Thursday 10th February 2011

Fethard’s Medieval Festival receives heritage award
The Fethard Medieval Festival recently won a heritage group award in the Munster Express / Dooley’s Hotel, South East Heritage and Culture awards. A representative group from the festival committee travelled to Waterford last Thursday night to receive the award. Dermot Keyes of the Munster Express was MC for the evening and the opening address was given by the Mayor of Waterford, Cllr. Mary Roche.

The Mayor set the tone for the evening in her very upbeat, positive and enthusiastic speech. She emphasised the importance of heritage and culture in the life of the region and how they can play a role in the growth of tourism. She then finished by commending the award-winners for their contribution to the heritage and culture of the South-East.

The presentation of the awards began with a mini-interview with Dermot Keyes, whereby each group got the opportunity to talk about their work. The Fethard Festival Committee was represented by Joe Kenny (Community Council) and Terry Cunningham (Historical Society) and they were first to be interviewed. They explained how the Medieval Festival in Fethard came into being as part of the Walled Towns Day celebrations which now form an integral part of Heritage Week. Terry explained also how fortunate we are to have 90% of our walls still standing and what a unique feature this is in contrast to other Irish walled towns. Terry also referred to the long-standing tradition of carnivals in the town and how the medieval festival can be seen as a natural successor to the parades of former times. Joe pointed out that without the funding we receive from the Heritage Council and Tipperary South County Council, it would not be possible to run the festival. It is also important to acknowledge that the festival is very much a community effort with input from groups such as the Boy Scouts, Rugby Club, Macra, GAA, Country Markets, Church of Ireland and Tidy Towns committee to name but a few.

We are also fortunate to have the on-going support of our local Heritage Officer, Labhaoise McKenna, as well as access to an incredibly talented group of local artists and craftspeople who bring such a wealth of accomplishment to our event. And finally, most importantly, we must acknowledge all those who come along every year to participate in the parade and to support all the events down by the Wall.

The guest speaker for the evening was Senator David Norris who proved to be erudite, witty and very, very charming. He spoke about his hopes of becoming the next President of Ireland stating that he would see it as the culmination of his political career. He pointed out that, if elected, he would, in fact be the very first truly independent candidate to attain that office because he is without the support of any political party.

On a lighter note, when we met him later on in the evening he said he is really looking forward to visiting Fethard and seeing the Town Wall. We promised him a warm welcome and a guided tour. So watch out, one of these days there may well be a presidential candidate going walkabout!

In conclusion, the Festival Committee is delighted to have received the group heritage award and we would like to gratefully acknowledge the Munster Express and Dooley’s Hotel Waterford for their on-going commitment to the heritage and culture of the South-East region. We came away from the evening inspired by the enthusiasm, commitment and sheer talent of all those we met and it gave us renewed vigour for the year ahead.

Many authors for Book Fair
The 16th annual Tipperariana Book Fair takes place in Fethard Ballroom this coming Sunday, February 13, at 2pm, and all’s in place for another interesting day of ‘Wall to Wall’ books.

A notable feature of 2010 was the big number of Tipperary books that were published, with up to forty titles hitting the shelves around the county. Many of these authors will be present at the fair to promote, sell and sign their books.

Pride of place will go to Dermot Poyntz of Clonmel and Lee Grace from Waterford city who were the winners of the ‘Tipperariana Book of the Year 2010’ for their unique comic type book, ‘Curse of Cromwell: The Siege’, which tells the story of Cromwell’s attack on Clonmel in 1650. This book is creating great interest amongst parents and teachers as it literally brings history to life and is a great aid in the teaching of history, especially here in Tipperary where the action actually happened.

People interested in old style food and cooking will want to talk to well-known Nenagh author, Marjorie Quarton, for her book ‘Mary Cannon’s Commonplace Book – an Irish Kitchen in the 1700s’. A Commonplace Book was a type of ‘scrapbook’ and belonged to Marjorie’s many-times great great grandmother Mary Cannon who wrote down the recipes between 1700 and 1707. A notable absence is the potato, which had not yet become a common food in the early 1700s.

