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Saturday 18th December 2004

Green Santa
As we get nearer to Christmas, Santa Claus is everywhere. He appears in windows, shelves, cards, wrapping paper and even makes appearances in the occasional supermarket or two. In years gone by, as daylight faded, so too did the images of Santa, but not any more. The country has been flooded with images of Santa that light up in the night. My first encounter with the luminous ones happened on a quiet country road in Co Waterford. I drove around a corner and almost crashed when I saw sixteen Santa’s and Mr Frosty staring from inside a ditch. I was sure that somebody had spiked my cup of Bovril. I slowed the car to walking pace and realised that someone had decorated their house with a lighted Santa in each window, plus a larger than life Santa and Mr Frosty stood scaring motorists from the garden.  Relieved that my drink had been untainted, I drove on. As I drove around Fethard on my return, I noticed that the luminous Santa’s were growing in number around the town, adding to the festive air alongside the Christmas lights in the streets.

These Santa’s are all wearing what we regard as his traditional red and white clothes, but he didn’t always wear this attire. Santa, as we know him, evolved from a number of different sources. He began life in Turkey as Saint Nicholas of Myra, a bishop who was known for his generosity  around Christmas. He first appeared in Britain in the 17th Century, known as Father Christmas and dressed in a long green robe which was lined with fur. Early emigrants brought this image to New York, where the Dutch, who owned Manhattan at the time, had brought their own Sinterklaas. He dressed like a bishop and the Dutch celebrated his feast on December 5th. He evolved into a thick-bellied Dutch sailor who smoked a pipe and wore a green Winter cloak. A Christmas card appeared in 1885 which changed Santa’s attire from green to red and the image has stuck with him ever since. If this hadn’t happened, we’d still be looking at green Santas, which mightn’t be so bad as we could pull them out again for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Fethard GAA Club
Congratulations to the Killusty National School team of Daniel Hickey and Aaron Conran who came out winners in the McDonalds Catch /Kick Skills Competition for primary schools which took place last week in Clonmel, with twenty-seven teams taking part for the south title.  Cousins, Daniel and Aaron, will now go on to the county final in the New Year.  Well done to Noel Byrne (school coach) and hard luck to the other teams in the parish having all finished in the first twelve.
Reminder! The AGM of the senior club takes place on Sunday 9th January in the Abymill Theatre at 2pm.
Hard luck to Waltie and Noel who attended the football convention.  How close! Beg la eile le cunamh De.
The GAA Lotto Jackpot of €2,100 was not won.  The draw took place in The Well Bar and the numbers Drawn were 3, 9, 12 and 22. We had no Jackpot winner and six ‘match threes’ who received €25 each: Willie Fitzpatrick (Kilmaganny), Sarah McManus (44 Woodvale Walk), Josie Fitzgerald (Kiltinan), Marian O’Connor (44 St Patrick’s Place), Dick O’Brien (Main St), and John Spillane (Killerk).  The €50 Lucky Dip winner was Martin Bolger (Drumdeel).
We would like to wish a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year to all our members and patrons.

Fethard Bridge Club
At our Christmas Party held on 19th November at the Fairways Restaurant, Slievenamon Golf Course the following results were announced: On November 24th we played for the Gross Turkey Prizes and the winners were:

1st Gross: Carol Kenny and Berney Myles.

2nd Gross: Brigid Gorey and Betty Walsh.

1st Nett: Suzanne Opray and Ellen Rochford.

2nd Nett: Philly Kenny and Margaret Mary McCormack.

On December 1st we played for the Nett Turkey Prizes and the winners were:

1st Nett: Madeleine O'Donnell and Berney Myles.

1st Gross: Teresa Cummins and Alice Quinn.

2nd Nett: Mary Meagher and Rose Lonergan.

2nd Gross: Rita Kane and Kay St. John.

On 8th December we played for Change of Partner Turkey prizes and the winners were:

1st Gross: Berney Myles and Betty Walsh.

1st Nett: Alice Quinn and Rita Kane.

2nd Gross: Anna Cooke and Kay St. John.

2nd Nett: Carol Kenny and Bernie O'Meara.

The winners of our Christmas Prizes were:

1st Gross: Alice Quinn and Teresa Cummins.

1st Nett: Nora Lawrence and Madeleine O'Donnell.

2nd Gross: Brigid Gorey and Betty Walsh.

2nd Nett:  Nell Broderick and David O'Meara.

3rd Gross: Brendan Kenny and Tony Hanrahan.

3rd Nett: Mary Quirke and Fr. J. Meagher.

4th Gross: Bernie O'Meara and Anna Cooke.

4th Nett: Rosemary Lalor and Mary Lucey.

