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Saturday 22nd January 2005

Fethard Military Barracks
The Military Barracks in Fethard was one of the oldest in the country. It was built on the site of the original Everard Mansion House which fell into decay c.1740 while Sir Redmond Everard (the last Baronet) lived abroad in France.  In 1752, Thomas Barton of Bordeaux purchased the Everard estate in Fethard, demolished the old Mansion House and erected a new one on the same spot.  The Barton Mansion House was acquired in 1797 and converted into a temporary military barracks to accommodate two troops of Cavalry.  It was converted into a proper military barracks in 1805 and appears on a list of Barracks in Ireland in 1811.  The barracks had fifteen acres of drill ground at the rear and accommodation for 124 men and 79 horses.

The barracks was occupied by a series of troops until the signing of the treaty in December 1921. The 98 Battery of the Royal Field Artillery marched out in January 1922 and the anti-treaty forces, the 1st Battalion 3rd Treaty Tipperary Brigade, moved in. The pro-treaty forces were due to take over on 14th July 1922 but this didn’t happen as the anti-treaty forces burned the barracks down before they arrived.

A chance meeting many years later illuminated the importance of the Barracks in the formation of the Irish State. A nun was sitting on the balcony of a hotel in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa, chatting to her friend, when an elderly gentleman approached. He apologised for his intrusion but said that he had to speak to them as he had overheard their accents. His eyes lit up when nun said that she was from Tipperary. He told her that he had spent his early years in the army in a town called Fethard. He was a retired officer and told the ladies that one of his duties in Fethard was to meet and negotiate with a man who has since become infamous. The name of the young man was Michael Collins. The rest, as they say, is history. The Barracks is long gone, but a few traces still remain. One street in town is called Barracks Street and the GAA pitch is the old Barrack’s drill field.  The old stone entrance to the building was moved and is now the entrance to the tennis courts on the Rocklow road. Two of the old entrance gates also remain at either side of the current barracks.  Many fine monuments and plaques can still be seen in the Holy Trinity church to the men that served in Fethard, many of whom were killed in action all over the world when Britain was still an empire.

(N. Gawe)

Premier Swing Band joined by Gospel Singers
The very popular twenty-piece Premier Swing Band from Clonmel will pay a return visit to the Abymill Theatre on Friday 11th February.  This time, along with lead singers Irene Malone and Liam Butler, the band will be joined by the Thurles Gospel Singers, which promises to be a not-to-be-missed performance.  Early booking is strongly advised. Tickets at €10 may be booked from O’Flynn’s, Burke Street, Fethard. Tel: 052 31254 or 087 1338961.

Kilometres Per Hour
KPH will not sound familiar to most of us as MPH, at least not for a while anyway.  Following the introduction of the new speed limit signs on Thursday 20th January we were wondering what effect they were having locally.  If the truth is told, we’re pretty sure they’re having much the same effect as the older MPH ones.

The big majority of law-abiding motorists will as heretofore obey the new law.  There are still, however, the few ‘cowboys’ who seem to think the 80kph speed limit, especially on the Killenaule Road, means 80mph.  The amount of drivers also, from fully laden artic-truck drivers to trailer-towing 4x4 drivers, and even mothers with children on board, who continue to drive while using their mobile phones, is nothing short of scandalous. One wonders do they ever listen to the news or read the papers, or when will they ever learn.

Died in Dublin
The death has occurred in Dublin of Ms Kitty Healy, formerly of Burke Street, Fethard. Interment took place in Dublin.

Country Markets AGM
The annual general meeting of Fethard Country Market will take place in the Town Hall on Friday 28th January at 10.30am.  All members are invited to attend.

