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Monday 30th January 2006

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Read Lucy's Blog
Lucy Carrigan, formerly from Clonacody, Fethard, is a segment producer for Air America Radio’s Morning Sedition. She is also working on a photography project on life and attitudes in the South today. She’s written extensively on the effects of the coal industry on the people of Appalachia, and has also written about the lives of the people of Honduras in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. Previously, she worked as a researcher for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and for CNN’s American Morning. CLICK HERE to Read Lucy's Blog on Coal Country USA

The late Sean Henehan
The death has occurred on Thursday 26th January, at Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin, of Sean Henehan, The Square, Fethard. Sean, in his earlier years, ran a successful auctioneering business from both Limerick and Fethard. He later became manager and secretary of Clonmel Greyhound Racing Company and in 1972, was appointed a member of Bord na gCon (Irish Racing Board) for five years. Sean was also a keen sportsman and a member of Fethard's very successful tennis and badminton teams of the 1950s.

Sean's remains will leave Our Lady's Hospice, Harolds Cross, Dublin 6, for Fethard, following prayers at 1.45pm on Saturday 28th January. Reposing at McCarthy's Funeral Parlour, Fethard, from 5pm to 6.30pm on Saturday, followed by removal to Holy Trinity Parish Church. Requiem Mass at 11am on Sunday, followed by burial in Calvary Cemetery.

“Songs of Praise” at Holy Trinity Church of Ireland

The combined choir of Nano Nagle and St. Patrick’s Boys school who sang at the Augustinian Jubilee Celebrations 'Songs of Praise' in Holy Trinity Church of Ireland.

To mark Church Unity Octave the Augustinian 700 Celebrations continued at Holy Trinity Church of Ireland on last Friday, 20th January. Revd. George A. Knowd welcomed a very large congregation from Fethard and surrounding areas to celebrate “Songs of Praise”. Mary Healy on behalf of the Abbey 700 Jubilee Committee welcomed visiting choirs from Cloneen, Drangan and Moyglass. Locally, the choirs of the Abbey and Parish churches combined for this unique occasion, as did the fifth and sixth class pupils of Nano Nagle and St. Patrick’s Boys school who sang “Go Tell Everyone”, conducted by Ms. Rita Kenny, accompanied on guitar and trumpet by Ms. Brady and Ms. Gleeson.

At "Songs of Praise" were L to R: Ann Tillyer, Chrissy Cummins, Mary Cummins, Monica Moriarty, Fiona Cummins, Bryan Steadman. In front is Ciara Tillyer.

The combined choir of Drangan and Cloneen, accompanied by many talented musicians from their parish, sang, “We will Praise You”, under the baton of Mary Noonan. Adhering to the theme of our celebration they later sang, “Come and Praise” as their second hymn. Moyglass choir, accompanied by organist Nora Grant, sang “Glory and Praise to our God”. The Abbey and Parish choir sang Liam Lawton’s “Alleluia” prior to the Gospel reading. Later in the proceedings they sang “The Church’s One Foundation” directed by Fr. Peter Haughey and accompanied by organist, Ann Kendrick Walsh.

At "Songs of Praise" were L to R: Ted Cummins, Jonathan Gilpin and Ann Cooney.

The first soloist, Tina Whyte, sang, “Be still in the Presence of the Lord” to a hushed, appreciative congregation. Following many well known and much loved congregational hymns, Jewel Burke enthralled all present with her rendition of “Amazing Grace”. Kevin Hickey was accompanist to both soloists. Mary Noonan ably conducted the all of the congregational singing.

At "Songs of Praise" were L to R: Sr Bosco, Sr Celsus and Sr Clement

The hymn singing was interspersed by the reading of reflections on the themes of Peace, Church Unity and love of God and appreciating His gift of nature.

At the Augustinian Jubilee Celebrations 'Songs of Praise' in Holy Trinity Church of Ireland, were L to R: Nellie Shortall, Rita Walsh and Percy O'Flynn.

Mary Smyth, on behalf of the Jubilee 700 Committee, thanked everyone for their wholehearted participation, particularly the Holy Trinity Church of Ireland committee for both decorating the church with floral arrangements and for the appetising refreshments they prepared for the entire congregation.

Your response to the collection was indeed generous and will be much appreciated by the relief agencies coping with the consequences of the recent earthquake in Pakistan.