Pádraig Ó Flannabhra, long established photographer from Nenagh, will be there with his beautiful book, ‘Nenagh Face2Face’, which is the result of twenty years of portrait making of the people of his home town. Maura Barrett will also be present with her ‘Kilcooley Abbey’, which has great photos of the wonderful stone carvings in that old church.

Michael O’Donnell, local historian and author, will be present with his huge life’s work, ‘Fethard County Tipperary 1200 – 2000’, and many may want to take along their copy of the book for Michael to sign on the day.

All will be in place by 2pm on the day; the café, the piano player, the raffle prizes and lots and lots of books of all shapes and sizes and prices. Over thirty book dealers will again be present and the Fethard Historical Society will have their table and tables of donated books.

Those wishing to donate books to the society’s stall can phone 086 3905373 or 052 6131936 or bring them to the Ballroom on Friday night, after 8.30pm, or on Saturday between 2pm and 5pm.

The entry fee on the day is still €2 (children free when accompanied), the cakes are still the best for miles around, so no better value can be had in these troubled times!

Fethard and Killusty Community Games
The closing date for submission of entries for the Fethard and Killusty Community Games Area competition is this Friday, February 11.

Entries will be collected at schools in Fethard and Killusty on that date. If children in the area wish to compete and do not attend either of the aforementioned schools they may put their entry in the post box at the gate of the Community Games Office, Grove Road, Fethard. All entries must clearly state, name, address, and date of birth of the competitor who must reside in the area, and be accompanied by a fee of €2. Age groups for boys and girls are under 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16.

The area final of the U-14 Juvenile Quiz will take place on Thursday night, February 17, in the Youth Centre, Main Street, commencing at 7.30pm.

Format is a team of four with a panel of six, which may be either all boys, all girls or mixed. A team will cost €6 to enter. Competitors in all events must be under the age specified on July 31, 2011. Further enquiries to 086 8110768 or 052 6131906

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on February 2, were: 10, 13, 19 and 26. We had no Jackpot winner and two ‘Match 3’ winners who received €75 each: Jimmy Connolly, Main Street, Fethard, and Henry Smith, Moyglass, Fethard.

The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners won €50 each: John Joe White, Rathkenny, Drangan; John Slattery, c/o Tom Purcell; and Sean Clancy, St. Patrick’s Place, Fethard.

Remember you can purchase your lotto ticket online at www.fethard.com. Buy seven weekly tickets and get one free! Check on the website for lots of special offers including a chance to win a full set of jerseys for your sport’s club. Next week’s Jackpot continues at €4,800 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €480. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

Fethard GAA Club news
Well done to the Tipperary Football team on their win over Limerick in the National Football League on Sunday, February 6. Final score was 10 points to 6 points. Fethard club players, Brian Coen and Paul Fitzgerald, were on the panel.

The U-21s were due to play their 1st Round fixture against Kilsheelan in Monroe last Saturday. Due to weather conditions this match was postponed until the following day, which again was called off, and thankfully so. Sunday’s fixture would have been a very difficult day for our U-21s to field a full team, as many of our lads would be returning to college on Sunday. We are sure that the South Board are fully aware of this fact and will consider this for future fixtures.
Registration took place on Saturday, February 5. From those who had paid their 2011 registration with Fethard GAA Juveniles a draw took place for €50. Well done to Sorcha Murray (Juvenile Sports Centre Member) who won the prize. Club Chairman Patsy Lawrence, helped with the registration morning along with Mary Godfrey (Club Secretary), Ann Fleming (Asst. Secretary) and Emma Fleming. To those who have not paid their registration fees yet, please do so as soon as possible, as this includes your insurance cover.

