Saturday 10th. Feburary 2007

Heritage Conservation Plan For Fethard
Representatives from South Tipperary Co. Council, The Heritage Council and Failte Ireland met the Fethard Historical Society and Community Council in Fethard on Wednesday 31st January to discuss the proposal to prepare a Conservation and Management Plan for the medieval town walls and defences of Fethard.

The Plan will receive funding from The Heritage Council and will be prepared in conjunction with The Irish Walled Towns Network and Failte Ireland. It is hoped that work will commence on  the physical production of the plan early in the summer and publication will take place in the autumn of 2007 together with an official launch.

The ten attendees spent three hours in Fethard ‘walking the walls'. It appears that despite being over 500 years old, the walls are generally in remarkable condition, particularly when compared to other surviving walled towns in Ireland.

The walk included a visit to the Mural Tower (which overlooks the footbridge on the Clashawley River). This tower has been undergoing further restoration. Two reproduction medieval doors complete with forged hinges, made in St. John's Town by Richard Linstead, have been assembled and hung by Fethard's Richard Pratt using oak from Coillte in Dundrum.

A steering group was set up during the meeting and will be led by Hugh O’Brien (Executive Planner, South Tipperary). The group will include Alison Harvey (Heritage Council), Damian O’Brien (Cultural Tourism & Heritage, Failte Ireland), Eoin Powell (Area Engineer) together with representatives from The Community Council, The Historical Society and property owners such as the GAA, Holy Trinity and the convent whose lands adjoin the walls.

Similar conservation plans have been published in the last few years in towns and cities such as Kilkenny and Drogheda and the Fethard Plan will draw on these plans and the lessons learned. The Plan will describe Fethard's historical and cultural background, assess the current physical state of the entire walled circuit and identify issues of conservation and preservation.

This process will start from the grassroots and anyone who owns land that adjoins the wall will be invited to take part in a 'workshop evening' which will be held in Fethard in the coming weeks. The Plan should help us all to appreciate that the wall is the most complete medieval circuit in Ireland and an untapped resource for the town and for the county. This initiative should ensure that the wall and the public realm around it are secured for future generations and properly displayed for the delight of those who are lucky enough to live here and for the amazement of visitors. Once again, the work of the Friends of Fethard back in the 1990s was acknowledged. Thanks are due now to South Tipperary Co Council and to the Heritage Council for carrying on the good work.

Students visit Kilkenny Exhibition
On Thursday, 1st February, the 5th year art class from Patrician Presentation Secondary School went to Kilkenny to hear Neil Read introduce the current exhibition at The National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, on Irish Contemporary Ceramics. This exhibition showcases the skills of 34 leading practitioners and shows the variety, versatility and vocabulary of clay. It was a great introduction to ceramic art in Ireland today, which included a mix of international and home-based artists.

Through Neil’s introduction to each ceramic artists work it demonstrated not only the possibilities of ceramic materials and techniques, but the atmosphere of contemporary practice in Ireland. The exhibition ranged from the painterly to the sculptural, the figurative to the abstract, and included the works of Cormac Boydell, Sonja Landweer, Henry Pimm and Neil Read himself, who is a lecturer in The National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

Fethard ICA
We had a good attendance at our first meeting of  ‘07. Many members paying tributes to Nuala, remembering her hard work and dedication to ICA, the warm concern she extended to all, and the many kind letters received from her at times of difficulty or illness in their lives. The loss of Mary Meagher was also very keenly felt. Mary was a faithful member of our guild for many years and could always be relied on when help was needed. We will miss them both greatly. May they rest in peace.

Our February meeting takes place on Tuesday 13th February, at 8pm. We are holding a Table Quiz. Non members are very welcome to come along. Catering is by the ‘Yellow Group’ and the competition theme is a ‘Vase of Snowdrops’.

Book Fair Sunday
The second Sunday in February (Sunday 11th this year), is upon us again and that means the Tipperariana Book Fair in the Ballroom.

