Saturday 24th May 2008

Abymill Celebrates 20 Years on Monday 26th May
On Monday next 26th May, the Abymill Theatre celebrates its twentieth anniversary since the ‘Mayor of Fethard’, Catherine O’Shea, officially opened it in 1988. To mark the occasion the committee invite all associated with the Abymill to a social get together at 8.30pm in McCarthy’s Hotel on Monday 26th May. This is an informal meeting of all those who helped the Abymill in any way and especially those who performed on stage, and backstage, over the years with the Fethard Players and Hogan Musical Society.
The 150-year-old Fethard mill which ceased operation in 1936 was reopened as a theatre on Thursday 26th May 1988. Located beside the Augustinian Abbey and known as Coffey's Mill, it stood empty and derelict for many years. It was built in 1791 and reconstructed in 1847 by a Mr. Richard Harvey. The mill passed to the Coffey family early in the century and gave employment to about 14 people. It was used to grind corn but also included a creamery, bakery and shop, which sold everything from groceries to hardware.

The idea of having a permanent theatre in Fethard was first discussed in 1983. Premises considered at that time were, Holy Trinity Church of Ireland and the Town Hall. Work commenced in the Town Hall (then closed due to fire regulations) with the installation of fire escapes etc. After being allowed to reopen, various organisations started using the hall again, so it was decided to look further afield. Pauline Coffey in Burke Street was then approached about acquiring the old corn mill. Her generosity resulted in the formation of a special committee, known as the Mill Restoration Committee. The committee elected at a public meeting consisted of: Austin O'Flynn (chairman), Gemma Kenny (secretary), Agnes Evans (treasurer), Joe Kenny (pro), Jimmy O'Shea, Marian Mulligan, Billy McLellan, Carmel Rice, Billy Kenny, Michael McCarthy, Jimmy Connolly, Fr. Ormond OSA, Noelle O'Dwyer and Jimmy McInerney.

In May 1983 the dilapidated mill was handed over to the committee and by September, local voluntary workers had the building cleaned out. In January 1985, the first of the 80 young people on an ANCO Youth Training Programme started work under foreman Tom Burke. Work continued at a steady pace under Tom’s expert direction and in July 1987, the Mill Project was the joint winner in the South Tipperary Community Endeavour Award sponsored by The Nationalist and the Trustee Saving Bank.

The Abymill was ready to officially open its doors on Thursday 26th May following a special mass in the Augustinian Abbey.

The chairman Austin O’Flynn, who spearheaded the project from start to finish, spoke very eloquently following the official opening and cutting of the tape by Catherine O’Shea. His words, now twenty years later, are recalled as follows:

“Rev Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, Minister, Honoured Guest, Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Abymill Committee I welcome you here this evening for the opening of the Mill. I hope you have a very pleasant time.

Five years ago this project was suggested and work began one year later. It has been a long haul and many people have worked very hard to restore this old corn mill and turn it into a building that will help promote and encourage cultural and recreational activity in our town.

This evening it is my duty as Chairman to thank those people who have made this possible. I thank FÁS. We have had a close and friendly relationship with this organisation throughout the whole project, and have never known anything but kindness and cooperation from all its personnel.

I thank the 80 young men who have taken part in this community Youth Training Programme, whose hard work and skill can be seen throughout the building. I thank our foreman Tom Burke from Ardfinnan who has been responsible for steering the actual work on site from day one.

Then there are those professional people and skilled tradesmen who have given so much of their time and expertise. In particular Tony Lawton, structural engineer and also Mattie Shinners, Architect, and Don O’Connell, Electrical Contractor. I thank them. I also acknowledge the help and co-operation of all state bodies, in particular our local representatives of the Oireachtas and the County Council.

Within our own Community, on behalf of all concerned with the Mill, I thank Mrs Pauline Coffey whose gift made everything possible. I thank all those who have given financial support, particularly those who have been gallant enough to go forward for ‘Mayor of Fethard’ at Festival time. I thank Catherine O’Shea for performing the opening ceremony, Canon Power for blessing the building, Fr Haughey for offering Mass, STAG for the wonderful exhibition of paintings, the Flower Club for the lovely displays and the ladies who have helped clean the place in preparation for opening night. I thank our suppliers and all those who donated slates and stones. I would also like to mention our immediate neighbours, in particular, the Augustinian Fathers and the Maher family for being so patient with us.

