Saturday 28th January 2006

“Songs of Praise” at Holy Trinity Church of Ireland
To mark Church Unity Octave the Augustinian 700 Celebrations continued at Holy Trinity Church of Ireland on last Friday, 20th January. Revd. George A. Knowd welcomed a very large congregation from Fethard and surrounding areas to celebrate “Songs of Praise”. Mary Healy on behalf of the Abbey 700 Jubilee Committee welcomed visiting choirs from Cloneen, Drangan and Moyglass. Locally, the choirs of the Abbey and Parish churches combined for this unique occasion, as did the fifth and sixth class pupils of Nano Nagle and St. Patrick’s Boys school who sang “Go Tell Everyone”, conducted by Ms. Rita Kenny, accompanied on guitar and trumpet by Ms. Brady and Ms. Gleeson.

The combined choir of Drangan and Cloneen, accompanied by many talented musicians from their parish, sang, “We will Praise You”, under the baton of Mary Noonan. Adhering to the theme of our celebration they later sang, “Come and Praise” as their second hymn. Moyglass choir, accompanied by organist Nora Grant, sang “Glory and Praise to our God”. The Abbey and Parish choir sang Liam Lawton’s “Alleluia” prior to the Gospel reading. Later in the proceedings they sang “The Church’s One Foundation” directed by Fr. Peter Haughey and accompanied by organist, Ann Kendrick Walsh.

The first soloist, Tina Whyte, sang, “Be still in the Presence of the Lord” to a hushed, appreciative congregation. Following many well known and much loved congregational hymns, Jewel Burke enthralled all present with her rendition of “Amazing Grace”. Kevin Hickey was accompanist to both soloists. Mary Noonan ably conducted the all of the congregational singing.

The hymn singing was interspersed by the reading of reflections on the themes of Peace, Church Unity and love of God and appreciating His gift of nature.

Mary Smyth, on behalf of the Jubilee 700 Committee, thanked everyone for their wholehearted participation, particularly the Holy Trinity Church of Ireland committee for both decorating the church with floral arrangements and for the appetising refreshments they prepared for the entire congregation.

Your response to the collection was indeed generous and will be much appreciated by the relief agencies coping with the consequences of the recent earthquake in Pakistan.

Fethard Train Station remembered
The Clonmel to Fethard railway line first opened on 23rd June 1879 and the Fethard to Thurles line opened twelve months later on 1st July 1880.

In Fethard there were two types of trains — ‘up trains’ and ‘down trains’. Up trains departed from the far side of the tracks towards Dublin and the down trains left for Clonmel and Waterford. The down side was at the town side and also held the signal cabin and booking office. What was the Station House is now the home of the Ryan family and the large goods store now houses Fethard Folk Museum.

Fethard Station, according to a highly detailed account by Sean Callaghan, was a hive of activity. Sean was transferred from Cahir to Fethard Station on Independence Day (4th July) 1944 and served until the last goods train passed through in 1967. He was then transferred to Clonmel Station, where he retired from CIE in 1985.

A large amount of goods were stored and passed through the station. As well as a store for these items, there was a siding capable of holding up to thirty cattle wagons. A number of cattle pens stood at the far side of the goods store to cater for the volumes of livestock that passed through the station from the local fair.

Each month, on Fethard Fair Day, sixty wagons of animals left town bound for the ferries at the North Wall in Dublin or ships in Waterford harbour. An average of twelve more left each week when there was no fair. Two more wagons were coupled weekly to the passenger train, full of pigs purchased from local farmers in McCarthy’s yard and bound for the Clover Meats plant in Waterford,

Heavy goods transported to and from the station included coal, cement, fertiliser, timber, iron and farm machinery. The siding was also used to load wheat, which was sent to Ranks Flour Factory in Limerick, and purchased in town by their local agent, P. J. Henehan. Ten wagons were filled daily with beet during the beet season, which was sent to the sugar factory in Thurles. 

Lighter goods arrived on a daily basis. In the years prior to the cash and carry, all the goods for the various small shops, pubs and hotels were transported by horse and trap by Tommy “Tweedy” Slattery and later by Paddy “Rocket” Ryan.  Young girls used to sign the dockets with, “I love Paddy”, which he couldn’t read, but which used to drive the stationmaster mad.

The passenger service to Dublin departed the station at 8.20am and 3.20pm each day, returning at 12 noon and 9pm. The trains were steam powered until the late 1950s and a story is told about heavier trains having to stop and build up pressure before trying to make it up the hill to Fethard through Grove Woods. Steam was then replaced by diesel. The last passenger train from Dublin to Clonmel stopped in Fethard at 9pm on 9th September 1963. Fethard Station then lost its title and became a ‘Halt’. The last goods train was on Easter Saturday 25th March 1967, and then the line, like a lot of the smaller ones in the country, was closed down. Gradually the tracks were taken up and much of the land was returned to agricultural use, though parts still remain. The station house is beautifully preserved as a family home and the museum keeps the memory of the era alive. Many fine arches and bridges still serve traffic today, well over a century since they were built to accommodate horses and traps. Indeed, in our era of road congestion, many wish that the train still ran from town.

