Saturday 29th July 2006

Stop the Decline in Fethard!
Following our article last week, we’ve received the following letter from ‘Olivia’ who is concerned, like many others, of what we can do to help stop the decline in Fethard.

 “So another census has come and gone and Fethard is again declining in population - down 10% on the 2002 census. This is indeed disheartening to say the least. Why do people not want to stay in Fethard? Why are we not attracting newcomers? It's all very well to say that Fethard is, “The most important small medieval town in Ireland”, but what good is that if nobody visits.
I've only seen a handful of tourists this year so far and they were mainly cyclists passing through! Fethard Historical Society does fantastic work in trying to put Fethard on the tourist map, but seriously, who wants to see a wall destroyed with litter, our oldest church with vandalised windows broken by the local village idiots, our Town Hall — our centrepiece— which hasn't seen a coat of paint in the last ten years! Or our lovely riverwalks (or drinking dens) frequently occupied by those same idiots
What we need in Fethard is a serious Garda presence not the two “fly by nights” we have now. A Garda in the genre of the late, and much lamented, Garda Fallon who would patrol the streets of Fethard at all hours of the night and take pride in his job and not, clock in - clock out, see you when I see you.

What we also need is industry, factories and such. The IDA factory is idle now for ages, what are the local politicians doing about it? Nothing, that's what! Would you think a factory like that would be idle for long in Clonmel or Cashel or Thurles? Of course not. Politicians need shoving, those towns have representatives who know which side of their bread is buttered and the larger the town the larger the vote, and that is where Fethard is caught, too small for anyone to care about. In the new school year there is only a handful of pupils going into secondary level education in Fethard and this in a country with overflowing classrooms, if we don’t lobby our politicians to get this so-called “masterplan” underway and attract workers and residents to Fethard we might as well say goodbye to our schools as well as our populace.”

With reference to ‘Olivia’s letter’ above, It is our understanding that the IDA Factory on the Killenaule Road was sold privately by the County Council after requesting submissions for its development and use. We would also like to hear your views as to the present situation in Fethard. Please email your comments to news@fethard.com or hand them in to Newports Newagency, Main Street, Fethard, for collection.

Second Record Attempt
Encouraged by the recent story about Sean ‘Glamour’ Walsh and his world record attempt at playing cards in the most venues, two Fethard ladies, we have been reliably informed by Barry Connolly,  are considering throwing down the gauntlet and going for the same record. The ladies in question are members of Fethard Bridge Club. Annie O’Brien, the experienced hand at the game, has teamed up with rookie Anne Connolly. As the Fethard club has taken the annual summer sabbatical and the ladies in question desire to play more cards, they have taken a leaf from Glamour’s book and travelled further a field — all the way to Laffansbridge. It’s the first step on the way to breaking the record. We wish them well. At the rate that they are going, they should be close to the record by Christmas 2099.

— (N Gawe)

Paradise Lost Paradise Regained

“You don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.
They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot . . . ooh la la la”.

So sang Joni Mitchell decades ago, referring to the over development of Hawaii. The song sprang to mind as I drove around Clonmel past the newly developed business parks and supermarkets.  Where once there was the Poppy Fields, there is now a car park. I’m not giving out about the developments.
A man I once met pointed out that the world was ever changing and that no amount of nostalgic dreams were going to prevent it. His name was Ut and we were chatting over a fire in a hut in the middle of the real Poppy Fields in Northern Thailand. He pointed out that as we, “the ferang” (as we tourists were called by the locals there), were going more native every day, discarding our Western dress, the locals were getting more westernised, wearing jeans, baseball caps and smoking American cigarettes. The younger tribes people, he said, would leave the ‘Hill Tribes’, and move to Chiang Mai where they would get jobs in factories and earn more money. Ut shrugged his shoulders and said one word, “evolution”.

And in one way the new shops are a great development if you live on the Fethard side of Clonmel. No more crawling through the congested streets of  the town looking for parking spaces. No more searching for change to feed the meter. These are the obvious bonuses. But then, while out strolling on Jesuits Walk a few days later, another of the bonuses turned up. It appears that the top soil that was taken from the Poppy Fields was dropped in a landfill site on Jesuits Walk and we are now witnessing the first bloom of poppies brightening up the area. Clonmel got a parking lot and we got the poppy fields. “Ooh la la la !”

— (N Gawe)

Fethard Cycling
Another balmy evening on the 17th July saw the cyclists heading from the carpark to D’Arcy’s cross and straight through Poulmucka.  Meeting Joe Burke here they turned right for New Inn.  In the village we turned left for Golden at a good steady pace.  After a brief pause in Golden we headed towards Cashel.  Arriving at the Church it was decided that we were good for a few more miles so we went out the Dualla road and took a right just before the village.  This brought us back toward Mockler’s Hill and home to Fethard.

Unable to make the cycle myself, I’m sure the conversation turned to Fethard-on-Sea at some stage.  With less than a week to go I hope all the sponsorship cards are full by now.  However, if you would still like to make a contribution, cards are still in Newports’ Newsagents and O’Sullivans Chemist – also monies can be given to any of the cyclists.

Remember if you haven’t been training for the event, you will be ill-advised to cycle on the day.  If you have been training, please make yourself known and make contact with one of the organisers without delay. 

