Saturday 9th February 2008

Tony and Mary celebrate 50 years together
On Sunday last 3rd February, Tony Newport and his wife, Mary (nee Kenny), Congress Terrace, celebrated their 50 years of wedded bliss with their daughters, Catherine, Liz, Lydia, Margaret, Edwina and family members.

Tony took up the job as local correspondent for the Nationalist Newspaper in 1960 when Paddy McLellan moved to London. Tony was a keen sportsman and strategically positioned in a busy newsagent’s shop. With an ear for human interest stories and a lover of nature he set about the task with vigour and for the next forty-five years he faithfully supplied the Nationalist with reports of the goings on in Fethard and its surrounds. His sense of humour and story-telling talents warmed up many a conversation and no doubt elicited more than a few anecdotes in return.

Tony acknowledges that his memory was always okay but that he couldn’t spell. He says, “Luckily for him, and the readers of the Nationalist, that his wife Mary was a great speller and he shouted out the awkward words for her to spell as she went about her work and as he tried to meet the Nationalist deadline. Apparently, for many years, the early morning bread van was the last chance of getting the Fethard Notes to Clonmel on time for publication.”

Tony, on the 1st January this year, was made an honorary life member of the Tipperary Foxhounds for his many years involvement in the sport and in particular, his unique reporting of hunting events in the local press. His love of the sport is easily recognised when reading his weekly enthusiastic reports that even non-followers enjoy, especially Tony’s knowledge of local townlands, rivers, fields and landmarks. As Mike Cahill from Saratoga, USA, recently commented, “The Hunting News notes on the Christmas Eve Fox hunt were gorgeously written. I felt as if I were flying along with the hounds. Truth to tell, I could never understand the appeal, but now riding to the hounds is on my short list of things to do in Fethard.”
We congratulate Tony and Mary on their 50th Wedding Anniversary and wish them many years of health and good hunting to come.

Fethard GAA Club News
The Tipperary County Leagues start this weekend with our senior footballers playing Killenaule in Fethard at 2pm on Sunday 10th February. The minor footballers are also playing on Sunday in Tipperary Town against Arravale Rovers at 12 noon.
We wish Moyle Rovers the very best of luck in Croke Park on Saturday 9th February in the All Ireland Junior A Hurling Final at 6pm. We also wish Ballingarry the best of luck in the Munster Junior B Hurling final to be played at a Limerick Venue on Sunday 10th February.
The Club would like to congratulate the Patrician Brothers on their Bicentennial Celebrations last week and again our many thanks for their contribution to the Fethard GAA over the last 135 years.
The Sports Lotto Jackpot €8,500 was not won. The numbers drawn were 9, 10, 15 and 28. We had two ‘Match Three’ winners who received €75 each: Josie Fitzgerald (Kiltinan, Fethard) and Majella Drea (Strylea, Fethard). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Canon James Power (Cashel Road, Fethard). We would like to thank Fethard Credit Union for supplying the tickets.
Our sympathy at this time is with the family of the late Tom Walsh, Moyglass, on their recent bereavement. Go ndeana Dia trocaire orthu

Died Recently
The death has occurred on 21st January of Mr Paddy Fox, Woodvale Walk. Interment took place in Calvary Cemetery.
The death has occurred on 26th January of Mr John Fleming, Coolmore. Interment took place in Calvary Cemetery.
The death has occurred on 27th January of Mrs Kitty Martin, Mobarnane, Fethard. Interment took place in Moyglass Cemetery.

Tipperariana Book Fair this Sunday
Fethard Ballroom is once again ‘booked out’ for this Sunday’s upcoming Tipperariana Book Fair being held between 2pm and 6pm, on 10th February.
What began as a fundraising idea by the Fethard Historical Society in 1996 has now become a bit of a Tipperary institution and the second Sunday in February means a trip to Fethard for hundreds of people from all over county Tipperary and beyond.
The format for the day has changed little over the years for the good reason that the thirty odd book-dealers who come every year rate it as the best book fair in Ireland. The dealers in turn now know what the Tipperary ‘bookworm’ wants and all year they are gathering books that will ‘go’, as the say, in Fethard.
The Historical Society also seek donations of books to sell on their own stall and the public have been good over the years in supporting the society’s work in this way.

