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Saturday 23rd June 2001

Last Friday night’s under-10 Community Games GAA final in Cashel resulted in a 2-5 to 1-3 victory to Fethard. Fethard captured the title when defeating a very good Loughmore team in a very exciting final played in Cashel. They gained an early advantage and by half time had a five-point lead. However, Loughmore staged a great second half recovery and levelled the scores. Only a great save from goalie Darren Connolly prevented a certain goal for Loughmore and in a hectic finish to the game Fethard scored a further goal and a point to win by 2-5 to 1-4 to the delight of their trainers Michael Sheehan, Dinny Burke and Tommy Sheehan. The scorers in a magnificent game in which each and every player played their part were, captain Ciarán Ryan (1-2), Tommy Sheehan (1-0), Matthew Fitzgerald ((0-1), Ben Walsh (0-1), and Frankie O’Donovan (0-1). The full team, who now qualify to meet the Waterford winners, are: Darren Connolly (The Green), Kevin Hayes (Redcity), Philip Doyle (Woodvale Walk), Jerome Ahearne (Redcity Road), Ciarán O'Connell (Coolmoyne), Adam Lyons (Woodvale Walk), Damien Morrissey (Barrack Street), Ciarán Ryan capt. (Slievenamon Close), Daniel Hickey (Woodvale Walk), Alan Lawrence (Woodvale Walk), Ben Walsh (The Square), Colin Maher (Woodvale walk), Tommy Sheehan (Woodvale Walk), Matthew Fitzgerald (Barrack Street) and Frankie O'Donovan (The Valley).

Lonergan’s Forge tavern was the Tipperary Pub visited on last Thursday night by Tipp FM’s weekly programme ‘The Session’. The radio presenters stated the atmosphere of a genuine pub was the best they’ve encountered in their travels. All who gave interviews etc were genuine local customers. Some of the premises visited in previous programmes had specially invited performers for the occasion. The programme was broadcast on last Saturday morning and created great local interest.

Well done to Michael Costello, Woodvale Walk, who won a gold medal at the County Community Games Athletics Finals in Thurles last Sunday. Michael is now qualified for the National Finals in Mosney which will take place on the last weekend in August. Congratulations also to John Lalor, Rathcanty, and David Sullivan, Barrettstown, who both won bronze medals.

A community games meeting will take place in the GAA rooms on Thursday night 28th June at 9pm to make arrangements for our open sports day which will feature the Coolmore Cup and Pat Ryan Memorial Cup. All are welcome to attend.

The AAI Munster Championships were held in the Cork Institute of Technology and run over two days weekending 10th June. Seventeen Fethard athletes competed in what was their first top-level athletics meet and turned out to be a very rewarding experience for both our runners and coaches. Again our two heroes were Michelle Ryall and Darragh Dwyer who both now progress to represent their club, county and province at the National Finals in Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
Michelle, on her first outing on an artificial surface and running without spikes, pulled off a remarkable achievement by finishing 4th in the 60m final and winning a hugely deserved bronze medal in the 200m final. Darragh continued his progression to the top of juvenile athletics by clinching a bronze medal in the 300m final that was run at record pace.
Other performances of great merit came from Elaine Kennedy who finished 5th in the 600m final and 4th in the 1,000m final; Damien Morrissey who made the final of the under-8 long jump, placing him in the top 8 in Munster; and Hannah Trehy who was placed 4th in her 60m semi-final, missing the final by the narrowest margin.
The Fethard squad who travelled for the Munster Championships were: Damien Morrissey, Daniel Hickey, John Lalor, Owen Healy, Michelle Ryall, Hannah Trehy, Fiona Walsh, Darragh Dwyer, Michael Costello, Adam Lyons, Ben Walsh, Ella Prendergast, Aisling Dwyer, Elaine Kennedy, Rachel Blackmore, Rebecca Ryan and Carly Hally. Well done to all!
Many thanks to the parents who drove and also helped with supervision, especially Mary and Declan, both of whom made the journey on both Saturday and Sunday.

