Saturday 10th January 2004

The death has occurred on 9th January of Ellen Lonergan (née Ryan), Rathfarnham, Dublin and formerly from Barrack Street. Interment took place at Calvary Cemetery on Monday 12th January.  This was one of the very few funerals to leave Fethard for Calvary Cemetery via Barrack Street.  Ellen’s remains were driven past the site of her old residence in Barrack’s Street.  Normally, due to tradition and a memory of Cromwell, funerals usually leave town via Burke Street.

The death has occurred on Tuesday 6th January of James ‘Jimmy’ Kenny, Drumdeel, Grove, Fethard.  Interment took place in Calvary Cemetery on Friday 9th January.

The Annual General Meeting of Fethard GAA Club took place on Saturday 10th January. Officers for the coming year remain unchanged. The adjourned AGM for selectors and management will take place on Saturday 25th January at 8.15pm in the Abymill Theatre.

The Well Golf Society will hold a committee meeting this coming Friday, 16th January, at 8pm in The Well Bar.  All members are asked to attend.

Fethard Connection in Tipperary Cup Final
Fethard will be well represented in the ladies rugby Tipperary Cup final to be played in Clanwilliam next Sunday, January 18th.  Clonmel ladies rugby team, who went into the Christmas break on top of the All-Ireland League Div II table, have qualified to play Clanwilliam in the final and no fewer than seven of the team are from Fethard.  Ladies rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, and the Clonmel team have players from many parts of the county playing with them.

Valerie Colville, Catherine Kenny, Lisa McCormack and Mary Gorey (a Munster U/19 Inter-Provincial player 2003/2004), play in the forwards for Clonmel.  They are joined by, Jennifer Fogarty, Aisling Kenny and Jacqui Freyne (a Connacht Senior Inter-Provincial player 2003/2004) in the Backs.

With the Fethard Juvenile Rugby Club enjoying great success at the moment, it looks as if rugby is making something of a comeback in Fethard!

The essential renovations to the historic tower at Holy Trinity Church of Ireland are still taking place.  We would like to acknowledge the financial support received from the Heritage Council and the South East Regional Department of the Department of the Environment, Urban and Rural Development Scheme.  Without their help the present crucial preservation work could not be achieved.

Congratulations and well done to Kay O’Riordan, Fethard, who was winner of the ladies O/35 High Jump event at the Munster Masters Indoor Athletics Championship at Nenagh on January 3rd.  Home for a Christmas visit, Kay was prevailed upon to take part by who else but her former mentor, Miceál McCormack.  A leading juvenile athlete with the old NACA Club in Fethard, Kay’s victory is all the more noteworthy when considering she has not competed since her juvenile successes some 20 years ago.  Kay cleared 1.45m without knocking the bar to win at Nenagh.

Austin O’Flynn is once again providing a rare treat for music lovers when he promotes the twenty piece Premier Swing Band in the Abymill on 13th February (day before Valentine’s Day).  The visit of this band will give old time dancers and music lovers a chance to take a trip down memory lane to the pre-showband days to what was known in dancing circles as the big band era of the forties and fifties.  Ten and twelve piece dance bands were the norm. Bands such as Mick Delahunty (Clonmel), Maurice Mulcahy (Mitchelstown), Phil Murtagh (Dublin), Denis Cronin (Tralee) and Brose Walsh (Castlebar) were some of the better known bands playing the Irish ballroom circuit.  The big English bands such as Joe Loss, Oscar Rabin, Victor Sylvester and Roy Fox also did regular Irish tours.

The Abymill visit will also give the younger disco generation an opportunity to hear what a real live band sounds like.  Tickets may be booked from O’Flynn’s, Burke Street, Fethard. Tel: 052 31254 or 087 1338961.

Incidentally, it is great to notice that the Brose Walsh Orchestra is still going strong.  Now managed by the founder’s sons, they make regular visits to the ballroom dancing venues in Dublin and elsewhere.  We remember them playing for a Fethard Tennis Club dress dance in the old Town Hall way back in the nineteen fifties, and more recently in Fethard Ballroom.

The next meeting of Fethard & Killusty Community Council will take place on Tuesday night 20th January at 8.30pm in the Fr. Tirry Community Centre.  We send our best wishes to our treasurer, Jimmy Connolly, who is presently making a good recovery following a serious operation.

This year’s Tipperariana Book Fair will take place on Sunday 8th February.  As usual, the Fethard Historical Society are looking for unwanted books that can be sold at their second-hand book stall to raise funds for the society.  If you have books to donate, please contact Terry Cunningham, Tel: 052 23402; or Dóirín Saurus, Tel: 052 31936; and we will arrange to have them collected.

We have been approached by a few members of old Fethard families, whose family burial plots are in the old Redcity graveyard and are having great difficulty in gaining access to the burial grounds.  The only means of entry, for both the living and the dead, are the two ancient styles, which have served the purpose for over 300 years.  The graveyard with probably the oldest style in regular use, is now proving very difficult or even impossible for the not so young or so nimble, to enter when they wish to visit family graves.  On their behalf, Councillor John Fahey, will raise the matter with South Tipperary County Council at their next meeting.

