an Indo-European language. She also introduced tarot-like Sheela cards that are based on different Sheela na gigs which emphasized a basic holistic warm embrace of life.

The analytical rational historian might not appreciate Dr. Concannon's approach but as she herself pointed out, their methodology, until recently, didn't do very well in dealing with Newgrange and Knowth.

L to R: Martin O'Shea, Austin McQuinn and Jean Cullinane.

She praised the work of Mr James O’Connor, former owner of the Knocknagow bookshop in Clonmel, for his contribution to their study. There are three Sheela na gigs left in Fethard and many more in Co. Tipperary and she invited the audience to go and see them in situ rather than in the National Museum notwithstanding the excellent Clonmel Sheela which is stored there.  She urged us to engage with their raw explosive force and to view them not alone in their historical context but also for their psychological relevance and meaning for us today. Her infectious enthusiasm won us over rather than any adherence to historical detail. Her book is called, ‘The Sacred Whore: Sheela Goddess of the Celts’ and is published by Collins Press.

Community Lotto Results
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Tuesday 8th February were: 7, 9, 20 and 27. There was no Jackpot winner and six ‘Match 3’ winners who received €30 each:
Mary Coen, Fethard
Sean O'Callaghan, St. Patricks Place, Fethard
Amanda Kelly, Rocklow Road, Fethard
Stephanie Moore, A.I.B. Fethard
Eileen Heneghan, Ballybough, Fethard
Rose Lonergan, Fethard
The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Lily O'Sullivan, Kyle, Drangan
Pauline Morrissey, 48 St. Patricks Place, Fethard
Marcella Lonergan, Grove Road, Fethard
Next weeks Jackpot remains at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1,000.

Traditional Music Session
All interested in listening or playing traditional music are invited to Butler’s Bar on Main Street, commencing on Wednesday 16th February, where the proprietors are starting a weekly ‘Trad Night’ on Wednesdays. So pass the word around and come along to join in the craic!



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