Thursday 21st July 2011

New ‘Backs to the Wall’ guide service for Fethard
A new tourist ‘guiding’ business, known as ‘Backs to the Wall’ Tours, has just been launched in Fethard by two enterprising locals, Colm McGrath and Terry Cunningham, both of whom have a long involvement in the tourism and local history scene.

Colm is the current Chairperson and Terry the PRO of the Fethard Historical Society that has worked for over twenty years to get state funds and official recognition for this unique town. All the hard work has finally paid off as great conservation and repair work has been carried out on the Town Wall over the past five years.

Group Guiding Service

‘Backs to the Wall’ will initially be a guide service for groups who wish to visit and enjoy the story and ambience of the town. The town is most unusual in having nearly all its town wall still standing and also having its 800 year old Norman church and 700 year old Augustinian Abbey still in current use. But it is the story of the town, rather than the detailed history, that the visitor will experience as the motto on the publicity says, ‘Tours that bring history to life, not bore you to death’.

So all types of groups - be they social clubs, work groups, parish groups, as well as tourist coach tours, will be able to spend a few hours visiting the town, which will include staying on for food and entertainment and hopefully some will also stay over in the many fine guesthouses in the area.

Then, for 2012, the ‘Backs to the Wall’ service will especially target school groups, when the visit will involve much re-enactment, games, role-play and dovetail with the school’s educational programmes in History, Geography and related areas.

The Two Promoters

The partners in this new venture bring with them a wealth of experience that will ensure that a ‘Backs to the Wall’ visit to Fethard will live long in the memory.

Colm McGrath, a native of Rathkenny, has worked in the ‘guiding business’ for many years, both in Dublin and here in Tipperary and for the past few years he has promoted his tourism business via his own website, www.tipptours.com.

Colm’s acting and historical re-enacting skills will also be used in the new ‘Backs to the Wall’ programme, especially with school and educational groups.

Terry Cunningham, as well as his local involvement, has worked professionally for over twenty years with Teagasc on rural tourism and artisan food development in the six South East counties. Terry ceased working with Teagasc last Christmas and is now initiating his own tourism and food projects and his www.foodinseason.ie website is being developed to further those enterprises.

Great Support
Great help and support for the new venture has come from many quarters and in fact the service could not function without this co-operation. Holy Trinity Church of Ireland and The Augustinian Abbey have given every facility and the Fethard & Killusty Community Council, via the new ‘Youth Centre’ are co-operating in every way possible. Of course, but for the work of the Heritage Council, South Tipperary County Council and especially the huge effort of the local Tidy Towns group, there would not be a tourism product fit to show to any visitor.

Colm and Terry would like also to thank the other members of the Historical Society for their help, especially Mary Hanrahan who has set and maintained a very high guiding standard for all the visiting guest groups who have come to the town over the years.

The ‘Backs to the Wall’ concept of tours and workshops will be developed over the coming years and current information and contact details can be found on www.tipptours.com or by emailing tours@fethard.com or phoning: Colm 086 3502360 or Terry 086 3905373.

World Boxing for Jack Connolly
Congratulations and best wishes to Jack Connolly, The Green, Fethard, and Clonmel Boxing club, who has been selected to represent Ireland at the World Junior Boxing Championships to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan from Saturday, July 16, 2011 to Monday, August 01, 2011.

Jack who is part of an eight man team will box in the 60kg category, with week one, a very intense training camp to acclimatise in temperatures of forty degrees before competitions start on Saturday, July 23, 2011.

Jack is no stranger to international boxing, having already boxed 2009 in Russia, and 2010 in Bulgaria, but stiff competition this time will come from the Cubans, Chinese, and the Costa Ricans. Jack has no fears or worries who comes his way, and is physically and mentally prepared, having kept himself in peak condition during the summer holidays.

One thing we can be sure of, is that Jack will give his all, and in his own words honoured to represent his country, where the world’s top junior boxers will try for that coveted, bronze, silver or gold. Safe journey Jack, and again best wishes, we are so proud of you, you are the best!

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on July 13, were: 7, 12, 16 and 27. We had no Jackpot winner and three ‘Match Three’ winners who received €50 each: Lily Curran, Fethard; Mary Graham, Ballynonty; and Carmel Gahan, Cloneen.

The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also won €50 each: Monica Aherne, Prospect, Fethard; John Connolly, Clonmel; and Robert Hackett, Cashel Road, 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 commences at €3,800 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €380. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

Fethard and Killusty Community Games
Fethard and Killusty Community Games Annual Church Gate Collection will be taken up at all masses on the weekend of Saturday, August 7, and Sunday, August 8. We would be very grateful for offers of assistance at any of the masses. Tel: 086 8110768.

A considerable number of children enjoyed participating in various activities this year, while many qualified for county finals there were only two lucky boys who will represent Co Tipperary at the HSE Community Games National Finals. William Morgan, Grangebeg will contest the U16 freestyle swimming competition which will take place on Saturday, August 13. Ben Coen, Killusty will compete in the U10 100m on the following weekend. Heats will take place on Saturday morning, August 20, with semi-finals and finals on Sunday, August 21. Best of luck to both. We hope to hold an open sports day shortly.