5th Gross: Kay St. John and Rita Kane.

5th Nett: Berney Myles and Frances Burke.

6th Gross: Gemma Burke and Carol Kenny.

6th Nett: Philly Kenny and Margaret Mary McCormack.

Bridge resumes on Wednesday 5th January.  Happy Christmas to all!

Congratulations Neilie
For his ninth year in succession Neilie Hall, St. Patrick's Place, has run the Dublin City Marathon for charity. This year Neilie raised €1,348 for South Tipperary Hospice. On behalf of all who benefit from his tremendous efforts, we would like to say, again, Congratulations Neilie!

And Kilometres to go before I sleep
It looks like the kilometre will never catch on in Ireland, despite the best efforts of the government. We just don’t use them. All of our main roads are now signposted in kilometres, Ks or klicks, our speedometers in cars are in both the mile and the kilometre, but I’ve yet to hear anybody giving directions in anything other than miles.

This was brought to my attention when looking at the new road signs which are being introduced around the County. Slowly but surely the old cast iron signs, which were in miles and fractions of miles, and often twisted to point in the wrong direction, are being replaced by metal ones in kilometres. The old ones are now becoming collector’s items and are increasingly turning up in Irish bars around the world. A sign saying, ‘Fethard 1 Mile’, has been spotted in Kitty O’Shea’s bar in Sydney, Australia.

Like many facets of Irish life, we won’t miss them ‘till they’re gone, and all we’ll have left is the kilometre. But enough of this whinging, I have promises to keep, and kilometres to go before I sleep.

Scully Information
Walt MacDermid from Silver Spring, MD, USA (E-Mail: waltmacd92@hotmail.com) is looking for information of Scullys: “I'm interested in learning more about my Grandmother, Mary Scully and her brother Tom who lived in Lough Capple from 1886 and 1884, respectively, and later in Clonmel until about 1915.”

Open Mind Rewarded
A local man with a lifelong passion for gaelic games and soccer has recently been converted to the joys of the game played by men, and some women too, with a strange shaped ball.

This man was offered some tickets to go and see Ireland play South Africa. He went and returned home with a new game to enjoy watching. A few weeks later he travelled to Thomond Park in Limerick to join the Red Brigade shouting the Munster team to victory against Castres. He was lucky enough to have enjoyed two very exiting spectacles in his first outings.

A wag in a local bar, hearing of the man’s good luck, said, “it was comparable to going on a blind date and ending up with a supermodel”.

Christmas Country Market
Fethard Christmas Country Markets will take place in the Town Hall on Wednesday 22nd December from 8am to 11am. All kinds of goodies, bunches of holly, Christmas wreaths, mince pies, etc will be on sale.

Family Information Wanted
Bryan Strapp (email: strong_angel41@yahoo.com)

Hi everyone, I’m looking for any Strapp genealogy in your area. My father Rev. Jackson Wright Strapp passed away on July 19, 2003 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Service was held in the Sault and then at the family cottage.

Stephen Mockler (email: stargazerm51@hotmail.com)

I’m looking for the descendants of Mrs Kate Meagher lived during the time period of 1900 thru 1945 approx. Her maiden name may have been Mockler, address was Tinnakelly Fethard Tipperary Eire at that time.

Community Lotto Results
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Tuesday 14th December were 9, 10, 26 and 27. There was no Jackpot winner and no 'Match 3' winner so three tickets were drawn and each of the following received €50:

Rena Sheehan, Killusty, Fethard

Robert & Megan Hackett, St. Patricks Place, Fethard

Eleanor Cummins, Everardsgrange, Fethard

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

J.P. McGrath, Sparagoulea, Fethard

Jim Murphy, Coleman, Fethard

Donna Buckley, Red City, Fethard

Next weeks Jackpot remains at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is now €1,000.

Hunting News
A great day for hunting, was the opinion of one prominent Tipperary hunting man at last Sunday’s meet of the Ballylusky white Heather Harriers at Magoury.

Well over 100 followers and supporters turned out for the special meet of the pack to mark the 90th birthday of the White Heathers esteemed patriarch, Tom McCormack. The day, weather-wise, could not have been better and the hunting for the occasion likewise. A fox in Whelan’s Bog was not inclined to leave the plantations and for almost an hour he crossed and re-crossed the Ballylusky Drangan road with hounds in full cry never too far behind. This good hound hunt was made to order for the large crowd on the road, before Donnie decided to give him best and move on.

How wonderful to see such a gathering of hunting people, gathered in the true spirit of sport and comradeship. The ages of the throng ranged from the nonagenarian himself down to his seventeen-month old youngest great-granddaughter, Erin.

