Hailed a hero after shot at robbers car.
A 21 year-old shopkeeper in Fethard is being hailed as a hero after he fought off robbers two mornings in a row by shooting the tyres of their cars with a shot gun.
Courageous Thomas Hennessy sent the criminals running in all directions in the early hours of Monday and Tuesday morning when they tried to break into his recently opened corner store "The Cross Stop Shop" located at the Cashel Road junction in Fethard town.
On the second occasion the brazen robbers - who are believed to have been from Dublin attempted to break down the shop door with a sledge hammer and when Thomas fired a warning shot over their heads they started to fire stones.
The young businessman recounted the extraordinary events in an interview with. The Nationalist.
He recalled hearing a car pull up outside the shop at around 6.15 am on Monday
I morning - three-quarters of an hour before the store was due to open. A few minutes later he heard banging at the end of the house and alerted his mother Frances who was also staying over the shop along with his 11 year-old brother Joe.
He saw two men trying to break into the premises, but when they saw that the alarm had been raised, they got into a white Honda Civic. When he heard the car start he got his shot gun and fired a shot at a right tyre on the getaway car. They drove down the road a bit in the punctured car, but abandoned it on Burke Street. They then escaped in another stolen car.
But the Hennessy's weren't over their ordeal. Around 5 am on Tuesday morning, Thomas heard another car pull up outside the shop. It was a wine coloured Vauxhall Cavalier with no registeration number and there were three men.
From the middle upstairs window, he saw one of the men holding a sledge hammer over his shoulder, waiting for the signal to smash in the shop door.
"I fired a warning shot over their head and asked them to get out," he said.
The shot, however, failed to frighten the criminals away. One of them started throwing stones at him and hit him in the head. The other two men then started pelting the back of the premises and attempted to get into the building. The men shouted abuse and threats at the Hennessy's.
But help was on its way. The shot set off the burglar alarm and the Gardai were alerted by a newspaper delivery man who arrived on the scene and a number of neighbours.
Thomas said the criminals went to jump into the car."I warned them not to get in and then burst the back left tyre with the shot gun. They realised then that I was serious and took off, one went off in the direction of Kiltinan and the other two went towards Cashel."
Frances Hennessy, said the Gardai arrived in record time on both nights. "They were brilliant", she told The Nationalist.
The frightening thing she said was that the criminals weren't afraid when her son fired his shotgun.
The Cross Stop Shop at Cross House, Fethard has only been open for six weeks. Frances said the events of Monday and Tuesday morning has been a set back for them.
The Gardai are carrying out a full scale investigation into the two incidents and have appealed to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area to contact them with information.
A Garda spokesman said they believed the attempted break-ins were carried out by Dublin based criminals who were probably after cigarettes.
The white Honda Civic used in the first attempt was stolen in Kildare and the Sierra car stolen in Fethard was later recovered in Tallaght.
A Garda surveillance helicopter was used in the search for the criminals on Monday morning but they managed to evade detection.
The three men that attacked the Fethard shop on Tuesday also managed to escape. The Garda spokesman described one of them as being of medium height and stocky build with dark hair. A second man was also described as being stocky and had reddish hair, while the third is believed to have been wearing a white baseball cap.
Fethard Bridge Club
Results 10th September 1st gross Betty Walsh and Bridget Corey; 2nd gross Teresa Cummins and Alice Quinn.
1st nett Kathleen O'Connell and Maura Mullins; 2nd nett Francis Burke and North Ahearne.
On Wednesday, 24th September the club will be playing for prizes kindly donated by this year's president prize winners (Dick Corey and Betty Walsh). It will be a nett competition.
The club will be starting beginners classes on Monday, 6th October for eight weeks. The fee will be £3 per night. All are welcome.
Club contact: Annie O'Brien 052 31862.
