Thursday 17th March 2011

Fantastic Jack wins National Title
Saturday March 12, was the day that Fethard’s Jack Connolly, Clonmel Boxing Club, and representing Munster, became National Boy 4, 57kg, Champion of Ireland, when he won his 3rd All-Ireland title in a row, his 4th in total, at the National Boxing Stadium in Dublin.

The 2011 finals began on Friday, March 4, when Jack was up against the Ulster Champion, Conal O'Boyle, from Letterkenny Boxing Club in the quarter-final. Jack who was in outstanding form leading up to this year’s finals, dismissed his opponent in a class exhibition of boxing, to win 9 points to 2.

Saturday, March 5, was semi-final day and this time Jack’s opposite corner was the Connaught Champion, the hard and tricky, Edward Ward, from Athenry Boxing Club, in Co Galway. A much harder fight for the Munster man, but again he showed his vast range of skills to win on a scoreline of 4 points to 2, and book his place in the final for a 3rd consecutive year.

A week’s break before the final saw more intense training, dieting, and a lot of time spent with Jack’s favourite friend, the weighing scales, before it was back to the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, to rest before the big day on Saturday, March 12, All-Ireland final day.

Jack fighting out of the blue corner was up against the awkward southpaw of the Leinster Champion, Martin Collins, from the K&K Boxing Club. Everyone knew before this fight, that there was only going to be a point or two in the difference, and my God they were right, it was one of the most intense and close fights of the day. Zero zero after round one, two two after round two, and midway during the 3rd round, Jack scored the all important point, with a beautiful straight right, to win the contest 3 points to 2.

Nerves and the emotions were well and truly shattered by the large number of Jack’s family and friends who travelled to Dublin on final day. To win this year’s title was of important significance as it is the centenary year of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, and Jack you done it in some style. We are so proud of you, another brilliant achievement for your family, club, town and county.

Many thanks to all who travelled to Dublin on final day, thanks to Derry Curran our bus driver, thanks to Owen Walsh for supplying the coach, and everyone who turned out in Fethard to welcome us home when we returned on Saturday evening. A special thanks to Jack’s sponsors, everyone who telephoned good wishes, Jack’s coaches, Martin Fennessy, Bobby (the killer) Galvin, John Mackey, and last but not least to you Jack, for one hell of a journey, and memories to last a lifetime.

Tour of Buttevant Franciscan Friary
Members of Fethard Historical Society attended a conference at Springfort Hall Hotel, Mallow, Co. Cork on Saturday, March 5. The conference focused on Buttevant and its origins as a medieval walled town. Among the several guest speakers were Professor Tadhg O’Keeffe, who spoke about the archaeological and architectural connections between Ireland and Western France in the Middle Ages. Tadhg is currently working on Youghal for the Royal Irish Academy's Historic Towns Atlas project, for whom he has also published one on Fethard.

Buttevant, along with Fethard and twenty-two other towns in Ireland, has now joined the 'Irish Walled Towns Network'. The day ended with an evening tour of Buttevant Franciscan Friary, also led by Tadhg O’Keeffe.

Fethard Macra Club
On Sunday, March 6, our Fethard basketball team lost narrowly to the nearby 'Slievenamon' club in what was a rather spirited game in Clerihan. Grangemockler, as winners will proceed on to the next round of the national competition.

South Tipperary Macra will host the Munster round of the national drama semifinals in the Abymill Theatre, Fethard on this coming Saturday and Sunday night. The competition will consist of six one-act plays over two nights, with three plays a night taking place.

Fethard's play, 'One man Down' will take the stage first on Sunday night. We hope to see a large local contingent attend on the two nights and support the various teams from around the province. The Abymill is a wonderful theatre venue so we hope there will be a big attendance.

For more details on Fethard Macra or to join our club, phone our chairperson, David Ryan, on 087 9454384.

Lumra craft in Fethard
My name is Kythryn Eubanks and I live in Amarillo, TX. I've been trying to find information on a type of Irish rug called a ‘lumra’ and a Google search of that word led me to your Fethard website and the O'Connell sisters.

