Saturday 8th July 2006

Rev George calls it a day!
Rev. Canon George A. Knowd held his final service in Old St. Mary’s Church on last Sunday afternoon, 2nd July, before a packed congregation of appreciative friends. The Clonmel Union of Parishes — Clonmel, Cahir, Fethard, Tullaghmeelan and Inishlounaght — organised the Service of Farewell and Thanksgiving to mark his retirement. Special guest preacher for the occasion was The Very Reverend Dr. P.J. Knowles, Dean of Cashel, who spoke highly in his praise of the work achieved by George in transforming the restoration work first initiated by Colonel Sidney John Watson (1920-1999). He said the town is losing someone very special and it is very important that Government, County Council and relevant groups carry on the work of George, whose life and ministry we celebrate here today. He went on to also compliment George’s vision in opening Old St. Mary’s to regular art and cultural events.

In reply, Rev Knowd said, he was not alone and mentioned his many colleagues who also worked very hard over the years. He went on to say, It was a work of joy to see what the church has come from nine years ago, to what it is today, and in particular thanked FÁS who have been part of Old St. Mary’s for the past nine years. He said, that without the FÁS employment scheme of up to 15 workers the work could not have been completed. He thanked organist, Mr Earl Moffitt, for his contribution to many events over the years and also thanked everyone for coming.

Rev George A. Knowd has chosen to retire and live in Fethard and what is Clonmel’s loss is our gain. George, we wish you and your wife Gwen, a long and happy retirement here in Fethard. Well done, good and faithful servant!

Annual Newsletter Articles
Now that the long evenings are in decline we remind our regular local writers, and budding new ones, of the ever-fast approaching wintertime and invite articles for inclusion in this years Emigrants’ Newsletter.  It is our annual ambition to have the Newsletter printed and on sale by December but without your cooperation it is proving impossible. So this year we’re reminding you in time — now is the time to start writing your articles!

Abymill Theatre AGM
The Annual General Meeting of the Abymill Theatre (The Mill Ltd) will take place on Thursday 6th July at 7.30pm in the Abymill Theatre.

Music on Thursday Night
Music followers came out in force last Friday night last to hear ‘Loudest Whisper’ once again and were not disappointed. In fact the band have promised to return again in the next few months to satisfy their followers, not alone from Fethard but also those who travelled from Fermoy and Clonmel.

On this Thursday 6th July, Philip Donnelly will play his unique country rock music for his fans. Again this is a great opportunity to hear one of the finest guitarists in the country — here in Fethard — for free!

Fethard & Killusty Community Council
The next meeting of Fethard & Killusty Community Council will take place on Tuesday night 11th July at 8.30pm in the Tirry Community Centre. All are welcome. We would especially welcome anyone interested in helping or getting involved in the Community Council. For more information contact Joan at the Community Office, Barrack Street, Tel: 052 31000.

50th Wedding Anniversary
Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to Kay and Dennis McGrath, Rathkenny, Fethard, who celebrated the occasion with family and friends at Slievenamon Golf Club last weekend. Kay came to Fethard from her native Co. Carlow over fifty years ago, having first worked with her aunt, Miss Doyle at Annie Lonergans Drapery, The Square, then at Landers, Main Street, and then Jack O'Shea's Shoe Shop also on Main Street. Kay is an active member of Fethard Bridge Club and Fethard ICA. Denis McGrath still runs his farm at Rathkenny and has spent a lifetime involved in farming organisations. Denis was one of the first members of Fethard Macra na Feirme back in the 1950s and in 1966 became secretary of the local branch of the National Farmers Organisation (later IFA), a position he held for 40 years.

Senior Day at Fethard Day Care Centre
The Fethard & District Day Centre will hold their next Senior Day on this Friday, 28th July. The Centre will open to all our senior citizens from 11.30 to 2.00pm. A hot meal will be served during these hours at a cost of €5. A qualified chiropodist will attend and the cost of this service is €10. The district nurse will also be in attendance. All are welcome.

Fethard Cycling News
On Wednesday 28th June a turnout of eleven cyclists assembled at the car park for training. We were delighted to see three new faces this week — including two girls — welcome Liz and Kathleen!  I knew those girls were out there somewhere.

