Home | Current News | Local Information | Aerial Views | Photo Gallery | Emigrants' Newsletter
Historical Society | Local Development Plan | Recommended Links | Donations
| Phone Directory
Fethard on Facebook | Fethard on YouTube
| View Calvary Cemetery Records
| Parish Church Live

Fethard News
Home | Current News | Local Information | Aerial Views | Photo Gallery | Emigrants' Newsletter
Historical Society | Local Development Plan | Recommended Links | Donations
| Phone Directory
Fethard on Facebook | Fethard on YouTube
| View Calvary Cemetery Records
| Parish Church Live


Saturday 12th February 2005

Submitted to The Nationalist Newspaper

I want to be good Lord, but not just yet! 
The 700 Anniversary Celebrations of the Augustinians in Fethard got off to a great start with large attendances at the opening concelebrated mass and ceremony on Thursday night 10th February, the Mass of Healing’ on Friday night and on Saturday the Vigil Mass con-celebrated by Fr A.B. Kennedy, for the youth of the area and their parents, with Fr. Malachy Loghran OSA, Fr Timmy Walsh OSA and Fr John Meagher OSA.

Fr A.B., who was reared across the road from the Augustinian Abbey, spoke affectionately of his younger years as an altar boy and the fun and games that boys got up to at that time. He reminded us of Saint Augustine, the one responsible for us all being present at these 700 anniversary celebrations, the one who has made such a huge impact on the church's teaching over the centuries, the one who broke his mother's heart before he finally changed his ways, but whose intentions were good, particularly when he said,  "I want to be good Lord, but not just yet",

Speaking very frankly of the church, he went on to say:

“The Church had huge power in the 1950's and 1960's, perhaps too much. Everything centred around Church and dare anyone question her authority. The Roman Catholic Church was the one true church, outside of which no one could be saved. I remember as a teenager being unable to accept the fact that because someone wasn't a Catholic they were damned to hell for all eternity. I remember saying to myself, "If the God I know and love is behind this teaching, you can have your God, I don't want anything to do with him." And it's not that I was a rebel, I don't think I had the courage to be one at that time. But I remember being in primary school here and when we stood up to say a prayer at the beginning of the class, the Protestant students present had to stand outside the door until we were finished praying. Surely God must have been cringing looking on at the things that were done in His name. Sending an innocent baby to a place called limbo because it didn't have time to be baptized; burying a person in un-consecrated ground because he or she, in the depths of despair or depression took his or her own life.

St. Augustine says, "Walk the ways of faith and you will attain the vision of God". This statement is spirituality at its best, the study and practice of all that gives life. Give me spirituality before religion any day because religion in the wrong hands is absolute dynamite. The religious leaders of Jesus' time were the ones who gave him most grief, the sinners were the ones he ate with and partied with.

True spirituality means entering into the sacrament of the present moment. It's about becoming more and more present to what's all around us, seeing how everything in interconnected as the branches on the vine of life. The vine has three branches, and each expresses a right relationship, with nature, with society and with God. Such is community.”

At the close of his homily Fr A.B. received a rapturous round of applause from the full attendance present at the Vigil Mass.  Following the mass, the prizes for the Augustinian 700 Celebrations Primary School Art Competition were presented to the successful children.

Fethard & Killusty Community Council
The next meeting of Fethard & Killusty Community Council will take place on Tuesday night 22nd February at 8.30pm in the Tirry Community Centre.

Lights and Loos
Fethard Community Sportsfield Committee are delighted to announce that both floodlighting and toilets were connected this week. The floodlighting is excellent and gives tremendous lighting to the field without hindering adjacent housing, and does not interfere with traffic on the Killenaule Road. There are three toilets in one unit, two male and one female, together with wash hand basins etc.  The children and coaches using the field on Friday night were very impressed with the development despite the terrible weather. These toilets were badly needed and will be an asset to all those using the facility in the future.  Next on the agenda is the provision of soccer goal posts and we hope to have these in place as soon as possible.

Finance is the usual stumbling block and our ‘Dog Night’ on Saturday 5th March is getting very close so we make this final appeal to all to support this venture by sponsoring a race for €300, buying a dog for €100, or advertising in the race card for either €150, €80, or €50.   Please contact any member of the committee.  Fintan Rice is our treasurer (Tel: 052 31670) and Philip Furnell is advertising manager (Tel: 052 31917).

We would ask people to make a note of this date, 5th March, for a social night out.  Come to Thurles Greyhound Stadium and join in the fun and excitement.  Special thanks to all those who have contributed to date and to Sean Devaney who did trojan work during the past week assisting with the ‘Lights & Loos’ operation and to all committee members who are working so hard to make a success of the fundraising. Pick up the phone now and make your contribution to this very worthy cause.

