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Monday 16th January 2006

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Gortnahoe & Glengoole - Killenaule - Mullinahone - Ballingarry

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Feathard Friends Celebrate!

Lord of the Rings Syndicate, owners of 'Feathard Lady' unbeaten in seven starts, celebrating their rare achievement in National Hunt racing at Butler's Sports Bar in Fethard last weekend, where the syndicate began. Back L to R: Peter Nolan, James Cooney, Joe Bradshaw, Bob Grant, Sean Óg Ryan, Davy Maher, Bob Maher. Front L to R: Dwayne Mulligan, Justin Maher, Stuart Looby, Cathal Ryan, Philip Furnell and Mark Moloney. Also in the syndicate is Seamus McGowan.

On St. Stephens Day, Feathard Lady crossed the water for the first time to take the Christmas Hurdle at Sandown in fine style. The race was attended by most of the ‘Lords of the Ring’ syndicate. It was a great occasion to be at and all were very well treated by the people who run Sandown Racetrack. It certainly gave the syndicate’s Christmas an added festive feel and hopefully for Feathard Lady's growing number of followers as well!

Last Friday the syndicate had “a bit of a do” in Butlers Sportsbar in Fethard. There was food, drink and music, and a great crowd turned up for a good night all around. Many thanks to everyone involved on the night. Looking forward, the next target for Feathard Lady was the AIG Hurdle in Leopardstown on the 29th January, which is now in doubt. This would have been her first encounter with some of the big guns of hurdling, such as ‘Hardy Eustace’ and her stablemate, ‘Brave Inca’. It's a steep learning curve for the Lady, but her trainer Colm Murphy is doing a fantastic job with her and who knows what is possible. The ultimate target is, of course, the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, but we are taking things as they come. We had a setback around this time last year, so we don't want to count any chickens just yet!

Everybody dreams, about winning the lotto, or having a dream home or holiday. It’s good to dream, but even in our wildest dreams I'm not sure that any of the syndicate envisaged that at this stage we would have a horse, unbeaten, carrying the blue and white colours of Fethard, as favourite in the Champion Hurdle. We have had great good fortune, and we hope as many people as possible are sharing in it!

Fethard Country Markets AGM
Fethard Country market takes place every Friday morning from 8am to 11am at Fethard Town Hall, where you can purchase the best of home and garden produce available locally. The Annual General Meeting of Fethard Country Market takes place on Friday 20th January at 10.30am. All members are requested to attend. We wish all our customers a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Fethard Open Coursing Club
A meeting of the above Club will take place on Wednesday 18th January at 8.30pm in The Tirry Centre.  All members are earnestly requested to attend this meeting.  The purpose of the meeting is to select for the upcoming stakes.  All those with tickets must have them in on the night and the draw will take place at 8.30 sharp.  All nominators should attend this meeting.

The Committee would like to thank everyone who helped out in any way on the big day Sunday 1st January.  A happy New Year to all.

Fethard GAA Club News
Fethard GAA Club will hold their Annual General Meeting on Sunday, 15th January at 2pm in the Abymill Theatre. All members are asked to attend.

Well done to the county senior players on their victory in Ardfinnan on Sunday last. We wish them the best in the next round of the McGrath Cup which takes place on Sunday 15th January.

Our Lotto Jackpot of €4,500 was not won. We had one match three winner of  €150 which went to Frank Wyatt, Jossestown, Fethard. The numbers drawn in the Fethard Arms were 2, 4, 13 and 17. The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Lizzy Reddy, 52 Woodvale Walk, Fethard.

Our sympathies are at this time with the Ward family on the untimely death of Dessie, in England, whose remains were removed to the Parish Church in Fethard on Monday last followed by interment on Tuesday in Ballingarry Cemetery. Go ndeanai Dhia Trocaire ar an ainmeacht.

Fethard Bridge Club
The results of our first game for the New Year played on Wednesday 4th January were:
1st Gross: Gemma Burke & Carol Kenny;
1st Nett: Marie Delaney & Annie O’Brien;
2nd Gross: Brigid Gorey & Betty Walsh:
2nd Nett: Bridie Lee & Mike Burke.

The results of our Christmas Turkey prizes played on 23rd November were:
1st Gross: Rita Kane & Kay St. John;
1st Nett: Mary Delaney & Rita Holohan;
2nd Gross: Brigid Gorey & Betty Walsh;
2nd Nett: Philly Kenny & Margaret M. McCormack.

The results of our Christmas Turkey prizes played on 30th November were:
1st Gross: Betty Walsh & Noreen Evans;
1st Nett: Berney Myles & Alice Quinn;
2nd Gross: Suzanne Opray & Ellen Rochford;
2nd Nett: Madeleine O’Donnell & Nora Lawrence.

The results of our Change of Partner game played on 14th December were:
1st Gross: Breda Walsh & Bernie O’Meara;
1st Nett: Suzanne Opray & Brendan Kenny;
2nd Gross: Mary Tobin & Betty Walsh;
2nd Nett: Frances Burke & Anne O’Dea.

On Wednesday, 18th January, we play for prizes sponsored by Teresa Cummins and Alice Quinn.  Anyone looking for a partner, please contact Annie O’Brien at Tel: 052 31862.

