Saturday 12th January 2008

Fethard GAA Club News
On Sunday last, 6th January 2008, the club held their AGM in the Abymill Theatre at 2pm. With a very small attendance, the chairman, Michael O’Dwyer, welcomed all members, and mentioned the particularly unique opportunity of having present, the South Board Chairman 2008, Miceál McCormack, and the South Board Secretary 2008, Noel Byrne, both Fethard clubmen. He wished them the very best of luck in the coming year with both replying their wish for 2008 that no Fethard member would appear in front of them for any disciplinary offence. Miceál also reiterated his 2007 wish that he would like to present the Senior Football South Cup to Fethard in 2008. Noel also thanked the club for his 18 years involvement in administration of one kind or another.  He also wished that the youth would be looked after, particularly in the schools, with more volunteers to assist in keeping the club at its rightful place, at the top on the playing field in 2007.

It was not a bad year for the club, winning both Minor South titles and reaching both the South and County Senior Football finals, when the previous year we were fighting relegation.

The Secretary and PRO produced an excellent booklet on the year’s events and the joint treasurers report most welcome news as the club learned it is back in the black for the first time since 2004.

Officers elected for 2008: President, Canon Tom Breen P.P.; Chairman, Michael O’Dwyer; Vice Chairmen, Austy Godfrey and Jimmy O’Shea; Secretary, Mary Godfrey; Treasurer, Nicky O’Shea; PRO, Gus Fitzgerald; and Field Development Officer, Denis O’Meara. The meeting then closed with an adjourned AGM to follow to appoint team selectors etc.

Pottery Classes
Dóirín Saurus, Crampscastle, will host a six-week pottery course for adults beginning on Monday 14th January from 10.30 to 12.30 in the mornings. The course will run for six consecutive Mondays and will include learning, hand building, decorating and glazing techniques. Each participant will have three or four finished pieces at the end of the course. The course fee is €90 and can be booked by contacting Dóirín at  Tel: 087 9378628.

Died Recently
The death has occurred on 4th January of Mr Pat Molloy, Moyglass. Interment took place in Moyglass.

The death has occurred on Sunday 6th January, of Mrs Mary Grant, Killerk, Fethard, aged 87. Interment took place in Lisronagh.

Fethard Rugby Club
The rugby season is now back in full swing after the Christmas break. Our under 16s travelled to Cashel on Saturday evening and played a challenge game. This may have been a challenge to prepare for the cup games to come, but what evolved was a game played at such intensity that defied its challenge tag. Winning this game mattered to both sets of players and the scoreline of seven points each fairly reflected this fact.

Cashel’s heavier pack sought to boss proceedings but Fethard were having none of it, with huge hits being put by Matt Sullivan, Kevin Hayes, Colm Shanahan and Sam Manton. Matthew Fitzgerald was back to his best on the night and was denied scoring a number of times by a tough Cashel defence. This defence was eventually breached midway through the first half when Jack O'Connell joined the attacking line to cross for Fethard's first try. This was duly converted by Daniel Hickey.

Fethard conceded a soft try to Cashel early in the second half under the posts. Cashel converted to tie the game. Fethard played all of the attacking rugby from then on but despite tremendous work from an ever-improving back line of Joseph Meagher, Andrew Kelly, Jerome Ahearne, Aaron Conran and Aidan O'Donnell, the Cashel line was not breached.  This was a very entertaining game, but we need to see these lads putting in the work on the training field.

Our under 18s travelled to Tipperary to take on Clanwilliam and came away with a great victory on a score line of 25 points to 7. This win propels the team into the knock-out stages of the league. Declan Doyle gave a ‘man of the match’ performance kicking 2 penalties and 2 converts. Alan O'Connor, however, earned the accolade of ‘score of the game’, having been released by Stuart Hanrahan, he punted forward and covered the sixty yards as quickly as one of his fathers greyhounds to touch down in the corner. The scoring cousins, Blackmore and Kelly, got in on the act in the second half with a try each. Nicholas Hayes, Kevin Waltzer, Stuart Hanrahan and Davy Hall were very prominent throughout.