Lotto numbers drawn last Tuesday were: 1, 4, 27 and 32. There was no jackpot winner and no match three winner. The following five drawn tickets won €30 each: Esther Breen, Barrack Street; Michael Smyth (Jnr) Burke Street; Noel Gleeson, Merrys, Clonmel; Bridget Ryan, Bob Fitzgerald Clonmel; and Matt Dwyer, Red City, Fethard. The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Dick Fitzgerald, 56 St. Patrick’s Place, Fethard. Next week’s lotto draw takes place in The Castle Inn, Fethard.

Training for P-12s and U-14s will start back on Wednesday, February 9, at 6.30pm in the GAA Park. Your trainers for the 2011 season are, Andy O'Donovan, John Sheehan, assisted by Paddy Cooney for U-14s and Willie Morrissey, Willie Quigley, assisted by Ciarán O'Meara for Premier 12s.

For U-16 and Minor, training continues on Wednesdays at 8pm for the present. Those on the U-21 panel need not attend this training session. U-21, Intermediate and Senior training is on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm in the Fethard GAA Park.

This coming weekend, February 12 and 13, Fethard Sports Centre will host its first Open Racquetball Competition. Starting at approximately 10.30am on Saturday, February 12. All are welcome to come and see a great weekend of racquetball. For more information please contact Patsy Lawrence on 086 2678813 or Niall Nevin on 086 810 9605.

This year’s VHI/GAA Cúl Camp takes place on the last week of August. Places are already being booked. The cost is the same as in previous years, €55 per child, €100 for two, €135 for three. To guarantee a place, please text your child's name, date of birth and contact number to Ann Fleming on 086 8963925. There will be a registration day at the end of March. Last year’s ‘County Skills Champ’, Darragh Hurley, is travelling to Semple Stadium this weekend to collect his Cúl Camp county medal, during the half-time break at the Tipperary v Kilkenny match. Well done Darragh, have a great time and enjoy the match.

Fethard Bridge Club
On February 2, we played the first round of the Player of the Year competition and the results were: 1st Gross, Nell Broderick and David O'Meara; 2nd Gross, Kay St. John and Rita Kane; 3rd Gross, Brigid Gorey and Betty Walsh; 1st Nett, Annie O'Brien and Marie Delaney; 2nd Nett, Nora Lawrence and Philly Kenny; 3rd Nett, Anna Cooke and Bernie O'Meara.

On February 16, we play the second round of the Player of the Year competition. Anyone looking for a partner contact Berney Myles at 6132038.

Enrolment Application Forms for Holy Trinity NS
Application forms for enrolment are now available from Holy Trinity National School. They may be collected or if you ring they can be posted to you. Please feel free to contact the school if you wish to discuss any matter concerning your child starting school. Phone number 052-6131493. Looking forward to hearing from you.

St. Vincent de Paul
Anybody who has window curtains, in good condition, that they no longer need, please contact 6131852 and donate same to St. Vincent de Paul where they will be put to good use.

Well done Lee Ann
Congratulations to Lee Ann Burke, Red City, Fethard, who recently graduated from University College Cork with a PhD (Doctorate) in Economics. Lee Ann is a daughter of Eileen and Dinny Burke and a past pupil of Nano Nagle Primary School and Patrician Presentation Secondary School in Fethard.

To the many teachers of both schools, Lee Ann, sends her best wishes and sincere thanks for all their help. Lee Ann is presently working in the Economics Department of UCC.

Fethard Community Playschool’s Plea for Funding
ACORN Childcare was established in 2007 to instigate and co-ordinate efforts to provide a new dedicated childcare facililty in Fehard. The formation of this group was in response to a need for a more suitable building and location for Fethard Community Playgroup. The primary focus of the group was to apply for necessary funding to Pobal, the agency responsible for Government Funding, and raise additional funds locally to enable a state of the art community childcare, crèche and playschool service to be constructed in Fethard.

