Saturday 7th October 2006

Day Care Centre Funding Cut
The Health Service Executive decision to cut Fethard and District Day Care Centre’s annual funding by a massive €16,395 has created panic among senior citizens using the voluntary service in Fethard. Four Fethard representatives, Liam Hayes (Treasurer Fethard and District Day Care Centre), Thelma Griffiths (Chairperson Fethard and District Day Care Centre), Geraldine McCarthy (Supervisor Fethard and District Day Care Centre) and Joan O’Donohoe (Supervisor Fethard Community Employment Scheme), met with Alan Price (General Manager Community Care HSE) and Marion O’Neill Brown (Finance Officer Community Care HSE) on Monday evening last to discuss the urgent situation.

The reason for the cutback was directly related to the government not increasing the Section 69 and Section 39 funding for the elderly in the past five years. While no solution for Fethard Day Care Centre was reached at the meeting, a request for further documentation was issued to enable an examination of what can be done to alleviate the situation. A decision will be made within three days of receiving this documentation.

Fethard ICA Guild
Fethard ICA Guild will hold their next meeting at 8pm on Tuesday 10th October in the ICA Hall. Rocklow Road. Guest speaker will be Suzanna Manton, Solicitor. Hostesses on the night are the ‘Red Group’ and the competition theme is ‘Autumn Glory’.

At our September meeting we had a very interesting talk by Breda McCarthy from the Tipperary Regional Youth Services who told us all about the different projects they are involved with to help young people all over the county.

Votes of sympathy were expressed to our members, Maura McCormack and Noll O’Brien on their bereavements; to the family of Mary Lucy, who passed away in July, and to the family of Paddy Maher, Abbey Road, Fethard. Paddy’s wife, Anne, was a member of our guild for many years before her death. May they rest in peace.

New Golf Society
Fethard’s newest golf society had their inaugural outing on Saturday 30th September to Callan Golf Club, when over 20 members took part on a rain-drenched day. The weather didn’t dampen their spirits and a great day’s golf was had by all. The society, based in Butlers Bar, are currently planning their next pre-Christmas outing

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on Wednesday 27th September were 9, 10, 11 and 24. There was no Jackpot winner and no ‘Match 3’ winners so three tickets were drawn and the following received €50 each:

Audrey Devitt, Strylea, Fethard;
Rita Burke, Woodvale Walk, Fethard;
Ursula Bradshaw, Congress Terrace, Fethard.

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Megan Sceats, Crampscastle, Fethard;
Joan O’Donohoe, Moyglass, Fethard;
Matt Bradshaw, Cnoc Faillte, Ardfinnan.

This weeks Jackpot is €7,350 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €735.

Fethard Bridge Club
On Wednesday, 27th September we played for the Free Sub Gross and the winners were Nell Broderick and Anna Cooke. The rest of the results were:

2nd Gross: Annie O’Brien and Noreen Evans;
1st Nett: Frances Burke and Breda Walsh;
2nd Nett: Bridie Lee and Mike Burke.

Anyone looking for a partner are asked to contact Berney Myles at Tel: 32038.

God away win against Nenagh
Fethard under-16 rugby squad, captained by Adrian Lawrence, played some excellent rugby to win by 31 pts to 21. This can truly be said to have been a match of two halves with Fethard dominating the first period to run out 21pts to nil at half time. The first period saw Fethard performing very well all over the field with our backs defending stoutly with crunching tackles being made by Shane Kavanagh and Johnnie Moroney who were very secure in defence all through. One of our new players Liam Smith was dominant all through and began scoring with a great try on 15 minutes. Captain Adrian who was involved in all our attacks, crossed the line himself five minutes later and duly converted his own score, he was successful with the boot on 3 further occasions bringing his personal score to 13 points (1 try and 4 conversions).

Stuart Broderick also had an excellent game throughout, very strong in the tackle and on the ball, he was rewarded with a tremendous individual try to seal it for Fethard in the last few moments. Matthew Fitzgerald had a great game, worked hard for the full hour and also crossed the Nenagh line for a great try. Colin Blackmore was also prominent throughout both in defence and attack, saving our line many times particularly in the second half.