Many Authors Coming
The year 2007 saw over twenty major books of Tipperary interest being launched across the county. In line with tradition, these authors have been invited to come and sell and sign their books at the Fair and again many authors will attend.
Pride of place will do to Denis G. Marnane and Mary Guinan Darmody for their ‘Finding Tipperary’, which was chosen by the organisers as The Tipperariana Book of the Year for 2007. Denis Marnane also produced his own ‘Cashel history and guide’ during 2007.
Also confirmed coming are Micheál Ó Meara (South Tipperary GAA 1907-2007), Martin Ó Dwyer (Brigadier Dinny Lacey 1890-1923 by the men who knew him), Willie Hayes and Joe Kennedy (The Parish Churches of North Tipperary), Proinsias Ó Drisceoil (Seán Ó Dálaigh), Barry O’Reilly and Margaret Quinlan (An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of South Tipperary), John Givens (Irish Walled Towns) and Tom Ryan and Mary Ryan (Bianconi a boy with a dream). George Cunningham and Carmel Cunningham will also be present with four Roscrea based books published between them in 2007. At least two other authors of interest from outside the county will also be present. Unfortunately that well known Tipperary scribe, Pat Shortt, author of ‘I Will in Me Politics’ in 2007 has informed the organisers that due to ‘a prior engagement’ he can’t make it to the Ballroom of Romance on Sunday next.

Great Value All Round
The entrance fee to the Book Fair is still only two euro and what you spend after that is your own business. A Café will again be in business on the day and this, for some, seems a bigger draw that the books. The usual raffle, for sometimes ‘unusual prizes’, will take place and, of course, the resident piano player will again grace the stage and set the atmosphere for the day. All in all a very pleasant way to spend a wet and windy Sunday’s afternoon.

Donated Books Very Welcome
Anyone wishing to donate books to the Historical Society or who knows someone who is ‘downsizing’ their library should contact any member of the committee or phone Dóirín Saurus at 052 31936 or Terry Cunningham at 052 23402 and collection will be arranged. Books can also be brought to the Ballroom on Friday evening (8pm-11pm), Saturday (2pm-5pm) or as a last resort on the Sunday itself. The sale of donated books is one of the main ways in which the Historical Society generates cash for its own activities and for producing tourist literature for the town.

Fethard Juvenile GAA Club
Training for Under-14 football has now begun on Thursday evenings at 7.30 in the community field. We look forward to welcoming all our old faces back and any new members wanting to play are welcome to come along. Training times for all other juvenile age groups have yet to be decided and all members will be notified when times and dates have been set.
A ‘Race Night’ will be held in McCarthy’s Hotel on Saturday 8th March to raise funds for the Juvenile Club. All parents are invited to come along and enjoy a great nights entertainment. Races, jockeys and owners can be bought from any committee member, so please show your support for this worthy cause. Any queries please phone club secretary Caroline Sheehan Tel: 086 1713502.

Fethard Bridge Club Results
The results of our game played on Wednesday 30th January were:
1st Gross: Rita Kane and Kay St. John;
2nd Gross: Berney Myles and Alice Quinn;
1st Nett: Anne and Sean O’Dea;
2nd Nett: Nora Lawrence and Madeleine O’Donnell.
On Wednesday 13th February we play the second round of the Club Championship. Anyone looking for a partner please contact Berney Myles at 32038.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto Results
The numbers drawn on Wednesday 30th January were: 9, 10, 17 and 26. We had no Jackpot winner and one ‘Match 3’ winner €150: Anne Keane, St. Patricks Place, Fethard.
The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Dermot Darcy, St. Patricks Place, Fethard;
Angela Connery, Rathloose, Powerstown, Fethard;
Chrissie Cummins, 53 St. Patricks Place, Fethard.
Next week’s Jackpot continues at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1000.

