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Saturday 9th April 2005

Pilgrims Progress
The passing of Pope John Paul II reawakened memories and stories about the papal visit to Ireland in 1979.  The country came to a virtual standstill as television audiences watched the plane bearing the Pope touching down on Irish soil.  There was a serious shortage of fuel at the time but that didn’t stop almost half the population of the country travelling to see him in different parts of Ireland.  Most Fethard people travelled to the nearest venue, Limerick, where he celebrated mass at the racecourse.  A group from Fethard recalled travelling on a specially appointed pilgrims’ train which departed Clonmel at 11pm the night before the Mass.  Arriving in Limerick in the middle of the night, they then proceeded to walk the remaining few miles to the racecourse where they waited, eating sandwiches, drinking tea and some sleeping, until the Pope arrived many hours later.  One person recalls hearing the first few words from the Pope and then falling into a deep sleep after the exhausting wait. 

These pilgrims weren’t very impressed when they returned from their vigil to meet another Fethard man who had no intention of making the trip, but on seeing that the town was deserted on the day of the papal visit to Limerick, he drove over to the event. As most people had already arrived at the venue by this time, the roads were deserted, so he drove straight into the racecourse and parked at a spot beside the papal helicopter just as it touched down. He got a better view of the Pope than thousands who had spent the night camping out.

Another man recalled leaving the Sunday night dance in the ballroom only to meet some friends who decided there and then to drive to see the Pope.  He hopped into the car with them.  A papal flag was acquired from a building in Golden en route.  The group parked in one of the many fields that were transformed into car parks for the occasion and slept for a while.  They awoke a few hours later and walked to the venue but as none of them had a coat between them, they began to feel the cold.  Then deciding that they wouldn’t last the day, returned to the car and landed back in Fethard just as the Pope landed in Limerick.

The stories during the week enlightened one young man about an object that had been left on top of his family fridge for years.  It was a strange piece of Papal memorabilia — a periscope.  A hawker had sold a cardboard periscope to one of his family, which he promised would allow a better view of the Pope.  It was designed to enable the viewer to see over the heads of the crowd and get a better view of the proceedings. One pilgrim remembered looking through his periscope to see the Pope and being disappointed as he could only see the backs of the other periscopes that were raised in front of him.  He fared a bit better later on when the Pope mobile passed a few feet from him enabling him to get a good look at Pope John Paul II. It was a special visit for those that travelled to see the Pope, and as the outpouring of stories at the time of his demise proves, it will linger forever in the minds of the people of Ireland.

(N Gawe)

Refurbishment Works at Woodvale Walk
South Tipperary County Council have accepted a tender from D.P.B. Construction Ltd., Knock, Roscrea, to completed site refurbishment works at Woodvale Walk, Fethard, to the total cost of €362,258.39.  We would like to thank our local councillors, and in particular Cllr Susan Meagher, for their work in helping to acquire the funding for this deserving project.

The Well Golf Society
Not that our golfers need reminding, but just in case any new members wish to join us, our second outing takes place this coming Sunday 17th, at Tipperary Golf Club, tee off time is 11.30am.

Fethard & Killusty Community Council
The next meeting of Fethard & Killusty Community Council will take place on Tuesday 19th April at 8.30pm in the Tirry Community Centre.  If you are interested in becoming involved in any of our community activities, please come along as you will be more than welcome.  Fethard and Killusty Community Council activities include the running and administration of the Tirry Community Centre and Information Office in Barrack Street; Fethard Tidy Towns; Fethard & District Day Care Centre; Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto; and the management of Fethard Community FÁS Employment Scheme.

Fethard & Killusty Community Council was formed on the 13th January 1976 at a public meeting, representative of the entire community, to promote the social, cultural and educational welfare of the whole community regardless of class, creed or political persuasion. 

King Family Information
The following message was received from Tony Jacobs (email: vickyandtonyjacobs@yahoo.co.uk) from England.

I'm trying to find out about my great-grandmother and her family, who emigrated from Fethard to London/Essex in around 1899.  The family were known by the name of King, but according to my late grandfather this had been anglicised from something sounding like "ray" (I was only a kid at the time and didn't ask how to spell it!). I don't know when - all I know is that they were using the surname of King in 1901 when they appear on the UK Census in Charlton, London.

My great-grandmother, Alice Mary King, was born in Fethard circa 1894. She was the daughter of John King (originally Sean "ray"), born in Fethard circa 1870, and Nora King, born circa 1873. She had a brother John, born Fethard circa 1896; a sister Kathleen (later Sister Gabrielle at Poor Clares Convent, Loughton, Essex), born Fethard circa 1898; and Nora who was born in 1900 in Kent, England.  Any information would be most gratefully received. Perhaps there are even some relatives in Fethard!