I am quite intrigued by the account of their successful rug making and wondered if anyone could point me to more information on the rugs, both those made by the O'Connell sisters and other as well? I am a shepherd and a hand spinner and have wanted to make a rug that would stand the test of time living on a dirt road in Texas.
I'd appreciate any advice you might offer. Best regards, Kyt. Email: kyteubanks@gmail.com

No fortune to be got at the Abbey!
On Friday, March 11, Fethard’s Augustinian Prior, Fr. Martin Crean OSA, was woken from a good nights sleep. Being the anniversary of his ordination, Fr. Crean was in a thanksgiving mood but this joy was short lived when he was called to the church to be informed that another break-in had taken place, the former was in June 2010.

The entry point was a stained glass window. Two candelabra boxes were forced open using a large crucifix as a sledgehammer to force open one box. To replace all those will cost more than the amount of money stolen.

Fr. Crean went on to say, “I empty the boxes three times each week so no sizeable amount is ever in the boxes. I am stating this in the off-chance that any future person may read this and realise that there is no fortune to be got in the Abbey!”

Fethard Festival 2010 – film showing in Youth Centre
On Tuesday, March 29, Fethard Historical Society will host a ‘Gala Showing’ of film footage taken during last August’s Medieval Festival in Fethard. The film footage – of about forty minutes – will be shown in the main hall of the Youth Centre and food and refreshments will be available throughout the showing.

The free event will kick off at 9pm and our idea is to have a relaxed and ‘interactive’ look at last year’s festival, which was a very successful and colourful event. All and sundry are more than welcome to attend and people who missed last year’s festival have a chance of seeing what went on.

Naturally enough, people who were present and especially those who took part in some way will like to see how posterity will remember them! So, if you want to see yourself on the silver screen, with a cuppa or a glass in hand, well then the Youth Centre, at 9pm on Tuesday, March 29, is the place to be.

Historical Society AGM
Fethard Historical Society will hold their AGM from 8pm to 9pm at the Youth Centre on March 29, before the ‘film event’. All existing members and anyone wishing to find out more about the Historical Society are welcome to attend. It is hoped that there will be a return to more outings during the coming year, especially family friendly outings to places of local interest. People wishing to join the Society can contact: Pat Looby, Kerry Street, by email: patlooby@fethard.com or phone: (052) 6131537. Membership fees are: Family €10, Individual €7 and Students and OAP €5.

Fethard Bridge Club
The results of our game on March 2, were: 1st Gross, Alice Quinn and Berney Myles; 2nd Gross, Kay St. John and Rita Kane; 3rd Gross, Nell Broderick and David O'Meara; 1st Nett, Rita Holohan and Mary Delaney; 2nd Nett, Joan Kelly and Anna Ryan; 3rd Nett, Tony Hanrahan and Michael Kenny.

On March 9th we played for prizes sponsored by FBD Investments and the results were: 1st Gross, Alice Quinn and Berney Myles; 2nd Gross, Carmel Condon and Brendan Kenny; 3rd Gross, Ellen Rochford and Suzanne Opray; 1st Nett, Monica Anglim and Betty Walsh; 2nd Nett, Anne Connolly and Eileen Frewen; 3rd Nett, Eileen Ryan and Jim Lahart.

Anyone looking for a partner contact Berney Myles at 6132038.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on March 9, were: 11, 13, 19 and 27. We had no Jackpot winner and five ‘Match 3’ winners who received €30 each: Betty Walsh, c/o Kitty O'Donnell; Jim Keane, Knockelly, Fethard; Anthony Flynn, c/o Tom Purcell; Chris Mullins, Cashel Road, Fethard; and Ben and Emma Purcell, c/o Tom Purcell.

The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners won €50 each: Breda Ryan, Coolmoyne Cross, Fethard; Valentine O'Dwyer, Fethard; and P.J. Lonergan, The Square, 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 €5,550 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €555. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

Cheltenham 1957
Looking back to Cheltenham 1957, there was great excitement in Fethard when Linwell won the Gold Cup. Linwell was bred by James Delaney, Redcity, Fethard, and ridden by Michael Scudamore (senior). Chris Mackey looked after “Linwell’ for four years before the horse was sold.