Fethard ICA Resumes Activities
Fethard ICA will resume activities for 2008 on Tuesday 12th February. We are planning to have a table quiz on the night, which is always great fun and enjoyed by all those present. We’re looking forward to a large turnout on the night. Catering is by the ‘Yellow Group. We remind all our members that the Spring Federation meeting will take place on Sunday 2nd March in Brú Ború, Cashel.

With the White Heathers
From Downey’s Cross on Sunday hounds were taken into Fethard and drew up the Banogue river under Laurence Kenny’s Glebe House. Finding here the fox crossed the river to Crampscastle. By Everardsgrange cemetery they hunted well over Bennettshill to Rathkenny where they lost him. Moving on to Byrne’s rock by the sawmills they were quickly away again. Running down through Byrnskill, almost to the kennels at Milestone Mill, they re-crossed the link road to Bannixtown. Hunting well through Tierney’s they hunted their fox back to the roc where he got to ground.
Drawing the Muilleannbawn, they found again below the pump house. Quickly into Grove they hunted down the screen inside the Killusty road crossing the rear avenue near the back gate. Down by Grove House they crossed the river and ran to the Kilsheelan road near Bradshaw’s. Turning short of the road, Charlie ran back to the front avenue where he crossed the Kilsheelan road through a drainage pipe at Grove Wood. Hounds hunted him around here for a short while where they had to give him best. A good day all round!
The Ballylusky White Heather Harriers meet on Sunday next, 10th February, in Cloneen at 11am.

Patrician Presentation Secondary School

Cystic Fibrosis Collection
On Friday, 1st February, Transition Year pupils, Andy Walsh, Laura Rice, Aisling Dwyer, Adam O’Donnell, Melissa Wallace and Sarah O’Meara helped out with the national Cystic Fibrosis collection in Fethard. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetically inherited disease affecting mostly the lungs and the digestive system. The quality of the medical care and of the services for Cystic Fibrosis sufferers was very much a national topic of discussion last week and the school was very happy to help out this worthy cause. Thanks most sincerely to all who donated so generously to the fund.

Non-Uniform Day for Tanzania Fund
A very successful non-uniform day was held in the school on 1st February to raise funds for a secondary school in Bugesi, Tanzania. This school run by the order of Our Lady of the Apostles has been able to take in nearly fifty entry pupils as a result of help from Fethard over the last nine years.. Tanzania is an extremely poor country and only 41% of children get a chance to attend second level schooling. By running volleyball tournaments over the years, pupils in Fethard have helped change many lives and give a greater chance in life to so many less fortunate living in Africa.

Open Night in School
Our annual Open Night was a great success with prospective pupils from the surrounding area and their parents in attendance. Teachers and pupils were on hand to show them around the school and there were numerous displays of pupils work including a very impressive art display by Ms Pat Looby’s pupils. A cup of tea was provided for all the visitors with confectionary baked by the school’s Home Economics pupils under the able direction of Ms Maher.
The display cabinet of Patrician memorabilia was on view in advance of the Bicentenary celebrations. A special word of thanks to the Parents’ Association for its faithful support of all our school activities. Their work is greatly appreciated by the school.

Fethard and District Rugby Club
Our under 16s played Nenagh in the second round of the Cup. The game was played in atrocious conditions with the snow belting down and the underfoot conditions being only barely playable and players on both sides struggling to keep themselves warm.

Both teams played some great rugby and the tackles were going in thick and fast. Our lighter pack was more mobile and with great performance coming from Mathew Fitzgerald, Sam Manton, James Kavanagh and Kieran Power. Pressure put on the Nenagh lads yielded Fethard two penalties which were ably converted by Daniel Hickey. With the cushion of six points Fethard grew in confidence and Con Kavanagh began to speed the ball wide which allowed Aaron Conran show his attacking abilities which was rewarded with a tremendous try duly converted by cousin Daniel Hickey. This left Fethard with a well earned win of thirteen points to nil. It was great to see Shane Power back and coming on for the last quarter showing he has a lot to offer. Others to play well were Robert Hall, Timmy Donavan and Sam Manton. They all played well in difficult conditions in this Cup game. Weekend’s game to be arranged.