Car Wash for St. Rita’s
Please come and support St. Rita’s Camogie Club fundraising ‘Car Wash’ on Saturday, July 23, from 10am to 6pm, at O’Brien’s Auto Services, Killenaule Road, Fethard. The cars will be washed by the energetic ladies from the team. Local businesses supporting local teams!

Concern Collection
Annual Church Gate Collection in aid of Concern will be taken up on the weekend of July 23 and 24. Anybody who would like to help with this with this worthy cause, at any Mass, please contact Joe Keane at 086 2050727. Many thanks.

Killusty Dog Show Results
Class 1 Fancy Dress Dog: 1st Tara Moquet – Froggy, 2nd Zoe Stokes – Muffin, 3rd Katie O'Brien – Kasper.

Class 2 Best Groomed: 1st Ben Everard – Treacle, 2nd Jessica Gainsford – Holly, 3rd Emily Lawless – Pippa.

Class 3 - Waggy Tail: 1st Bob Barton – Dinny, 2nd Geraine O'Donnell – Mox, 3rd Chelsea Kenny – Daisy.

Class 4 Best Trick: 1st Anne Williamson – Buster, 2nd Holly Williamson – Daisy, 3rd Di Stokes – Elvis. 

Class 5 Best Terrier: 1st Andrew Wall – Milly, 2nd Owen Depelsmaker – Sparky, 3rd Polly Brown - Poppet

Class 6 Most Obedient: 1st Ruth MacDonald – Lucky, 2nd Dorothy Wall – Lillie, 3rd Rebecca Haydn – Bella.

Class 7 - Most Alert: 1st Josephine Kennedy – Max, 2nd Jack Cuddihy – Ellie, 3rd Tom Haydn – Jasper.

Class 8 Veteran Dog: 1st Megan O'Sullivan – Carla, 2nd Anna Walsh – Elmo, 3rd Jake ffrench Davis – Mocha.

Class 9 Best Small Dog: 1st Jack Duggan – Ruby, 2nd Robert Wall – Ruby.

Class 10 Rescue Dog: 1st Geraine O'Donnell – Max, 2nd Susie Doyle – Casper.

Class 11 Obstacle Course: 1st Jessica Gainford – Holly, 2nd Jack Cuddihy – Ellie, 3rd Dorothy Wall – Milly.

Class 12 Best Other Breed: 1st Colin Burne, 2nd John Stokes – Duncan, 3rd Amy McNamara – Poppy.

Class 13 Dog to take Home: 1st Natalie O'Driscoll – Ralph, 2nd Lucy Lennon – Buzz, 3rd Lorna Smyth – Rex.

Class 14 Best Dog in Show: 1st Zara Brown – Bertie, 2nd Jack Pollard – Sam.

Vintage Day Festival at Moyglass
Coolmoyne/ Moyglass Vintage Club has joined with Moyglass Hall committee for this year’s annual runs and fundraising. The beneficiaries will be St. Patrick’s Hospital Cashel and Moyglass Hall Development Fund. Meetings were held with both clubs and it was decided to hold a festival weekend in Moyglass with activities spread
Over three days from Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 24. The festival kicks off with a barbeque which will be held in the hall commencing at 9pm, with music by Sean Ryan and followed by a Disco.

The vintage club will hold their tractor run from the Village at 3.30pm and on their return to the village refreshments will be served for the drivers at The Village Inn. The festival continues in the hall with social dancing with music provided by Tom Doran and the Blueline Band.

A vintage show and field day will be held on Sunday with entertainment for young and old. There will be something for everyone with a variety of events being held including a static show of vintage cars, tractors and machinery in the field by kind permission of Kevin McGivern.

Public address will be provided by Brendan Morrissey. A car run from the field will take place at 4.30pm. The dog show which proved very popular last year will be judged by John Smullen. A fun race will follow where dog and owner will race as a team. The old art of sheaf throwing will also be introduced as a competition.

Clubs and other groups are invited to enter the novelty Tug-o-War blitz. A wheelbarrow race from the field to the hall will take place and extra points will be awarded for contestants in fancy dress. The field day will host numerous sideshows and displays. A craft stall will feature items such as lamps, bowls, clocks, mirrors, goblets, etc all produced locally from native wood.

An animal display by Jacqui O’Flynn and Peter Tynan will include hens, ducks, geese, native song birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, miniature goats, mice, gerbils, ferrets, hand trained birds of prey, parakeets, turtles and fish.

Food and minerals will be available in field. The festival will round off with a family barbeque in hall from 5pm to 10pm. A bar extension has been granted for Friday and Sunday for events in hall. So come along, relive the past and enjoy the present in a friendly village atmosphere.