Now in its 12th year, the Fethard Book Fair is a fixture in the calendar of all Tipperary people who have an interest in books and especially ‘Tipperary Books’. You can also find a book on any topic at the fair and if the dealers haven’t it on the day they will soon find it for you — at a price of course — and post it on to you.

The Fethard Historical Society, who organise the fair, would like to thank those who have already donated books. These books will be sold at the society’s own stand on the day. Books can be handed in at the ballroom on Saturday from 3pm to 5pm or anytime on Sunday after 11 o’clock. These books almost always contain some ‘gems’ that make the search very interesting and worthwhile, and also help to make money for the society.

All the usual trimmings will be there, the café with home made cakes, the lovely piano music, the raffle, and all for a €2 entrance fee. Doors open at 2pm and selling continues to 6pm. Further information can be had from Dóirín (052-31936), Catherine (31826) or Terry (23402)

Hunting News
Tipperary Foxhounds had quite a good day from their meet at Poulmucka on Monday January 29th.  One of a brace of foxes in the Deloy Bog ran a good right-handed circle and back to the bog which he skirted.  Hunting on hounds pushed him across the Newchapel Road and marked him to ground in Lavally.  Hacking back to Donegal they found again in the main covert.  Hunting out on the top the followers enjoyed a good lively run to Ballynattin where they lost him near Mrs. Claire Ryan’s.  From O’Neill’s under Breen’s they ran once again to Claire Ryan’s and back to where they found.  From Glengath they ran back to Donegal Cover.  Getting their fox away quickly they ran over the top road out by Woodenstown Castle to Laganstown where he got to ground.  

Foxes proved rather difficult to find from the Boscabell meet on Thursday, Feb. 1st.  Finding eventually in Georgestown at 2pm they had a flier of twenty-five minutes probably the fastest run of the season so far.  Away from the covert the fox ran to the Fethard / Cashel Road at O’Connor’s where he crossed through the open country on the other side they simply raced looking as if they were heading for Lyonstown.  Short of here however Reynard found refuge when he got to ground by Ballyduagh graveyard.  Moving back to Mayfield they found in a hedgerow.  Racing towards Mocklershill the fox got to ground again near the ancient Bricíndonn burial ground.  All the good small coverts in Mr Kevin Walsh’s at Meldrum, usually sure finds, were blank.  Just two foxes found on the day in this country must be a record low. 

The Ballyluskey White Heather Harriers meet next Sunday, February 11th at Clonacody at 11am.

Died in England
The death has occurred in Stafford, England, of Michael Heffernan, formerly of The Lower Green, Fethard.

Stable-staff Award
Congratulations to Oonagh Barrett, from Mouse Morris stables at Everardsgrange, who has won the Award of the Year from the Irish Stable-staff Association.  This coveted accolade was presented to Oonagh at the fourth annual Irish Stablestaff Association Awards at the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge, on Saturday 28th January. Oonagh looks after Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner, War of Attrition, and she has also looked after the likes of Foxchapel King and Boss Doyle during her ten years at the yard.  Well done, Oonagh.

Another Fethard success in Racing
On Sunday, 28th January Lizzie Lalor proved yet again what a good jockey she is when giving a flawless display in guiding her mothers Carrigeen Kalmia to win the Clarkson Financial & Property Handicap Chase (Grade C) over 2 miles 3 furlongs at Leopardstown.

Liz seems to have that rear gift where horses seem to run for her. She showed exceptional judgement of pace and when under pressure coming to the last, refused to panic and timed her run to perfection with a driving finish to snatch victory close to the line. This was only Liz’s second time at Leopardstown and her only other visit to the Dublin track yielded a win in a bumper.

It was entirely appropriate that Lizzie should have won on Carrigeen Kalmia because the colours she carried to victory were those of her grandmother Mona Lalor (nee Croome) who died 50 years ago the previous day and it was Lizzie’s birthday a few days later. Mona Lalor was a very talented lady rider in her day and it would appear that Liz has inherited not a little of her spirit and ability with horses. Mona’s father, Jack Croome, trained a great many winners from his home at Annsfort. 