Three generations of my family (Coady/Cody) were born in Fethard and I am anxious to trace two cousins (living) who my father (now dead) lost touch with in Cashel over the years.  I see from the list of Emigrant’s Newsletter subscriptions that there is a Michael and Elizabeth Coady from Manchester and in the 2002 subscriptions a Johnny and Mary Coady from Dorset.  Since both couples subscribe to the newsletter I am assuming that they have connections with Fethard and the locality and could be my lost cousins.  I would love to make contact with them, either directly or through someone who may help. My email address is: philippa.coady@skynet.be and my postal address is: Philippa Coady, 53 Avenue Edouard de Thibault, Brussels B-1040, Belgium. Tel: 00322 770 9101.

Tipperary Foxhounds had their biggest turn-out of the season for their meet at Thomastown on last Saturday.  Three great runs were enjoyed over the long fields on both sides of the Golden – Cashel road where hounds were given every opportunity to show their paces in good scenting conditions.  The large number of followers still out had quite enough when Pat blew for home in the sandpits beyond Kilfeacle at 4pm.

Ballylusky White Heather Harriers meet at Clonacody on this Sunday 10th January and at Loughcopple on the following Sunday, 25th January at 12 noon.

Results for the Progressive 25 Drive held in Fethard Ballroom on January 9th are: winners on 11 games, Tom Phelan and Bob Gleeson; runners up on 10 games, Greta and Sheila O’Donovan; table prize, Sean Walsh and Chris Colville.  Tickets: Richie Nevin, Jackie Devitt, Margaret Phelan, Sean Callaghan.  Rubber finals: Mrs Gorey and Liam Kelly; Brian O’Donnell and Seamus Maher.

Bridge results for Wednesday 7th January 2004. We played for prizes sponsored by P. F. Quirke & Co. and the results are:

1st Gross: Brigid Gorey and Betty Walsh;

2nd Gross: Margaret Hackett and Berney Myles;

1st Nett: Anna Cooke and Bernie O’Meara;

2nd Nett: Alice Quinn and Kathleen O’Connell.

Anyone looking for a partner contact Annie O’Brien at Tel: 052 31862.

We would like all who supported and those who came Carol Singing with the Pheasant Pluckers to raise funds in aid of the Central Remedial Clinic’s ‘Santa Bear Appeal.  The total raised this year, which also includes proceeds from the Christmas Hat Party, was €918.

The 5th annual hat party in aid of the CRC Santa Bear Appeal took place in the very popular venue, Burke’s Bar, Main Street, on Saturday 27th December.  As usual, it was a fantastic success, thanks to everyone who participated in the event.  Primarily we would like to thank Martin Burke, who provided great food and spot prizes for the occasion.  Many thanks to Austin O’Flynn, our prestigious judge, ably assisted by Marian Gilpin. Thanks also to Philomena Shee who provided gourmet delights, as she also has on many previous events. We very much appreciate and thank sincerely all those who made donations for the appeal and to our special sponsor of a beautiful piece of crystal for 1st Prize. 

The entries for this year’s competition were exceptional.  The theme was, “Christmas carols and Christmas Songs”, with a special prize for the best hat title. Results were as follows: 1st Prize, Lydia Newport Kelly’s, ‘C Amid the Winter’s Snow’; 2nd Prize, Bruno Staehelin’s, ‘Fairy Tale of New York’; 3rd Prize, Dóirín Saurus with ‘Beneath the Star of Bethlehem’.  The winner of the hat with the best title was, Bert van Dommelen’s ‘Hark the Herald Angel’.  Johnny O’Connor was highly commended for his entry, “I can’t Bear Christmas’ (with 24 bears).  Another unusual entry was, ‘The Only Man in Fethard to Wear Two Hats’ — one from Canada and one from th e USA.  Other entries included, ‘I Saw Three Ships come Sailing In’, ‘Christmas Carol with Lights’, ‘Oh Christmas Tree’, ‘Stuff the Turkey (with Holly)’, ‘Holly and Ivy’, ‘Good King’, ‘Frosty the Snowman’, ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘O Holy Night’, ‘Banzibar’, ‘Cowboy Christmas’, ‘Deck the Halls’, ‘Mammas Little Helper’, ‘Mad Dog’, ‘Santa Clause’, ‘Ma Hat Ma Gazzi (subtitled Shepherds Watch)’, ‘Pa Rup Pa Pum Pum’, ‘Looking Out’, ‘Starry Starry Christmas Night’, ‘Wise Man with Gold’, ‘Santa Clause id Coming to Town’, ‘Ba Humbug’, ‘Driving Home for Christmas’, ‘Rudolf the Red Nose’, ‘O Christmas Tree’, and ‘The Three Wise Men’.

Well done to Anthony Flynn who looked very cool working behind the bar in Mrs Burke’s creation and to Bill O’Sullivan who spent hours and hours creating his hat in the “Cork Colours”, or were they ‘Tipperary Colours!”  In conclusion a very special thank you to all who helped in any way the make this year’s party a great success.  We’re looking forward to next year and a different theme when we can put on our thinking caps to create Christmas hats — all for a great cause!

I am sad to hear that the chestnut trees inside the wall at Knockborden have been felled. Like the rest of my generation I spent many innocent hours there trying to dislodge chestnuts to make conkers. These trees produced a superior type of conker, far harder and tougher than any others I found.

I recall spending a late October day in the early 1950s trying to dislodge chestnuts from the trees there, only giving up when the fading light made it impossible to see properly and my hands became numb from the frosty air.

I should be doing something else at the moment but this news has launched me on a bout of shameless nostalgia so what the hell!  — Tommy Healy, Plymouth England (email: tomhealy.rugby@blueyonder.co.uk).


This site is maintained by Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.