Launch of 2006 Fundraising Cycle Trip
Local Presentation Sister and keen cyclist, Sr Betty Cagney, St. Bernard's Group Homes, together with locals John Lonergan, Stephanie Keating, Bridget Fitzpatrick and Bobby Power from Carrick-On-Suir, launched their fundraising campaign for the 2006 cycle trip from Dinard to Lourdes to raise funds for the Irish Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust (IHCPT). Since the early 1980s many children have benefited from this Trust, with approximately five to ten local children travelling to Lourdes each year for a week’s pilgrimage. The cyclists will cycle six hundred miles over a period of seven days. Each cyclist has to raise a minimum of €2,000. Cyclists pay their own fare and expenses so all monies raised goes directly to IHCPT to support the local pilgrimage.

The first fundraising event took place at Slievenamon Golf Club at the launch with a ‘weigh-in’ of locals Brendan Kenny and Heather Bailey, who, over the next few months will by monitored by Dr. Carmel Condon to ensure they adhere to the targeted weight-loss set by their sponsors.  The IHCPT is a registered charity and therefore any company making a donation is entitled to tax relief.

Bad Hair Day
The recent high winds left us all know who is the boss — Mother Nature. Whether we like it or not, we have no control over the elements. The high winds ripped the slates from an old house in Burke Street and more or less closed off the street for the day. Another less serious victim of the wind was a man with the classic Irish hairstyle, the comb over. This covering of the head is a last gasp effort to retain the vestige of youth by covering over the bald patch. As the hair on top gets lighter, the start of the crease in the hair moves further south until it almost hits the top of the ear. One such man walked up the square in the blustery conditions with his comb over blowing a foot out from his head. It looked like a wing protruding on one side of a ball.

Other attempts to cover the receding hairline include placing a wig on the offending patch. Most of those are, unfortunately, so poor in quality that it sometimes looks like a small animal has decided to set up house on the top of the wearers head.  One high profile sports celebrity who visits Fethard on a regular basis is reputed to wear a wig. He is a wealthy individual so his replenished locks look real. A gale force wind wouldn’t budge the stuff on his head. So confident is he of his piece that he even dives from a diving board into a swimming pool with it on. Some friends of his, who weren’t quite sure if he really had a wig or not but were determined to find out, decided to play a trick on him. They waited until he dived into the water and threw a wig that they had bought into the water behind him. As he rose from the water, someone pointed behind him and told him that he had lost something. He looked around, saw the floating hairpiece, grabbed it from the pool, slapped it onto his head and ran to his room.  Sometimes it might be better to grow old disgracefully. Sorry, gracefully. And not worry about high winds or diving boards.

(N. Gawe)

Fethard Bridge Club Results
Results of Fethard Bridge Club game played on Wednesday 19th January are:

1st Gross: Rita Kane and Kay St. John

2nd Gross: Brigid Gorey and Betty Walsh

1st Nett: Mary Quirke and Fr. John Meagher

2nd Nett: Madeleine O’Donnell and Nora Lawrence

Anyone looking for a partner please contact: Annie O’Brien, The Square, Fethard. Tel: 052 31862.

Dog Night for Community Sportsfield
A Dog Night will take place in Thurles Greyhound Stadium on Saturday 5th March to help raise further funds.  The cost of sponsoring a race is €300; buying a dog €100, and advertising rates in the race card cost as follows: full page €150, half page €80 and quarter page €50.   Philip Furnell is advertising manager and he will call to all business people in the area in the near future.

Community Lotto Results
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Tuesday 18th January were 14, 24, 31 and 32. There was no Jackpot winner and no 'Match 3' winner. Three tickets were drawn and each of the following received €50:

Edwina Newport, Main Street, Fethard

N. Stokes, Fethard

Eleanor Cummins, Everardsgrange, Fethard

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Patsy Lawrence, Woodvale Walk, Fethard

Caroline Flanagan, Derryluskin, Fethard

Valerie O'Meara, Strylea, Fethard

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

Text or txt
Four lads were sitting along a wall. Teenagers, sitting quietly, which is something that teenagers don’t usually do. All heads were down as they concentrated on their mobile phones. They were all texting.  The spellchecker on my computer just popped a line under the word texting. Even my computer isn’t familiar with this new language.

