Thursday 9th June 2011

‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’
On May 12, Fethard primary school pupils presented their 5th annual Challenge to Change entry at a seminar in Kilkenny. The Challenge to Change Project is organised by the Presentation Office S.E. with assistance from Irish Aid (Department of Foreign Affairs) and Presentation Trustees.

All Things Bright and Beautiful was the title of the Holy Trinity, Fethard entry, the main thrust of which was the world’s biodiversity, - its value, its beauty and its destruction. Twenty-seven other schools took part, covering topics such as child labour, poverty and injustice, fair trade, homelessness, celebrating diversity, water and energy issues, climate change, human rights, care of the earth, developing school gardens and many more.

The following are some of the more important facts we came across in our research:
(a) Rainforests are now the world’s most endangered habitats.
(b) At the moment 25% of all western medicines contain substances that originated in the rainforest. Yet only 1% of rainforest plants have so far been tested for medical use! It’s possible that there are cures still to be found for many major illnesses.
(c) When areas of rainforest are cut down, water recycling stops happening. This may change the local climate.
(d) Burning rainforest wood could be affecting the climate of our entire world.
(e) Over 50% of the world’s species live in the rainforests, and that’s only the ones we know about!
(f) The rainforests are home to ‘indigenous’ peoples who have lived there for many centuries. There way of life is in grave danger.
(g) Rare rainforest animal smuggling makes big money. It’s estimated that up to 12 million Brazilian wild animals may be bought and sold illegally every year.
(h) Protected areas are an effective tool to conserve species and ecosystems.
(i) At the present rate of destruction there will be no rainforests left by 2035.
(j) A recent report has suggested that the current value of ecosystem services (the services provided by nature) in Ireland alone is over 26 billion a year!
(k) Earthworms alone could be contributing over 1 billion worth of services to agriculture in maintaining soil structure and fertility.
(l) The most common threats to biodiversity are loss of the habitats that species need to live in, introduction of non-native invasive species, and fragmentation of habitats into smaller areas.
(m) Peat bogs, which are made up of Sphagnum mosses, absorb and store huge amounts of water which is slowly released into streams and rivers. In this way, they help to prevent flooding.
(n) Ireland has only 10% of our original bogs left and they are still actively being destroyed.

Denise O’Meara, Mammal Ecologist at Waterford Institute of Technology, set up some small animal feeding stations for us last April. D.N.A analysis from this research revealed that bank voles, brown rats and wood mice visited the feeding stations. The bank vole had not been previously charted in this area so we were quite excited with these findings!

We leave you now on this sobering note: “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have fours years of life left.” – Albert Einstein

Students create family heraldic shields
Fethard Historical Society in liaison with Pat Looby, recently facilitated an art project with 1st, 2nd and some 4th year students from the Patrician Presentation Secondary School Fethard. The students created heraldic shields using their own family coats of arms. The heraldic symbolism depicted on the shields is wide ranging and included images of lions, griffons, boars, foxes, scallop shells and deer. The students displayed great artistic competence in the creation of their shields and they are to be complimented for the excellence of their work.

The public will get a chance to see the shields later this summer as they will be on display on the facade of the Town Hall and elsewhere on Main Street during the Medieval Walled Towns Festival on Sunday, August 21, 2011. This is also a reminder that there is plenty of time this summer to prepare a medieval costume for the day.

Society visits Belgium and France
On May 26, The South Tipperary Military History Society travelled to France to begin our five-day tour of the western front. Our guides Mike Shiel and Frank Toogood both badged members of the Guild of Battlefield Guides gave us an interesting and informative tour of the relevant Irish sites, such as Mons and Le Cateau in Belgium and The Somme battlefield.

Our visit to Guillemont and Ginchy to follow the actions of the 16h Irish Division was very special to Kay Neagle, as it was there her uncle, Owen Kiely from Thurles, was killed on September 9, 1916, aged 21. The battle to take Ginchy was very costly to the Irish Regiments on that day the 6th Royal Irish Regiment lost nine officers wounded or missing and 155 other ranks. The Connaught Rangers lost 92 out of 266 who had assembled for the attack. The 7th Leinsters lost four officers killed and another six wounded or missing.

A lot of the names of local men who gave their lives in such battles can be found across the battlefields in places like Thiepval, where Fethard man John Cummins is. John was in The Irish Guards and is one of the thousands with no known grave.

Some of our members had special visits to make, Mrs Rena Lawrence had three relatives to find including her grandfather, Nicholas Dreeling, who was in the Irish guards and is buried in Boezinghe.
On Sunday evening the society laid a wreath at the Menin Gate to honour and remember all Irishmen who gave their lives for freedom, this trip is the first of many for our society, already plans are being made for next years battlefield tour. Anyone interested in military history is welcome to join our group, we meet on the third Tuesday of the month at Slievenamon Golf Club at 8pm.