Table Quiz on Thursday Night
St. Rita’s Camogie Club will hold a table quiz on Thursday 14th April in Butlers Bar, Main Street, at 9pm.  Table of four cost is €20 and we look forward to your support.

Quinn Family
I am trying to find out more information on my Dad's family - he is Liam (William Jerome Collum) Quinn born 1930 in Fethard and lived at Barrett's Grange. He has one surviving sister in Australia. He is looking for details of one of his uncles who was we think a World War One casualty, Captain James Quinn. Any information on this or on other aspects of the family history welcome! Kind regards, Professor Tom Quinn (email: tj.quinn@btopenworld.com)

Heavy Traffic
Heavy traffic has been reported from the least expected part of Fethard. Discussions have taken place among the users of the area and an agreeable compromise has been reached between the parties concerned. Traffic lights were mooted as a solution to the problem but it was thought that the local authorities might not wish to get involved.  Where, you may ask, is this problem area?  It is none other than Grove Wood.

A number of local horse trainers use the woods to exercise their animals each day. Most use the main track to the top and back. The problem was that nobody was sure if anybody else was already on the track, so the possibility of running in to a galloping horse or two coming the other way, was a worrying factor.

Necessity, they say, is the master of invention, so a system was devised to warn people entering the woods of others on the route. It is so simple it is brilliant. Each rider places a rock at a designated place near the entrance gate to the woods to warn others that the track is in use, and then removes it on the way out.  No computers, no rocket science, no traffic lights. Just a simple rock.

Pedestrians in the woods don’t have to worry about the congestion on the main track as there is a number of smaller tracks through the forestry and the older parts of the woods to exercise both human and animal. There is no traffic to contend with on these lesser paths except the occasional pheasant or pigeon. Oh . . . and, of course, the very occasional person trying to shoot them for the dinner. Talk loudly to yourself if you suspect that a hunter is in the area. Better he think you insane than he fill your rear end with lead. 

That aside, the spring colours are amazing and the Robbers Den is the most beautiful part of the woods at any time of the year. Best of all…it’s free.  Just check the traffic report on the way in. Not yet available online.

(N Gawe)

Ladies Football
Fethard Ladies Football Club training commenced on Saturday last in the GAA Park for underage players.  There was a very good turn out and we are looking for more under/12 players as we are involved in both the under/12 championship and under/12 community games. 

Fethard are drawn against Cahir in the first round of the community games event. We were due to play Moyle Rovers last weekend but this game had to be held over until we have a full panel.  We are also due to play Templemore in the near future.  So we ask any under/12 players to please come along on Mondays to the Community Sportsfield at 6.30pm or to the GAA Park on Saturdays at 2pm.

Junior training commenced last Monday in the Community Sportsfield at 7.30pm.  The first fixture for the junior matches commence on Sunday 1st May.  Full details of draw will be given in the Fethard Notes next week.  All fees due must be paid by Monday, 18th April, Juniors €37 and juveniles €27.

Fethard Community Sportsfield
All clubs using the Community Sportsfield must submit current Insurance Certificates to Manton Solicitors, Main Street, Fethard, immediately.  Only people with up to date Insurance Certificates, which indemnify the field, will be allowed to use the facility.

Community Education Flying it in Fethard (Photo ‘Womans Group’)
Over the past year two new Womens’ Groups have commenced in Fethard.  Both have been very busy participating in community education programmes such as personal development, assertiveness, womens’ health and are presently due to commence Thi-Chi and computers.

The venue is the Abymill which lends a beautiful atmosphere for their gatherings on Monday morning and Monday evening.  Many of the group’s programmes have been supported and facilitated by Veronica Crowe, South Tipperary VEC Clonmel. Recently the women completed an eight-week computer programme, well done to one and all. For more information about this group contact Veronica at Tel: 052-26269

Graffiti Vandals
A report on one of the news stations during the week told the story of a graffiti artist in New York who sprayed an image of Pope John Paul II on a wall in the city when the pontiff passed away.  He did it, he claimed, to bring the image of the Pope to the impoverished masses in that run down part of the city. He was arrested for damaging public property.

Fethard too has acquired some new graffiti in the past week. This graffiti doesn’t try to spread the message of the Pope or anybody else for that matter.  It’s just plain mindless vandalism. The offending graffiti was written on the Millennium Bridge’ by the Town Wall.  The perpetrators, according to the names and nicknames scrawled on the bridge, include Adam, Alan, Bladder, Colin B, Tommy, Gavin, Adrian, TOD, DT, Buddy and Damien.  Thanks for defacing our town lads!