An overcast evening saw us heading up Market Hill for Clonmel at a nice even pace with no one under pressure.  At the roundabout in Clonmel we turned left along the by-pass towards Kilsheelan and at Kilheffernan roundabout we turned left towards Kilkenny.  Following some debate at the Ormond Stores we decided to turn left for Gambonsfield. Straight through here brought us to Thorny Bridge and on towards Kiltinan Barracks where we turned right here for Killusty.

At this stage the group had broken up somewhat. A cramp saw two cyclists head for home while the main group went to Cloneen.  From here they claim to have gone towards Drangan, turning left at Kylenagranagh for the ‘Fairy Cottage’ and on towards Rathkenny, down Bennett’s Hill and back to Fethard.  A phone call from the top of Bennett’s Hill is supposed to be proof, but I don’t know for sure!

All in all it was a good cycle and the rain stayed off.  Next week the group meet at 7pm at the car park (not 7.30pm). It’s a far cry from the days when men were men, and a platform dance at the crossroads was the place to be.  A woman would have been lucky to get a crossbar home from the dance.  Not so in Fethard last Wednesday when the two girls stayed with the main group.  Well done girls and hopefully more ladies will turn up at 7pm next Wednesday.  — (Bi.Ke)

Tennis Camp
A Tennis Camp for boys and girls from the ages of 7 to 15 will take place in Fethard Sports Centre from Monday 24th July to Friday 28th July.  The camp will take place every morning from 10am to 12.30pm and children willing to take part are asked to give their names to Fionnuala O’Sullivan, Main Street.

Longford in retrospect
A thirteen-point defeat is a Gaelic football match looks bad whatever way you look at it. However, any of the top three or four county football teams would have had to play at their very best to defeat Longford playing as they did against Tipperary on Saturday last. The standard of fitness shown by the Longford players in exploiting the modern running and passing game was unbelievable for amateur players.

Time and again they ran the ball into attack from their own full back line, usually finishing with a well-taken point, often from either wing from 40 or 50 yards. Their tactics of playing their full-forward as an extra center-field man worked a dream. He acted as their play-maker-in-chief and must have stepped on every blade of grass in Pearse Park over the 70 minutes. Surely there cannot be a fitter player playing inter-county football than Paddy Doyle.

What of Tipperary? Was it all doom and gloom? Not at all, far from it. Longford scored 1-23 on Saturday, the highest score by any inter-county Gaelic football team playing last weekend. Tipperary scored 1-10, the highest score by any losing team last weekend. They also hit the post three times. After ten minutes Tipp led 0-1 to 0-0 when it could just as easily have been 0-4 to 0-0. After that it must be truly admitted there was going to be only one winner and it was not going to be Tipperary.

Tipperary, to give credit where credit is due, never let their heads drop. They did their best on the night — no team or individual player can do any more and it is no disgrace to be beaten by a better man or a better team on the day.

Tipperary footballers are now in the Tommy Murphy Cup. Heartened by the fact that the county minor team has reached the Munster Minor Football Final and the county junior football team should have reached the Junior Football Final, perhaps we can win the Tommy Murphy Cup once more. Keep the faith and our Fethard representatives may help to bring more national football silverware to visit our town.

Fethard GAA News
Our Junior B Football game played on the 28th June resulted in a heavy defeat for Fethard at the hands of Grangemockler, on a scoreline, Fethard 2-8, Grangemockler 2-17. The team was: Micheál Sean McCormack, Mike Kelly, Diarmuid Burke 0-1, Tommy Gahan, Kenneth Sheehan, Richard Gorey 1-1, M J Croke, Gabriel Horan, John Hanrahan, Paul Kenrick 1-3 (1p,1f), Michael O’Riordan, David Flanagan, Jerry Aherne, Michael Quinlan 0-3 (1f), and Paul Kenny.

The Intermediate hurlers are out this weekend, Saturday 8th July, in Monroe against Cahir in the South Championship. Our Minor B Hurlers are also out this Friday 7th July in Kilsheelan against St Marys at 8pm. The Junior B Hurlers are out on Wednesday next 12th July in Cloneen against Kilsheelan at 8pm.