Community Lotto Results
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Tuesday 8th February were: 7, 9, 20 and 27.  There was no Jackpot winner and six ‘Match 3’ winners who received €30 each:

Mary Coen, Fethard

Sean O'Callaghan, St. Patricks Place, Fethard

Amanda Kelly, Rocklow Road, Fethard

Stephanie Moore, A.I.B. Fethard

Eileen Heneghan, Ballybough, Fethard

Rose Lonergan, Fethard

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Lily O'Sullivan, Kyle, Drangan

Pauline Morrissey, 48 St. Patricks Place, Fethard

Marcella Lonergan, Grove Road, Fethard

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

What about the class of 1975?
Hi, to all in Fethard. Now that it is 2005 I was wondering if there is going to be a class reunion this year for the class of 1975.  I think we are probably the only class that has not as yet had a get together.  I would love to catch up with everyone. Catherine Newport and I briefly spoke of this last year so I hope it is a realistic prospect Catherine.

Many thanks for the wonderful newsletter and website. I cannot imagine life without the site now. Best wishes to my mother Mary Morrissey and my brothers and sisters and their families. A Happy 2005 to all. — Mary Morrissey (London).

Player Manager calls the shots
The paths of two stars of the Irish soccer scene crossed for the first time when former  Republic of Ireland striker, Niall Quinn met Chris Coen, player captain of Killusty FC in McCarthys. Chris was quietly contemplating tactics for his next game after leading the Killusty over-30 side to victory against the regular under-30 team in a recent charity match, when Niall Quinn and his friend, former Tipperary hurler Joe Hayes, entered the bar.

Joe entertained the clientele with a tale of woe about big Niall’s return to the GAA field since he retired from professional soccer. Niall now ‘togs out’ with Eadestown GAA club in Kildare. Having played his first match with the side, he ended up with two bruised ribs, which he texted to what he thought would be his sympathetic friend Joe. The reply was short and sweet. “Welcome to the real world Quinny!”. 

Chris saw his chance and hastily scribbled a contract onto the back of a cigarette packet. He couldn’t guarantee many of the trappings of the premiership, but a place on the first team was assured and he would personally buy him a few pints after the matches. He was planning to keep his hand over the writing, ask for an autograph, and then reveal the hidden contract once it was signed. 

He changed his mind at the last minute when he noticed that Niall hadn’t finished his pint before walking towards the door to leave for home. His managerial instincts kicked in. Leaving a half pint unfinished was just a bit too flash for the Killusty squad. He quietly put the contract into his pocket and shook the man’s hand instead.

(N Gawe).

Fed Up Motorist
A local fed-up motorist sent us the following letter. Maybe other motorists have had a similar experience? If so, why not drop us a line and let us know.

“Is it just me or do other people think that the Clonmel road is the worst road in the country for the amount of traffic on it. When I say the worst I mean in terms of overtaking. My story is, a couple of weeks ago while I was approaching Market Hill on the way into Clonmel, I came behind a car which itself was behind a certain laden down concrete lorry trying to ascend the said hill at approx 3mph — what that is in km I'll leave you work out! When we finally reached the top the lorry proceeded to speed up to 30mph! This speed was maintained all the way to Lisronagh. When we got to the village there were at least seven other vehicles behind me. Now this is the good bit! While on the Lisronagh straight the car behind me started to overtake me, the car in front of me, AND the lorry.  But that isn't the worst of it! The car which was behind the car which was overtaking us (if you can follow me) proceeded to overtake us too! It was like the Naas dual carriageway! The second car narrowly missed another lorry approaching us which had a good ten or eleven cars behind IT!

My point is, there is nowhere besides Lisronagh where a lorry or a tractor can move in and let cars pass safely. There are no two ways about it, if a motorist is behind a very slow moving vehicle his first instinct is to overtake, sometimes stupidly, but the fact remains with the amount of traffic on that road surely there should be lay-bys or a hard shoulder or SOMETHING!

Let me finish by saying I'm not blaming the lorry drivers — far from it — they are only doing their job. I am blaming the people who aren't doing their jobs and taking our road tax money from us and then spending it on God knows what. Finally I would be interested to know if there was ever a survey conducted to show exactly how many cars use this road because with the new housing developments coming to Fethard over the next few years we're going to need one now more then ever before someone is killed.”