(N Gawe)

Juvenile GAA Club
Training for our under/6s, 8s and 10s started last Saturday and it was great to see some new faces.  Training will continue again this Saturday in the GAA field from 3pm to 4pm and more new faces are welcome. The under/12 game against Commercials is to be rescheduled and their next game takes place on this Thursday, 14th April, away to Moyle Rovers.  Players to assemble at the GAA field at 6.15pm.  Training for under/12 takes place on Mondays and Thursday at 6.15pm in GAA field.

Our under/14 championship starts on Thursday 21st April and are now well in to preparation for same.  Training will continue on Wednesdays at 6.45pm and Sundays at 5.45pm.

The under/16s lost by six points to Cahir in their championship game.  Training takes place on Fridays at 6.15pm.  The next game is away to Mullinahone on the Monday 18th April.

Hurling championship will commence in June and July.  Hurling training for under/12s takes place on Tuesday at 6.30pm in the Community Field. Training for under/14s and 16s in the GAA Field at 6.15pm.

All membership fees are now overdue and need to be paid as soon as possible. New players are more than welcome. Anybody needing further information can contact Tel: 086 1713502.

Finally, congratulations to the Fethard Rugby Club on their recent success in Clonmel and to Killusty Soccer Club on reaching the Tipperary Cup Final.

Lost and Found in New York
The following piece of information was brought to our attention from the first item in the ‘Lost and Found Column’ published in the New York Times (page 34) on Aug 26. 1935.

LOST: Box containing Irish bagpipe, southbound, 8th Av. Subway, 42d St., Saturday afternoon; reward. Meagher, 1,977 Morris Av., Bronx.

Mr. Barry O’Neill (writing to the “Uilleann Obsession”) goes on to say, that the fellow's name was Patrick Meagher and he was also a warpiper. He was from Fethard, Co. Tipperary. He lived from 1872-1967, and worked as a printer. He had been in the union since he was 18 and at the time of his death (or rather just before that) claimed to hold the record for longest time in a union. When he came to NYC he learned Hebrew characters will enough to get a job on the Yiddish paper, he claimed, but when he applied for membership in the Jewish Typographical Union, they rejected him because he signed his name in Irish. He worked for the NYT as a printer then left to found the Gaelic Voice." Thanks Barry for this great snippet of history.

Fethard Bridge Club
We played the first round of Player of the Year on Wednesday 6th April and the results were:

1st Gross: Brigid Gorey and Betty Walsh

2nd Gross: Kay St. John and Rita Kane

1st Nett: Mary and Pattie Tobin

2nd Nett: Carol Kenny and Gemma Burke

On Wednesday next 20th April, we play the third round of the ‘Player of the Year’ with a change of partner.  The following week will be the fourth and final week of the competition.  Anyone looking for a partner contact Annie O’Brien Tel: 052 31862.

Fethard GAA Club
Minor B Football continues this Saturday 16th April with a game in Cloneen at 6.45pm against Mullinahone.  A win is a must for us to make the semifinals.
Our second division county league aspirations, in football, got a set back in Cloneen on Sunday last, 10th April, when we were well beaten on the day by the home team on a scoreline, Fethard 2-5, St Patricks 4-17.  Our next game is on weekending 24th April at home to Ardfinnan.  The team on Sunday last was: Glen O’Meara, Connie O’Flynn, Diarmuid Burke, William O’Brien, Mike Kelly, Shane Walsh, Ronan O’Meara, Kevin O’Donnell, Brendan Brett 1-1 (1f), Paul Kenrick 1-1, Michael O’Riordan 0-1, John Leahy 0-2, Damien Donovan, John Fitzgerald and Eugene Walsh.
Juvenile fixtures for our under 16 A footballers, Round 5, are away to Mullinahone on the 18th April at 7pm; Round 6, at home to Moyle Rovers on the 20th April at 7pm; Round 7, at home to Kilsheelan on the 25th April at 7pm.
In the under 12 A football, Round 2, Fethard are away to Moyle Rovers on the 14th April at 7pm, Round 3, at home to Cahir on the 23rd April at 7pm.
Under 14 A football starts with Round 1 at home to Kilsheelan on 21st April at 7pm.
The Sports Lotto numbers drawn in Lonergan’s Bar weekending 2nd April were 1, 2, 6 and 15.  We had two match three winners of €75 each: Canon Power (Cashel Rd) and Nellie Ryan (46 St Pats Place).  The €50 Lucky dip winner was Catherine Williams (Killusty).

