Thursday 24th December 2009

Holy Trinity Church Carol Service
There was a wonderful turn-out at the Annual Carol Service in Holy Trinity Church, on Sunday night last. It was particularly heartening to see the large crowd in attendance given the frosty nature of the weather and the unfavourable driving conditions on the night. The Service was conducted by Rev. Barbara Fryday, Readings were delivered by Michael McCarthy, Thelma Griffiths, Marian Gilpin, Rev. James Mulhall, Caroline Stokes, Louise Bailey, Christopher Horseman and Fr. John Meagher, O.S.A., and the congregation, were in full voice for all the well-known carols. When the Service concluded, those in attendance were treated to a selection of festive treats and mulled-wine.

Hunting News
Hounds finding from move-off at Knocklofty on Monday caught their fox on top after a short hunt around Knocklofty House coverts. Moving to Mr. Peter Reilly’s they ran to O’Donnell’s then left-handed towards the pig farm. From Lonergan’s they hunted back to the thick covert by the road known as The Black Hole and to ground. Drawn down to Patrickswell they had a good run from here back to the Black Hole across the road near the railway bridge and to ground in the nearby fort. They finished a good day with hounds hunting very well on an improved scent with a run from the bog by the main railway line to Nicholstown Castle to Ms. O’Briens, Derrygrath where they lost. At Silverfort on Wednesday they first hunted from Ms. Bergin’s to Ryan’s where they lost him. From the fort in Paddy Martins they ran to the Ballyvaden – Moyglass road down through Henry Smith’s to Fogarty’s. They finally lost him after hunting around the Curraghscarteen – Farranaleen – Clonbrogan area for thirty minutes. The day finished with a hunt from here back to the Mushroom Farm at Silverfort Cross. The Tipps had another good run to finish the day from Ballydine on Thursday. Hunting from Longfield Stud they crossed the road running right-handed towards Ballydine. Turning right they ran to Ryan’s, Bawnmore. Their fox ran a good circle here before running back again towards Longfield and back to Bawnmore where they lost him. Heavy overnight frost proved the spoil-sport on Saturday when they were obliged to cancel hunting.

With the White Heathers
Looked like as if Jack Frost was also going to play Molly Bawn with the White Heathers hunting at Peppardstown House on Sunday. However, after an hours delay Donie decided to move off to Knockelly Plantation. No luck here so a move was made O’Donnell’s. Finding here they hunted to the Knockelly Road, crossing this at his second attempt Reynard did a small circle through Delaney’s, and re-crossed the road back to O’Donnell’s. Running down to the Grove in Coolmore (Anglim’s), they did a U-turn here and back to St. Johnstown graveyard. Like the Baptistsgrange fox with the Tipps last week this fellow tried to find refuge in the ivy clad gable end of the Old Church. A few hounds followed onward and upwards forcing Charlie to leave his refuge. Running through Sparrow’s yard back to where found and to ground in O’Donnell’s. This was a run of about an hour, most in full view of the followers on the Knockelly Road. A special ‘Thank You’ to Bobby and Anne Guiry for the season’s hospitality dispensed prior to move-off and during the unavoidable delay. Great interest was displayed in a beautiful portrait of the White Heathers at Bennettshill with a magnificent view of ‘The Valley Near Slievenamon’ in the background. Painted by local artist, Liam Clancy, the artwork features Donie and Cillian with the hounds and a few followers in the background.
Wishing all supporters and followers of the White Heather Harriers, all landowners, over whose land we hunt, and all readers of the column, both at home and away, a very Happy Christmas and good wishes and good hunting for the year ahead. E.A.N.

Emigrants Newsletter on Sale
This year’s issue of Fethard & Killusty Emigrants Newsletter is now on sale in local shops at €12. This is the first price increase since 2004 and is necessary to help meet postal and printing costs incurred in sending copies free-of-charge to Fethard & Killusty emigrants living throughout the world. The 208 page newsletter is packed with photographs and articles recording Fethard life over the years and it is recommended that you get your copy early to avoid disappointment.

Ballad Groups make a comeback
Due to popular demand Lonergan's Bar have two top Irish ballad groups appearing over the festive period. On Sunday 27th December 'Finnegan's Fury' will play their first gig in Fethard and on 2nd January the very popular four piece band 'Erin's Own' will make a welcome return. Both groups regularly tour the USA and should not be missed.

Christmas Disco
St. Patrick’s Boys’ School will hold a ‘Christmas Disco Party’ in the Fethard Arms on Sunday 27th December. All are welcome. Doors open at 9pm.

Clashawley Film Club
Anyone interested in joining a new ‘film society’ in Fethard are asked to contact Suzanna Manton at Tel: 087- 2345075. It is proposed to run the ‘Film Club’ at the new forty-seated mini-cinema at Fethard Youth Centre. If you are interested in joining, membership will cost €35 for each half-yearly membership, the first covering films shown from January to March 2009, and the second covering films shown from October to December 2009. Alternatively you can join for €70 which will cover the full year.
Depending on the level of interest, we may also run a small film festival to showcase local film-making talent.