Fethard Bridge Club Results
On Wednesday 18th January Fethard Bridge Club played for prizes sponsored by Alice Quinn and Teresa Cummins and the winners were: Nell Broderick and David O’Meara who were 1st Gross.
The other results were:
2nd Gross: Brigid Gorey & Betty Walsh;
1st Nett: Anne and Sean O’Dea;
2nd Nett: Mary Quirke and Fr. John Meagher.

On Wednesday next, 1st February we have the first round of the Club Championship. Anyone looking for a partner, please contact Annie O’Brien at Tel: 052 31862.

Fethard Train Station remembered

Standing on the platform at Fethard Railway Station in the late 1950s are L to R: Sean Callaghan, Tommy Sullivan, Dick Smith, Paddy O'Donnell and Jackie Brett.

The Clonmel to Fethard railway line first opened on 23rd June 1879 and the Fethard to Thurles line opened twelve months later on 1st July 1880.

In Fethard there were two types of trains — ‘up trains’ and ‘down trains’. Up trains departed from the far side of the tracks towards Dublin and the down trains left for Clonmel and Waterford. The down side was at the town side and also held the signal cabin and booking office. What was the Station House is now the home of the Ryan family and the large goods store now houses Fethard Folk Museum.

Fethard Station, according to a highly detailed account by Sean Callaghan, was a hive of activity. Sean was transferred from Cahir to Fethard Station on Independence Day (4th July) 1944 and served until the last goods train passed through in 1967. He was then transferred to Clonmel Station, where he retired from CIE in 1985.

On the platform at Fethard Railway Station. L to R: Sean Callaghan, Jack Danagher, Paddy O'Donnell and Tom 'Tweedy' Slattery. Girls in front, Maureen and Breda O'Donnell (daughters of Michael O'Donnell).

A large amount of goods were stored and passed through the station. As well as a store for these items, there was a siding capable of holding up to thirty cattle wagons. A number of cattle pens stood at the far side of the goods store to cater for the volumes of livestock that passed through the station from the local fair.

Each month, on Fethard Fair Day, sixty wagons of animals left town bound for the ferries at the North Wall in Dublin or ships in Waterford harbour. An average of twelve more left each week when there was no fair. Two more wagons were coupled weekly to the passenger train, full of pigs purchased from local farmers in McCarthy’s yard and bound for the Clover Meats plant in Waterford.

Heavy goods transported to and from the station included coal, cement, fertiliser, timber, iron and farm machinery. The siding was also used to load wheat, which was sent to Ranks Flour Factory in Limerick, and purchased in town by their local agent, P. J. Henehan. Ten wagons were filled daily with beet during the beet season, which was sent to the sugar factory in Thurles. 

Lighter goods arrived on a daily basis. In the years prior to the cash and carry, all the goods for the various small shops, pubs and hotels were transported by horse and trap by Tommy “Tweedy” Slattery and later by Paddy “Rocket” Ryan.  Young girls used to sign the dockets with, “I love Paddy”, which he couldn’t read, but which used to drive the stationmaster mad.

The last passenger train from Fethard arriving at Clonmel Station on 9th September 1963.

The passenger service to Dublin departed the station at 8.20am and 3.20pm each day, returning at 12 noon and 9pm. The trains were steam powered until the late 1950s and a story is told about heavier trains having to stop and build up pressure before trying to make it up the hill to Fethard through Grove Woods. Steam was then replaced by diesel. The last passenger train from Dublin to Clonmel stopped in Fethard at 9pm on 9th September 1963. Fethard Station then lost its title and became a ‘Halt’. The last goods train was on Easter Saturday 25th March 1967, and then the line, like a lot of the smaller ones in the country, was closed down. Gradually the tracks were taken up and much of the land was returned to agricultural use, though parts still remain. The station house is beautifully preserved as a family home and the museum keeps the memory of the era alive. Many fine arches and bridges still serve traffic today, well over a century since they were built to accommodate horses and traps. Indeed, in our era of road congestion, many wish that the train still ran from town.
(N Gawe)

Patrician Presentation Secondary School News

English Revision Day — On Saturday 14th January pupils from Higher-Level English class attended a Revision Day in U.C.C. with their teacher Ms. Whelan.

Hospice Visit — Anne Grace from The South Tipp Hospice Movement gave a very interesting presentation to all the Senior Level pupils in the school on Wednesday 18th January. She spoke about the great work of the hospice movement in the area. The purpose of the presentation was to create awareness among the students of the care of the terminally ill and the help available.

Visit To DCU — Leaving Cert Physics, Chemistry & Biology students, with their teachers Mr O’Gorman and Mr. Walsh, took part in a Revision Day for schools on Monday 24th January in Dublin City University.