Following the days sport the followers adjourned to the Archway Bar where the birthday cake was cut. Councillor Michael O’Brien, a son-in-law of Toms, led the assembly in a spirited rendition of Happy Birthday, followed by three feisty cheers for a great hunting man, who follows his hunting not for trophies, praise or glory, but from a true love of the chase.

It was truly a day of days to remember for a long time.
Just in case anyone gets the impression that Tom is thinking of retiring, his advice to the current Ballylusky White Heather Harriers in his speech thanking so many friends for turning up was, “Get more Hounds!”

A number of the followers and supporters out on a Sunday have asked up to say a very sincere thank you to the McCormack family for their lavish hospitality provided at McCormack’s prior to move off and the Archway Bar in the afternoon.  Truly, as our hunting man said, a great day for hunting, and so say all of us.

Hounds will meet on Sunday December 26th in Drangan at 12 o’clock.

Fethard and District Credit Union
At the Annual General Meeting held on Thursday December 16th, the following directors were elected: Hon. President, Fr. Jim Power; President, Marian Gilpin; Treasurer, Kate Healy; Secretary, Eddie O’Brien. Credit Committee: Mary Morrissey, Sean O’Callaghan, Betty McLaughlin and Jonathon Gilpin. Insurance and Investment, Jonathan Gilpin. Supervisory committee: John Barrett and Philomena Morrissey. Director, Jacinta O’Connell. Tellers, Phyllis Healy, Kay Spillane and Ann Nevin.

The result of the draw sponsored by Collier-Sheehan Auditors were: 1st Geraldine Treacy, Congress Terrace €50. 2nd Susanna Manton, Main Street €30. 3rd Bridget O’Donnell, Coolmore €20

We wish all our members and friends a Happy Christmas and peaceful 2005

Patrician Presentation Secondary School

Results of Parents Association Christmas draw:

1st Giant Hamper: C. Kearney, 14 Churchview, Clerihan.

2nd Fuel Voucher: Michael Fleming. Redcity Road, Fethard.

3rd Christmas Cake: Denis O’Meara, Knockbrack, Fethard.

4th Organic Hamper: Denis Burke, Redcity, Fethard.

5th Tin of Sweets; Paul Hayes, Burke Street, Fethard.

6th Tin of Biscuits, Liam Hayes, Red City, Fethard.

Sellers prize: Camera Phone, Aisling Dwyer 1st year;

Football, James D’Arcy 6th Year.

Best Seller of Cards: Richard Walsh 2nd Year.

School Carol Service

The School Carol Service was held on Thursday 17th December. Fr. Gerry Horan OSA celebrated the service. Fr. Tom Breen P.P. and Canon Jim Power were also present. The musical director was Kevin Hickey and the soloists were Laura Rice (1st year), Joseph O’Connell and Donna Burke (3rd year), Anna Davis (2nd year) and Siobhan Prout and Sarah Kennedy (6th year) with Jonathon Fleming (2nd year).

It was a very uplifting service with all the school present and treated afterwards to Slade’s “Merry Christmas” by the school group ‘Talisin’ — Fintan Maher, Michael McCarthy, Michael Leahy and James Williams.

Changing Times
The no frills low cost airlines have revolutionised the way that we travel. Where once we in Ireland paid through the nose to travel across the pond to Britain, we can now do it for next to nothing if we book well in advance. Gone are the meals and drinks which, quite frankly , we didn’t need on a one hour hop across the sea.

These days, if you want the extras, you’ve got to pay for them. You book your flight on line and get offered these extras, like car hire or hotel room reservations, straight away. If your luggage is a little over the allowed weight, don’t worry, you can pay for the extra load.  As you move to board the plane, advertising is everywhere, even on the side of the aircraft. Once inside, the headrest on the seat is covered in more advertising. And as soon as the plane levels out in the cruise, the stewards and stewardesses are flying down the aisle with trollies bearing beverages and gifts. Even the necklaces holding their identification tags are emblazoned with the name and website of a car hire firm. This is all very well, but the latest gimmick is a bit over the top. The staff paraded up and down the aisle of the plane trying to sell scratch cards. What next? Maybe logo’s on the toilet paper, or better still, a charge per sheet.

So next time you venture from Fethard on the low cost airline, make your sandwich before you leave, bring a flask or a can of beer if you want a drink, place your bets in the bookies before you leave if you fancy a gamble and throw a few tissues in the bag. Just in case the sheet charge arrives. Bon Voyage.

Happy Christmas
A Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year to all our readers.  An a big thank you to all our regular contributors to this column, with your help, and the will of God, we’ll continue to fill our Fethard Page for the coming year.


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