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Saturday 19th March 2005

Fethard Ballroom Celebrates 12 Years
St. Patricks Night is a special night for patrons of Fethard Ballroom, and this year was no exception for the large number of dancers who turned up to celebrate 12 years of success with the organising committee and their many helpers.  Fethard Ballroom is now one of the most popular venues for popular dancing in the South with patrons driving from as far as Wexford, Cork and Waterford every week.  The committee would now like to see more locals coming to enjoy the wonderful facility and warm friendly atmosphere generated among the many loyal followers every Sunday night. Dancing is from 9pm to midnight and admission includes light refreshments supplied by a very capable ladies committee.

Twelve years ago, on St. Patrick’s night, 17 March 1993, the former Country Club Ballroom, which was originally the Capital Cinema, reopened its doors in splendour to all and sundry.  The ballroom was purchased about twelve months previously, at a cost of £30,000, by the Community Council but was in very bad repair following at least five years of closure and neglect.  However, community spirit came to the fore when various members of the community spent endless nights working to reinstate this building to its former glory.  A Christmas draw took place to generate funds for materials and as much voluntary labour as possible was used to make the dream became a reality on St. Patrick’s Night.  Most of the population of the town and surrounding areas danced the night away to the sound of the Pat Burke Band from Cahir, and enjoyed themselves immensely.

In 1994 the committee formed Fethard Ballroom Company Ltd to take over the running and financing of the ballroom.  On top of the purchase price, a further £17,000 was spent on essential repairs to enable the hall to open.  By 1995 the committee had the original debt of £47,341 reduced to £20,379.

1997 was a very difficult year for the Ballroom with the possibility of closure due to a large increase in insurance premium for the facility and also some insurance claims against the Ballroom.  With outstanding dedication and determination, the committee tackled these problems and successfully turned around this tough situation and have never looked back since.

In the following years the committee, using mainly voluntary labour, upgraded the hall to the tremendous facility it is today, fitting out a new fully equipped kitchen, new doors and windows, new carpeting and non-slip floor covering, and vast improvements to the heating system to eliminate draughts, reduce heat loss and add to the comfort of patrons.

Today, the Ballroom is completely paid for and self-sustaining and great credit is due to the present committee who stuck with the project, and the many others who also worked with the committee over the past twelve years.  Well done! 

We can show our appreciation by coming along with our friends and enjoying a dance on Sunday nights!  The committee assure us a very warm welcome.

Badgers Soccer Club
There was a good healthy turn out for our AGM held in Butler’s Bar on last Friday night, which reflects a club that has grown steadily this past year.  Expansion sees Philip Furnell elected as chairman, with Liam Harrington and Colm McGrath remaining on as treasurer and secretary respectively.  One of the main topics of discussion on the night was, when should we return to the Community Field, and the date that was agreed was Wednesday 13th April.  With the new lights installed in the field we are no longer restricted by time, so on the 13th it will be 7.45pm for warm ups and 8pm for kick-off.

The Late Dick Wall — An Appreciation
The death of Dick Wall, Tullamaine, wile not unexpected came as a great shock and was greeted with great sadness by his many friends and acquaintances in Fethard and surrounding districts, especially those in GAA circles.

The late Dick Wall was a powerfully strong man, but perhaps his true strength was in his gentleness.  Dick projected an inner quality of sincerity and kindness, qualities which he himself would be the last to admit to, which reached out and endeared him to all who knew him.  It would be impossible to imagine Dick Wall utter a harsh or unkind word about anybody or anything.

Canon James Power said on receiving his remains in Fethard Parish Church, “Dick Wall was a real gentleman”, and Fr Tom Breen P.P. at his funeral mass said, “Dick was a pleasure to meet at all times”.  These two statements sum up Dick Wall to a ‘T’.

Dick Wall’s great interest was the GAA.  He was the stuff of which teams, clubs, and the GAA itself are made.  He never wore the county jersey, never made the banner headlines in the local press, and indeed, in his over twenty years service to Coolmoyne hurling teams and Fethard senior football teams, his honours won were very few.  Nevertheless, Dick Wall never missed a game, challenge, tournament or championship for which he was selected during his playing career.  He always gave one hundred and twenty percent.  He asked for no quarter and gave no quarter; on the playing field he would more than likely be considered a ‘hard man’.  Yet in his long career, he played it hard but he played it within the rules.  Players, even those with much higher reputations, never got soft scores off Dick Wall.  He never had his name taken or was never sent off, although it would be true to say, if the ‘Cárta Buidhe’ was in existence in his time, he would have amassed enough to paper a room.