Our under 18s also played Nenagh at home and these two teams put on an exhibition of rugby despite the conditions. It was end-to-end stuff, with both teams being denied a score on the line on numerous occasions. The game ended on a nil all draw, but the Fethard coaches were delighted with this performance as it showed a huge improvement on last week. Great play came from Billy Horan, Joe Fogarty and Nicolas Hines. In the Backs Alan O’Connor had a great game and then Stuart Hanrahan played a good game when he came on. For their next game the Under 18s are away to Galbally on Sunday morning.

Despite the snow storm our Under 7s showed determination against an up and coming Cashel Team. We were treated to runaway tries from Dale Murphy, Harry Cummins and James Phillips. Tackling skills were seen at their best from Connor Vaughan and Ciaran O’Dwyer. Whilst Frankie Meagher, Joe Carroll and Danny Gleeson showed a combination of good rugby skills and continued the good teamwork.

Under 8s won 5-4. Both teams played very well and showed great courage to brave the weather elements. Good individual ball playing from Fethard and considering we had a small turnout the following gave 110% — Aaron Smullen, Harry Butler, William Pratt, Jack Dolan, Jack O’Connor, Richard Holohan, Harry Butler, Joseph O’Connor and Bailey Grace.

Under 9s won 5-3 against Cashel. It was a very tough match and the great tries scored by Andrew Phelan and Keith Cleere were delightful to watch. There was great teamwork by Michael Gaynor, Eoin Shaw and Gary Kavanagh. Also getting stuck in with the tackling was Killian O’Dwyer and James Walsh. The team was well assisted by newcomers in Jake Murphy and Young Croke.

Under 10s had a very close game that saw Fethard come out on top. Well done to all those that turned out, including the Cashel players. In a tough game in horrendous conditions the boys were a credit to their parents. All Fethard players shone on the morning, but especially Ben Murray and Christian Casey’s teamwork in passing, Padraig Norton saved a Cashel try attempt with great defence from Pierce Blackmore and Jason Ryan.

Our Under 12s lost 3-1 to Cashel. We played a strong team of thirty-four players from Cashel with a number of new faces. Russell Casey scored our only try, which was an intercept. Players that played well in the day’s game were Shane Cleere and Robert Horan alongside Josh Murray, Tommy Anglim and Cathal Mahoney. Also Ciaran Whyte, Ciaran O’Connor, Nial Prendergast and Jimmy Feehan showed good skills. Whilst teamwork from Harvey Blackmore, Bill Carroll, Charlie Carroll, Theirnan O’Neil and Cathal Meagher kept Cashel on their toes. Conditions were atrocious but all played well and two of Cashel’s tries were walk-throughs.

Our Under 14’s match was cancelled last week but they are away to Thurles on Sunday.
Thanks a million to all the parents maintaining their commitment to the club. It would not be able to continue without you and we appreciate it. Please note that on Sunday we are away to Clonmel for 10.30am (Sunday morning). Don’t forget a week on Wednesday there is an Associate Referees IRFU Course taking place on 13th February at Limerick Institute of Technology for coaches and parents interested. There is also the IRFU Mini’s Coaching Course at the University of Limerick on the weekend of February 16th & 17th. We are away to Carrick-on-Suir on Sunday 17th February.

Also a reminder of our Table Quiz at Burke’s Bridge Bar on Thursday 28th February, and our First Aid Course on the weekend of 8th & 9th March. Anyone interested in any of the above or any player not receiving the weekly mobile texts please contact Polly on the Rugby Mobile on 087 744 7691. Hope to see you all at training on Friday.

