Thursday 4th February 2010

It’s Tipperariana Book Time on Valentine’s Day
The second Sunday in February is nearly upon us and this year the 15th Tipperariana Book Fair will be held on St. Valentine’s Day, Sunday 14th February, from 2pm to 6pm in Fethard Ballroom.
The format for the day is still basically the same as what was set down for the first fair in 1996, and that seems to be one of the strengths of the Fethard book fair. Every year people ask, “Will the Café be in operation, will the piano player be on stage and will all the recent Tipperary authors be there to sell and sign their books?”
Of course, everyone knows that there will be thousands of books priced from 10 cents to a €100 and a lot more. In short, a book for everyone in the audience.

Great Value.
The Fethard Historical Society, who organise the fair, aim to keep the prices as low as possible and yet to generate enough cash to run the society for the coming year. So for €5 you could enter the fair, have a snack and buy a few books. A real recession deal!
This year will be an important year for the society as Michael O’Donnell, one of the founding members present on 23rd March 1988, will publish his definite history of the town. This is a lifetime’s work that runs to hundreds of pages and the Historical Society will be helping Michael in every way it can to ensure that the publication and distribution of the book is a real success story.

Book of the Year
The first event in the ‘book calendar’ is the selection of the ‘Tipperariana Book of the Year’ and this year the award went to Liam Ó Donnchú for his wonderful history of Moycarkey National School, ‘Pouldine School - Inné agus Inniu’.
Liam, a former principal of the school came to Fethard last Friday evening, with all his family, to receive his award. He spoke lovingly of his many years in Pouldine School and of the fact that many of the great events of Irish History literally passed by the gates of the school. He noted that the story continues, with the new Dublin –Cork motorway being only a few hundred yards from the school.
The year 2009 was a great year for new ‘Tipperary’ books and many of those authors will be present on St. Valentines Day. A full list should be available for next week’s column.

Books Wanted
As well as the thirty plus dealers who come every year, the Historical Society also seeks donations of books which are then sold on the day. This helps all concerned, as some people get to do some spring cleaning and your ‘nuisance’ might be another person’s ‘find’. Books can be dropped in to the Ballroom on Saturday afternoon, 13th February or phone (052) 6131936 or (052) 6123402 or email bookfair@fethard.com and collection can be arranged.
On Sunday doors open at 2pm and stay open until 6pm when the dealers return to the four corners of the country and the punters go home with bags of books and the cycle continues for another year.

Controversial execution of George Plant – TG4
The TV channel TG4 is at present broadcasting a series of historical programmes in the series ‘Ceart agus Coir’.
The two final episodes in the series examine the controversial and hugely politicised execution by firing squad of George Plant for the murder of alleged IRA informer, Michael Devereux on Slievenamon Mountain in September 1940. He was executed by firing squad in Portlaoise prison on 5th March 1942. It has been described as one of the most distressing chapters of Irish legal history. Programme five of ‘Ceart agus Coir’ is the first of two episodes that examine the controversial execution of George Plant
Tune in on 11th February and 18th February at10.15pm to see these two episodes. They will be repeated again on the 15th February and 22nd February at 11.20pm

Vyvienne Long and John Lambert play Fethard this Saturday
Vyvienne Long, known to many for her work with Damian Rice and Lisa Hannigan is to visit the Abymill Theatre this Saturday as part of her tour to promote her debut album ‘Caterpillar Sarabande’. Vyvienne’s set is composed of her own music, plus her unique take on songs by acts as diverse as the Beatles (Come Together), the White Stripes (7 Nation Army) and Eddy Grant (I don’t want to dance). Vyvienne plays cello and is accompanied on stage by another cellist, a double bass, piano and drums.

Support on the night is from John Lambert, known as Chequerboard. John is also a fine artist who spent a year as artist in residence in the guise of a music fellowship working at the Niland Gallery in Sligo, where he wrote his album ‘Penny Black’ which was described in the Irish Times as, ‘A priceless rarity and something to treasure’.
Vyvienne will feature on Tipp FM on The Afternoon Show between 12 and 2 o clock this Saturday. The show in the Abymill in Fethard kicks off at 8.15pm. Tickets are €18 online from ticketmaster.ie and tickets.ie or €20 from Premier Music Clonmel, McCarthy’s Fethard, O Flynn’s Fethard or at the door on the night.

Fethard and Killusty Games
Reminder to all that the area finals of the Community Games Under-14 Juvenile Quiz will take place on next Tuesday 9th February in Fethard Youth Cafe on Lower Main Street (Convent Hall) at 6.30pm. Teams are made up of four from a panel of six, and may consist of either of all boys, all girls or be mixed. Competitors must reside in the area and be under the age of 14 on 31st July 2010. Entry fee is €2 per child.