Fethard Tidy Towns judging this month
The national tidy towns judge will visit Fethard during this month of June, so we appeal to everyone to please make big effort in having our town looking good. We also remind those using the bottle banks to bring your litter and rubbish home and don’t leave it at the bottle bank area. Other areas that need attention are the river walk area and Jesuits Walk where we ask users to keep their dogs under control and clean up any dog poo where necessary.

The local County Council workers have planted some lovely flower beds on Main Street and we say, well done to all concerned.
The tidy towns committee have carried out a lot of work around the town area to date, painting, cutting back hedges, supplying new top soil for flower beds, litter picking on Wednesdays and Sundays. Thanks all the new workers that have come on board and more are always welcome. Please keep Fethard litter and rubbish free and don’t be a litterbug!

Fethard Tidy Towns will hold their annual church gate collection this weekend, June 11/12.

Business Association and Tourism Group
On Tuesday next, June 14, a meeting will be held in the Tirry Community Centre, at 8.30pm, to advance the establishment of a Business Association and Tourism Group in Fethard. Fethard & Killusty Community Council extends an open invitation to all business owners and others to attend.

An inaugural meeting, held two weeks ago and excellently facilitated by Catherine Corcoran, Tipperary Institute, was very well attended. It was great to see so many new faces and the involvement and enthusiasm was heartening. It has been a long-held view of Fethard Community Council that a Business Association was lacking in the town. In light of this and subsequent to the on-going re-structuring of the Community Council it was felt that the time was right for such a group to be established. It is envisaged that any improvement in commercial activity will generate tourism benefit for the town and, likewise, that an increase in visitors and tourists will have a positive, knock-on effect on both existing and potential new businesses. Hence the move to combine a Tourism Group with the Business Association.

Going forward, these components may remain as one group or diverge; only time will tell. At the initial meeting there was much discussion as to how to attract tourists to Fethard, including increase web-presence; distribute brochures to adjacent tourist centres; erect signage on the motorway; provided transport from ports to bring visitors here and establish a genealogy service. Also, a number of ‘gaps’ in terms of tourist facilities, particularly the absence of a prominent Tourist Information Office, a Café/Coffee Shop and Public Toilets, were identified. It was also agreed that a collective effort should be made to market and promote businesses in the town. Fethard could be promoted as a ‘shopping destination’ within the local area, as the majority of potential customers live within a ten-mile radius, and beyond.

The meeting concluded with a list of ideas which will be the immediate focus of the group:
(a) First of all identify what is unique about Fethard and what the niche selling point is.
(b) Investigate the feasibility of a focal point building and services-including the use of existing buildings.
(c) Promotion-Look at the promotion of Fethard and the production and distribution of promotional material.
(d) Look at developing a co-ordinated campaign on social networking sites and the web. Training on this is required.
(e) Look at events and their co-ordination.

Additionally, South Tipperary Enterprise Board has agreed to provide training during June on Social Networking Sites (Facebook; Twitter; Linked-In) for interested business owners. Further details will be available and names will be taken on Tuesday night. If you would like to become involved in the new Business Association and Tourism Group feel free to come to the meeting, June 14, at 8.30pm, Tirry Centre or contact business@fethard.com

Died Recently
The death has occurred on Thursday, June 2, of Eileen McGrath, (née Duggan) of Woodville Walk, Fethard, Tipperary. Interment took place in Calvary Cemetery.

Abymill Theatre AGM
The Annual General Meeting of the Abymill Theatre (The Mill Fethard Ltd) will take place on Thursday, June 9, at 7pm in the Abymill.

ICA Guild
Fethard ICA will have their next meeting in the ICA Hall, Rocklow Road, on Tuesday, June 14, at 8pm. Our summer outing has been arranged for Thursday, June 23. We hop to visit the new Waterford Crystal factory, then on to New Ross to see 'Ros Tapestries' and then back to Dooley's Hotel, Waterford, for our meal and a show.
Waterford looks wonderful at present in preparation for the Tall Ships visit, so we should have a very enjoyable day's outing.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on June 1, were: 4, 10, 20 and 22. We had no Jackpot winner and three ‘Match Three’ winners who received €50: Nellie Donovan, Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard; Michael & Maria, Strylea, Fethard; and Catherine Kearney, The Green, Fethard.

The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also won €50 each: Nicky Shea, Tullow; Tom Grant, c/o T. Purcell; and Yvonne Mulvihill (online ticket}.

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 commences at €2,900 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €290. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

All Ireland U14 Ladies Football Final
On Saturday next, June 11, Tipperary U14 girls take on Roscommon in the All Ireland final at 3.45pm in Banagher, Co. Offaly. This is a historic occasion for Fethard ladies football club as Jessie McCarthy, Katie Butler and Ciara Tillyer represent our club on the Tipp squad and hope to bring back three All Ireland medals to the club and town. We also have Tom McCarthy involved as a selector with the team.
This is a proud day for us to be so well represented at county level. The three girls have really found their place in the squad alongside some of the most talented U14 ladies footballers in the county. We are proud to have three girls from our club in this bracket, you are a credit to your families, your club and your parish. Together with Tom, we wish you all the very best of luck on Saturday and we hope to see three Celtic crosses return on Saturday evening.

