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Saturday 20th November 2004

 While some of the points made re development on last weeks Fethard Page by ‘Proud Local’ are quite valid, surely to state that, “Fethard is dying”, is stretching things a bit too far.

The fact that Woodvale Walk, Tirry Park, Canon Hayes Court, Slievenamon Close and the beautiful Respond houses on Kilknockin Road and Barrack Street within the recent and quiet recent past must represent considerable town growth.  Had ‘Proud Local’ not noticed the significant number of magnificent private houses that have been built and are still being built locally in recent times?  This shows that local authorities and private individuals have great faith in the future of Fethard.  Fethard still has a very vibrant society. At the last count there were over 40 clubs, organisations and societies: sporting, cultural, charitable etc., alive in the town.  Space does not permit listing them all, but the old ones such as the GAA and ICA and Fethard Dramatic Society are going as strong as ever, while the comparatively new ones like the Community Council, Historical Society and the Day Care Centre and the Credit Union are all doing excellent work, and are all run on a voluntary basis.

Surely ‘Proud Local is not suggesting that by such actions, as objecting to a laneway in Burke Street and what it would lead to, that Fethard should change its internationally recognised archaeological appearance and become just another town of plastic fronted buildings.

However, on the debit side, it is sad to see the closure of so many small shops in recent years.  This is following a nationwide trend and it is not confined to Fethard alone.  The few that are left, however, are open at 7 am or thereabouts and ‘Proud Local’ can be assured they are not open just to serve the jackdaws.  Surely this is not the mark of a dying town.

Sad also to see that the magnificent Sports Centre is now lying idle and, if information is correct, it is quietly falling into a state of neglect.  What a pity for a town that had such a great reputation in racquet games such as tennis and badminton.  Someone would want to wake up here.

What a good committee can do is very much in evidence in Fethard Ballroom.  The Ballroom Committee have now paid off the debt on the premises.  Very large crowds of patrons from 18 to 80 are attending the Sunday night dancing sessions and the Ballroom is unique throughout Ireland showing that a social centre can be successful without alcoholic drink being served.

With regard to Fethard’s falling population figures, Mark Twain has said, I quote, “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.”

No, as far as this ‘proud of his native town’ is concerned, Fethard is clearly not dying. Anything but!  It is still very much alive and kicking. But by any chance it does expire I am sure all locals will be delighted if ‘Proud Local’ turns up for the wake and funeral.  (E.A.N.)

Burke Street residents
Fethard’s Burke Street residents representatives would like to point out to ‘Proud Local’, re his/her comment in last week’s Fethard Page, that they have no objection to houses on Burke Street, but they do object to the type of house as presented in the planning application, which is not in keeping with the old street.  Their main objection is to the proposed laneway.

The End of the Line
Tuesday mornings won’t be the same on the Square in the centre of Fethard when the Department of Social Welfare’s new plans come into operation. The familiar sight of the dole queue forming outside the Garda Barracks will soon be no more. Residents of the queue will now have to go to Clonmel to sign on once a month. Some say that this will free up police time and centralise the administration of the unemployment benefits. On the other hand, it could eliminate a sense of community when the recipients become just another number in a queue in a large town.

Under the Department’s Sustaining Progress Agreement it has been decided therefore, that from 29 November 2004 to cease Garda involvement in the certification (signing) of unemployed customers

Under the new procedures the following revised arrangements will apply:

(a) customers residing up to 10 miles (16 KM) from their Local/Branch Office will attend that Office once every 4 weeks for certification purposes.

(b) customers residing over 10 miles from their Local/Branch Office will self‑certify every four weeks and attend that Office every 12 weeks.

A certain element of community policing will also be lost to the area, as the Garda on duty usually knows the members of the queue. A question answered, a comment passed or a word in the right ear could often nip something in the bud before it became a problem.

I’ll leave the final word on the matter to the late Jimmy ‘Buck’ Ryan. The guard on duty was late arriving to let the beneficiaries sign on and the queue was starting to stretch down the street. Jimmy happened to pass the Barracks just as the guard arrived. “Would you ever hurry up”, he said to the guard “ or half of the lads will be late for work”.