Eldoret News from Bro Paul – 31 January 2008
Good afternoon, Shane, and all your family and friends. It was great hearing from you. When you called the first time, I was in very noisy traffic on the main street of Eldoret. Within a few minutes of your call, the whole of Eldoret closed down as a result of gathering groups of young men (mostly), gathering to protest vehemently and perhaps violently to the news of the death of the MP from Ainamoi, in the Rift Valley. The late Kimutai Too was a newly elected Member of the Opposition Party and is the second MP to be gunned down in as many days. In the first case, the death in Nairobi was probably the result of gang operation at the entrance gate to his house at about 12.30 in the morning. Today's shooting of the MP by a police officer here in Eldoret was described by the Police Commissioner as a "crime of passion" as there was a woman also involved. I think it is often referred to as a 'ménage à trois'! She is in the hospital in critical condition and of course he is the Mortuary in the same Hospital. The policeman who shot him was later captured by his colleagues and will be charged with murder in Nakuru tomorrow. At least the Police have acted quickly this time. I am glad of that because we don't need political assassinations ever and certainly not at this time of political turmoil. I personally believe that the Police in general have done a great job under the conditions in which they have been forced to work. It is unfortunate that they used live bullets on occasion.
When you called the second time, we were listening to a fusillade of gunfire just over the hill here in Kapsoya where I am living. It died down soon afterwards. Generally, Eldoret has been quiet over the past week or so, since the Opposition called off the Demonstrations and Mass rallies etc. BUT, there is still a great deal of tension at all times. It is not advisable for people to travel out at night-time and getting out of Eldoret to any of the neighbouring towns is very problematic. The negotiations are going on in Nairobi with three from each side trying to come up with a solution that will put an end to the violence. As many people have observed, it will take more than one generation to get over the trauma of the last 4 weeks. Basically, it has been horrendous no matter how you looks at it.

On the humanitarian side of things, most of the IDPs (Internally displaced persons) have no option of going back to their homes . . . and it is sad to relate that there seems to be an element of revenge setting in . . . in places like Limuru, Kiambu, Tigoni, Karatina, Othaya, (all Kikuyu areas in Central Province). That is a very bad omen indeed.

Most schools in the affected areas are either not operating at all or are functioning with very reduced enrolment. The irony is that from the 7th of this month, the programme of Free Secondary Education was rolled out by the Ministry of Education. Normally, it would have meant an absolutely huge boost in secondary school enrolment this term. Alas! The reality is so different, unfortunately. This had formed part of the Govt's platform during the election. In our Patrician Primary School in Kabongo, which was badly affected, we are recovering and now have about 350 children back in class. We are trying to feed about 180 of those on a twice daily basis. Our expected enrolment was 455.

It has become almost impossible for farmers to transport their produce to the factories or to town. Just now the quality of potatoes in Eldoret is very poor as we cannot get them from the usual sources since Jan 1. That really is a very minor inconvenience for people like me but form the farmer who was supplying before, what can he do?
The tea estates, along with the flower farms, are badly affected by the trouble and that will affect everybody eventually. I could go on and on . . . but!
The BBC World Service had a very (and sad!) interesting couple of interviews this morning at about 6:30 GMT on their programme 'Assignment'.
If you can access the Internet, you may like to listen in www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/ . . . this might bring it up for you. (Of course, I don't hold any brief for the BBC or any other Media House!)
As for myself and my work here — personally I am not affected by the turmoil except being inconvenienced in terms of travel in and out of Eldoret. We don't even consider the possibility of travelling to Nairobi by car/or bus as there are illegal roadblocks in many places. And we have no passenger train service from Eldoret since about 1988. Luckily, we have quite an efficient air service to and from Nairobi morning and evening if the need arose (which it won't for me, I hope!)

I would like to take this opportunity to express again our appreciation to all who have been texting, emailing, phoning, and/or writing from all over the world at this time. It just sop happens that we are in the middle of it since Jan 1 and it is very distressing to be in the middle of continuous bad news every day. But we know that many people are thinking of Kenya now and praying for a quick resolution.
May God bless you all and may He also bless Kenya and her people.
(Noye: The Shane referred to at the top of this update is Shane McEntee who is the Member of Parliament or Teachta Dala in Meath and is a well-known native of Nobber!)

Cheerio for now, Bro. Paul D. Brennan, Box 5064, Eldoret. Email: patriciankabongo@gmail.com




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