Leaving Cert Higher Level Maths Quiz — Eight students from the Leaving Cert Higher Level Maths class will take part in the Irish Maths Teachers Association Quiz in Presentation Secondary School, Clonmel, on Friday Jan 27. The following students will attend: Niall Hayes, Liam Ryan, Suzanne Gorey, Michael McCarthy, Sarah Mai Ahearne, Fintan Maher, John Frewen and Ronan Shee.

Lunchtime Basketball — The Second Term sees a continuation of the lunchtime exercise program for students. This term the focus will be on a Senior Basketball Tournament. All pupils are involved in these activities, which aim to promote fitness amongst students.

Crowd support
Anybody who had any doubt about the value of a supporting crowd at a match should have visited the cauldron of Thomond Park last Saturday to watch Munster against Sale Sharks. A large crowd travelled from Fethard to see the men of Munster defy their critics once again and regain the top spot in their Heineken Cup group, thus increasing their chance of a home draw in the quarterfinals.

The atmosphere was electric from the start. The home crowd were buzzing with expectation, and were treated to an unforgettable performance that evening. The first run of the day was cheered on supporters behind the West Stand.

A ticketless supporter risked loosing his manhood if he slipped, as he scaled the spiked railings in his attempt to enter the stadium for free.  Once over he had to jump from a high wall and cross the back pitch in full view of the stewards, crowd and security. He sprinted for the corner. But waiting for him behind the RTE broadcast van was a security man in his day glow jacket. He was about to be halted in his tracks, but then the Thomond crowd got behind him. He heard their shouts, did a quick side step and altered his run. He reached the line of fans before the official reached him and headed to the bar for his victory celebration.

Those fans were only warming up for the serious work that lay ahead, and they were duly rewarded when Munster destroyed the men from Manchester. The hunt is already on for tickets to the next match, the quarterfinal against Perpignan. Let’s hope that the Fethard fans don’t have to resort to scaling the spiked railings. If they do, I advise bringing a saddle, a rope ladder and a balaclava. If they get caught, the worst that can happen is that they could be thrown out. Intact.
(N Gawe)

Died recently
The death has occurred on Sunday 22nd January of Tom O’Donovan, Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard.

The death has occurred on Sunday 22nd January of Hannah O’Donnell, Mobarnane, at St. Laurence’s Nursing Home, Mocklershill. Interment took place in Moyglass.

Fethard GAA Club News
Under-21 football training resumes on this Friday night, 27th January, at 7.30pm in Fethard GAA Park. All those interested are asked to please give your membership fees, Adults €25 and Juveniles €15, to Stephen McCormack or any club officer.

The Lotto Jackpot of  €4,600 was not won. The numbers drawn at McCarthys Hotel were: 6, 7, 11 and 18. We had two match three winners: Austy O’Flynn (Burke Street), and Dick Burke (Main Street). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Margaret Bradshaw (18 Woodvale Walk).

The adjourned AGM due to take place on Wednesday 25th January, was deferred.

Fethard & Killusty Community Council AGM
The annual general meeting of Fethard and Killusty Community Council will take place on Tuesday 21st February at 8.30pm in the Tirry Community Centre. All are welcome to attend and we would especially invite new members who wish to get involved.

Tipperariana Book Fair
Fethard Historical Society hold their annual Tipperariana Book Fair on the second Sunday in February each year. This year’s event will be held on 12th February and the committee would welcome any unwanted books that can be sold on their secondhand bookstall. Please contact Dóirín Saurus, Crampscastle, Tel: 052 31936, or any member of the committee who will arrange to have them collected.

The Book Fair was first held in 1996 and has now grown to be one of the largest, if not the largest, book fairs in Ireland. Dealers come from places as far away as Armagh City in the North of Ireland, Schull in the South West, and from many places in between. The variety of books available to buy on the day range from 10p paperbacks to €500 antique collector items. It is a great place to find a book that you may have been seeking for years - and if it is not available on the day you can be sure the dealers will find it for you. If you have valuable books at home you can also bring them along and get them valued without obligation.

Hunting News
A very large mounted field plus a great number of car followers turned out for the Tipperary Foxhounds lawn meet at Coolmore on Monday. First draw proved blank before a fox from Knockelly ran a short left-handed circle to the large Knockelly Hill covert. At least three brace were soon on foot here causing the pack to split. Getting them together eventually, Pat moved on to St. Johnstown where from the fort a fox ran a short distance to ground in St. Johnstown quarry. Two short runs kept the followers on the go from O’Donnell’s and from the fort at Coolbawn cross.