Are you prepared for Christmas?
An invitation to praise, pray and prepare for the birth of Jesus.  Put Christ back into Christmas by spending an hour in a pleasant prayerful environment – Presentation Convent – on the following Tuesdays: November 30th, December 7th, 14th and 21st, from 8pm to 9pm.  We would love to see as many as possible attend. Please contact Sr. Winnie at the Presentation Convent if you need more information

Mary Coughlan Returns to Abymill
Fethard and Tipperary blues fans are in for a rear treat on Friday night 10th December when Ms Mary Coughlan pays a return visit to perform in the Abymill Theatre.  Mary Coughlan is recognised as one of Europe’s leading lady singers of the blues.  She will be accompanied on the night by James Delaney, an excellent musician in his own right.  Tickets can now be booked at O’Flynn’s Menswear, Burke Street, Fethard. Tel: 052 31254.

Rosary recited in the following cemeteries

The Rosary will be recited in the following Parish Cemeteries on November, Sunday, 28th Nov: Killusty, after Sunday Mass, Kiltinan at 3pm and Kilmaclugh at 3.30pm.

Enough said
We Irish are known the world over as a nation who can talk.  But sometimes we don’t have to.  Imagine a student of the English language trying to interpret the following interaction which took place in a bar in Fethard during the week.

A man entered the bar. The bartender held up a glass. The man nodded, so the bartender poured a pint and left it to settle. After a few minutes, he topped up the drink and raised it to indicate that it was ready to be collected. The man approached the counter and passed over the money as he collected his pint.  He said only one word.

“No”, replied the barman, completing the transaction. The man then drank his pint, nodded, and walked off into the night.

Local’s who witnessed the transaction understood the conversation, for the man involved was the local gravedigger and the barman the local undertaker.

“Well” meant, “Well, is anyone dead?”

Why waste words when two will do.

Progressive 25 Results
Progressive 25 Results for game played on Friday 12th November. Winners on 11 games: Chris Maher and Jimmy McCarthy. Runners up on 10 games: Michael Murphy and Jackie Devitt.  Table prize: Tom and Paddy McCormack.  Tickets: Gerry Murray, Michael Phelan, Bridget Hayes and Sean Kelly.  Rubbers: Paddy Butler and Tess Maher.  Next game takes place at Fethard Ballroom on Friday 19th November 8.30pm sharp.

Community Lotto Jackpot €10,000
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Tuesday 16th November were 6, 15, 17 and 32. There was no Jackpot winner and no 'Match 3' winner so three tickets were drawn and each received €50:

Brendan Kenny, St. Patrick's Place, Fethard

Rose Lonergan, The Square, Fethard

Jack Fleming, Barrettstown, Fethard

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Julie Wall, c/o Group Homes, Fethard

Liz Newport, The Valley, Fethard

Anne Daly, 34 St. Patrick's Place, Fethard

Next weeks Jackpot remains at €10.000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is now €965.

Class of 1984 Reunion this weekend
On this coming Saturday night, 27th November, the "Class of 1984 Reunion" takes place in Butlers’ Bar, Main Street.  This is an informal get-together with no cover charge!   We’ve had quite a lot of interest in the reunion with a lot of people promising to come.  We are hoping that as many as possible from the ‘Class’ will turn up and make it a night to remember.

The committee would like anyone who has photographs of school outings, sports events, etc. they might bring them along on the night. For any further information contact Lydia (Newport) Kelly at 087-6792992 or Helen Murray at 052-35915 or 086-3595290.

Fethard Ballroom AGM
Fethard & Killusty Ballroom Company Ltd will hold their Annual General Meeting on 1st December 2004 at 8pm in Fethard Ballroom, where they will present their financial statement for year ended 31st December 2003, together with the directors’ reports, resignation and election of officers.  All are welcome.

Hunting news
This Sunday, November 28th, the Ballylusky White Heather Harriers meet at Fethard Car Park for Rocklow at 12 o’clock.  Time was when the old Fethard pack met each Sunday in the town, usually on The Green with the famed Bob Byrne as huntsman. The hounds were then walked up to three miles to the hunting district for that day. The late Tom Neville has said that he sometimes walked to Silverfort, hunted all day and walked home. Whatever problems those huntsman of yesterday may have had, obesity certainly was not one of them.  Even if you were not a follower all are very welcome to come along on Sunday to see the hounds before we move off.