These lads play Kilfeacle at home on Saturday night next in a play-off to reach the semi-finals of the league.  This will be a huge game and supporters will be assured of seeing some great rugby.

Tony Newport honoured at New Year’s Day Meet
At the New Year’s Day meet of the Tipperary Foxhounds in Fethard, to mark his 70 years association with the Gallant Tipps, Tony Newport was made an honorary member of the Tipperary Foxhounds. Mr Frank Quirke, chairman of the Tipps, presenting Tony with a beautiful crystal rose-bowl. Mr Quirke, making the presentation, said that over the years Tony had become somewhat of a legend in local hunting circles, and through his hunting reports in The Nationalist had been doing a great PRO job for the Tipperary Foxhounds and for hunting in general.

Tony said, in reply, that having listened to what Mr Quirke said about him, he felt that the wrong Tony Newport had turned up. He stated that he felt it a great privilege to have received such an honour and not only a tribute to him but also to his family. He stated that he was introduced to hunting by his great-uncle, Jack Fitzgerald, and his uncle, Frank Kenrick, as a very young boy. The welfare of the Tipperary Foxhounds and hunting had always been uppermost in the way of life of those who showed him the way. Tony continued by saying that he was glad the tradition was being carried on by his daughter, Catherine, and grand-daughter, Mary Jane, and hoped it would continue for many a year to come.  He thanked sincerely all associated with this much-appreciated gesture.

Fethard Boy Scouts
Fethard Boy Scouts meetings will resume at 7pm on Friday 11th January in Fethard Ballroom and resume for Cubs at 6:30pm on Tuesday 15th January.  New members welcome.

Dr. Paddy Stokes (1924 – 2007)
Dr. Paddy Stokes who died recently was G.P. in Fethard for over 50 years, following in the footsteps of his father, a G.P in Fethard before him. Paddy had a keen interest in horses that started in his childhood years riding ponies and continued with him right through his life.

Paddy was educated in High School in Clonmel and Rockwell College and studied medicine in UCD before leaving for England where he formed a great partnership with the late Arthur Stephenson, riding horses for him in the north of England whilst working at Darlington Memorial Hospital. Paddy rode about twenty-five winners during this time before returning to Ireland in the early 1950s. Upon his return he struck up a partnership with Mrs Sylvia Masters and rode many winners for her, most notably Cold Harbour, Golden Drop, Brown Knight, and San Marco, under rules, in point-to-points and over the banks.

In the late 1950’s Paddy was made a member of the INHS and became a well-known Steward at race meetings on the southern circuit. In 1963 he married Diana (Grey) and began to train some horses himself whilst continuing with his medical practice. His most successful horse was Knocknagow Boy who won 25 of his 48 races, and in later years Rossi Novae. Paddy himself rode the last of his 120 or so winners in 1981 in Thurles. He continued to exercise his horses at home and could regularly be seen riding his horses on the streets of Fethard up until an untimely fall some seven years ago curtailed his riding out. Paddy however continued to attend race meetings every week and the Racing Post was delivered daily to the hospital during his recent illness.

Paddy is survived by his wife Diana, daughter Jacqui, sons John and Nick, son-in-law Tom, daughters-in-law Anna and Melissa and grandchildren Caroline, Zoë, Jessica and Jack, his brother Michael, sisters Rena, Vera, Olive and Maura, brother-in-law Denis, and sister-in-law Mildred.

His wife and family have maintained his interest in horses, in sport and in local matters. All Paddy’s family continue to be involved in and keep horses. Diana is involved with many of the local community endeavours, most notably the Community Council and the Fethard Historical Society. His daughter Jacqui, is the Director of Development for Athletics Ireland, a very successful international athlete who now continues to play hockey in Clonmel. His son John, is an Auctioneer with Stokes & Quirke, and following in his grandfather’s footsteps, continues a very successful rugby career with Clonmel RFC and his son Nick has taken over the training licence and is already producing winners from his Fethard base.