Following a feasibility study and local needs analysis, an application for funding of €1.2 million was applied for under the National Childcare Investment Programme and funding was approved by the South Tipperary Childcare Committee. However, our application got to final approval stage with Pobal in September 2008 just as the ‘Banking Crisis’ took over and all budgets were frozen.

In the last two years our committee have organised a number of fundraising events which have been generously supported by the Fethard Community. Anyone familiar with our premises on the Rocklow Road, knows that this is not a satisfactory location for preschool children. In recognising the prevailing economic constraints we have reviewed our plans and late last year submitted an application to Pobal again for funds of €300k to allow us build a more basic structure. Local TDs and senators backed our proposal and in November, Mattie McGrath TD arranged a meeting with the Minister for Children, Barry Andrews, to discuss the application with us. We believed this meeting to be very positive, however, we were dismayed and disheartened to receive, in January, a brief letter advising that Pobal could not recommend monies to be allocated to Fethard. While we appreciate the Countries Economic difficulties, we cannot believe that the young children of our town should be refused adequate preschool facilities.

Fethard is the sixth largest town in South Tipperary but it could face the prospect in the future of no playschool facility. The Government introduced free childcare places in 2009 but cannot guarantee a facility in Fethard to provide such places.

As canvassing takes place over the next few weeks, please take the time to lobby candidates for some funding to allow us provide a basic need for our children.

Hunting News
On Tuesday, February 1, Tipperary Foxhounds, from Dualla, found in Kevin Walsh’s. First draw from meet hounds had their fox quickly away towards Meldrum. Turning right-handed for Bricíndown they swung right again behind the hill back towards Walsh’s where they checked. Hunting back towards where they found by the avenue they lost him. The small spinney of evergreens in Walsh’s held a brace. Hounds ran a quick circle covering almost the same ground as before.
On to Mayfield they found near Mayfield House, to the Fethard – Cashel road they ran turning left short of the road. Through the fort in Jimmy Cummin’s they crossed the Mocklershill – Dualla road. Hunting strongly towards the nursing home they crossed the Fethard – Cashel road. Some live electric fences here caused hounds to check. Hitting it off again beyond the fences they ran left-handed through Kilconnell, right down to Coolmoyne. Checking here near the Coolmoyne Cross – Kilbragh road they were halted being out of country. A few couple had actually crossed the road and were hunting towards Ardsallagh. Hacking back to Ballyfoloo they had a short run in Ballyduagh. Crossing the road to Georgesland they found by the Cashel Harriers Kennels. From here they crossed the road by the old beagle kennels and seemed to be heading back towards Walsh’s when they checked and home was blown at 4 o’clock.

With the White Heathers
With scent very much improved from the previous two Sunday’s, the Ballyluskey White Heather Harriers had quite a good day from their Thorney Bridge meet on Sunday last. Drawing close to William Burke’s blank, hounds found close by in Kilmore of all places in an ivy covered tree, the fox jumping off in full view of hounds. Hunting well down to the railway bridge on towards Redmonstown they hunted through the covert back to the railway line which the fox ran. Hunting on down to the Bulmer’s apple orchards they caught him on a hedgerow. Back to Sandy Stokes’ farm they found again hunting down to Purcell’s corn fields where they lost him. From Pat Quirke’s at Fortwilliam they ran back to Monroe crossing the road at the sportsfield to the old railway line. Hunting well here they hunted down to Murphy’s, Shanbally, giving him best at the river bridge at Annesfort.

Hounds were vanned on to Rathronan, they found by the Rathronan – Powerstown Road immediately. Running through Davern’s gorse they ran down to Sheehan’s and after a nice circle round Tannersrath they ran back to Sheehan’s where they put him to ground, finishing a very good day, in not the best of weather, at 4.30pm. The Ballyluskey White Heather Harriers meet on Sunday next, February 13, at Coleman Cross at 11am.



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