These wins were a wonderful family success as Carrigeen Kalmia is owned by Liz’s mother, Anne Lalor and is trained by her father R.H. (Dick) Lalor just outside Fethard.

This win at Leopardstown was the second “black type” win for Liz Lalor on Carrigeen Kalmia who had won the Listed Phil Sweeney Memorial Chase at Thurles earlier in the month. The Lalor’s bred Carrigeen Kalmia themselves, having had the family for a number of generations. The dam Carrigeen Kerria was a “black type” winner and has now bred two black type winners including Carrigeen Victor, winner the Dr. J.P. Moriarty Novice Chase (Grade 1) The granddam, Carrigeensharragh, was a black-type winner herself and one of the best mares to race over fences.

Fethard GAA Club News
Well done to all our players involved last weekend in the Waterford Crystal Senior Hurling Final victory over Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the draw with Sligo in the Senior Football League game in Ardfinnan.

Our club year starts on the playing field on Sunday morning 11th February at 11.30am when in Fethard we play Golden Kilfeacle in the County Minor Football League and we are away to Eire Og Annacarty in the County Senior Football League at 1.30pm. All panels of players are to be in Fethard GAA Park on Friday 9th February night for 7.30pm.

Our Lotto Jackpot €3,500 was not won. We had no match three winner so €30 was won by each of the following: Tony Smith, 21 Ard Na Gráinne, Clonmel; Rita Doyle, Woodvale Walk, Fethard; Joe Kelly, 20 Elm Park, Clonmel; Mark Hayde, Saucestown, Fethard; Dick Fitzgerald, 56 St Pats Place, Fethard. The €50 Lucky Dip was won by the Sheehan Boys, 1 Woodvale Walk, Fethard. Thanks to AIB for supplying the tickets.

Fethard & District Rugby News
Our under 7s played two games, the 1st against Dungarvan, which produced a narrow success, whereby the team produced wonderful tackles and are really coming together as a team. Commendation on the mornings 1st game should go to Jack Dolan, Ciaran O’Dwyer and William Pratt. Their second match against Kilfeacle produced a wonderful game of rugby with two well-matched teams showing great resolve, with Fethard gaining the upper hand. Improving players showing to the forefront in this game were Joe Luttrell, Jack Mulcahy and Patrick Scully.

Our under 8s played a blitz at home last week. Their first match was against Dungarvan where they again all played exceptionally and won nicely. The team worked very well together, particularly Padraig Norton, Gary Kavanagh and James Walsh showing plenty of determination. In their second match against Kilfeacle they had a tougher game, but the team strength again shone through. They produced great tackles and are continually improving. Players such as Colm Hayde, Andrew Phelan, David Stocksburgh and Richard Holohan are worth noting for great improvement this season.

Our under 10s played against the same opposition and narrowly lost a very tough 1st game against Kilfeacle by 4 tries to 3, with great performances from Ben Murray, Cathal Moloney and Adam Fitzgerald. Our second game against a very big Kilfeacle side was a one sided affair with Kilfeacle winning easily, however David Heffernan scored a brilliant breakaway try from the base of a ruck. Paul Moloney and Cathal Maher also had excellent games.

They then played a third game against Kilfeacle and gained revenge by winning 2 tries to 1. This was a much better performance from Fethard who played as a unit throughout in what was a very good game of rugby.

Finally we must say a huge thank you to all the parents of the children involved who are continually there on hand to lend support and back up. Without this assistance the youngsters would not be showing the improved play that we have been seeing throughout this season. Thank you very much.

Our under 12s played host to Kilfeacle and Dungarvan on Sunday morning in a blitz and played two very tough and entertaining games against Kilfeacle, drawing the 1st game and winning the 2nd game by 3 tries to 1. They followed this up with a comprehensive 5 to 1 win over Dungarvan. These young men are really coming good and their tackling and attacking was superb. Those to get on the score sheets were William Morgan, Owen Walsh, Tommy Anglim, Jack McCarthy, Gavin Delaney and James Holohan.

