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Fethard GAA Club


South Intermediate hurling Championship final replay (Sun 30 Nov 2003)
All-County Adult Football League Div 1 Final (Sat 8 Nov 2003)
County IHC Quarter Final
(Sunday 2nd November 2003)
South Intermediate Hurling Championship Final (Sun 26th Oct 2003)
South Junior Football Championship 'B' Final
(Sat. 18th October 2003)
County Senior Football Semifinal Replay
(Sun. 7th October 2003)
South Intermediate Hurling Semifinal
(Sat. 27th September 2003)
County Senior Football Semifinal
(Sunday 21st September 2003)
County Senior Football Quarterfinal (Sunday 7th September 2003)
South Senior Football Championship
(Sunday 11th May 2003)
Intermediate Hurling Championship
(Sunday 4th May 2003)
South Senior Football Semifinal 2003
(Saturday 23rd April 2003)
South Tipperary U-21 'A' Football Final (Sunday 6th April 2003)

Fethard GAA Park

Fethard GAA Park consists of about 4.12 acres. It was originally part of the Drill Ground used by the British Cavalry. The Military Barracks was set-up by the British Army back in 1797 and before the dispersal sale had stabling for about eighty horses and accommodation for a staff of about one hundred and sixty. It became part of the State property on the withdrawal of the British forces from the 26 Counties in February 1922.

The lands were let for grazing from the twenties and up to the early 1930's Fethard GAA Club only had the use of the field with permission. In 1931 Bro Leo Slattery arrived in Fethard and he is regarded as the first man to "set out on the thorny road of acquiring for the Fethard Club this most necessary and suitable ground".

Bro Leo enlisted the help of many prominent people and they got the use of the Barrack Field on a letting basis for the Fethard GAA Club. The first chapter of the acquisition was closed when Bro Leo was transferred from Fethard. It took another member of the Patrician Brothers Community, Bro Albert Small, to make any further significant impact on the purchase of the field.

Bro Albert organised further meetings and tackled the legal matters. Once the legal matters were sorted out, the next problem was the purchase money. The local people responded generously but the records show that financial assistance also came from as far a field as New York. By 1957 the purchase money had been collected and there were only a few matters regarding entrances and boundaries left to be sorted out.

In 1971 work started on the Sports Centre which was officially opened on Sunday 9th June 1974. Fr. Cunningham, who was a local curate, was the man behind this venture. The facilities were improved with the addition of dressing rooms, and out in the field, seating with a covered stand was installed. On the 11th May 1982, the Fethard GAA Club officially opened what is now known as Fethard GAA Park. Up to now it was commonly called the Barrack Field.

In 1986, four people were employed for a twelve month period under a 'FÁS Manpower Scheme' doing repairs and renovation work on the grounds. Around 1987/88 a Committee was formed with the view of improving "the field". It was decided to try and level the Park. The then elected chairman, Miceál McCormack, was quick to set the wheels in motion. Expert advice was sought and the final touches were put to the plans. The work involved levelling the field which was about 4 feet higher at the top end of the field. This meant removing the top soil, installing drains, levelling the sub soil and then replacing the top soil. The committee involved obtained the best advice available. An expert from Teagasc, John Mulqueen, visited the field and the work was over seen by an engineer. Very valuable assistance was also provided by GAA County Development Officer, John Ryan. The field was levelled and extend to near maximum width. An additional 10 metres at each end was gained leaving the playing area extended by 20 metres. Today, the field is back in full operation after being closed for almost four years.

It was only when the Fethard GAA Park was closed that people realised the amount of traffic on the ground. There are senior, junior, intermediate and minor grades in football and hurling. Then there are all the grades in juvenile for the boys and camogie to cater for the girls. Fethard players and officials were lucky to have an obliging land-owner like Dick Cummins. Dick provided facilities for all GAA enthusiasts on his own land on the Clonmel Road. The members of the Club will not forget his generosity.

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