The verse paying tribute to Dick Wall in the local ballad, “The Hurlers of Coolmoyne”, pays the perfect tribute to his qualities as a hurler.  The ballad recalls an epic encounter between Coolmoyne and Mullinahone in Drangan.

“The rugged men from Kickhams den off jostled but in vane;
For German tanks would fail to shake Dick Wall from Tullamaine.
With good old ash in every clash, he fought with courage fine,
He soon convinced the Kickhams, he was hurling with Coolmoyne.”

On his return from the playing field he was a loyal and true supporter of all Fethard football and hurling teams of all grades, up to the time of his final illness, which he bore with great faith and fortitude.

Dick Wall’s other great interest was hunting and the family farm adjoined the Tipperary Foxhounds Kennels.  Dick was a regular attended at the annual Tipperary Puppy Show and was proud that Wall’s Covert was always a sure find.  He also took a great interest in the Barrettstown Harriers during their short existence.  He was sort of a technical adviser to a great local personality, Jimmy Looby, huntsman and master.  Dick, with his great wry sense of humour, took great delight in Jim’s wholehearted endeavours in the hunting field.

Dick Wall had a great affinity with children.  He followed with great interest the careers of his nephews and grand nephews on the playing fields and especially those of his niece, Annie Costigan, on the Fethard Presentation Convent All-Ireland winning volleyball teams of the seventies.  Children also loved him.  Indeed, this was perfectly shown by his very young grandnephew who read one of the bidding prayers at his funeral mass so well, crying bitter tears as he followed his coffin from Fethard Parish Church.

Dick Wall, a strong and silent man, will be sadly missed by his brother Jack to whom our sincere sympathy is extended, nieces, nephew, and those of us fortunate enough to have known him and been his teammates.

We may have great men, but we’ll never have better,
Glory O, Glory O, to Coolmoyne hurling men.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto Results

The numbers on Tuesday 15th March were: 10, 13, 22 and 24. There was no Jackpot winner and one ‘Match 3’ winner who received €150:

Toby Collier, c/o McCarthy's, Fethard

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Joseph Bowes, Kilconnell, Fethard

Margaret Croke, St., Patrick's Place, Fethard

Marianne Butler, c/o John Shortall, The Valley, Fethard

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

Winner all right
The large contingent who travelled from Fethard to Cheltenham seem by all accounts to have made the trip a profitable one.  The icing on the cake for many was the local winner, ‘Foto Island’, from the Mouse Morris Everardsgrange Stables, winner on the last day of the festival.

While on the subject of Cheltenham, well done to connections of all the Irish winners — stable lads, travelling head lads, jockeys, trainers and owners — who did themselves, the racing game, and Ireland proud in their interviews on Channel 4 TV.

Hunting news
The meet of the Ballydine Beagles at Ballydine on Sunday last rang down the curtain on the 2004/2005 hunting season in these parts.  Master and huntsman, Matt Wade, is keeping up a great tradition in keeping this long established pack going strong.  How many remember the packs visits to Fethard in the fifties when hunted by John and Leonard Mescall.  Dr Martin Davies, former master of the Isle of Wight Beagles and who has hunted with most of the elite packs in England, described the Ballydine Beagles as good a hunting pack as he had ever seen.  This followed a day with Matt and the Ballydine on a recent visit to Tipperary.

Congratulations from the White Heathers to our whipper-in, David Halley, who rode his father’s horse ‘Ballyvaden’ to win the Adjacent Maiden race at Ballintaggart Point-to-Point on Sunday last.

The Ballylusky White Heather Harriers wish to thank sincerely all who contributed to their successful annual draw, both promoters and especially all who so freely purchased tickets.  Winner of the first prize of €500 were the young Murphy brothers of Gowran; second prize of €300 was won by Michael Carroll, Coolmore; third prize of €100 was won by John Guinan, Ballylusky.

The committee also wish to thank sincerely all landowners over whose land the White Heathers hunted during the season.