I remember our forefathers who built the original Mill in hard times and those who worked here throughout the years, also Gerry Skehan and Ogden White who were with us at the start of the project and have since died. Finally, I thank all the members of the Abymill committee who have worked so hard through the years and are determined to continue to do so in the future and I know they join me in asking God to bless the Abymill so that it might enrich the lives of the people of Fethard in the future.”

Sponsorship Appeal for Presentation Sisters
On Monday 2nd June the Flora Women’s Mini Marathon takes place in Dublin. The Presentation team of Srs Betty, Juliana and Winnie, is this year being generously assisted by Alice Butler, Kilnockin. Their participation and the sponsorship raised will bring much needed relief to the Presentation Sisters in Zimbabwe, who are living in an extremely stressful political situation with all the consequent hardships. All contributions will be much appreciated.

Fethard Bridge Club
We played for sponsored prizes on 30th April and the results were:
1st Gross: Berney Myles and Alice Quinn;
2nd Gross: Brigid Gorey and Betty Walsh;
3rd Gross: Frances Burke and Breda Walsh;
1st Nett: Bridie Lee and Mike Burke;
2nd Nett: Eileen Frewen and Anne Connolly;
3rd Nett: Rita Holohan and Mary Delaney.

Community Lotto is now online
The Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto is now online and tickets can be bought from the comfort of your own home by visiting the Fethard website: fethard.com

The Fethard & Killusty Community Fundraising Lotto draws which run on a weekly basis play a huge part in the fund raising efforts of our community. Local projects supported to date include: Convent Hall, Youth Project, Fethard & District Day Care Centre, Town Hall, Slí na Sláinte Walking Trail, Fethard Heart Safe Project, Christmas Lights, Town Wall Floodlighting & Walled Towns Day Festival, Historical Society Medieval Trail, Resident’s Associations, Foróige Youth Club, Community Sports Field, Fethard & Killusty London Reunion, Senior Citizens Club and ACORN Childcare Project.

We encourage all of our neighbours and community to play the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto. We also hope that we can all work together to promote this lotto and help get back in touch with people from the Fethard & Killusty community who may now be living all over the world.

Fatal Fire at Fr. Tirry Park
A fatal fire at 2am on Friday 16th May, claimed the life of a young man, Joe Grant, at Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard. Joe, who was in his mid forties, tragically died in the blaze at the house which he was minding for his sick mum Margaret while she was in hospital. It is less than a year since Margaret also lost her husband Paddy.
Our sincere sympathy is extended to Mrs Grant and her son Willie, who lives with his family in Wicklow, on this terrible tragedy.

Fethard GAA Club News
Fethard had a easy win in their first South Championship Intermediate hurling game played in Cloneen on Friday last, on a scoreline, Fethard 3-16, Ballyneale 1-9. Fethard were leading at the break by 2-10 to 1-3 with Aiden Fitzgerald having a ‘Man of the Match’ display scoring 2-9 (4f). Fethard’s other scores came from Eoin Doyle 1-1, Eoin O’Connell 0-2, with Miceál Spillane, Benny Hahessy, John P Looby and Michael Ryan all getting a point each. The team was: Paul Fitzgerald, James Kelly, Michael Aherne, Adi Lawrence, Shane Walsh, Michael Ryan, Jamie McCormack, Michael Carroll, John P Looby, Benny Hahessy, Aiden Fitzgerald, Eoin Doyle, Miceál Spillane, Alan Bourke and Eoin O’Connell. Subs used were: Brian Coen, Cian Maher, Michael Dillon and Alan O’Connor. The next game in this competition is fixed for Tuesday 28th May against Cahir in Clonmel at 7.30pm.

To all our players involved with Tipperary senior & junior football, we wish them the best of luck on Sunday in Fermoy against Limerick.
The County Draw promoters are on the road this week and we ask you for your continued support in the 2008/’09 Draw. €100 is the cost for the year with the Fethard club benefiting 50% to help meet the annual running costs.

Our Lotto Jackpot €10,000 was not won. The numbers drawn were: 1, 7, 23 and 28. We had one match three winner of €150 to Mark Hayde (Saucestown, Fethard). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Davy Maher (8 Barrack St Fethard). We thank AIB (Fethard) for supplying the tickets.