Another well-known Fethard landmark is disappearing under a housing development scheme. Larry Keating’s stables and yard at Rocklow Road has fallen victim to the JCB in the extension of the Cois Falla housing scheme.
The late Larry Keating was, at the time of his retirement, the oldest licensed trainer in Ireland. he ran a very tight ship in his, by modern standards, small yard at Rocklow Road. Cleanliness and tidiness were hallmarks of his establishment and his standards in this regard were widely known and admired. Maybe the four original loose boxes still standing may escape progress. These stables, dating from the 19th century, still have the antique wooden partitions and cobblestone flooring. Memories of the great horses and the men who looked after them came flooding back, but time marches on and changes many things.

The Fethard Juvenile GAA Club would like to thank everybody who supported their football marathon from 10am to 8pm on Sunday 24th June. Sixty football matches were played on the day and the results of the finals were as follows: Under-10 Final — Ciarán Ryan’s team; Under-13 Final — Owen Doyle’s team; Under-16 Final — William Doyle’s team. In fabulous sunshine the kids showed great stamina to keep going all day. A bouncing castle, shop, and various sideshows proved very popular especially with the large number of juveniles attending. The winners of the side shows were; ‘Ball in Barrel’ — Tommy Sheehan (jnr); ‘Highest Score’ — Mark Lawless; ‘Ball in Tyre’ — Derek Shine; ‘Beat the Goalie’ — J.P. McGrath. Overall, approximately 120 boys and girls took part in the days event.

The following numbers were drawn on Tuesday 19th June, 14, 27, 29 and 31. We had no jackpot winner and no 'Match 3' winners. The following five tickets were drawn and each will receive £20: Noreen Evans, Congress Terrace; Thomas O'Brien, Woodvale Walk; Brud Roche, Woodvale Walk; Anna M. Wyse, Knockborden; Dessie O'Meara, Coolmoyne. Next weeks Jackpot is £2,900.

The wedding took place at Fethard Augustinian Abbey Church on Saturday last of Jacqueline, daughter of Dr. and Mrs Patrick Stokes, Main Street, to Captain Thomas Freyne, Irish Defence Forces. Very best wishes to Jacqueline and Tom, very well known in Irish athletics, hunting and equestrian sports circles, in the years ahead.

Fethard Athletic Club runners represented many of our local parishes at the Community Games County finals in Thurles last Sunday. Our members represented Fethard & Killusty, Killenaule & Moyglass and Powerstown & Lisronagh. The stakes were high with the much-coveted ‘Trip to Mosney’ as the prize for the winners in each event. It turned out to be our most successful community games athletics finals ever as five athletes won the much sought after gold medal and will represent their county in the September weekend trip to the Community Games National Finals in Mosney.
Our five winners were Gregory Henry in the boys under-8 60 meter hurdles, Conor Prendergast in the boys under-10 hurdles, Michael Costello in the boys under-10 100 meters, Michelle Ryall in the girls under-10 200 meters, and Elaine Kennedy in the girls under-12 600 meters. Other medal winners were John Lalor who won bronze in the boys under-10 200 meters final, Rebecca Ryan, Elaine Kennedy and Michelle Ryall who won silver in the girls under-12 4x100m relay, Gregory Henry who also won bronze in the boys under-8 60m final.
Congratulations to all involved in the organisation of this important event in the athletics calendar.

Local archaeologist Mr Barry O'Reilly gave a most interesting lecture on Fethard Town Hall to members of the Fethard Historical Society in the Abymill Theatre on Tuesday 12th June. Having outlined the medieval aspect of the building and the charter granted to benefit the building, Mr O'Reilly then spoke on the various purposes it had been used for over the centuries. The administrative bodies, currently Tipperary S.R. County Council, have been collecting revenue in Fethard Town Hall since 1608. Mr Tom Smith still collects each Friday morning in his capacity as County Council rents and rates collector.
Fethard Corporation held their meetings in the Town Hall from the early 18th Century up to 1840. The Corporation was composed mainly of successive generations of the leading Fethard families in that era — Everards, Walls, Hacketts and Keatings. Fethard Town Commissioners took over in 1840 and continued in office until 1935 when Tipperary County Council took over. A regular court or petty sessions was also held in the Town Hall from 1720 up to 1962. Local clubs and organisations used the hall for various fundraising activities. Well and widely known as a popular dance hall, its springy maple floor being one of the best dance floors in Ireland. The two longest serving tenants of the Town Hall during the past 100 years are the Badminton Club from 1946 and the Friday Country Markets from around the same period.
Mr O'Reilly concluded his lecture by very thought provoking words, "What is the future of the Town Hall?" The Town Hall has been serving the community since 1608 and should not be allowed slip into private ownership. In recent years the Town Hall has the appearance of a building that has not been loved and structurally, it needs attention if we are to ensure that it will survive for future generations to enjoy.