Sale of Work for Lisronagh Church
Powerstown & Lisronagh Parish will hold their annual sale of work and raffle on Sunday November 28th at the GAA Centre, Western Road from 2pm to 5pm.  Stalls include cakes, bric-a-brac, books, vegetables and produce and toys. Many other attractions like the spinner with loads of valuable prizes, guess the weight of the turkey and the cake, face painting and Santa will be in attendance. Raffle will take place on the day. Proceeds to the renovation fund of Lisronagh Church. All are welcome

School’s ‘Open Evening’ a great success
Patrician Presentation Secondary School’s ‘Open Evening’, which took place on Monday November 15th, was a huge success.  From 6.55 pm onwards the school was host to the many parents and students who came to meet the principal and staff, on an informal basis, and enjoy the ambience of the school.  The Parents Association had a very impressive display in the foyer.  The variety of disciplines and subject areas, and their teacher representatives were available with wonderful classroom displays. Mr and Mrs Prendergast organized a “find the clue” quiz for the younger students, which was won by Niamh McGrath and the Irish quiz by Jean Anglim, Nano Nagle National School.

Ms Marie Maher held a cookery class in the home economics room and an energetic game of volleyball was underway with Mrs B. O’Connor, P.E. teacher.  The work of Ms Patricia Looby’s art students was a delight to the eye, and there was a video showing excerpts from past shows. Mr Justin McGree organised a large screen continuous presentation of a very interesting student profile, featuring students from the last seven years.  Many thanks to all concerned for their hard work particularly our ancillary staff, Con Sullivan, Catherine, Patti and our secretary Gwen Cronin.

Well Golf Society AGM
A final reminder to all our golfers out there, our AGM takes place this coming Friday 26th at 8pm in The Tirry Centre.

Talk on the Old Road
‘Along St. Declan’s Way – Ardmore to Cashel’ is the title of a recent book by eighty-five-year-old Ardmore woman, Siobhan Lincoln.  On Friday 3rd December, the Fethard Historical Society will host a talk by Siobhan on The Rian Bo Phadraig - the ancient highway of the Decies, which connected the present day areas of West Waterford and South Tipperary.
A former schoolteacher, Siobhan Lincoln is a sprightly octogenarian indeed, and she has spent a lifetime collecting local history and folklore from her native area. For years she has endeavoured to save what is left of the ancient pilgrim route from Ardmore to Cashel, which is also known as St. Declan's Way.
Of course the present-day borders of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore still reflect the extent of the area that was controlled by the Decie clan in ancient times , including the area of the 'modern' towns of Carrick, Clonmel and Cahir.
Everyone is welcome to come to the Abymill Theatre on Friday 3rd December, at 8.30, to hear Siobhan speak on the old connections between South Tipperary and West Waterford and the route of the ancient road. Refreshments will be served afterwards and the fee is €3.

Fethard Judo Club
The Waterford Judo Open Competition was held in St. Angela's Secondary School, Waterford, on Saturday and Sunday 20th & 21st November, 2004.  There was a high attendance and Fethard Judo Club maintained a high standard with the following medallists:

Seniors (Saturday 20th): Orla O'Donnell U-52kg Gold, Martin O'Donnell U-60kg Silver, Richard Gorey U-73kg Bronze. Youths (Saturday): Richard Gorey U-73 kg Gold, Orla O'Donnell U-52 kg Gold, Martin O'Donnell U-60 kg Gold & U-66 Bronze, Stephanie Lawrence +70kg Gold, Samantha Feery U-52 kg Silver.

Juniors (Sunday 21st): Alan Brannigan, Gold; Cathal Gorey, Gold; Alan Sutcliffe, Bronze; Jake Walsh, Silver; Stephanie Lawrence, Gold; Loraine Feery, Gold; Robert Guiry, Silver; Niall O'Donnell, Gold & Silver; Padraig O'Shea, Gold & Silver; Samantha Feery, Silver; Natalie Cahill, Gold; Aobh O'Shea, Silver.

Minors (Sunday 21st): Jack Stapleton, Silver; Gerard Gorey, Gold; Gary Bradshaw, Gold, Robert Guiry, Silver; Hannah Stapleton, Silver; Roy Gorey & Josephine O’Donnell competed on Saturday but were unlucky on the day.

Congratulations to Gary Bradshaw who won the title of ‘Player of the Day’. Well done to the six in the club who were picked from the Munster Squad and are going on a training camp to Bruge in Belgium in early January 2005 — Orla O'Donnell, Martin O'Donnell, Niall O'Donnell, Jake Walsh, Richard Gorey and Stephanie Lawrence. Good luck to Stephanie Lawrence & Niall O'Donnell who are off to Wales to an under 16s competition in January 2005.