Fethard Macra News
One of the semifinals of the Macra Farmskills competition took place on Sunday, July 3, at the Clonmel show. Seven teams took part on the day with two going through to the national final at the Tullamore show on July 14. A local team, Slievenamon Macra Club were one of the two teams to qualify for the final on the day alongside the Collegial, Ballindangin team from County Wexford. The teams were judged on different disciplines; fencing, tractor driving, general knowledge, health and safety.

Fethard Macra Club held a successful fundraiser at the show, with a 'Guess the weight' livestock competition. Many people entered on the day and came close but there was only one winner; Mr PJ O'Neill from Clonmel, who won the €50 veterinary voucher sponsored by Clancy Animal Health.

The International Miss Macra Festival is once again fast approaching on the August bank holiday. This year marks its 40th year and organisers say it is set to be a festival with a difference.

Many have enjoyed the last 39 festivals and the organising committee would like to welcome anyone to share any funny stories or old photographs from their past Miss Macra experiences as a special commemorative booklet is being created this year and you could well be included! Get in touch at clonoultyrossmoremacra@gmail.com or by contacting Anne Marie on 086 1900822.

On July 13, a farm health and safety evening was held in Kildalton College in conjunction with Teagasc. A large attendance turned up on the night including members from our own club.

Farm safety is being highlighted at the moment because of the many farm related deaths. Farming is now the most dangerous occupation in Ireland so anyone working in the sector should do all they can to ensure that the farms on which they work on are up to a satisfactory standard and are a safe environment in which to farm safely.

For more on Fethard Macra or to become a member phone our chairperson Liam Cleary on (086) 3998711.

Pop-Up Café for Fethard
The newly established Business and Tourism Group are bringing a new concept to Fethard for the next six weeks – a Pop-Up Café. This café will open on Tuesday July 26th in the Youth Centre and will be staffed by volunteers. It is hoped to involve as many volunteers - adults and teenagers - as possible to lighten the workload for everyone.

The main aim of this café is to investigate the potential demand for such a facility to cater for both the local and tourist market. While the Café will offer a reasonable menu the main focus at this stage to take a snapshot of the present tourist market in Fethard. A considerable amount of research will be carried out during the six weeks to ascertain trends, including the numbers of customers and the profile of visitors to the town to help towards developing a Tourism Package incorporating many elements, one of which has been identified as a Coffee Shop / Tea Rooms in a prominent location.

There is a much held view locally, by members of the Business and Tourism Group and others, that a public building that would incorporate a Tourist Information Office, Coffee Shop, Public Toilets and a Craft and/or Exhibition Space is needed to cater adequately for visitors to the town. The results of the Pop-Up Café exercise will help enormously to identify the next step in making this view become a reality.

The undertaking is helped considerably by the involvement of Anthony Fitzgerald, Business Development Executive with the County Development Board, and Edel O’Gorman, Marketing Graduate, who will explore and co-ordinate the project over the next few weeks.

Fethard GAA News
County Tipperary U14, U15 and U16 football panels were well represented by Fethard in the Munster Championships. Charlie Manton, Adam Fitzgerald and Joedy Sheehan on the U14 panel winning out the day; Tommy Anglim and Kyle Walsh on the U15 panel; Brian Healy and Dion Butler on the U16 Panel, U15 and U16 winning through to the finals losing our to Limerick (U15) and Cork (U16). We are also delighted to say that Fethard was represented by Tommy Anglim and Tommy Sheehan on the coaching panel for the U15 and U16 respectively. We wish Kyle Walsh the best of luck representing Fethard on the U15 county hurling panel.

Juvenile bag-packing in Dunnes went well, considering we had very few helpers. Thank you to those who did give their time to fundraise: Eoghan Hurley, Eoin O'Donovan, Alex O'Donovan, Ronan Fitzgerald, Mick O’Mahoney, Mary Godfrey, Sheila O'Donovan, Caroline Quinlan, Eugene Walsh, Andy O'Donovan and Ann Fleming. We thank Dunnes Stores for their help and those members who came and contributed. We raised €604.14.

We have a club record of over 100 registered for Cúl Camp this year, so far. We will cap this at 120 for safety reasons so if you have not already confirmed a place please do so now. Cúl Camp is from Monday, August 22, to Friday, August 27. The cost is €55 for one child, €45 for second child and €35 for third and subsequent children from same family. You can reserve a place by either logging onto www.gaa.ie or email your child's name, age, size to secretarybng.fethard.tipperary@gaa.ie

We are looking for assistants for this year’s camp, you need to a club member and over 16 years, a good time keeper and prepared to help children have a great week. If you feel you can help this year, please be in the Fethard GAA Field on Friday, August 5, at 8pm for a short information meeting of what will be required for the safe and fun week of  Cúl Camp.  

The lotto numbers draw were 11, 17, 18 and 25. We had no jackpot winner on July 12. Kathleen Fleming from Coolmore had three matching numbers, winning €150. Our lucky dip winner of €50 was Mary Godfrey of Derryluskin.  



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