We never realised our ‘Hunting News’ column attracted such wide attention from all hunting followers.  We sincerely appreciate their comments, especially the ‘slaggers’ who regularly enquire, “How far did you add on to the run this week?” Sure we all have our begrudgers!

Everything going well we will resume early next fall, God willing, when next season on a crisp autumn morning and the horn re-echoes through woodland, we’ll answer the call.

New Time
The summer time is coming but the fields are not so sweetly blooming these days as all the flora, honeysuckle, buttercups and cowslips etc. have long since been killed off by weed killing sprays.  Nevertheless, do not forget to put your clocks forward one hour this Saturday night, 26th March, when summer time comes into operation.

Patrician Presentation Secondary School
Since the conclusion of the mocks on 4th March, it has been a busy and rewarding time up to St. Patrick’s Day.  Our junior boys won the Football Blitz in Cashel on Wednesday 9th March.  David Gorey, 2nd year, won the Intermediate Section of the Tipperary Young Entrepreneurs in Cahir on Friday 11th March with his beautiful handcrafted table accessories entitled ‘Enchanted Wood’.  He now goes on to the all-Ireland finals.

Laura Rice, 1st year, won first prize in the Community Games under-14 art competition.  She also won the junior section of the Abbey 700 Art Competition.  John Frewen, 5th year, won the senior section.  Both with their themes being, ‘Blessed William Tirry and the Augustinians’.

Our boys and girls have been busy playing volleyball and it’s Barcelona for our group leaving on Saturday for this wonderful city on their school trip 2005.

The Lourdes Quiz held in the school and organised by Mr and Mrs Prendergast was a great success on Wednesday 16th March, with a 5th year team in the tie-break for wonderful hampers generously sponsored locally.

Date for the diary: Entrance morning for incoming 1st year students 2005 is Saturday 16th April at 9.15am.

Enrolment for Nano Nagle Primary School (Photos ‘Easter Eggs’)
Application forms for new pupils who will be starting school at Nano Nagle Primary School in September 2005, will be available in the school after Easter. The forms are to be returned to the school by April 30th.

Lourdes Table Quiz
A Table Quiz in aid of the Lourdes Fund was held in the Secondary School recently. A fine blend of adult and youth, parent and teacher, plus many friends of the school pitched their wits against challenging questions. A team of 4 fifth-year students were narrowly beaten in a tie-break for 1st place. Congratulations to the many prizewinners.

The Parents' Association would like to thank the sponsors of the beautiful prizes and all those who helped with the occasion, which was an outstanding success. Proceeds will enable two 5th Year students, Suzanne Gorey and Jillian O'Connell, to travel as Youth Helpers with the Diocesan Pilgrimage in June. Surplus proceeds will augment the funds of the parochial Lourdes Invalid committee.

Another Table Quiz will be held in the Secondary School after Easter. Keep an eye out for further details.

Fethard Judo Club
The Munster Mini-Mons were held in Cork on Sunday last. We only had four athletes competing and came home with a 100% record with all four winning gold medals.  Our only boy at this event was Jack Stapleton who won all his fights and our first gold. Our first girl was Sophie Meehan who fought well and won our second gold.

Next up was Kate Delahunty who fought a grade higher due to lack of competition at her weight. Kate fought brilliantly and not alone won gold but was also voted the best female player of the day.  Our fourth competitor was Hanna Stapleton who also fought very well to win our fourth gold medal.

The four winners will now go forward to the All-Ireland Mini-Mons in Dublin in May.

Fethard Judo Club is taking a break for Easter so the next training session will take place on Tuesday 29th March.  This session is for everyone and will start at 7.30pm.  Please bring in all entry forms on this night.

The Well Golf Society
If you’re looking for somewhere to go on Easter Sunday night, look no further than The Well.  In addition to our annual Easter draw, there will also be a disco, loads of food and plenty of craic, what more could you ask for? But, if that isn’t enough, you are no doubt aware by now that The Well is fast becoming known as the place where love stories begin. So come on down to Burke Street, you never know who you might meet!

Community Games Art and Model Making
There was a large amount of entries for the Community Games Art and Model making competition this year.  Many of the pictures were of very high standard and the judges had a difficult job sorting the winners.  However, there are winners and losers in everything and the fun of participation is the main thing. The following are the medallists.