Our junior ladies are due to play the re-fixed County league final against Mullinahone on Saturday, June 18.

We would like to wish all our players who are sitting the junior and leaving cert exams the very best of luck.

Dietician clinic for health information
A dietician will attend O'Sullivan’s Pharmacy on Monday, June 13, from 9.30am. This is an ideal opportunity for customers to talk to a specialist on matters regarding weight loss, heart disease or diabetes, osteoporosis, cholesterol, coeliac or infant feeding. All are welcome to attend so please telephone (052) 6132111 or call in to make an appointment.

Fethard GAA Club News
The senior footballers played the penultimate league game of this year’s South Championship on Tuesday night, May 31. Facing Clonmel Óg, the match was a must win for both sides in order to keep our chances of reaching the knockout stages of the competition. A once again depleted Fethard side, due to injury and work commitments, took the field at 7.30pm at Ardfinnan GAA field.
Clonmel Og started the first half the better side and opened their account with a 2nd minute point. Fethard were creating chances but registered 3 wides before the 10 minute mark, while Clonmel Og registered another point on 6 minutes. But just on the stroke of 10 minutes, Debutant Cathal Hurley took a long range free which dropped in around the danger area and full forward Jason Nevin got a vital touch to direct the ball to the back of the net. This was followed up in the 13 minute when a Kenneth O'Donnell sideline ball was well won in the air by Cathal Hurley who made no mistake with a fine point. Clonmel Og then regained their composure and although Fethard continued to create chances, they failed to score again before half time, as Clonmel Og went on to kick three more points to leave the score 0-5 to 1-1 at the break. Fethard were lucky to be just one point adrift at half time, as it was Clonmel Og who looked the better side on the night. Fethard's misfortune was furthered in the 17 minute when centre back Shane Walsh had to withdraw after a shoulder injury. This allowed another debut when he was replaced by Ben Walsh.

Clonmel Og began the 2nd half as they did the first and they registered three wides in the first three minutes before getting a goal in the 4th minute. This was followed up with a 5th minute point and another point a minute later. This left the score at 1-6 to 1-1 in favour of the Clonmel team. But in the 7th minute the tide was about the turn. After taking no placed ball in the first half, full forward Jason Nevin assumed responsibility and converted a free from the right hand side of the pitch close to the 14 yard line, a near impossible angle for a right footed free-taker. Fethard got another free from an almost identical position in the 12th minute and Nevin made no mistake. These two points seemed to inspire Fethard and the entire team lifted their game and took the game to Clonmel Og. We were rewarded with two more frees in the 15th and 18th min and by this stage no-one was surprised when Nevin converted both. Clonmel Og, didn't go away and created a goal chance in the 19th min which was saved by Paul Fitzgerald.

Fethard then produced the move of the match, when Gavin Fitzgerald, now operating at centre back after Walsh's departure, coming out of defence at pace slipped the ball to his brother Eoin who off loaded to Hurley. After initially looking like he was dispossessed, Hurley did well to get a great shot off at goal which the goalkeeper saved and deflected into the path of the incoming Jason Nevin. At it was to be none other that Nevin, who got yet another point from a free in the 22nd min. In a sixteen minute spell which saw Fethard come from 5 points behind to take a 3 point lead, every player played his part and it was not surprising that Clonmel Og would regroup to make a final push. The Clonmel team managed two more points before the final whistle but it was to be a memorable victory for the Fethard team, especially considering the importance of fixture for survival in this years South Championship and the fact Fethard had a mere 16 players available on the night.

While the accuracy of Jason Nevin, who scored 2-5 of his team’s total of 2-6 is the obvious main headline, all 16 participants have something to be proud of. A fine performance with their backs to the wall, it was great to see the Fethard spirit back on show. But nothing is achieved yet and our qualification is still dependent on a win in the final league game against Ardfinnan, possibly on June 11.

The club wishes Shane Walsh a speedy recovery.

Due to the senior football game on Tuesday night, the lotto draw was postponed from Tuesday, May 31, until the following night Wednesday, June 1. The numbers drawn were: 1, 4, 22 and 23. We had one Match 3 winner of €150: Ger O'Donnell, Coolbawn, Fethard. The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Paul Fitzgerald, Kiltinan, Fethard. Next Weeks Jackpot is €3,900. The draw will take place in The Well Bar on Tuesday, June 7. Tickets kindly sponsored by AIB, Main Street, Fethard.

Cúl Camp registration will take place on Saturday, June 11, in the GAA field from 11am to 12 noon (sharp).



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