Pedestrians Ponder Perilous Parking
A number of people have complained about parked cars which cause an unnecessary hindrance to pedestrians. As Fethard is blessed with wide footpaths, it is possible to park on part of them while still leaving enough space for people to pass, with the added bonus of keeping your wing mirror intact. Some road users have taken to parking fully on the footpath, leaving no room to pass. The pedestrian has the option of walking on to a busy road to get around the car.  This is dangerous. The other options are to walk over or crawl under the car. This is a bit of a problem for the aged, the infirm or those with prams.  Have a bit of consideration for these people and leave a gap big enough to allow people to pass the car.  Before someone coins the phrase footpath rage.

Do you smoke Winfield?
There seems to be a growing problem with litter around the town of Fethard.  Our attention was brought to a straight stretch of road at Grove. Passing the site of the former dump there are several bags of waste dumped along the edges of the road, and many items such as mattresses, prams etc.

Closer to town, one landowner reported that someone dumped a bag of household waste over the wall of their house! The culprit smokes 'Winfield' cigarettes, reads the 'Sun' newspaper and shops in Centra. If the culprit reads this, please realise that this anti-social behaviour is illegal and no longer acceptable. It is now time to pay your waste charges like most households in the Fethard area.

Kearns Family Information Needed
My father Ted Kearns (now 90 years of age) was born and lived in Fethard, we think at the house at the back of St Aden’s Church, which now appears to be a small ‘community centre’. Evidently a small school existed nearby (the church bell having been once used as the school bell) but has since been demolished. We think my father’s mother may have been the local midwife.

His elder brother, James died in 1937 and his buried in the cemetery at St Aden’s church along with his wife who sadly died around the same time, possibly of TB as they both worked (we think) in a nearby hospital.

We are trying to trace any people/information who may be able to enlighten us about the Kearns family in general and about life in Fethard from say 1850 to 1950. Any help would be most appreciated.  Edward Kearns (email: edwardkearns@btconnect.com)

The Man who pays the Piper . . .
A regular visitor to Fethard was an instrument maker and musician who went by the name of Skip Healy.  Skip was born and reared in the USA but fell in love with Irish music when he heard the Bothy Band perform back in the 1970s. He worked at various jobs in the US before moving to Ireland to try his hand at making a living playing the flute.

Ship was entertaining a party of tourists in a bar in Thurles one night when one of the punters asked him to play a particular song. The only problem was that the person who asked didn’t know the name of the tune, but said that it was very popular and that most people joined in.  Skip asked him to hum the air of the tune. The man obliged and the tune was recognised. He promised to play it later in the evening.

True to his word, he played the song and it was indeed a popular one as many of the crowd joined in, much to the satisfaction of the tourist who had requested it. They came to the last line and the tourists all joined in as well. It was the only line that they knew and they sang it with gusto, “Shoving Connie around the field”.

They just loved our National Anthem.

(N Gawe)

Fethard GAA Club News
The senior football Munster league commenced on Saturday 12th February, away in Cork.  The team manager had difficulty in fielding a team with training not resumed and some county players not available and others not due to work, college, and other commitments.  We thank those who made themselves available and travelled to Cork.
In the opening half we were very much in touch with four points separating the teams at the interval, Fethard 1-6, Bishopstown 2-7.  In the second period we ran out of steam and also loosing John P Looby through injury, Bishopstown ran out comfortable winners on a scoreline, Fethard 1-7, Bishopstown 5-12. The team was: Paul Fitzgerald , Michael Carroll, Willie Morrissey, Connie Flynn, Darren O’Meara, Cian Maher, Brian Coen, Eoin Doyle, Jamie McCormack, Emmet Burke, John P Looby, Kenneth O’Donnell 0-2, Conor Mc Carthy1-2, Brian Burke 0-2, Jason Nevin 0-1. Sub used was John Fitzgerald.

On our previous meetings with Bishopstown in 1999 we beat them in the semifinal and lost the final to Clonmel Commercials.  In 2000, our last year in the Munster League, we lost to Bishopstown in the league section. Our next game in this competition is away to Coolaclare.
The junior football county league commenced last Sunday 13th February away to Loughmore.  Under very difficult playing conditions in Castleiney, we came away with a share of the spoils on a scoreline, Fethard 0-5. Loughmore 0-5.  The team was: Glen O’Meara, Connie Flynn, Diarmuid Burke, James Smyth, Emmet Burke, Darren O’Meara, Ronan O’Meara, Jamie McCormack, Kevin O’Donnell, John Noonan, Brian Burke, Brendan Brett 0-2 (1f), Paul Kenrick, John Fitzgerald 0-1, John Leahy 0-2.