Best of luck to Tipp Minor Footballers in the Munster Final on Sunday 9th July in Killarney we have no one on the panel this year but we wish the best of luck to our neighbouring clubs particularly Killenaule who have three players on the first fifteen.

Our Lotto Jackpot of €2,900 was not won. The numbers drawn were: 6, 10, 20 and 21. We had one match three winner of €150 to Sally Hayes (Cashel Rd). The €50 Lucky Dip going to Rocky Crean (Jesuits Walk). Tickets supplied by AIB, Main St. Fethard.

Fethard and Killusty Community Games
Fethard and Killusty Community Games area will be well represented this weekend at the HSE Community Games Munster Finals in University of Limerick. We have two teams in both under-11 and under-14 Tag Rugby, boys and girls volleyball, and of course, our Judo competitors, who always take a couple of Munster titles.

This year our judo squad consists of Aobh and Padraig O’Shea, The Valley; Natalie Cahill, Woodvale Walk; Lorraine Feery, Killusty; and Gary Bradshaw, The Green.

The Under-11 Tag Rugby team to play Rathkeale, Limerick, in the semifinal are: Adam Fitzgerald, David Morgan, Donal Walsh, Russell Casey, Kyle Walsh, Tommy Anglim, Zoë Maher, Emma Walsh, Charlie Manton, Eoghain Hurley, Derek O’Brien and James Harrington. Team Manager is Gerard Manton.

The Under-14 Tag Rugby team to play Quinn/Cooney, Co Clare, also in the semifinal, are Joseph Morgan, William Morgan, Anita Pollard, Shannon O’Brien, Faye Manton, Michael Smith, Philip Maher, Kieran Walsh, Nicola Harrington, Jack Devaney, Cathal Hurley and Dylan Fitzgerald. Team Manager is Tommy Morgan.

The Under-15 Boys Volleyball Team compete in the final against Rathkeale, Limerick. The team is: Ciaran Ryan, Jerome Ahearne, Matthew Fitzgerald, Kevin Hayes, Glen Maher, Michael Fitzgerald, Damien Morrissey Padraig O’Shea, Darren Thompson, Joseph Sheehan, Owen Healy and Tommy Sheehan.

The Under-16 Girls Volleyball team consist of: Carrie Sweeney (capt), Lisa Anglim, Mary Anne Keane, Leslie Looby, Chloe Gough, Sarah Hayes, Sarah Conway, Debbie Lawrence, Niamh Fanning, Aisha Tobin, Kelley Coady and Laura Rice. Team Managers are Denis Burke and Audrey Conway.

Community Games Judo Coordinator is Peggy Colville. Judo competitors must check in at the PESS (old Sports building) at 10.30am. Girls Volleyball must check in at 11am.  The semifinal is at 11.30, and the boys under-15 final is at 12.15pm. The Coordinator for both volleyball events is Joe Keane. Volleyball takes place also in the PESS Building. Tag Rugby must check in at 12 noon and will be played on the main sports pitch No 10 on programme.

Judo and Tag Rugby competitors are looking after their own transport.  Bus will collect all volleyball competitors at the Town Hall at 9.15am.  Return Fee is €8. It is recommended that people purchase official programmes costing €2 as it will contain photos of Tipperary teams. Official launch took place in University of Limerick on 26th June. Niamh Finn, a niece of Brud Roche, Woodvale Walk, represented County Tipperary as flag bearer at this event and was proud to inform us that her mother came from Cloneen.

Slí na Sláinte Launch on Target
The launch of Fethard’s Slí na Sláinte took a big step forward this week with the delivery of the signs and visit of National Coordinator, Tanya Comber-Rait, to meet Community Council representatives and members of the County Council. The group met in the Tirry Community Centre to finalise plans for the launch on Saturday 29th July, to coincide with the Fethard to Fethard Cycle in aid of the ‘Heart-Safe’ programme. We will have further details of both events in the near future. The Community Council acknowledge the support of the Irish Heart Foundation and it is envisaged that with your support Fethard will be long on its way to be one of Ireland’s first ‘Heart-Safe’ towns.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Wednesday 28th June were 8, 10, 19 and 22. There was no Jackpot winner and one ‘Match 3’ winner who received €150: Margaret Doocey, Abbey Road, Fethard.