After a week in Cran Canaria the travellers have returned and busy times lie ahead for Fethard Macra. Rehearsals are going on every night this week for the South final of 'Lights, Camera, Action' a new competition which takes place on Saturday night. A club meeting will be held on Friday night at 9 pm in the Tirry Centre to finalise arrangements for our table quiz which takes place on next Monday night, 22nd September at 9 pm in Pat O'Shea's pub in Fethard.
The Butler Society was founded in 1965 by Hubert Butler, Bennettsbridge, and his kinsman Patrick Butler, the 28th Baron Dunboyne to bring together the scattered branches of the Butler family. The Society now has over 800 members world-wide. The 11th triennial rally of the Society was held as it is every three years in Kilkenny, last weekend. On Saturday, 100 members of the society from Australia, America, France, Germany, England, Spain and South America visited Fethard, one of the traditional seats of this great Norman family.
The were brougt on a tour of the Abbey by Rev. Fr. Meagher, O.S.A., where many of their ancestors, including Bishop Butler, Lord Dunboyne and many of their ancestors are interred. Mary Hanrahan of Fethard Historical Society brought the distinguished visitors on a tour of the town.
The Society members were accompanied by Sr. Richard Everard, Holland, a directe descendant of another Fethard historical family and an oft time visitor to the, medieval town.
Missing from this years rally for the first time since 1967 was Charles Butler, an American, the 6th Marquis of Ormonde.
Local devotees of the natural field mushroom, who are not for the officially grown commercial variety, are most disappointed that this year none are to be found.
Diligent searching of the local noted areas where mushrooms are usually found in abundance have failed to produce a single cup.
We sincerely hope that the mushroom is not going to follow the cowslip, corncrake, yellow hammer and skylark into oblivion.
Bus service discontinued
The Cashel-Kilkenny bus service via Fethard has been cancelled as and from September 6th.
The ballroom committee advise that the popular aerobic classes with instructress Kathleen recommence on Tuesday, September 23rd at 8.00 pm.
The ballroom dance committee promote the ever popular Checkers band in the ballroon on this Sunday, 21st, 9- 11.30 pm.
The fund raising project 'The Siuc Mor' promoted by 'The Friends of Tipperary Football' will reach Fethard car park at 2.30 on this Saturday, September 20th. The walk will proceed to Calvary Cemetery where a wreath will be laid on the grave of Frank "Scout' Butler, Tipperary's goalkeeper on Bloody Sunday.
All roads lead to New Inn on Sunday next where Fethard oppose Aherlow in the County Senior football championship final.
Hospice Coffee Day will be held at the County Markets, Main Street, on this Thursday, September 18th, 9 am to 6 pm. Please support.
Fethard challenge quiz
Last year's successful quiz raised £1,034 for the boys National School. This year the girls Nano Nagle Primary School will benefit. The organisers hope the usual sponsors will once again rally to the cause. The co-ordinator of the quiz will be doing his rounds this week, looking for participants.
Fethard GAA Sports Centre tennis team have won outright the 3rd Division Tipperary Co. Tennis Association third division league title. Having won their section they beat Hillivew in the final proper at Larkspur on Sunday, September 7th. Fethard team: Roger Daly (capt), Mark Cummins, Niall Nevin, Gwen Cooke, Jean Morrissey, Audrey Conway.
Fethard Flower Show in the Ballroom on this Sunday, September 21st, 2.30 4.30 pm. Proceeds in aid of local charities.
Tullamore was port of call for the N.A.C.A.1. junior All-Ireland relays on Sunday last. 32 young athletes representing Fetahrd AC made the journey. Our strength was not sufficient to achieve the results we would have liked, but nevertheless we were well satisfied.
Our boys u-l3 pair of Eoin Maher and Nicky Noonan were part of the
Tipp team who won bronze medals in their event.
In girls u-15 Elaine Williams and Katie Lyne were part of the Tipperary 4 x 100 team that took third spot in their event.
Training for cross-country has already started and will continue on Tuesdays and Friday evening.
New members always welcome.