Girls Under 8: (1st) Aine Proudfoot, (2nd) Cassandra Needham, (3rd) Megan McCarthy. Girls Under/10: (1st) Jennifer Rice, (2nd) Aobh O’Shea, (3rd) Emma Hayes.

Girls Under/12: (1st) Faye Manton, (2nd) Jane Holohan, (joint 3rd) Nicole Looby and Evie O Sullivan.

Girls Under/14: (1st) Laura Rice, (2nd) Katie O’Shea, (joint 3rd) Jane Kenny and Bridget O’Reilly.

Boys Under/8: (1st) Alex O’Donovan, (2nd) Eoin O’Donovan, (3rd) Conor Mackey Boys Boys Under/10: (1st) Donal Walsh, (2nd) Charlie Manton, (3rd) Eoghain Hurley.

Boys Under/12: (1st) Louis Rice, (2nd) Michael Smyth, (3rd) Brian Delahunty.

Boys Under/14: (1st) Joseph Thompson.
Model Making Girls Under/10: (1st) Amy Sweeney.

Model Making Boys U/14: (1st) Gerry Horan, (2nd) Mark Fogarty.

There were strong family ties in the Art competition with the Rice family, Everardsgrange having a treble with Jennifer, Louis and Laura all winning gold and the two qualifiers in the boys under 8 were first cousins, Alex O’Donovan, Moanbeg, and Eoin O’Donovan, The Valley.  The first two in each event qualify the county final which will take place in Fethard Ballroom on Saturday 2nd April at 1pm.  Entry fee is €2 each which much be paid to local secretary before start of competition.
Competitors must bring all their own material i.e. paper, paints, pencils etc. The theme of entry must be of a sporting nature. Competitors will be allowed three hours to complete their entry which will be judged immediately after the event.  Medals will be awarded to first, second and third and the winner will qualify for the national finals in Mosney in August.  We hope people are putting on their thinking caps and will travel to the under 14 Juvenile quiz which will take place in Presentation Secondary School in Thurles on Wednesday, 6th April at 8pm. and first county final is the cross country event which will take place in Thurles Crokes field on Friday, 1st April. I am sure members of Fethard Athletic Club are looking forward to this event.

Enquiries to secretary, Bernard Feery, at Tel: 052 31023. Bernard has now compiled the schedule of games for the county finals of the Indoor Soccer event which will take place just down the road at the Monroe Complex over two weeks, April 14th and 21st.

Fethard U/13 boys will play Clerihan in match three at approx 7.15pm on 14th April, and Fethard U/15 boys play Clerihan at 6.45pm on 21st April.  All finals will be completed on 21st April.  All areas taking must pay a fee of €10 per team to pay for the cost of the complex.

Fethard Juvenile GAA Club
The u/12s played a blitz in Killenaule last Saturday. They played three matches winning two of them. The 2nd round will be held this weekend and all players will be notified at training.  Our u/16s started their championship versus Commercials, despite missing a few players they put up a spirited performance especially in the first half against a very strong wind but eventually lost out to a powerful Commercials team on the day. 

The club would like to congratulate Chris Sheehan and Alan O’Connor who represented their club on the South Tipp u/16 hurling team that defeated Waterford in the first round of the Munster Championship last weekend in Kilsheelan, also to Aiden Fitzgerald on his inter-county debut with Tipp senior hurlers. 

Training for the football championship is well under way for all teams, all players are requested to attend, new faces welcome.   All parents please take note membership must be paid by this coming weekend (31st March).  Any queries please contact Caroline Sheehan (secretary) on Tel: 086 1713502.

Fethard Bridge Club
On Wednesday 16th March we played for Easter prizes and the results were:
1st Gross: Berney Myles and David O’Meara
2nd Gross: Teresa Cummins and Alice Quinn
3rd Gross: Anna Cooke and Bernie O’Meara
1st Nett: Kay St. John and Rita Kane
2nd Nett: Suzanne Opray and Ellen Rochford
3rd Nett: Olive Looby and Nora Ahearne
Anyone looking for a partner contact Annie O’Brien Tel: 052 31862.