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Hannah Daly, Ballybough, Fethard;
Francis Culligan, Clonacody, Fethard;
Seamus Hackett, Strylea, Fethard.
Next weeks Jackpot is €5,400 and the Jackpot ticket sellers prize is €540.

Happy 70th Birthday
A regular visitor to Fethard every summer is Shamie Dineen, formerly from Kerry Street, Fethard, and now living in California USA. Shamie celebrated his 70th birthday on 3rd July and we take this opportunity to wish him a very ‘Happy Birthday’ from all his Fethard friends. Shamie has been a long-time supporter and promoter of tennis in Fethard, sponsoring many trophies for childrens’ tournaments at Fethard Sports Centre. What better birthday present for Shamie than to see the long-awaited revival of Fethard Tennis Club take a step forward this year with the running of a juvenile Tennis Camp from 24th July to 28th July this month.

Wedding Bells
Congratulations to Helen Morrissey, daughter of Pauline and the late Tom Morrissey, St. Patrick’s Place, who married Eamon Power, Old Parish, Dungarvan, in Holy Trinity Parish Church, Fethard, on Saturday 1st July.

Irish Walled Towns Network to meet in Fethard
A Management Committee Meeting of the Irish Walled Towns Network will take place in Fethard, on 28th July 2006. Fethard is affiliated to the Irish Walled Towns Network and featured prominently in the recent seminar held in Derry City on Thursday 11th May. The Network was established in 2005 by The Heritage Council, the official body that advises the government on all matters relating to both the natural and man-made heritage of this country.

Walking Along Norman Walls
The following excerpt is from an article published by Christine S. Cozzens in the New York Times on 7th April, 2002.

“Fethard in County Tipperary occupies a more strategic location than Athenry, sitting on a rise astride the River Clashawley, between Kilkenny and Cahir. But Fethard never caught on as a market or political center, which probably saved its walls from destruction. Still the home of several monastic orders, tiny Fethard today claims the most complete circuit of medieval town wall in Ireland. Recently a large section, including a tower, wall walk and several original gates, was restored.

From the well-tended churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, which is entered through a gateway on Abbey Street, I climbed steps up to a tower and a walkway along the crenelated southern portion. From these heights, I could see lush pastures awash in heather, hilltop forests and a long section of the south wall between private gardens and the riverbank. A park with benches and a path along the river is the best place from which to view the wall or to stroll along its length. The bright hue of the recently cleaned stones here suggests something of the magnificence of the medieval town.”

Frank Purcell Memorial Golf Classic 
Frank Purcell, a leading supporter of TRUST passed away suddenly this year and Alice Leahy, Director and Co-Founder, said he would be missed not just for his loyalty and commitment but as a good friend as well.  

Warmly welcoming the decision of his friends to carry on the Golf Classic in aid of TRUST, which he co-founded with Vincent ‘Jasper’ Murphy, Alice said:  “I am really delighted that Frank’s memory will be honoured by naming the Golf Classic after him.  He never sought publicity or recognition of any kind but was always unstinting in his efforts and commitment on behalf of TRUST. A true gentleman in the very best sense of that word and I am very grateful to Jasper and his friends for ensuring that his great work for us will be acknowledged in this way thanks to their continuing support.”

The Frank Purcell Memorial Golf Classic will take place at Slievenamon Golf Course on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th August.

Vincent ‘Jasper’ Murphy, Co-Founder of the Golf Classic said: “The Classic was Frank’s brainchild and we could think of no better way of carrying on his memory than calling the event after him.  We are hoping to make this year’s event really special as I know his many friends will welcome the opportunity to remember him in a way that I think he would have liked very much.”


The Classic has raised €50,000 since its inception in 2003. This year co-founder Vincent Murphy is organizing the event with Chris Coen, John Leahy, Vincent Woodlock and Brendan Kenny. RTE personality Peter Collins, a personal friend of Frank who has acted as MC at the event since the beginning, has pledged to continue his work with the Classic.

Teams cost €200 and Tee Boxes are €50. For further information contact Vincent on 086-8119625, Brendan on 052-32213 or any of the organisers.



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