Dr. Paddy was a much loved husband, father, grandfather, brother, relative, and friend. A familiar figure that will be missed by many. May he rest in peace.

Hunting News
A good field of eighty mounted followers enjoyed a day of what might be termed, mixed fortune, from the Tipperary Foxhounds annual New Years Day meet at Fethard. Things were not looking too bright when McCarthy’s Bog, Ballybough and Rathvin to the Rathcoole sandpits proved blank.  A weak fox found in Rocklow was left. Things, however, improved immensely in the afternoon.  Finding on the riverbank in Farranaleen, hounds ran to the Farranaleen road which they crossed into Curraghscarteen.  Hunting well to Clonbrogan they crossed the road by the sandpits. Their fox seemed to be heading for Buffana but turning left-handed he ran to Silverfort where he got to ground close to the mushroom farm.  Hacking back they found again in Powers Wood.  Leaving the wood quickly they crossed the Fethard – Cashel road to Ardsallagh.  Turning right-handed here, they simply flew to Tullamaine.  From here they ran through Martley’s to the Coolmoyne-Kilbragh road.  Contact was lost with the hounds here and was made again in Mr Pat O’Donnell’s, Kilconnell, marking to ground.  Hounds and followers covered a vast amount of territory in these two runs.  Some of the field who had lost contact made their way on to the roadway at Tullamaine and faced a three-mile hack back to Fethard.  These were two very good hunts of two mile and three mile points respectively.

With the White Heather Harriers
From their meet at Drangan on St. Stephen’s Day, the Ballyluskey’s found immediately at Knockroe.  One of a brace was quickly caught in covert.  The second fox provided just a short run across the Convent Boreen and got to ground. Mullally’s also held a brace.  Both of these crossed the Priestown Road where little could be done.  Finding in the valley at Cappaghnagrane, hounds hunted through Phelan’s Glen where the fox crossed the road underneath the bridge.  Running to Kylenagranagh they then hunted back to the small covert by the bridge.  Headed here Charlie ran to the gorse covert near the water tank where they lost him.  Moving back to Glenmuicaduibhe, hounds hunted down the Glen to the Priestown Road where they marked to ground.

Hounds not being out on Sunday, Donie decided to have a short bye-day in Kilbury on Wednesday 2nd January. All Kilbury proved blank but a fox from Cantwell’s provided a nice hunt.  Running to the Cloneen – Mullinahone road after some good covert hunting, they ran back right-handed to the wood.  This time they pushed their fox out on the other end.  They seem to have lost him here but going to a yodel blew by a follower near the road hounds hit the line.  Crossing the road they ran left-handed crossing the Cloneen-Drangan road.  Hunting well they ran through Garranguile to Ballinard wood where they had to give him best.  The Ballyluskey White Heather Harriers meet on Sunday next, January 13th, at Ballyluskey at 11am. 

Noticed in Passing
The earliest signs to the much talked about ‘global warming’ were evident in Fethard over the past two weeks. A solitary early daffodil was in full bloom at Watergate at Christmas;  two old orchards had apple blossoms blooming on their trees two weeks before Christmas; and a bank of primroses was in full bloom on 1st January.

Perhaps the best sign of all was one of our temporary residence dwellers was noticed outdoors on 24th December having his morning wash and shave minus his shirt.  The above, especially the nature signs, would seem to indicate seasonal weather changes.  Global warming may be on the way but with the weather we’ve had since 1st January, perhaps not just yet!

Fethard Bridge Club
We played our first game of the New Year on 2nd January and the results were:

1st Gross: Carol Kenny and Gemma Burke;
2nd Gross: Annie O’Brien and Noreen Evans;

1st Nett: Bridie Lee and Mike Burke;
2nd Nett: Ellen Rochford and Suzanne Opray.

On Wednesday16th January we play for prizes sponsored by Annie O’Brien and Marie Delaney, last year’s President’s Prize winners. We hope to see everyone back playing by then. Anyone looking for a partner please contact Berney Myles at 32038. Happy New Year to all!


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