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Saturday 28th December 2002

The death has occurred on December 23rd of Cly Mullins, Mockler’s Terrace, Fethard. The late Cly Mullins was regarded by all who saw him play, as one of Fethard’s best footballers of all time. The late Gus McCarthy when asked who he considered to be Fethard’s best player replied, “That is almost an impossible question to answer, but of this I have no doubt, for a sheer football brain, Cly Mullins is the best that ever pulled a blue jersey over his head”.
Cly gave almost twenty years service to the Fethard senior football team. he won the respect on not alone his fellow Fethard team mates, but also of his contemporary opponents on the field from Old Bridge, Commercials, Loughmore, St. Patrick’s, Kilsheelan, Ardfinnan to mention just some of the clubs he played against. His dedication to Fethard may be gauged by his remark on receiving the Fethard GAA ‘Player of the Past’ award. This was the only occasion when Cly was ever heard to say a few or indeed any words in public. He said, “When I first received a Fethard senior football jersey as a teenager, I made up my mind that it was going to take a great man to take it off me.”
A sportsman supreme, he hardly ever committed a deliberate foul. It may come as a surprise to many to learn that Cly’s idol and model as a boy was Dick Allen. He certainly could not have a better one for sportsmanship and fair play. While football was Cly’s first love he was an all round sportsman, all games came easy to him and good judges have stated that had he had the same interest in hurling as he had in football, he was definitely senior county team material. Cly also excelled at badminton, never beaten during a long career in a singles game. He was Tipperary’s first Munster badminton championship winner in 1952. An outstanding tennis player, he was a member of the great Fethard tennis teams of the 1950s which could take on and beat some of the best teams in Munster.
When he retired from active games, he took up fishing. Following a few lessons from John Sayers he quickly mastered the art of dry fly fishing and was soon a regular winner in club competitions.
Cly played all games, including the game of life, strictly by the rules. Deeply religious, he attended 8 o’clock Mass daily in the Abbey Church. He was never known to speak an ill word of anyone and had not much regard for anyone who did so. Sixty years in the employment of J.F. O’Sullivan & Co. Ltd, he worked for three generations of Fethard’s well-known pharmaceutical family, during which, up to his present illness patiently borne, he never missed a day at work.
Grantland Rice, the doyen of American sports writers, wrote some 80 years, “When the great recorder comes to mark against your name, he marks not if you won or lost, but how you played the game.”
No doubt when the great recorder came to write against the name of Cly Mullins he will mark as played fairly and squarely on the field and off, and tell him to enter the narrow gate to enjoy the eternal reward his exemplary life merits. His coffin was adorned with club and county colours, and a badminton racquet as a tribute to his prowess on the badminton court. Interment took place at Calvary Cemetery. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis.

Fethard St. Vincent de Paul conference wish to thank all who subscribed to their Christmas Collection. The amount collected was a new record of €2,259.68 and we look on this staggering amount as your approval and endorsement of our work. Anybody in need of our help is asked to please contact any conference member.

On Sunday 29th December, we held our Annual General Meeting in the Abymill Theatre, Fethard. Our president Fr Tom Breen P.P. opened the meeting with prayers for our Gaels who departed this life in 2002, with particular mention of Cly Mullins and Mick Quinlan. The Secretary presented a comprehensive twenty-one page report on the years events with special mention of the unique record of winning three county under 21 A football titles in a row, also our intermediate hurling and senior football south titles, and our under 21 A football achievement of four south titles in a row.
The officers for 2003 are as follows: Chairman, Mick Aherne; Secretary / Pro / Insurance, Noel Byrne; Treasurer, Nicky O’Shea; Joint Vice Chairman, John Hurley and Dick Fitzgerald; Assistant Sec, Caroline Sheehan (Sec Juvenile Club); Assistant Treasurer, Mary Godfrey; Field Development Officer, Denis O’Meara; Youth Officer, Denis Burke; Coaching Officer, Tommy Sheehan; Oifig Na Gaeilge, Ailish O’Siochain; Scór Officer, Martha Sheehan; County Board Delegate, Gus Fitzgerald; Joint South Board Delegates, Noel Byrne and Mick Aherne; County Football Board Delegate, Tommy Gahan. The following, along with the officers, make up the committee: Austy Godfrey, Jim Williams, M.C. Maher, Jimmy O’Shea, P. J. Aherne and Pat O’Donnell. The chairman of the Juvenile Club is also a member of the committee.
Our annual dinner dance will take place on Saturday 1st March. Tickets can be booked from any officer of the club and please book early to avoid disappointment. The presentation of four cups, team medals plus other presentations will take place on the night.