Fethard was inundated with canvasses over the past week and especially the weekend in connection with this weekend’s bye-election. The major parties are leaving nothing to chance this time following Seamus Healy’s (Independent) victory the last time South Tipp went to the polling stations. Ministers Smith, Quinn, Davern, O’Donoghue and TD’s Madeline Taylor-Quinn, Brendan Howlin, John Bruton and Michael Noonan were some of the names out on the canvass on behalf of the respective candidates. Phil Prendergast, the only independent candidate, won many friends with her pleasant appealing personality.
Who will win? Will one of the candidates from the major parties succeed or will it be a case of ladies first and the independent candidate once again mount the victory rostrum? Whoever is victorious, we appeal to all voters to come out and exercise their franchise and not display the apathy shown in the recent ‘yes or no’ Nice Treaty Vote. The very best of luck to all candidates and to use an old cliché “May the best horse jump the hedge!”.

A local driver out for an afternoon drive on Sunday last stopped at the Nine-Mile-House lay-by to admire the view. The lay-by has a lovely tarmacadam surface, a detailed map of scenic drives and an overflowing rubbish bin. The view, however, of ‘The Valley near Slievenamon’ and the panorama extending as far as Mount Leinster, is completely obliterated by the roadside growth of young ash and elder trees. What a surprise for tourists. South Tipperary County Council and South East Tourism Board please take note.

The Irish Ballet Company thrilled and greatly entertained their audience with a magnificent performance in the Abymill Theatre on Friday 8th June. The highly appreciative audience gave the company four curtain calls at the conclusion of a wonderful nights entertainment.

We have arranged for a one-day outing to Oakwood Adventure Centre in Wales on 10th July. Members are asked to bring their money to the leaders before 30th June as all fees must be paid up to the travel agent and the club will close for our summer break on the same day.

On 12th June we played Sean Treacys in the final game of the county Intermediate hurling league winning on a scoreline Fethard 1-16, Sean Treacys 1-10. Team: C. O’Donnell, W. Delaney, Ml. Ryan, J. Kelly, Ml. Ahearne, S. O’Donnell, C. Maher (0-1), A. Fitzgerald (0-5), Ml. Spillane (0-5f), Ml. Dillon (0-1), K. Browne (0-1), Ml. Carroll, J.P. Looby (1-1), P. Nolan, K. O’Donnell (0-2). Subs used: G. Byrne, C. Gahan, J. Fitzgerald. In Intermediate hurling on Sunday last 24th June we collected our second brace of points in the South Championship on a scoreline Fethard 4-14 (3-10), Davins 4-7 (I-I). Team: C. O’Donnell, J. Kelly, Ml. Ryan, Wm. Delaney, Ml. Aherne, S. O’Donnell, C. Maher, A. Fitzgerald (1-0), Ml. Spillane (0-2 f), Ml. Carroll (0-1), K. Browne (0-3), K. O’Donnell, J.P. Looby (0-6), D. Flanagan (2-0), G. Byrne (1-0). Subs: B. Coen (0-1), Ml. Quinlan, O. Doyle (0-1). Our next game is on w/e 8th July.
Last Saturday our under 21 (B) hurling team were victorias in the first round against Kilsheelan, final score: Fethard 1-10 (1-4), Killsheelan 0-5 (0-2). Team: C. O’Donnell, T. Gahan, Ml. Aherne, P. Croke, C. Maher, Ml. Carroll, Kevin O’Donnell, G. Burke (0-1), A. Fitzgerald (0-2), A. Phelan, J. Nevin, K. O’Donnell (0-1), B. Coen (1-2), A. O’Meara, O. Doyle (0-3). Subs: J. Noonan (0-1), D. Burke, W. Harrington, J. Fitzgerald, C. McCarthy. The semifinal may be played on w/e 8th July.
Our Junior (B) hurling championship game was played on Wednesday 20th June and we beat Skeenarinka by 8-16 to 0-4 in Cahir. The team was: C. McCarthy, P. Croke, T. Gahan, L. Ryan (1-0), Wm. Delaney, K. O’Donnell, N. Barry, C. Allen (1-3), C. Gahan, G. Burke (0-3), C. Treacy 2-5 (1-3f), A. O’Meara (0-2), J. Neville (1-0), J. Fitzgerald (0-1), L. Treacy (1-2). Sub: T. Morrissey (1-1). Our next game is scheduled for this weekend, check sports page for fixtures.
Our Intermediate footballers defeated Clonmel Óg in the south championship on Friday15th June on a scoreline Fethard 1-12 (1-3), Clonmel Óg 1-5 (1-3). Team: T. Gahan, Ml. Ryan, Martin Ryan, P. Blake, W. O’Meara, Ml. Ahearne, Ml. Costello, J. Nevin (0-1), J. Hurley, B. Coen (0-3), S. Ryan, Ml. Dillon (1-2), M. Coen (0-4), C. O’Donnell (0-1), B. Brett (0-1f). Subs used: C. Coen, Ml. O’Riordan and N. Murphy.
In minor football, on Friday last, we made our exit from the championship loosing to Moyle Rovers by 3-10 to 0-3. Team: R. Maher, G. Williams, I. Kendrick, J. Conway, E. Burke, D. Cannon, J. McCormack, J. Needham, O. Doyle (0-1), J. Hanrahan, P. Looby (0-2), J. Noonan, N. Noonan, Ml. Dillon, A. Burke. Subs: L. Frewen, O. Maher, D. O’Meara and P. Cooney.
Tickets for the Munster final in Cork must be collected before 9pm this Thursday
We had no winner of our lotto jackpot of £3700. Four ‘match three’ winners who receive £25 each: Martin Power, Monica O’Shea, Paddy O’Flynn and Arthur Daly. The numbers drawn were 4, 6, 9 and 12. Last week (12th June) we had two ‘match 3’ winners at £50 each, Mick Quinlan and Pat Sheehan (Killusty). Numbers drawn 6, 7, 12 and 23.
Our GAA church gate collection took place recently and we are very grateful for your contribution. Any further subscriptions can be given to any committee member.