This weeks Community Sports Lotto Jackpot of €1,500 was not won.  The numbers drawn in The Castle were 2, 10, 15 and 24.  We had two match three winners of €75 each: John Walsh (c/o Cambells Soup, Thurles) and Robert O’Riordan (Cloran, Cloneen).  The €50 Lucky dip winner was Willie McGarry (10 Woodvale Walk).
Club membership fees are now overdue, €20 Adult, Juveniles €10.

Parents’ Association Table Quiz
The Parents Association of the Secondary School, Fethard, will hold a Table Quiz in the Secondary School Hall on Tuesday 26 April at 8.30pm. A raffle will also be held in conjunction with the Table Quiz. Attractive prizes will be on offer. We wish to thank the various sponsors for their support. Proceeds of this quiz are in aid of School Facilities. A good night's entertainment is promised, refreshments will be served and an invitation is extended to all.

History of Farmers’ Associations
A committee has been working on compiling a complete history of NFA/IFA in South
Tipperary. The result of this research work will be launched in book form in Rockwell
College on Friday 6th May. Mary Coughlan minister for Agriculture will launch the book.
This occasion is planned to be a major social event in South Tipperary. All members and
their partners are to receive an invitation to this event. Anybody interested in attending this
event should contact local officers of the IFA.

The author of the book is Willie Hayes who is a
native of Fethard. Willie was born in Rathcoole and was educated by The Patrician Brothers
primary and secondary. His further education was at Maynooth seminary. He worked in
Australia for his first 6 years as a priest. He also worked in the parishes of Cashel,
Cappawhite, Holycross and Newport. He returned to Australia as a secondary teacher. Willie
became very involved in local history research and conservation work on old religious sites.
He went into publishing his own research work. His previous work includes a book on events
in Tipperary in 1798 and a History of Moyne and Templetuohy.

This book was a winner of
the ‘Tipperariana Book of The Year’ award 2003. Willie gets great satisfaction out of returning to his native
Rathcoole, putting on a pair of boots and walking around the fields.

Great Racehorses Recalled
The recent sale by auction in England of the 1958 Cheltenham Gold Cup for £8,360 (Stg) recall what might be termed, the golden era of Fethard bred horses in English National Hunt racing.

The 1958 Gold Cup was one of the many successes of the great national hunt mare ‘Kerstin’ bred by the late Con Burke, Watergate.  ‘Locroe’ bred by Brian O’Donnell; ‘Linwell’ bred by Jimmy Delaney, Redcity; and the great ‘Cool Customer’ bred by John Burke, Garrankyle, are some others that come to mind.  Pride of place goes to ‘Royal Tan’ and ‘Teal’ both bred by Carrolls of Milltown.

Is it time to stand up and be counted?
The modern name for it is anti-social behaviour, but we can think of a few better ones, including a choice selection, for the mindless thugs who carried out the latest act of vandalism in Fethard.  These chappies could find nothing better to do on last Sunday evening only to smash the windows in our beautiful Abymill Theatre.

Austin O’Flynn who has done so much for the Abymill was completely shattered and upset on discovering the damage on Monday morning.  What can one say?  For once we are lost for wards.

Over the past week there were many other incidents of vandalism reported; damage to an occupied house at Barrack Street; break-in at Jimmy O’Shea’s yard; grids on the Town Wall Lights damaged and thrown into river; and graffiti on the Millennium Bridge.  It is very unlikely that all these happened without someone witnessing some of the events.  The local Garda are forever appealing for witnesses or information to apprehend these criminals.  Now is the time to stand up and help the Garda instead of criticising them. If we want to keep crime at bay in the area, a much higher level of local cooperation is needed in helping Gardai with their work.  It is essential that all suspicious activities are noted and reported.  We should also keep a closer look on our neighbours property and record unusual activities.  All information can be passed on confidentially to members of the local Garda or to the Garda Confidential Freephone: 1800 666 111.

This is not the Stile!
A lady who was one of the instigators of the appeal to have an entrance gateway erected at Redcity graveyard is sorely disappointed that this is not going to be done.  On being informed by South Tipperary County Council that insurance was one of the chief reasons for not replacing the present stile with a gateway, the lady asks, “How come there is an entrance gate to all the other old graveyards in the Parish?” and, “Does that imply that those visiting relatives’ graves in Redcity are presumed to be more ‘claim conscious’ than those visiting other sites?”

We do not know, but ‘City Hall’ has decided and as they say in the USA, “You can’t fight City Hall!”


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