Fethard travelled to Clanwilliam in Tipperary on Saturday last. The u-8s team played well in a tough and physical game. Fethard had a slow start with Clanwilliam getting a try in the first minute and later another try but hope wasn’t lost and at the end of the first half Fethard came back with a try from Keith Bergin. In the second half it was a quick paced game with an early try from both teams. A delighted Gavin Delaney scored this. Eoin Walsh and James Holohan defended well and near the end of the game Shane Power scored a try to level the teams 3 all. The team was Jonathon Yates, Eoin Walsh, Shane Power (1), Jack Devaney, Keith Bergin (1), Cian O’Connell, James Mackey, James Holohan, Gavin Delaney (1), Luke Keating and Thomas Anglim.
The u-10 team was Matt Sullivan, Conor Kavanagh, Jack O’Connell, William Power, Robert Maher, Andrew Yates, Paul Mackey, Joseph O’Brien, David Bergin and Luke Mulcahy. They all played and tackled well in this match. Joseph O’Brien and Luke Mulcahy played very well. Fethard drew with Clanwilliam 4-4. The try scores came from William Power (2), Conor Kavanagh (I) and Andrew Yates (1).
The u-13s had another tough game against Clanwilliam in which they played very well. They played three ten-minute sides in which Fethard finished level pegging with Clanwilliam with a score of 6-6. The team was Dave Gorey, Sam Manton, Jack O’Sullivan, Gavin Yates, James Kelly, Shane Kavanagh, David Kelly, J.P. O’Donovan and Joe Kelly. Tries came from Dave Gorey (1), Gavin Yates (1). Jack O’Sullivan (2) and J.P. O’Donovan (2).

The death has occurred on December 22nd, in Bansha Nursing Home, of Mr Jimmy Butler, formerly of The Green and St. Patrick’s Place. Interment took place at Calvary Cemetery.
The death has occurred in London on December 23rd of Mrs Peggy O’Connor, née O’Shea of St. Patrick’s Place Fethard. Interment took place in London.
The death has occurred on December 19th of Mr Derek Wall, Main Street, Fethard. Interment took place at Calvary Cemetery.
The death has occurred on December 19th of Mr Tommy Fleming, Coolmore, Fethard. Interment took place at Calvary Cemetery.

Early risers passing the Convent Bridge on Christmas Eve morning saw that Fethard’s resident otter had partaken of an early Christmas dinner. A fine freshly run salmon of around 12lbs lay dead in the reed bed. The partially eaten fish — the head had been eaten— showed the otter trademark.

With much improved scenting conditions, local packs had very successful hunting over the Christmas period. The Tipps had an excellent day following their traditional Stephen’s Day meet at Lismolin, as had the Ballylusky White Heather harriers from their meet at Drangan. The Ballylusky White Heather Harriers meet on Sunday next, January 5th, at 12 noon.

The local winner of the €300,000 Lotto Plus prize, now almost three weeks ago, is certainly staying very low key. Rumours and counter rumours are flying locally like snuff at an old time wake but the identity of the lucky ticket holder still remains a mystery.

When you have got the best you cannot get better was certainly true of the Mary Coughlan concert in the Abymill Theatre before Christmas. Ms Coughlan certainly proved, if proof was required, that she deserves her title as ‘best lady singer of the blues’. Her rendering of such all time favourites as ‘Rough Rain’, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, ‘Walking away from me’ and many others were positively brilliant. Mary’s accompanist, James Delaney, one of the great musical families — the Delaney family of the Slate Quarries — was an outstanding performer in his own right. he received several bursts of prolonged spontaneous applause for his brilliant playing on the keyboards.
Mary Coughlan’s supporting artiste, local girl Jewel Burke accompanied by Shamus Hayes, opened a few eyes and won a number of new fans following her performance. Jewel in her programme sang three songs she had composed herself and the audience were loud in their praise of her rendering with such feeling of the perennial Christmas favourite, ‘O Holy Night’.
Mary, in thanking her wonderful audience with which she built up a wonderful rapport from her very first number, expressed the wish that the Abymill management would have her back again. If the wonderful reception she received is anything to go by, that wish should be granted. Jewel Burke must also be a must on any return programme. Perhaps next time she may be given a little longer on stage.

A local sportsman out for an afternoon walk was attracted by a commotion in the nearby river. Going closer to investigate, thinking it might be our local otter, he was amazed to see two salmon engaged in a battle royal in the knee deep water completely ignoring his nearby presence. Regular readers of this column will have noticed over the years that we have kept our eyes and ears close to what goes on in our wild nature world. Foxes, stags, birds and even rabbits we have noticed waging territorial battles during the breeding season, but fish never! We would be especially interested if any of our readers have witnessed or even heard of a similar incident.

It was great to see the old Fethard tradition of the Carol singers doing their rounds at Christmas time. Credit to all who turned out and to all who subscribed so generously to their appeal. The proceeds go towards the Santa Bear Appeal in aid of the Central Remedial Clinic, Dublin.

Fethard Youth Club recently held their annual Table Quiz and Church Gate Collection and would like to thank people for their generosity, especially the older generation of our town who gave to this great cause very generously.
No re-opening date has yet been set but plans are underway for our New Years Party, we will inform our members when we will re-open. New leaders are urgently required and if you have 2 hours to spare any Saturday night please come down to the Ballroom from 7.10pm to 9.10pm, we would be delighted to see you there.

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