The late John Thompson
The family of the late John Thompson, Kilcarney, Ballinure, and formerly Silverfort, would like to thank all those who sympathised for their loss, those who attended the funeral mass and burial, and those who sent flowers and mass cards. Thanks also to the ambulance staff and medical staff at General Hospital Clonmel, and Fr. McCarthy and Canon Ryan from Moyglass.
John’s month’s mind mass will take place on Tuesday 16th February 2010 at 8pm in Moyglass Church.

Hunting News
Highlights of Tipperary Foxhounds hunting last week were the joint meet with the Golden Vale at Holycross and the fun ride at Moyglass on Saturday. Seventy mounted followers and a very large number of car followers turned out at Holycross on Wednesday with Tipperary Huntsman Derry Donegan carrying the horn. Foxes were rather scarce and nothing of note was accomplished until late afternoon. Drawing the small covert by the Tree Seedlings Project, near Mr Samuel Ryall’s, hounds were quickly away on a real flying fox. Running towards Killough Hill he wheeled sharply left. Hounds turning with him like a flock of plover fairly flew by Killough Castle through Padraig O’Connor’s, crossing the road through O’Connor’s, Ballinree and Fogarty’s. Without a check they hunted straight to Ballysheehan Stud Farm. They had ran to here almost three miles flat out. Derry decided to call them up here at 4.30pm as the mounts of the field members remaining had had quite enough and home was blown.

One hundred and forty riders turned out for the fun ride at Moyglass. The tough course of fourteen miles laid out by Thomas Kearney, ably assisted by Charles Blackmore and John Hannigan, was highly praised by the riders from as far afield as Cork, Kildare, Kilkenny and Waterford. Quite a number of riders bit the dust during the trip. One red coat emerging from a deep drain is reported as being worn by Tipperary Whipper-in, Sam, who bought quite a considerable amount of Tipperary ground. On the day, novices completed a shorter course which was excellently managed by Eimear Blackmore and Ginny Hutton. The organisers would like to thank the committee members of Moyglass Hall and Killenaule Community Playground for stewarding roads for the event. Well done to all concerned.
Tipperary Foxhounds are currently promoting a raffle, for a Bay Hunter (16h), which will be held at the Hunt Ball on February 20th. This fully made hunter is having a brilliant season, hunting two days a week, under Jenny Ronan. He’s certainly being spotted in the hunting field and was one of the first home, without a tumble, at the fun ride on Saturday. Tickets are available from any committee member or by contacting 086 8090709.

With the White Heathers
Hunting from Kilvemnon, on Sunday, was what might be called a day of two halves. The roadside Ashgrove coverts below the meet held at least a brace and a half. Scent however was non-existent and though foxes crossed and re-crossed the road several times hounds could not hunt a yard. Moving over towards Ballydavid they found again, scent and hunting greatly improved. Hunting from here to Kilvemnon old graveyard they turned and ran back to the first draw. Checking here briefly they hit the line once more and ran back towards historic Carraigmoclear and to ground. Back to Ballydavid they quickly caught a fox found in a hedgerow. Laying the hounds on the line of a fox seen on foot they ran back almost to Mullinahone. Turning here with hounds hunting well they swung left-handed and hunted back to the mountain road under Kyleotlea. Hounds were stopped here, short of Kyleotlea Wood which stretches back almost to Walshbog, near Killusty. A good day, which started out not so well, concluded with a short run back to Kilvemnon School where hounds were stopped at 4.30pm. The Ballyluskey White Heather Harriers meet on Sunday next, February 7th, at Thorny Bridge and on Sunday, the 14th, at Coolbawn at 11am.

Fethard ICA talk on First World War
We hope that our members had a very enjoyable and safe New Year despite the very cold weather. The first meeting of 2010 takes place on Tuesday next 9th February at the usual time of 8pm.
Our guest speaker for the night will be Michael Desmond, Ballymacarbry, Clonmel. Michael has a keen interest in history and will speak on the First World War. This will be a most interesting lecture and if any non-members would like to attend they are very welcome to do so.
The ‘Yellow Group’ is in charge of catering this month.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on 27th January were: 3, 14, 18 and 31. We had no Jackpot winner and no ‘Match 3’ winner so the following drawn tickets received €50 each: Henry Smith, Moyglass; Maggie Napier, the Green, Fethard; and Johana Corbett, 4 Canon Hayes Court, Fethard.
The three following Lucky Dip winners received €50 each: Marty Davies, Farranshea, Fethard; Chrissy Nash, Shanakyle, Drangan; and Bryan Coffey, Burke St., Fethard.
Next week’s Jackpot continues at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1000.

Fethard GAA Club News
Following a well earned rest from 2009 activities; Fethard GAA Club can now look forward to the 2010 season which starts on weekending 14th February when the Under-21 Football Championship begins. Players are now back in the field at both under-21 and senior training. On the county front, our senior footballers kick off their Division 2 campaign when they play Laois under lights. The best of luck to our representatives for the coming year with at least seven games to play in the league and two in the championship in addition to the three games already played in the McGrath Cup. A busy time ahead for all involved.