Our lighter pack was under tremendous pressure throughout but especially in the second half, they stood up to the challenge well and the front row of Sam Manton, Matt O’Sullivan and Kevin Hayes worked well throughout, with an improvement on their tackle rate, they will be capable of making this step up to the under 16 grade.

It was a great team performance and all the players deserve mention, they did their coaches proud on the day. This win increases our expectations of them, particularly as we await the return of our players from the hurling fields. Well done Ballingarry on winning the U-16 hurling final.

Music on Thursday Night
On this Thursday 5th October, 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 GAA Club News
Our senior football relegation game was played in Kilsheelan on Saturday last, which we lost on a scoreline, Fethard 0-6, Carrick Swans 2-10. This was a deserved win by Swans on the day. Fethard were very heavily depleted with eight players not available for one reason or another. We ask that all players from the club make themselves available for the next round against Killenaule and come together to show a little bit of pride in halting the slide in Fethard football.  It is a very small thing between success and failure!  The sixteen players that gave their best against Swans were: Paul Fitzgerald, Michael Aherne, Stephen O’Donnell, Eoin Doyle, Chris Sheehan, Damien Byrne, Philly Croke, Aiden Fitzgerald 0-2, Jamie McCormack, Shane Aylward, Brian Coen, Michael Dillon 0-1, Karl Maher 0-1f, Brendan Brett 0-1, and John Noonan 0-1. Sub was: Brian Burke.

The Intermediate Hurling County quarterfinals will take place this weekend with Fethard playing Golden. Check sports page for fixtures.

Aidan Ward at the Abymill 
Those who didn’t attend the recent Aidan Ward gig at the Abymill Theatre in Fethard missed a real gem of an evening. It was nineteen years since he graced the stage of the same venue for a ‘Battle of the Bands’. He won the competition on that night. The adjudicator of that particular competition was another Fethard musician, Eoin O’Neill, the well known bass player who has played with Moving Hearts, Chris Rea and Van Morrison, before becoming the musical director of Riverdance in the USA. He obviously had an eye for the talent of a teenage Aiden Ward.

Aidan has lived the life of a journeyman musician since then, roving the highways of Europe playing to every kind of audience imaginable. He looked like a man very comfortable in his own skin up there on the stage in the Abymill. Most of the songs he wrote himself, many of which work much better in the live arena rather than on his recorded CDs. He has a real presence on stage, aided on this particular night by guitarist Tom Portman of the Lazy Blues Band — a regular feature on the Galway music scene.

The duo easily won over an audience that were there for many reasons. Some were related to Aidan, some were friends, some were curious and some were there for the support band — The Autocats —who were great and who had a large contingent of young female fans.

All stayed and really enjoyed the gig. There were many highlights in this gig, but one particular song stood out, a song that Aidan wrote about and dedicated to his late father. Ironically, his dad, Philip, was one of the people behind the scenes who gave a lot of help to the committee of enthusiastic lovers of the arts, willing to restore the Abymill, when it was just a falling down building.  He did his dad’s memory proud with this show. Many expressed their wish to see Aidan back on the boards in Fethard again. After this show, he won’t be waiting another nineteen years to grace the Fethard stage again. We hope to see him again very, very soon. (VM)

‘Clashawley Girl’ has her first outing 
A new Fethard racing syndicate, Bucky's Geese Syndicate, had their first outing on Sunday last when their horse, ‘Clashawley Girl’ ran in the Mucklemeg (Pro-Am) INH Flat Race at Tipperary Racecourse. Although the horse didn’t finish in the first four, the members were not too disappointed and are looking forward to better days ahead.

The syndicate, named after the late Jimmy ‘Bucky’ Ryan, Watergate, is based in Butler’s Bar and has 19 members, including some of Jimmy’s oldest friends, John Spillane, Chris and Mary Mackey. The horse was bought last March by Peter Nolan and is trained in Co. Wexford by Colm Murphy.