Ladies Football Club
The Annual General Meeting of Fethard Ladies Football Club will take place in the Tirry Community Centre on Friday, 1st April, at 8.30pm. This is a very important meeting and it is expected that all club members will attend.  New members will be very welcome.  Election of officers for 2005 will take place and the training programme for the coming year will be arranged.  We would ask as many parents as possible to attend this meeting especially for the underage players. We would like to thank all those who supported the very successful function and medal presentation in the Fethard Arms on Friday night last.

Fethard GAA Club News
Fethard Under 21 B footballers went down on Sunday last in Clonmel to a more physical and stronger balanced Ballyporeen fifteen on a scoreline, Fethard 0-9, Ballyporeen 2-5. We wish them the very best in the South Final. We would like to thank all involved in getting us to this stage and we wish the players the very best in their football careers in the future.  Full match report on sports page.  The team on Sunday last was: Glen O’Meara, Connie O’Flynn, Shane Walsh, James Smyth, Mike Kelly, Darren O’Meara, Darragh Corbett, Jamie McCormack 0-1, Michael Dillon 0-1, Emmet Burke 0-1, Ronan O’Meara, Shane Aylward 0-2 F, Paul Kenrick 0-1 F, Ronan Maher, John Leahy 0-2 (1F). Subs used were: P J Morrissey, Christopher Sheehan 0-1 and William O’Brien.
Our Division 2 County League continues this weekend with a home match against Ballylooby/Castlegrace.  Check sports page for fixture details.
Our Minor Football South Championship starts this Saturday 26th March with a game in Killenaule against Ballingarry at 5pm.
Other South Championship fixture commencement dates are Senior Football w/e 19th June, Intermediate Hurling w/e 29th May, Junior A Football w/e 26th June, Junior B Football w/e 26th June, Under 21 Hurling w/e 26th June, Minor Hurling w/e 22nd June, Junior B Hurling w/e 19th June.
A Primary School Blitz was held in Mullinahone last Wednesday with 11-a-side for schools (under 50) between Killusty, Mohober and Kilvemnon with all teams playing each other in football. Killusty emerged winners winning both games, Killusty 3-9, Mohober 3-1; Killusty 5-1, Kilvemnon 2-2.  Team and subs who won the day were Stephen Coffey, Mattie Holohan, Anita Pollard, Seamus Holohan, Joseph Morgan, Patrick Kearney, Aaron Conran, Natalie Cahill, Daniel Hickey, William Morgan, Leanne Sheehan, Fiona Crotty, Katie Coen, Aisling Harrington, Shannon O’Brien and Shannon Hickey. Well done to all and we wish Daniel Hickey, Aaron Conran (South Reps) the very best of luck in the County Finals of the McDonalds Skills to be held shortly.
The Lotto Jackpot €1,200 was not won. The numbers drawn at Burkes Bar were 9, 13, 15 and17.  We had one match three winner of €150 to Martin Ryan (Lismortagh, Moyglass).  The €50 Lucky Dip going to Tom Healy (c/o Promoter).

Cheltenham Cheer
National Hunt racing has got a passionate following in Ireland.  And the Cheltenham Festival is the battleground where the ‘cream of the crop’ battle it out for the top honours every year.  Ask any owner, trainer or jockey what they wish for in the racing game and you will almost always get the same answer — a win at Cheltenham.  It’s the pinnacle of the sport.

Last week, a gap of fifteen years was bridged by Mouse Morris and his team when they returned home with another Cheltenham winner, “Fota Island”, owned by J P McManus, trained by Mouse Morris and ridden by Paul Carberry, claimed the honours for Fethard.  The celebrations, which started in Cheltenham, continued in Fethard where the successful team were joined by friends and well wishers, which included Nina Carberry, younger sister of Paul, who rode her first winner on her first mount in the festival this year. Well done to all concerned.

(N Gawe)

The Ghost of Cromwell
He may be dead for over three centuries, but he can still provide fuel for thought and discussion.  I wrote recently that Cromwell’s head was removed from his body by the English monarchy. I was wrong and stand corrected by Margaret Rossiter in her recent “Opinion” column in this paper. Cromwell died in his bed and was buried intact. His head wasn’t removed until supporters of King Charles II exhumed the body to hang on a gibbet. It was at this point that the aforementioned head was removed.  The head is hidden in a secret place in Cambridge, the location of which is a closely guarded secret.  Passions, it appears, still run high at the mention of his name.

(N Gawe)


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