This week’s lotto Jackpot of €4,600 was not won. We had two match three winners who received €75 each: Louis Coen (Killusty, Fethard), and Stephanie Johnson (Main Street, Fethard). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Hilary Troy, c/o Merrys, Clonmel.
Last week we had no jackpot or match three winner. The following drawn tickets won €30: Noel Sharpe (The Castle, Fethard); Dinny Burke (Red City, Fethard); Ann Cooke (St Patrick’s Place, Fethard); Thomas Ryan (c/o Noelle Leahy, Derryluskin, Fethard); and Ashley Barrett (St Johnstown, Fethard). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Mary Dolan (c/o Mandy Quigley, Red City, Fethard).
We would like to thank Clonmel Oil for providing the tickets for the draw.

‘Grow It Yourself’ meetings
Grow It Yourself, Clonmel, is one of the many GIY groups that have sprung up over the country in the last year, and its purpose is to encourage anyone who wants to grow something edible, whether a herb in a pot or a full blown vegetable plot/allotment. GIY does this by holding monthly meetings in Clonmel Library (on the last Thursday of each month from 7-8pm sharp!). A speaker gives a 20 minute lecture on a given topic; this is followed by a 'pod' where the audience has a chance to chat amongst themselves in small groups on a given topic also. It is proving very popular but we are also keen to promote the idea in case anyone is interested in coming along. It’s free of charge!

Topics of interest might include seeds, growing in small spaces, keeping pigs, bee keeping, compost making etc. This months meeting will include speaker Mieke Muyllaert, who will talk about gardening in a small space. The pod to follow will be on seeds, where to get, how to store etc. There will also be an update on this months growing calendar.

Outrage as special needs pupils lose assistants. All Fethard SNA posts abolished
The Nationalist, 04 February 2010 - By Eamonn Lacey

Primary schools throughout South Tipperary are reeling from the devastating loss of Special Needs Assistant posts since Monday. Every community has been hit by the SNA blow following a Department of Education review but the town of Fethard has lost out more than most, losing all of its SNA posts in both primary schools.
"These cutbacks are appalling. As a result of this review the entire town of Fethard is now without an SNA in either of its primary schools, " said Patricia Treacy, principal of the boys national school in the town. Her school, St Patricks NS for boys and the nearby girls school, Nano Nagle NS, have lost their entire complement of SNAs in the review. 1,200 SNA posts have been lost throughout the country with no breakdown for South Tipperary, according to an Impact spokesperson.

"The department is refusing to give us a breakdown for the different areas throughout the country. Every primary school has been affected by this review," said the union spokesperson. The Department of Education review has cost St Patricks NS one full time SNA and one part time SNA while the Nano Nagle has lost its one SNA post.
It means that primary schools serving Fethard with a combined attendance of two hundred pupils now have no SNA working in their schools. "The decision is crazy, so frustrating. I have heard Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe saying that the children who have special needs will get an SNA but I am looking at children since Monday who do need them having had their SNA taken away from them.
"We have gone through every process possible to try and keep those posts but to no avail. Nobody listened to us. On Monday the day finally came when we lost them" said Patricia Treacy. "Only the children who needed an SNA had them." said the principal. In her school one full time SNA had been there for five years, the part time SNA had been there for two years.

"It is a huge blow to this school, the decision tears away at the whole fabric of the school of which the SNAs were an integral part of," she said. "Every child in the school will lose out as a result of this decision. The SNA not only supported the children they were assigned to but they helped the children around them and provided assistance to the teacher which was invaluable, particularly in a multi class situation," she added. Her counterpart in the girls national school, Sister Maureen, said the SNA they lost had been at their school for five years.

The school principal said that the SNA was an awful loss to the school, to the child she was helping and to the teacher in whose classroom she was working. "It is a terrible loss because the SNA was assigned to two pupils and was providing invaluable support to them and to the teacher in the classroom. I am very disappointed that the system has let us down like this," she said.

South Tipperary TD Tom Hayes hit out at the loss of SNA posts all over South Tipperary. "The idea behind the SNA was to go give the special needs child a 'level playing field' or, at best, a reasonable chance of keeping up with the mainstream. The Minister must state and account for how this can happen in the absence of the SNA. He has put no other support in place instead. It is not fair to expect the teacher to cope alone," he said.

"The SNAs have received special training and have built up a relationship with the child with whom they work. To expect teachers to teach an entire class and also meet the needs of a special needs child is unacceptable and everyone will suffer as a consequence," added Deputy Hayes.

Cllr. Darren Ryan said parents are becoming increasingly concerned that children will be denied the education that they deserve as a result of the SNA review.

"This development is a slap in the face to the thousands of children who rely on SNAs in classrooms around the country. Any reduction in SNA numbers means that not only will these children themselves suffer, but teachers cannot be expected to have all the skills required to provide for a child with special needs and in this regard, they need whatever support they can get."


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