Moving on to Bawnbrack, the last draw of the day provided another excellent hunt. Hounds had their fox quickly away from here. Crossing the road at Kilkennybeg bearing left-handed he ran over the hill to the Ballylusky road at Shanakyle. Turning left here he ran to Ballylusky where hard pressed he again swung left-handed and running by the Ballylusky-Killenaule road he re-crossed the Kilkennybeg road to where he was found. Hounds were still hunting strongly on this good fox when stopped at almost 5pm.

With the White Heathers
From their meet at Loughcopple on Sunday last the White Heathers had their best run from the Blackthorns at College. Working a straight line out of the thicket towards Miltown, hounds suddenly hit it off near Miltown House. They ran towards Carrolls where the fox did a u-turn to a small covert in O’Donnells’. Moving him briskly from here, he crossed the Moyle stream and ran to the Fethard-Kilsheelan road where he crossed. Straight to the Anner, which he also took in style, he seemed to be heading for Kyleavalla wood, which he skirted and got to ground in Holohans.

The Ballylusky White Heather Harriers meet next Sunday, 29th January, at Ballingarry at 11am.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on Wednesday 18th January were: 14, 15, 19 and 24. There was no Jackpot winner and one ‘Match 3’ winner who received €150:
Seamus Moloney, Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard.

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Gwen Cooke, 49 St. Patrick's Place, Fethard;
Jim Needham, Friarsgrange, Fethard;
Robert O'Riordan, Cloneen, Fethard.

Next weeks Jackpot remains at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1,000.

Scouts County Challenge Day

Fethard team taking part in the Scouts County Challenge held in Fethard. L to R: Brian Delahunty, Louis Rice, Gavin Lonergan and Dean Sharpe. CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOGRAPHS

On Sunday 15th January, the 27th Tipperary Fethard Scout Troop hosted the County Challenge Day, which ran from ten in the morning to nearly five in the afternoon. Teams from Kilsheelan, Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel, Cahir, Ardfinnan and Ballymacarbry battled it out over eleven rounds of quiz questions in the morning, held in Fethard Ballroom, which was followed by eleven bases testing the scouts physically, mentally, their scouting skills and their sense of fun, humour and ability to stay dry in the frequent showers of rain Sunday afternoon in the school field.

Fethard team taking part in the Scouts County Challenge held in Fethard. L to R: Gareth Lawrence, Jamie Walsh, Noel O'Brien and Ted Barrett. CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOGRAPHS

All had a great day and the ultimate winners of the competition were team 21 representing the 22nd scout troop, Clonmel. The lads, along with 2nd place team 4, representing the 9th scout troop, Ardfinnan, will now go on to represent the county at the National Challenge Day in Kildare.

Scout leaders helping at the Scouts County Challenge Day in Fethard. L to R: Paul Collin, Jim Walsh, Jim Fenton, Jim Tobin, Robert Phelan, Melissa Condon and Philip O'Donnell. CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOGRAPHS

Many thanks to all the scouts who enthusiastically participated in the competition, their leaders of course and a special thanks to the Fethard leaders for putting the day together:  Bobby Phelan, John McCarthy, John Noonan, Mikey McCarthy, Dermot Culligan and Philip O’Donnell. Special thanks also to Mrs Patricia Treacy for use of the St. Patrick’s Boys’ School field, and to Margaret Phelan and Monica Ahearne, for feeding and watering the hungry leaders!

Golf Memorabilia for Charity

A piece of sporting memorabilia was given to Frank Purcell and Vincent Murphy the night that Eleanor Shanley played a concert in aid of Alice Leahy’s ‘Trust’ charity. It’s a cap from the 2005 J.P. McManus Pro-Am golf classic, which has been signed by all of the professional golfers that took part in the tournament. Most of the top names in the world of golf have signed the cap, which include Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III, Fred Couples and world number one, Tiger Woods. This unique piece of sporting memorabilia is now being auctioned off for Alice’s charity. To place a bid, contact Vincent on Tel: 086 8119625, Frank on 087 7805492 or

Are you feeling anxious?
Are you feeling anxious, depressed or fearful? Are you shy and without friends? Do you feel inferior and that you don’t belong? Have you lost hope, even feeling suicidal?

GROW is a community of people who suffer like you. They offer friendship, support and guidelines for healthier living and peace of mind. Everyone is welcome and no fees are charged. For further information on local meetings contact: Tel: 056 7761624 or 056 7751615.  A church gate collection will take place in Fethard on 28th & 29th January.

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