Linwell’s dam, Rubia Linda, was previously owned by the late Dr. P.J. Stokes (senior) and was ridden in her early racing days by well-known Fethard racing character, the late Paddy Anglim, Knockelly. She was then sold to the late Jim Delaney, Redcity, for breeding and her first foal was the 1957 Gold Cup winner Linwell.

Visiting the cousins in Newfoundland!
Most people are now aware that in Newfoundland that there still exists a ‘little Ireland’ full of people whose ancestors came originally from South Tipperary, Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford. They left, mostly from the port of Waterford, to go fishing off Newfoundland in the 1700s and 1800s and their descendants are still there - with their accents and music and song still mostly intact.

For the past four or five years there has been an organised exchange of visitors between the two countries. Last year the Newfoundlanders came to Ireland and concentrated mostly on County Waterford. This year the people from the South East are going to Newfoundland and they especially want Tipperary people to join them, as next year, when the Newfoundlanders come back here, they intend to concentrate on the families who left this county to go fishing on the famous ‘fishing banks’ off the east coast of Canada over two hundred years ago.

It is hoped that a number of people from Fethard will join this year’s group who are going to Newfoundland from September 16 to 24, 2011. The arrangement has been that people stay with host families while in Newfoundland and one big round of ‘events’ is laid on for the cousins from Ireland. You can, however, stay (and pay) in a hotel if you so wish.

Travel to Newfoundland is expensive, as there are no direct flights from Ireland, and the all-in price for the trip is listed by the organisers at €1,300. People wishing to know more can check out the website www.festivalofthesea.ca or the Ireland Newfoundland Partnership website www.inp.ie or write to the secretary Mary Murphy, email: mairenimhurchu@gmail.com for booking details.

Fethard and Killusty Community Games
The area was well represented at the county finals of the community games Art competition which took place in Silvermines on Saturday last.

Our competitors did exceptionally well winning a total of three medals. There were approximately 150 children involved in the finals so this was a great achievement. Sadhbh Horan from Tullamaine won a silver medal in the U14 event. Jennifer Phelan, Coolmore, and Matthew Burke, Drumdeel, both won bronze medals in the U10 girls and boys events. This was Matthew's second successive bronze medal at county level.

Others who competed were Ella Mai Hackett, Michael Cuddihy, Abby McGrath and Cassie Needham who came fourth in the U14 event. Well done to all and a big thank you for all the parental support on the day.

Fethard GAA Club News
Fethard Community Sports Lotto draw took place on Tuesday, March 8. There was no jackpot winner and three ‘match 3’ winners who received €50 each: Ailish Sheehan, Garrinch; Niamh Browne, Garrinch; and Edel Fitzgerald, Kiltinan. The €50 lucky dip winner was: Vera O'Connell, Cathaganstown. Next week’s jackpot is €2,700 and the draw will take place on Tuesday, March 15, in Burkes Bar. Please support our community sports lotto, tickets are €2 and available from any club member.

Our U16 football team were at home to Ballingarry on Sunday last. The first half was very much dominated by Fethard. The final score difference of four points could have been more against an eager Ballingarry side who took full advantage of a Fethard slip-up towards end of match and scored a goal. The final score was Fethard 1-10, Ballingarry 2-3.

Our team was: Tommy Anglim, Dion Butler (1-5), Niall Doocey, Dean Dorney (sub for David Hayes), Adam Fitzgerald, Ger Gorey, David Hayes (0-1), Brian Healy (captain, 0-3), Eoghan Hurley (0-1), Charlie Manton (goalkeeper), Paul Moloney, William Morgan, Alex O'Donovan (sub for Jack Purcell), Eoin O'Donovan, Jack Purcell, Joedy Sheehan and Kyle Walsh.