Fethard GAA Club
Our Lotto Jackpot of €1,700 was not won.  We had no match three winner so 5 tickets were drawn and each receives €30: Clare Landy (Killusty), Ann Butler (Main Street), Doyle Brothers (Woodvale Walk), Michael Gould (Claremore), Francis Dillon (Tullamaine). The €50 Lucky Dip winner was Frances Holohan (Cois Falla).  The draw was made in Butlers Sports Bar for the first time and we wish them the very best of luck in their venture.
The clubs next business will be the Annual AGM with date time and venue to be announced shortly.
It is great to see the county senior football selectors crisis moving forward to a conclusion and here’s hoping that we will have ‘White Smoke’ shortly. The first game in the national league is scheduled to take place at home to Cavan on the 6th February 2005.  The second game is away to Waterford on 13th Feb, third round takes place on 6th March at home to Meath, fourth game away to Louth on the 12th/13th March, with the fifth game away to Wicklow on 19th /20th March, the six game is at home to Antrim on 27th March, and the Seventh game in Division 2B is away to Derry on the 3rd April with the semifinals down for the 17th April and the final fixed for the 1st May 2005.
The club would like to offer it deepest sympathies at this time to Miceál and Stephen McCormack and their families on the passing away of there dad, Paddy McCormack (Ballinure). Go Ndeanai Dhia Trocaire ar an ainmeachta.

Progressive 25 Results
Progressive 25 results for game played on 19th November.  Winners on 11 games, Chris Maher and John Buckley.  Runners up on 10 games, Mick Holohan and Esther Phelan, Chris Colville and Jackie Devitt. Table prize, Jim and Mary Garrett. Tickets, Tom Phelan, Sheila Hall, Bobby Gleeson, Hannie Leahy. Rubber finals, Willie Kennedy and Michael Browne, Sheila Hall and Mona Kinane, Bunny White and Cyl Murray, Brian O’Donnell and Seamus Maher. Next game takes place in Fethard Ballroom on Friday 26th November at 8.30 sharp.

St. Patrick’s Boys’ School
Our Cumann na mBunscol games finished this week.  Having reached the finals in Under-11 and Under-13 there were high hopes of victory as both teams had played very well to reach the finals.

First to play were the Under 13s in Littleton against Loughmore.  It was a very blustery day and a very low scoring match. Fethard had already beaten Loughmore by a point in the first round.  Loughmore had the better of the play in the first half and scored 1-02 to 0-01. In the second half the Fethard boys rallied to score 1-01 to 0-2.  They were quite unlucky not to score a goal in the last few minutes. The final score was Loughmore 1-04 to Fethard 1-02.

The four boys involved in both teams had to quickly overcome their disappointment to take on Grange in the Under-11 final.  It was a hard fought competitive match with some excellent scores on both sides. The Fethard boys never gave up and were very disappointed to lose by just two points, 2-08 to 3-03.

The boys on both teams and the school coach Willie Ryan can be very proud of their efforts and hopes will be very high of retaining the Under 11 trophy next year and doing well in the Under 13 competition.

Overseas Experience
Australians and New Zealanders call it OE. It’s a trip that they make once they’ve finished in school or college. They purchase a backpack and a travel guide, get the names and addresses of as many relatives, friends, friends of friends, vacant cowsheds and anywhere else they can grab a bed for the night. And off they head, to Europe or America. These days the reverse process is happening, with hundreds of Irish youths heading to Australia to take advantage of a years working holiday visa.

One recently returned voyager stated that there are so many people from the Fethard, Cloneen, Killenaule and Drangan area living in the Bondi beach area of Sydney that you are more likely to be greeted on the street by someone saying “Well, how’s it goin?” rather than the traditional Aussie “G’day!”.

Most of the current backpackers take a bit of time out in South East Asia on the way out or on their return trip. Apparently, there are as many Tipperary people there as in Bondi.  Only a few weeks ago, a honeymoon couple from Fethard, Ian Meagher and his wife Claire, heard someone calling out to them on the Island of Koi Samui in the South of Thailand. Fearing that it was the timeshare salesman who had got their names the previous day, they put their heads down and began to walk faster. They were just about in a jog when they realised that the accent was familiar. Ian turned around to see Nicky Murphy, from Fethard his travelling companion Eddie O’Brien from Killenaule, shouting at them. The lads are en route to Australia and have stopped off in Thailand to do an in depth study of the effects of tourism on the local economy. They have been very impressed with the late night pool parties and are considering introducing them to Ireland on their return.

It just goes to show that no matter where you go on this planet, you’ll probably run into someone who knows, or is from, Fethard. Beware if you’re up to no good!


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