The Fethard / Killenaule TV committee wish to apologise for the recent break-down in transmission. This was due to circumstances completely beyond their control. A transmitter on an ESB pole on Slievenamon malfunctioned leaving a wide area without electrical power. The damage being repaired saw the TV crew on the hill immediately to restore the signal. Remember the community TV workers are doing their work on a voluntary basis. Many who are using the signal have still not paid the annual subscription. Mr Austin O'Flynn, Burke Street, has kindly offered to help out in this regard and will accept subscriptions for the committee at his Menswear Shop in Burke Street.

The lowest number in recent years turned out for Fethard's Annual Corpus Christi Procession on Sunday evening last. Fr. Ben O'Brien OSA commented on the fact at the conclusion of the procession in the Abbey Grounds when he asked "Where are the young people?" How true, those taking part were almost all middle-aged and elderly people. Without the interest and participation of the younger generation, the annual processions seem to have a bleak future.

All last week the inquests have been held on Fethard's senior football defeat by Mullinahone at Cloneen and as yet, a verdict has not yet been reached. The opinion of some good judges that it will put Fethard football back ten years is a bit harsh on Fethard. The lack of proper preparation by some of the Fethard players is the verdict of others and is not fair to Mullinahone. Mullinahone were the better team on the night, they showed a higher degree of fitness and much more determination and won on merit.
Kickhams have stated they were surprised to win and that it was fifty years since they beat Fethard in senior football. Can anyone recall that particular game? We can't remember the final score but we do recall an epic encounter between Fethard and Mullinahone in the old Drangan field at Knockroe in the late 1940's. Mullinahone had Mick O'Sullivan, Waltie Scott, Paddy Dineen and Mick Quirke. A very youthful Cly Mullins scored thirteen points for Fethard in that game. The ball in use at that time was of solid leather and must have weighed at least twice as much as its modern counterpart. Whatever the result, every true Fethard and Tipperary football supporter will welcome Mullinahone, one of the great traditional strongholds of Tipperary football, back into senior ranks. We feel sure that like the other great Tipperary little village of Loughmore, they will be able to compete successfully at senior level in both codes. We wish them many more successes in the premier football grade, but not too many, we hasten to add, at the expense of Fethard.


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