Growing up we learned English as our number one language. Most of us were force fed Irish and one European language, usually French or German. Some of us even had to try our hand at Latin, which has stood us well over the years. With glee in my heart I listen to the crowds at matches chanting with good nature at the players. “Quo vadis? Brendan Cummins”, you might hear them yell , or “Veni, vidi, vici”, with a conspiratorial wink to Ronan O’Gara after another Munster win. Ah, the joy.

These days, you don’t even have to be able to speak to communicate. You just need a thumb and a mobile phone. Literacy is also irrelevant. The sound of the language is enuf, sorry, I mean enough. Slowly the language once known as the ‘Queen’s English’ is being eroded. Actually, the Queen herself may have to concede to text to communicate with her errant grandson Harry. I can imagine her relaxing in her sitting room, picking a snack out of her tupperware container while watching her favourite soap on television, texting the third in line to her throne. “stp pting ur ft n ur mth. Dats ur grnfthrrs jb. Luv grnny.” (for those of you who, like me,  have trouble  reading text, the  translation is, “Stop putting your foot in your mouth. That’s your grandfathers job, love Granny”.

(N. Gawe)

Hunting News
The Tipperary Foxhounds continued their good form of 2005 with another good day from their meet at Drangan on Monday 17th January. Knockuragh Hill proved blank but drawing down the far side they found deep down near the Lismolin road.  This good fox ran back over Knockuragh before turning right-handed and crossing the Crohane road.

Another old hunting saying, “When snow is on the way, scent is usually good,” was once again proved true.  Heading towards Moonverrin they swung left-handed, crossed the Drangan – Carey’s Cross Road and down to the Whelan’s Bog plantation. Dwelling here for a while the mixed pack then hunted across the Drangan-Ballyluskey road to Magoury.  Straight to Casey’s Hill, Charlie again turned left short of the Lismoynan road and crossed what is locally known as the Magoury Boreen.

Hounds were fairly flying at this stage when the hunt staff and field were doing their utmost to keep in touch.  Hunting on at a very fast pace through the big fields of Shanakyle, they crossed the St. Johnstown – Ballyluskey road and flew like a flock of pigeons through the equally large fields on the other side of the road.  Hunting down to St. Johnstown Quarry, the fox again turned right-handed, ran parallel to the Bawnbrack road where hounds put him to ground in the small glen adjacent to the road. This was a very fast run of 40 minutes with a three-mile point.

Hacking back to Drangan, Pat drew the small bog at Whitegates Cross. This held a brace,  one was caught in covet, the other being marked to ground after a short run. The day concluded with a nice hunt from the glen off the Drangan-Cloneen road to the big plantation in O’Donovan’s, Tullowcussane, down across the road to Michael O’Briens and on down to Powers, where he was lost.

A long time follower of the chase was heard to remark at the conclusion of the day, “When the conditions are right, there is not a pack in Ireland would live with the Tipperary Foxhounds for pace.”

While not enjoying any runs of great length or duration, the Ballylusky White Heather Harriers had a most enjoyable day at Loughcopple on Sunday last. Almost all foxes found got to ground very quickly.

The White Heathers meet at Golden on next Sunday, 30th January, at 12 noon.

Killusty Soccer Club
Killusty 5, Two Mile Borris 5
Where do I begin? Ten goals, three penalties, a few dubious decisions and a comeback that you wouldn’t find in ‘Roy of the Rovers’.

Last Sunday’s game had all this and much more. Killusty were well on top for the first ten minutes of this game. They could have, and should have been two nil up at this stage but for some poor finishing. That was as good as it was going to get for Killusty for the next hour or so. Two Mile Borris began to take control of the game and by half time, instead of being two up, Killusty were two nil down. With fifteen minutes gone in the second half things went from bad to worse as Borris scored their third goal. Ten minutes later they went four nil up and only some brilliant goalkeeping from Ronan Maher prevented Borris from doubling their score.