Sarah celebrates 80 on her new bike!
Sarah Murphy, told years ago she would never ride a bike again, celebrated her 80th birthday cycling her brand new bike received from her daughter Mary. Sarah, one of fifteen children, was reluctant to give up her old bike until she tried the new one first.

Concept for Student Exchange
As a follow-up to exploring the possibility of a proposed Fethard-Saratoga civic exchange, Mike Cahill has come up with the following concept for a student exchange as a kick-off project that combines the key goals of youth development and economic development. The sense Mike has, is that a ‘Sister City’ relationship is built on joint projects that are fun to do and that stand to benefit both communities. The Saratoga towns and Fethard have much in common.

This idea involves organizing a joint youth video project that tells the history of the equine industry in both towns.  Mini-documentaries made by local students in Saratoga and in Fethard would show how the horse business works in each community — breeding, racing, eventing, pleasure riding, you name it.  The films could stand on their own as individual snapshots or be woven together to create an appealing study in similarities and differences as the two towns look to ride the horse industry forward.

Not only would a joint video project build portable skills in each community in such areas as researching, script writing, filming, and editing, but the products could also be incorporated into economic development campaigns in both places.

Local technical assistance could be sought in making the films.  The schools may already have programs / equipment.  Mike found several organizations, in a brief search of the internet, in or near both communities that might be able provide support, information on funding, and a showcase, including the WYD-Eye Film Unit (of Waterford Youth Drama (www.indigo.ie/~wyd/video.htm) on the Fethard side and the Saratoga Arts Council's Reel Shorts series (www.saratoga-arts.org/exhibitions_reel.htm) on the Saratoga side.  In addition, one of the festival organizer of the Cork Youth Film and Video Festival, Helen Prout whose husband was from Killusty, just posted a call for entries for 2007 on the Fethard website guestbook. Cork is a hotbed of Irish film-making and the festival has an international audience.  It would be a great venue.

A similar approach could be applied to historic / heritage tourism in both areas. To make something like this go, we would need to begin to get a sense of where we stand, in particular on the Saratoga side, with respect to the proposed exchange.

Talk on Fethard men who fought in the Great War
Fethard Historical Society have organised a talk on, ‘Fethard Men who Fought in the Great War’, by Tony Newport, in the Abymill Theatre at 8.15pm on Wednesday 11th October. All are welcome.

Hunting season returns as winter approaches
Even though September was the warmest one recorded for over 100 years, the shortening days, the falling leaves and the drop in temperature this current week, remind us that winter is just around the corner. With the change of season, the autumn hunting with the Tipperary Foxhounds and other local packs is now in full flow.

The Tipps, out four mornings per week, are having a good start. Foxes are in reasonably good supply. Some excellent mornings have been enjoyed and a few much appreciated hunt breakfasts, and some not so good mornings. Three mornings have proved blank and, believe it, quite a few have been very very wet.

The White Heather Harriers have also been out one morning each week. Their best mornings were their first outing on Slievenamon and last Saturday near Ballylusky.

The White Heathers begin their annual members and friends monthly draw on next Tuesday night. The draw will run for six months and the subscription is €5 per month.

Missed the flight lingering
A link with summer was noticed last weekend when three swallows were seen locally — two singles and one pair. It is time they were getting their passports in order and start getting out of here!

Time for action!
Call it what you like, anti-social behaviour or vandalism, but the recent activities of some is nothing short of blackguardism. Following on the recent smashing of a beautiful stained-glass window in the Abbey Church, two cars were vandalised in Fethard over the weekend. On both occasions the same methods were used in what appears to have been attempted car stealing. Side windows were smashed in both vehicles, the dashboard panel ripped off and attempts made to hotwire the cars.

Do the perpetrators of such wanton destruction ever stop to think of the expense and inconvenience caused to the Augustinian fathers and car owners? Not at all.

How times have changed. Not so long ago it would have been considered sacrilegious to touch anything pertaining to a church. In all probability, as far as the church window breakages are concerned, it is the only time they go near one.
We appeal to anyone with any information on those committing crime to contact and talk confidentially to Garda Kevin Corry at Fethard Station Tel: 052 31202 or alternatively contact the Garda Confidential Freephone: 1800 666 111.





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