Patrician Presentation Secondary School News
English Revision Day — On Saturday 14th January pupils from Higher-Level English class attended a Revision Day in U.C.C. with their teacher Ms. Whelan.
Hospice Visit — Anne Grace from The South Tipp Hospice Movement gave a very interesting presentation to all the Senior Level pupils in the school on Wednesday 18th January. She spoke about the great work of the hospice movement in the area. The purpose of the presentation was to create awareness among the students of the care of the terminally ill and the help available.
Visit To DCU — Leaving Cert Physics, Chemistry & Biology students, with their teachers Mr O’Gorman and Mr. Walsh, took part in a Revision Day for schools on Monday 24th January in Dublin City University.
Leaving Cert Higher Level Maths Quiz — Eight students from the Leaving Cert Higher Level Maths class will take part in the Irish Maths Teachers Association Quiz in Presentation Secondary School, Clonmel, on Friday Jan 27. The following students will attend: Niall Hayes, Liam Ryan, Suzanne Gorey, Michael McCarthy, Sarah Mai Ahearne, Fintan Maher, John Frewen and Ronan Shee.
Lunchtime Basketball — The Second Term sees a continuation of the lunchtime exercise program for students. This term the focus will be on a Senior Basketball Tournament. All pupils are involved in these activities, which aim to promote fitness amongst students.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on Wednesday 18th January were: 14, 15, 19 and 24. There was no Jackpot winner and one ‘Match 3’ winner who received €150:

Seamus Moloney, Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard.

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Gwen Cooke, 49 St. Patrick's Place, Fethard;
Jim Needham, Friarsgrange, Fethard;
Robert O'Riordan, Cloneen, Fethard.

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

Crowd support
Anybody who had any doubt about the value of a supporting crowd at a match should have visited the cauldron of Thomond Park last Saturday to watch Munster against Sale Sharks. A large crowd travelled from Fethard to see the men of Munster defy their critics once again and regain the top spot in their Heineken Cup group, thus increasing their chance of a home draw in the quarterfinals.

The atmosphere was electric from the start. The home crowd were buzzing with expectation, and were treated to an unforgettable performance that evening. The first run of the day was cheered on supporters behind the West Stand.

A ticketless supporter risked loosing his manhood if he slipped, as he scaled the spiked railings in his attempt to enter the stadium for free.  Once over he had to jump from a high wall and cross the back pitch in full view of the stewards, crowd and security. He sprinted for the corner. But waiting for him behind the RTE broadcast van was a security man in his day glow jacket. He was about to be halted in his tracks, but then the Thomond crowd got behind him. He heard their shouts, did a quick side step and altered his run. He reached the line of fans before the official reached him and headed to the bar for his victory celebration.

Those fans were only warming up for the serious work that lay ahead, and they were duly rewarded when Munster destroyed the men from Manchester. The hunt is already on for tickets to the next match, the quarterfinal against Perpignan. Let’s hope that the Fethard fans don’t have to resort to scaling the spiked railings. If they do, I advise bringing a saddle, a rope ladder and a balaclava. If they get caught, the worst that can happen is that they could be thrown out. Intact.

Fethard Bridge Club Results
On Wednesday 18th January Fethard Bridge Club played for prizes sponsored by Alice Quinn and Teresa Cummins and
the winners were:
Nell Broderick and David O’Meara who were 1st Gross.
The other results were:
2nd Gross: Brigid Gorey & Betty Walsh;
1st Nett: Anne and Sean O’Dea;
2nd Nett: Mary Quirke and Fr. John Meagher.

On Wednesday next, 1st February we have the first round of the Club Championship.

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

Died recently
The death has occurred on Sunday 22nd January of Tom O’Donovan, Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard.

The death has occurred on Sunday 22nd January of Hannah O’Donnell, Mobarnane, at St. Laurence’s Nursing Home, Mocklershill. Interment took place in Moyglass.

Fethard GAA Club News
Under-21 football training resumes on this Friday night, 27th January, at 7.30pm in Fethard GAA Park. All those interested are asked to please give your membership fees, Adults €25 and Juveniles €15, to Stephen McCormack or any club officer.

The Lotto Jackpot of  €4,600 was not won. The numbers drawn at McCarthys Hotel were: 6, 7, 11 and 18. We had two match three winners: Austy O’Flynn (Burke Street), and Dick Burke (Main Street). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Margaret Bradshaw (18 Woodvale Walk).

The adjourned AGM due to place on Wednesday 25th January, has been deferred.

Fethard & Killusty Community Council AGM
The annual general meeting of Fethard and Killusty Community Council will take place on Tuesday 21st February at 8.30pm in the Tirry Community Centre. All are welcome to attend and we would especially invite new members who wish to get involved.

Tipperariana Book Fair
Fethard Historical Society hold their annual Tipperariana Book Fair on the second Sunday in February each year. This year’s event will be held on 12th February and the committee would welcome any unwanted books that can be sold on their secondhand bookstall. Please contact Dóirín Saurus, Crampscastle, Tel: 052 31936, or any member of the committee who will arrange to have them collected.

The Book Fair was first held in 1996 and has now grown to be one of the largest, if not the largest, book fairs in Ireland. Dealers come from places as far away as Armagh City in the North of Ireland, Schull in the South West, and from many places in between. The variety of books available to buy on the day range from 10p paperbacks to €500 antique collector items. It is a great place to find a book that you may have been seeking for years - and if it is not available on the day you can be sure the dealers will find it for you. If you have valuable books at home you can also bring them along and get them valued without obligation.


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