Joe Nixon — a friend to Fethard

The late Joe Nixon photographed with participants of Fethard FÁS Community Employment Scheme in June 2002. Back L to R: Michael Keane, David Standbridge, Martin Bolger, Sylvia O'Brien, Melanie Ryan, John Neagle, Tom Purcell, James Roche. Front L to R: Monica Aherne, Janet Byrne, Joan O'Donohoe (Scheme Supervisor), Joe Nixon (FÁS Regional Officer), and Patsy Lawrence.

On St. Stephen’s Day, 26th December 2005, Fethard community were saddened to hear of the death of Joe Nixon, Community Development Officer with FÁS, whose first association with Fethard began 29 years ago while working with AnCO on the building of Fethard Community Centre.

On June 29th 1977 representatives from Fethard Community Council met to discuss the possibility of converting the old Tirry School in Barrack Street into a Community Centre. Tipperary SR County Development Officer, Jim Keating, nominated Fethard as a possible location for a Community Youth Training Programme project, one of the first submissions to AnCO from the five counties in the southeast region. Thus began Joe Nixon’s association with Fethard. The ‘Tirry Centre Project’ – the first restoration project to be carried out in Fethard – commenced on 22nd February 1978 and the official opening of the Tirry Community Centre took place on 29th September 1980.

In May 1983 local action was initiated to transform Coffey’s Mill into a theatre and Joe Nixon was approached about the possibility of a second CYTP project for Fethard. Nonetheless, he once again proceeded with the necessary procedures. The project commenced on 1st January 1985 and the Abymill Theatre was officially opened on the 16th May 1988.

Joe’s connection with Fethard was maintained when, in 1989, the Friends of Fethard secured a Social Employment Scheme project to facilitate the restoration of Fethard Town Wall. While the previous programmes had helped to restore and develop buildings, the Community Employment Schemes provided training, education, employment and enhanced the social fabric of the community. Three such schemes exist in Fethard today: Fethard Parish Scheme which commenced 6th December 1993; Fethard & Killusty Community Council Scheme, commenced 5th June 1995 and the County Tipperary Community Games Scheme, commenced 27th November 1995.  Joe Nixon’s involvement with these schemes as Community Development Officer secured his association with Fethard. Joe’s commitment to these schemes, and the support and friendship that he offered, went beyond the requirements of his role and bore testament to the true character of the man. 

Joe’s last official meeting with Fethard Community Council took place in the Tirry Centre on Thursday 14th July 2005.  At this meeting Joe, in obvious failing health, proposed the idea of hosting a series of lectures / workshops to acclaim the history of community action in Fethard.  From his knowledge of the specific projects in Fethard and his wider experience of community development in general, Joe recognised the strength and success of community endeavour in Fethard.  He wanted to establish a forum whereby this success could be promoted and the local contribution acknowledged for the benefit of rural development in the region.  Alas, while the seeds for this action have been sown it may now take some time for them to come to fruition. Indeed, Joe developed a genuine affection for Fethard and to illustrate this, when undertaking a B.A. in Training & Education at NUI Galway recently, Joe chose Fethard as the subject for his thesis. 

Joe finally succumbed to the ravages of illness on the morning of 26th December 2005.  Following Requiem Mass in his adopted Waterford his remains were brought to his native Mayo for burial. Sincere sympathy is extended to Joe’s family – his wife Evelyn, daughter Mairead, sons Joseph, Andrew and Gearóid, mother Mary and sister Dorothy.  May his soul rest with the Lord and may his spirit live on in our endeavours. 

Community Council Meeting
The next meeting of Fethard & Killusty Community Council will take place on Tuesday 17th January at 8.30pm in the Tirry Community Centre.

Volleyball Tournament for Tanzania
Pupils from Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary School are currently partaking in a sponsored volleyball tournament, which will be run over the next few weeks in the school hall. The annual tournament, coordinated by Denis Burke, will raise much needed funds to provide education for second level students in Tanzania.

With the White Heathers
As a mark of respect to the Mullally family on the death of Mr Edward (Ned) Mullally, the White Heather Harriers cancelled their meet at Ballingarry on Sunday last and transferred it to Cloneen.

While the hunting may not have been quite as good as St. Stephen’s Day or 1st January, followers enjoyed quite a good afternoons sport in the Kilbury-Cappagh-Rossane areas. A fox from Kilbury was hunted through Cantwell’s where hounds split, the main lot hunting on to Cappagh where they crossed the Cloneen road towards Kylenagranagh where they lost him. Cantwell’s did not hold. A fox deep down by the Anner got to ground following a short right handed circle.

The day concluded with an hour’s excellent hound work in the vast covert across the road from Kickham’s Tree.

Winners in the Ballylusky White Heather Harriers January draw were: 1st Prize, €200, Ruby and Isobel Kennedy, Fethard; 2nd Prize, €100, Sean Kelly, Rathvin, Fethard. The next draw takes place on 7th February.

The committee would like to thank the landowners in the Cloneen area for the sporting manner in which they accommodated the pack at such short notice on Sunday last. The White Heathers meet at Clonacody on Sunday next 15th January and at Loughcopple on 22nd January. Both meets at 11am.

Tipperariana Book Fair
Fethard Historical Society will hold their annual Tipperariana Book Fair on Sunday 12th February in Fethard Ballroom. If you have any unwanted secondhand books that you are willing to donate to the society, please contact any member of the committee who will arrange to have them collected, or contact Dóirín Saurus at Tel: 052 31936.


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