The match was well refereed by Michael O'Donnell who did hand out a few yellows to both sides. This is something that we will need to be addressed in future fixtures as abusive behaviour of any sort, be it physical or verbal, by anyone including spectators, will not be tolerated in the future. Our next fixture is away to Killenaule on March 26.

Well done to Joedy Sheehan, Adam Fitzgerald and Charlie Manton who represent Fethard on the South Tipperary divisional football squad.

We now have club tracksuits, hoodies, t-shirts and rain jackets available. If interested contact Ann on 086 8963925. Price includes club crest and can also be personalised at an extra cost of €5. Initial order will be placed on March 31.

Our senior football panel are out on St. Patrick's Day in Kilsheelan at 12.30pm in the first round against Moyle Rovers, and again on Saturday, March 19, against Carrick Swans in the second round played at 3pm in Kilsheelan.

Training for seniors on Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm; Minor and U16 on Thursday at 5pm (this week only); U14 on Monday and Thursday at 6.30pm; Premier 12s on Wednesday at 7pm; Mini GAA and U10 train on Saturdays from 11am to 12 noon. All newcomers welcome. Membership fees: senior €40, club member €30, minor and juvenile €20.

This weekend, March 19 and 20, our Juvenile Club will hold their annual church gate collection. Please give what you can. Funds are urgently needed and would be very much appreciated. The following Sunday, March 27, the club will hold a sponsored walk starting at 11.45am in the Square, Fethard.

There is still no sign of missing club jerseys, from senior down to juvenile. Most clubs take this matter very seriously and are respected for doing so. Our U14 team do not have a full panel of correctly numbered jerseys and the cost of replacing them is too much for the club to sustain at present. So please have a look and return any jerseys that are out there.

Fethard will host a GAA Code of Ethics workshop in April open to all clubs. Tipperary tutor, Ann Fleming, with present the workshop. The cost is €10 per person and certificates are issued on the evening. The code of ethics is mandatory to all GAA personnel who are connected with youth under the age of 18 years. Contact Ann on 086 8963925.

Fethard Rugby Club
On Sunday last Fethard hosted a blitz, with two travelling teams from Kilkenny and Coolmine, Dublin. This was the first time Fethard U12 and U11 teams played these sides. Each not knowing what to expect it was to be a great day for rugby.

We played the Kilkenny side first. Towering over the Fethard side it looked as if Kilkenny were going to outplay Fethard. The game ebbed and flowed and after some very fine rugby the visitors finished just 4-3 in front.

We then played a well drilled Coolmine side that held their shape well and only committing the bare minimum of players to the break down at any time. Fethard enjoyed some good passages of possession and play. It was Coolmine who emerged with the victory in the end in what was a an energy sapping game.

Our last match was against another team from Coolmine ‘A’ and this was to be the very best game for Fethard. It was really exciting rugby with brilliant passing, running and tackling from both sides. It was hard to believe that they were only U12s with the passion they played with. The score line finished 2-1 in favour of the touring side. This team from Coolmine have not been beaten all season and if one or two passes had gone to hand, it would have been a whole different result, great game Fethard.

The real performance of the day went to the kitchen staff who provided a great supply of food and teas, coffees and soup. Thanks also to Dick Walsh for his help. Looking forward to seeing everybody at training on Friday.

Our U11s played a very strong Kilkenny team and after a tough game we were beaten 3-0. Next we came up against Coolmine’s A team. A superb early try with a great run up the line by Ciaran O'Dwyer set us up for a terrific match. With tries from Frankie Meagher, Dale Murphy and another from Ciaran we were into a strong lead. Coolmine then came back to level before Darragh Lynch scored the winning try, ending a great game of hard tackling great skill.
Our last game was against another Coolmine team but with the Fethard lads tired after a tough day, Coolmine ran out easy winners at 3-0. The commitment and courage of our players was of a very high standard and with notable performances from Danny Gleeson, Padraig Harrington, David McCormack, Joey Carroll, Ruth McDonald, John Gillman, Gavin Ryan, Gary Delaney and our captain Harry Cummins we're looking forward to next week’s games. Fethard RFC were invited back to both of these clubs for return fixtures.



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