Well done, particularly to those who played on Saturday and Sunday so early in the season. Our next game is on Sunday 20th February in Fethard at 2.30pm against Solohead.  The final thirty-six who are not eligible to play in this competition are: Paul Fitzgerald, Aiden Fitzgerald, Michael Aherne, Tom Anglim, Ronan Maher, Karl Maher, Cian Maher, Stephen O’Donnell, Kenneth O’Donnell, Damien Byrne, Kenneth Byrne, Tomas Keane, Willie O’Meara, Jimmy O’Meara, John O’Meara, Chris Coen, Shay Coen, Colm Coen, Brian Coen, Alan Phelan, Willie Morrissey, Michael Dillon, Michael Quinlan, Miceál Spillane, Glen Burke, John P Looby, Ian Kenrick, Eoin Doyle, Michael O’Riordan, Michael Ryan, Willie Quigley, Michael Teehan, Johnny Neville, Carl Gahan, Conor McCarthy and Nicky Murphy.
An important meeting for all adult football players, including under 21, will take place this Saturday 19th February in the Abymill Theatre at 8pm.
Our sympathies are at this time with the McCormack family from the Green on the passing away of their grandchild and nephew, Elliot from Clonmel. Go ndeanai Dhia Trocaire ar an ainmeachta.

Hayes demands urgent action on Fethard factory
There was increasing pressure placed on both the South Tipperary County Council and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), this week in relation to the advance factory in Fethard. Local TD, Tom Hayes expressed his frustration at the ongoing situation saying that moves must be made now to realise the potential of the facility. "I want the deal between the IDA and the County Council over the Fethard advance factory to be concluded as a matter of urgency. This is an unnecessary and unwarranted roadblock to developing the full potential of this facility and site", he said.

Speaking on Monday the Tipperary South TD stated, "there are many local parties interested in utilising the factory, but cannot proceed until the deal with the IDA is sorted out first. Once we get over this hurdle, a employer can occupy the factory and provide much-needed employment and a shot in the arm for the local Fethard economy", Deputy Hayes said.  "I have written to both the County Council and the IDA in relation to this issue and am urging them to take action to close the deal as soon as possible so we can see the creation of jobs and all the associated spin offs that will bring for the community of Fethard and the surrounding areas", he concluded.

Hunting News
The hunting season now drawing rapidly to a close has really been one of mixed fortunes. Hunting pre-Christmas was not of the highest order with local packs and packs nationwide all having the same experience.  Hunting has improved immensely since Christmas.

The Ballyluskey White Heather Harriers had a good run from their meet at Ballyluskey on Sunday.  From their meet they ran from Whelans to the cross on Crohane Hill, where wheeling right, Charlie did a u-turn running back almost to where he was first found, where he went to ground.  The White Heathers hold a lawn meet at Priestown House, Drangan, on Sunday 20th February at 12 noon.

Mick strikes again
Congratulations and well done to local trainer Mick Ahearne who had a double at the Tipperary Foxhounds Point-to-Point in Clonmel on Sunday last.  Having won the opening event, the Four-Year-Old Maiden’ with his son P.J.’s, ‘Keenans Future’, Mick went on to win the following race with his wife Monica’s, ‘Can’t Talk Now’.  Both winners were ridden by Mr B. Hassett.

Tailed Off
Everybody has heard of the star jockeys and horses, Lester, McCoy, Dunwoody, Carberry, Arkle, Dawn Run, Red Rum, Beef or Salmon — the list is vast. Equally vast is the list of horses and jockeys that never make the grade. These are the men and animals that are often just making up the numbers, and if they get a rare turn of luck they might land the occasional win.

One such jockey recalled a particular horse that he had the misfortune to ride. The horse was never going to make the grade but the trainer had to justify the horses existence and his training bill by racing him every so often. The jockey knew that he’d be lucky to get around the course without ending up on the ground, but as rides were scarce, he had to take what was offered. The same scenario took place after each race. He would ride back to the parade ring to meet the trainer and the disappointed owners. The usual excuses were given. The horse didn’t like the ground, the going was too slow, the going was too fast, a falling horse hampered her, she might have a bit of a cough and on and on went the list of excuses.

Eventually, the jockey was fed up with lying for the trainer. He told the owners that he heard the horse make a strange noise as he rounded the last bend. This was a totally new excuse so they enquired what kind of sound he had heard. Even the trainer stopped to listen as he hadn’t heard this one before. The jockey paused and then said that it sounded something like this, took a deep breath and went Heeee Haaaw Heeee Haaaw. He never had to ride the horse again. 

(N Gawe)

Sports reporter extraordinary
Surely well in the running for a Tipperary writer of the year award must be the scribe who reported on the Killusty Soccer Club’s charity match between the over-30s has-beens and the under-30 wannabes recently.  His very witty and inaccurate reporting of the ‘game of the year’ has been very favourably commented upon by a large number of readers.


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