Finally, a big thank-you to all who supported our very successful Table Quiz on Friday night last especially to Philip, Ann & the staff of Butlers Bar for hosting the event.  A total of €550 was raised for the worthy cause.  A special thank you to all who donated spot prizes.

Junior Cycle
Please note that the plans for the Junior leg of the Sponsored Cycle have been changed.  Junior participants are requested to meet at Kiltinan Barracks, at 2pm, where they will be joined by the senior group.  Junior Cyclists are requested to give their names to Jimmy O’Sullivan or Edwina Newport prior to the event.

Come along to The Square
Fethard & Killusty Community Council issue an open invitation to everyone in the community and beyond to come along to The Square on Saturday next, 29th July, to join in activities to celebrate the launch of the Fethard Heartsafe Programme.

Proceedings commence at 2.30pm with the launch of the Slí na Sláinte Walking Route.  The highlight of the afternoon will be the welcoming home of the cyclists participating in the Fethard to Fethard Sponsored Cycle.  It is envisaged that the cyclists will arrive shortly after 3pm.

Refreshments, for everyone, will be provided in the form of freshly prepared healthy snacks and drinks as directed by the Irish Heart Foundation.  A selection of information books and leaflets, advising on a variety of Heart and Health Care will be available to take home.  Live entertainment will add a festive atmosphere to the afternoon.

Please come along on the day to join in the activities, which are all free, and to applaud the cyclists for their efforts and to cheer them home with gusto.

Community Games
A rather dismal meeting of Fethard Area Community Games took place on Monday, 17th July. This meeting was arranged to give parents of competitors a chance to air their views on fund raising and to provide any information they may require seeing that we have the largest number of competitors ever competing on the first weekend from Friday 18th August to Sunday 20th August.

Only five parents attended this meeting so our attempt to organize something proved to be a non-runner. The decision of the meeting was that the Community Games will fund the bus and pay the registration fee for the competitors staying outside of the camp. All competitors staying in Mosney must have their accommodation fee of €100 paid on or before the next meeting which will take place in the Tirry Centre on Tuesday 1st August. The committee would sincerely like to thank all those who generously contributed to their Church Gate Collection taken up last weekend. Your support is very much appreciated.

Complete list of those competing in HSE Community Games National Finals are:
Art: Jack Ward, Garrinch, and Laura Rice Everardsgrange;
Model Making: Andrew Maguire, Annesgift;
Swimming: Philip Maher, Ballybough;
and both boys and girls volleyball teams.

Apologies to Ciaran Ryan, Slievenamon Close, who is captain of the under-15 boys volleyball team, and due to a clerical error in our previous report, Matthew Fitzgerald was named as captain. Sorry about that Ciaran!

Church Gate Collection
Annual church gate collection in aid of Concern will be taken up at all Masses this weekend.  It is hoped that people will subscribe generously to this worthy cause. Volunteers to stand at masses would be appreciated and anybody interested in giving half an hour to collect at any of the Fethard Masses and, especially in Killusty, please contact Joe Keane at Tel: 052 31719

Fethard GAA Club News
On Friday next 28th July we take on Carrick Davins in the second round of the Junior A Football League Championship in Ned Hall Park at 7.30pm.

On Wednesday 19th July we lost to Carrick Swans on a scoreline of, 0-5 to 2-11, in the Junior B Football played in Kilsheelan.  Team was: Damien Donovan, Darragh Corbett, Paul Kenny, David Kelly, Mike Kelly, Diarmuid Bourke (0-3), Gay Horan, William Harrington, John Hanrahan, Patrick Aherne, John Fitzgerald (0-1), Paul Kenrick (0-1f), Paddy Cooney, Miceál Sean McCormack and Gerry Ahearne.

Our Lotto Jackpot of €3,200 was not won and we had no match three winner. The numbers drawn were 10, 14, 18 and 22. 
The following won €30 from tickets drawn:
The Sheehan Boys, Woodvale Walk;
Monica O’Shea, Woodvale Walk;
Bill Bradshaw, St Patricks Place;
Josie Fitzgerald, Kiltinan;
and Willie O’Meara, Killusty.
The €50 Lucky Dip was won by
Austin Godfrey, Derryluskin. 
Tickets were kindly supplied by Harrington Developments.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Wednesday 19th July were 4, 13, 21 and 31. There was no Jackpot winner and one ‘Match 3’ winner who received €150:

Nellie Heffernan, 19 Barrack Street.

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Maggie Napier, The Green, Fethard;
Paula O’Meara, Grove Road, Fethard;\
Paul Meaney, The Valley, Fethard.
Next weeks Jackpot €5,850. Jackpot sellers prize €585

Monster Draw Results
The following are the results of  the ‘Monster Draw’ in aid of St. Patrick's Boys School, the proceeds of which go towards the school's repair fund. Many thanks to the management, parents, staff and friends of St. Patrick's Boys’ National School who sold tickets and helped towards the success this fund raising effort.

First prize of €2,000 was won by John Delany. A further 19 prizes of €100 went to the following: Aidan Maher, Ailish Barrett, Biddy Perdue, Billy Treacy, Breda Slein, Caroline Doherty-Brastock, Chris Coen, Christian Healy, Clem Murphy, David Tierney, Ernan Britton, Jenny Quigley, Kieran Treacy, Mary Prout, Patricia Fitzgerald, Pat O'Brien, Rita Kenny, Stephen King and William Connolly.




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