We extend our deepest sympathy to the Grant family on the death of Joe so tragically last week. Go ndeana Dia trocaire orthu.

Golf Classic in aid of Bro Paul in Eldoret
A golf classic will be held in Slievenamon Golf Club in aid of Bro Paul Brennan’s Kabongo Project in Eldoret Kenya on Friday 20th June. You can support this very worthwhile project by entering a team in this ‘Three Ball Champagne Scramble’. The cost is €150 per team. Tee boxes cost €50 or you could donate prizes for the raffle. Please contact the Golf Club directly at 052 32213 for time sheet booking. Dinner is included with music and song till late!

This project of education and health at Kabongo is also supported by the Rotary Club of Portlaoise and the Rotary Club of Eldoret. Further information from Brendan Kenny (086 2828647), Vincent Woodlock (086 2650766), Mick Ryan (086 2669972) and Margaret Ryan (086 8055017).

Fethard and Killusty Community Games
Fethard and Killusty Community Games committee would like to wish the very best of luck to Sarah Slattery, daughter of Tommy and Valerie, Jossestown, who will represent Tipperary at the HSE Community Games national Finals in Mosney in the Under-8 Art Competition.

Work is currently going ahead compiling history of the games in Tipperary. We note from our research that Fethard Girls Volleyball Team won gold medals in Mosney in 1974. Unfortunately we do not have any names if anybody could let us know who these girls were or give us any information regarding the 1970 to 1985 period it would be very much appreciated. Please contact 052 31906.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on Wednesday 14th May were: 12, 19, 24 and 28. We had no Jackpot winner and two ‘Match 3’ winners who received €75 each:
Thomas Shine, Monroe, Fethard;
Michael Cooney, Rathdrum, Fethard.

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Geraldine Whelan, 40 Kickham Place, Mullinahone;
Jim Kenny, c/o M. Kenny, Mullinahone;
Johanna Bradshaw, Drumdeel, Fethard.
Next week’s Jackpot continues at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1000. Don’t forget you can now play our lotto online from your own home by visiting fethard.com.

Fethard Bridge Club
At our President's Prize dinner at Fairways Restaurant on 16th May our president Bernie O'Meara presented the following prizes:
President's Prize: Brigid Gorey and Betty Walsh;
Committee Prize: Anna Cooke and Bernie O'Meara;
1st Gross: Gemma Burke and Carol Kenny;
1st Nett: Mike Burke and Bridie Lee;
2nd Gross: Rita Kane and Kay St. John;
2nd Nett: Anne and Sean O'Dea;
3rd Gross: Alice Quinn and Berney Myles;
3rd Nett: Carmel Condon and Brendan Kenny;
4th Gross: Frances Burke and Breda Walsh;
4th Nett: Nora Lawrence and Madeleine O'Donnell;
5th Gross: Joan Kelly and Anna Ryan;
5th Nett: Kathleen Kenny and Breda O'Grady;
6th Gross: Tony Hanrahan and David Abell;
6th Nett: Annie O'Brien and Marie Delaney;
Club Championship (Hayes Trophy): Alice Quinn and Berney Myles;
Player of the Year (O'Flynn Trophy): Alice Quinn;
Individual Champion (Dick Gorey Perpetual Trophy): Alice Quinn;
Most Improved Player (Suzanne Opray Trophy): Anne Connolly;
The Lucey Trophy: Gemma Burke and Carol Kenny.

‘Lord Lonergan’ beats the bookies
Lord Lonergan (Top Savings – Proud Roshea) locally trained by David Flanagan, Tullamaine, and jointly owned by Roseanne Carroll, John Carroll, Michael Fitzgerald and Bernie O’Brien, broke bookies hearts and pockets at Youghal on Tuesday of last week. Lord Lonergan opened at 6/4 2nd favourite before drifting to 7/4 and finally 2/1, when all four bookmakers were hit from all directions.
Lord Lonergan broke smartly from trap four and was one of the first going to the bend when both hind legs were taken from underneath him by trap three. He recovered well to find himself behind trap five by five lengths, but the Fethard contingent need not have worried as he scooted home by seven lengths in a time of 30.05.
The drinks were flying at Lonergan’s Bar on Tuesday evening for all those lucky enough to be present to celebrate a great victory over the ‘poor’ bookies.










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