Don’t forget the GOAL Mile
The annual GOAL Mile will take place on Christmas Day, at 12 noon. Assemble at the Town Hall. Walk, jog, run, crawl, bring the dog! Whatever you fancy, come along and join in the fun.

Christmas Lighting Collection
Fethard Community Council would like to extend their gratitude to all those who contributed to the recent Church Gate Collection, which raised in excess of €1000 for the annual Christmas Lighting fund.

Recent Deaths
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of the late Joachim (Joe) Horan, Tullamaine, who passed to his eternal reward on Thursday 17th December. Requiem Mass took place on Sunday last, followed by interment in Calvary Cemetery.
The death has also occurred of Andy Fox, of Seskin, Kilsheelan, formerly of Killerk, Fethard. Requiem Mass took place on Monday last, followed by burial in Assumption Graveyard, Drangan.

Carol Singing for Santa Bear Appeal
A great turn out again for this year’s ‘Carol Singing’ on the streets of Fethard in aid of the Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin to supplement their annual 'Santa Bear Appeal'. This event first was first started by the ‘Pheasant Pluckers’ back in 1995 and has grown in popularity ever since, particularly with children. The annual route starts outside the Town Hall, a few stops on Main Street, followed by a walk through St. Patrick’s Place which always has impressive seasonal lighting to enhance the occasion. The group then sing on The Green before making their way to the Abymill Theatre, where they entertain the Bingo players at their interval. The children were also very appreciative of the sweets supplied by the Abymill management and the warm reception received from the Bingo followers.
Our last annual stop is at ‘Lonergan’s Winter Wonderland’ where music comes to life . . . and when the children sing ‘Let it Snow’ . . . it always seems to happen. Thanks to Lonergan’s technology and décor, we always finish on a high note! A special thanks to all who took part this year, young and old, your support is greatly appreciated.

Christmas Mass Times
Abbey Church
Christmas Eve, Thursday 24th December at 9pm;
Christmas Day, Friday 25th December at 9.30am and 11.30am.
Parish Church
Christmas Eve, Thursday 24th December at 8pm;
Christmas Day, Friday 25th December at 8.30am and 11am.
Killusty Church of the Sacred Heart
Christmas Eve, Thursday 24th December at 9.30pm;
Christmas Day, Friday 25th December at 10am.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto will take a two-week break, so there will be no lotto draw on 23rd and 30th December. The next Lotto draw after Christmas and the New Year will take place on Wednesday 6th January 2010. The Lotto Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people at home and away who support the lotto each week. It is greatly appreciated and we hope you will continue to do so in 2010.

The numbers drawn on 16th December were 5, 20, 21 and 26. We had no Jackpot winner and no ‘Match 3’ winners so the following drawn tickets received €50 each:
Nellie Ryan, St. Patricks Place, Fethard;
Michael Russell, Mullinahone;
Ann Darcy, Killusty.

The three following Lucky Dip winners received €50 each:
Maura Meagher, Killenaule;
Shiela Dalton, c/o K. O'Donnell;
Ian Cooke, Scotch Road, Monroe.

Christmas Turkey winners:
Norma McCarthy, c/o K. O'Donnell;
Eleanor Cummins, Everardsgrange;
J. Purcell, c/o Tom Purcell.

Christmas Ham Winners:
Mary Keane, Knockelly, Fethard;
Mary Newport, Congress Terrace, Fethard;
Margaret Dunne, Ballycullen.

Jack scoops top award
After his double in Wexford last week, Jack Connolly, The Green, Fethard, was once again back on the podium. This time Jack was voted ‘Best Boxer of the Year’ for 2009 at the annual awards ceremony held in Clonmel Boxing Club on 15th December. Jack was awarded the Billy Kane Perpetual Trophy for his outstanding success throughout the year, and also for his dedication to training, attendance and his attitude to coaches, trainers and fellow boxers.
2009 was a year to remember for Jack, in which he won a county, Munster and All-Ireland title, National Junior Cadet Champion 2009, and Wexford Open League Champion 2009. He also picked up ‘Best Boxer of the Tournament’ award for the T.J. Redmond Memorial, Clonmel 2009; ‘Best Boxer of the Tournament’ award for the Jamie Lonergan Memorial, Clonmel 2009; and ‘Best Boxer of the Tournament’ award at the Ballagh Boxing Club’s Annual 2009 Tournament held in the Curracloe Hotel Co. Wexford, and to cap all that, he was presented with his Irish International Jersey at a ceremony in Dungarvan on Sunday 28th June 2009, where he later went on to represent Ireland at the 7th European Schoolboys Boxing Championships, held this year in Russia
What a fantastic year for Jack, where behind every good boxer, are brilliant coaches and Clonmel Boxing Club has them in abundance, Martin, Dan, John, Robert and Bobby who have all brought Jack up to national and international level.
Now its time to sit back, relax and enjoy the turkey, before we head into a new season and if 2010 is half as good as the past year, we will have one hell of a year to look forward to. Well done Jack, at just 13 years of age, you are already a legend.

Happy Christmas to all our readers
I take this opportunity to wish all our contributors and readers a very Happy Christmas and a sincere thanks for your help in compiling this ‘Fethard Page’ with news items and photographs over the past year.

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