With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Killusty were thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty that was scored by Karl Maher. Three minutes later there was another penalty for Killusty which Karl again scored. With ten minutes remaining on the clock, veteran Willie O’Meara scored from twenty-five yards to leave the score at four three in favour of Borris. As Killusty searched for an equaliser, they were caught on the counter and Borris scored their fifth. Many of us thought that this would be the end of the contest but how wrong we were. With two minutes remaining Karl Maher was on hand to bundle the ball home for his third goal and Killusty’s fourth. Then on the stroke of full time, Killusty were awarded a free kick, some twenty yards from the goal, and as he has done many a time for Killusty in the past, Willie O’Meara blasted the ball to the back of the net.

The final whistle sounded shortly after this and to see the scenes of joy, anyone would think we had won the game. No question about it, this was the most difficult point Killusty have ever earned, and it was not the kind of performance that manager Chris Coen would want to see again for a very long time. As for Two Mile Borris, they will rightly feel that this was three points lost rather than a point gained, and in fairness they played the better football for most of the game. But as everyone knows it’s a ninety-minute game and you can never take anything for granted.
Now if it’s goals you want to see, Killusty could well be the place to be again next Sunday where a charity match has been organised. A Killusty young guns team take on a Killusty over 30s selection. The proceeds from this game will go to the Alice Leahy Trust Charity. Just to see some of our former players back on the hallowed turf should be worth the €5 admission fee alone. The game kicks off at 2.30pm, please come and give your support to this very worthwhile cause.

The Well Golf Society
It’s all systems go for the coming season. We have a magnificent seven outings lined up, with the first of these on Saturday, March 12th at Mitchelstown Golf Club. Membership fees should be paid on or before this date to Danny Mullins or Michael Kenrick. Soft spikes will be required for Mitchelstown.

New Speed Limits
The powers that be have changed another part of Irish life. Miles are gone. Clonmel is no longer eight miles from Fethard, it is now something in kilometres. Many years ago in national school we were thought how to convert miles to kilometres and back again. Divide the miles by five and multiply by eight to get kilometres, and divide kilometres by eight then multiply by five to get miles.  This new development in Ireland means that Clonmel is now twelve point eight kilometres away.  I haven’t paid much attention to the new signs yet, but I’m sure that I haven’t seen a decimal point on any of them. So they’re probably all wrong. 

We have now got to convert the new speeds from kilometres to miles to read the speedometer in the car so the Gardai won’t arrest us for speeding.  120 kph is 70 mph, easy as pie; 80 kph is 50 mph, easy peasy; 30 kph is 18.75 mph. Hang on a second. Where did that come from?

The powers that be have sneaked a new speed limit on us. I suppose it’s a bit unrealistic to expect anything else when we can’t even have the proper distance on the road signs.  So farewell to the old signs with their quarters, halves and three quarters, and hello to the kilometres, lying signs and sneaky new speed limits.

The government think tank is now working overtime to see how they can nanny us next. Compulsory seat belts for dogs in cars would be a good one.  Or maybe they can revert to the old system when cars first hit the roads. A man waving a red flag had to run in front of the vehicle to warn people of its presence. That would slow the traffic down, give gainful employment to people who want jobs as red flag carriers and allow the driver plenty of time to look at the new signs and make the conversion to miles in his or her head without losing concentration on the road. I think they might like that one?

You’ll have to excuse me for a while. I’m currently trying to work out a new way of getting around the country using the waterways. If I launch my dingy by the Millennium Bridge I can travel down the Clashawley as far as the Anner, which will take me to the river Suir. Turn left for Carrick, Waterford and New York, turn right for Clonmel, Cahir and Thurles.  Just watch out for the fly fishermen.

(N. Gawe)


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