Our lads were very tired facing Dungarvan and lost by 4 tries to 2 but the depleted coaching staff were very pleased with the performance with these young rugby players.

Our under 16s travelled to Waterpark and were narrowly beaten by 3 points

Fethard & District Juvenile Rugby Club train every Friday evening in the Community field from 6.45pm to 8.00pm.

Fethard Bridge Club
The results of our club night on Wednesday 31st January are:

1st Gross: Brigid Gorey and Betty Walsh;
2nd Gross: Rita Kane and Kay St. John;

1st Nett: Nell Broderick and David O’Meara;
2nd Nett: Kathleen Kenny and Breda O’Grady.

On Wednesday next, 14th February, we play the second round of the Player of the Year competition which is played over four nights.  Anyone looking for a partner contact Berney Myles at 32038.

Tipperariana Book of the Year
On Sunday night of January 28th, the Fethard Historical Society presented the Tipperariana Book of the Year Award to Michael Ahern at the Abymill Theatre for his book entitled, " Figures in a Clonmel Landscape." This book is a lively account of several famous and infamous people who were born or lived in the town throughout the ages. Perhaps Cromwell does not quite match such a description but his destructive arrival in the locality could hardly not gain a mention. There is a sure footedness about the historical context when it comes to the many characters in the book and it is this feature which gives it such an interesting and broad flavour. If you've been fed up with the tired tabloid portrayal of the connection between Clonmel and Bianconi, Michael Ahern makes this bond refreshing and vivid once again. Mr Tinsley, the great architect whose buildings dot the locality is depicted in such a way that you want to find out more about him and you wonder why he is not more celebrated in the area.

Frank Drohan emerges as an important character in the early part of the last century and it would have been fascinating to know whether Ernie O'Malley's view of him was credible or not. If you want to discover Frank Drohan or know about Edel Quinn or Lady Blessington and many more people of renown do get this book and read it and find out about those whose buildings we still use and admire, whose political or military adventures have determined how we are with one another and how glamour and good works do and always have played their part in human affairs. This book is far from parochial and contains many snippets of information and learning and is a pleasure to read.

Mr Ahern was truly congratulated on the night and in the spirit of town rivalry, both towns founded around the same time by the Normans, inquired whether there was anyone to do the same for Fethard as he has done in this work about Clonmel. A tall order!

Mr Ahern was then presented with a specially commissioned ceramic platter by Dóirín Saurus. Adding to the convivial atmosphere of the night was the harp playing by Steve Haggerty whose rendition of the old Slievenamon tune was gorgeous. Mead was the beverage of the night and the cakes were laced with honey. So why the honey about a book of Clonmel?

The Tipperariana Award is to mark great efforts by people who write in or of the area of Co. Tipperary and it stems from the Annual Book Fair which this year is to be held on Sunday 11th at two o'clock in the usual venue of the Ballroom, Fethard. The bookfair is again packed to the brim with the many antiquarian booksellers from all over the country as well as several authors who will be signing their own books. Don't forget the Historical Society's own stand that will have a motley collection of books which have been generously donated by a variety of people and as a consequence cover a wide and most odd range of topics. And the books are going cheap. If you are unlucky and fail to find something that is of interest, there is the consolation of tea and buns and a chance to strike up a conversation with people who are usually perky on the grand day that it has become.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on Wednesday 31st January were 7, 12, 23 and 27. We had no Jackpot winner and no ‘Match 3’ winner so three tickets were drawn and the following won €50 each:

Dermot Darcy, St. Patricks Place, Fethard;
Majella Drea, Cedar Grove, Fethard;
Ian Cooke, Monroe, Scotch Road.

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were: 

Kitty O’Donnell, Slievenamon Close, Fethard
Kathleen Spillane, Fethard;
Mary Tobin, Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny.

Next weeks Jackpot is  €9,750 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €975.



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