Thursday 11th Augest 2011

Fethard Medieval Festival plans underway
Plans are well underway for Fethard’s fifth annual Medieval Festival which will be held in the old walled town on the first weekend of National Heritage Week, from Friday, August 19, to Sunday, August 21. The Heritage Council first coordinated National Heritage Week in 2005 and since then the week has grown into a highly successful programme of over 1300 events which take place during the last week of August each year. For the past five years the Heritage Council have part-funded the Fethard Town Wall Medieval Festival committee in putting on a carnival befitting its location, in the best preserved Walled Town in Ireland.

Free ‘Medieval Hat and Shield’ workshops
Children from 8 years up are welcome to enrol for a series of three free workshops for this year’s festival. The project will be based on hats from medieval times where pupils will learn to make their hats in a fun way using card, fabrics, paint and decoration. Workshops will take place on Thursday, August 18, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm; Friday, August 19, from 11am to 1pm, and from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Booking essential!

A special shield-making workshop for 5 to 7 year olds will be held on Thursday, August 18, from 11am to 12.30pm. All workshops will be held in the same venue as last year, on Main Street, opposite Newport’s Newsagents. To enrol please phone the Community Office in Barrack Street: (052) 6131000.

Sunday, August 21 – ‘Medieval Festival Day’
The main focus of this year’s Festival happens on Sunday afternoon by the Town Wall where family entertainment abounds with music, re-enactments, ‘Wobbly Circus’, archery, coin striking, children's activity tent, craft demonstrations, delicious food, festival fun and much more!

This event is preceded by the arrival of the ‘Medieval Fancy Dress Parade’ from The Square at 2pm, led by the Moycarkey Pipe Band and some large Irish Wolfhounds.

Prizes for this year’s fancy dress parade are sponsored by ‘Meat at The Square’ for humorous entries with a medieval flavour. Proprietor, Jimmy O’Brien, has agreed to give prizes for the following categories, Best Adult 1st and 2nd, Best Child 1st and 2nd, and Best Group 1st and 2nd. We hope to see lots of adults and children dressing up and taking part in medieval spirit of this year’s festival which continues to grow from strength to strength every year.

Friday, August 19 – Concert ‘Echoes of a Gaelic Chieftains' Castle’
The Historical Harp Society of Ireland is delighted to present a rare concert of 16th to 18th century Gaelic harp, vocal and piping repertoire: ‘Mac-talla nan Dun: Echoes of a Gaelic Chieftains' Castle’, in Holy Trinity Church of Ireland (c. 12th century) on Friday, August 19, at 8pm. Tickets: €12 (concession €10). Contact Pat Looby: 052 6131537.

The concert will include three of the world' s finest historical harpists Ann Heymann (USA), Andrew Lawrence-King (Guernsey), and Siobhán Armstrong (Ireland), playing early Irish harps strung in brass, silver and gold wires. They will be joined by Scotland's premier historical piper Barnaby Brown, and acclaimed Scottish traditional singer Griogair Labhruidh.

Over the centuries, Ireland and the Scottish Highlands and Islands have shared a common culture, language and musical heritage. Irish harpers travelled to Scotland and were valued at Scottish chieftains' courts for their skill and beautifully evocative music. Much of the older Irish harp repertoire, which has been lost in Ireland, can be found in Scottish manuscripts and other sources, while Scottish piping and vocal traditions have preserved much common Gaelic musical heritage. These concerts explore and celebrate that heritage and these musical connections, established many centuries ago.
This is a rare opportunity to hear early Irish harps, the ancient instruments depicted in Ireland’s national emblem, in contemporaneous surroundings, in the medieval churches of Fethard and Dublin. Exquisite replicas of the Trinity College or ‘Brian Boru’ harp, Ireland's only surviving medieval harp will be heard and audiences will have a rare opportunity to experience the meltingly beautiful sound of brass, silver and 18-carat gold strings played in the old manner with fingernails by three of the world’s foremost early Irish harp players.

Our harpists will be joined by Scottish singer and piper Griogair Labhruidh, whose family has been steeped in the musical traditions of Argyll for centuries and historical Scottish piper, Barnaby Brown, whose haunting early 19th century pipes complements the harps and voice so perfectly.

Saturday, August 20 - Guided Walk of Fethard Historic Town Trail
On Saturday night, Fethard’s new ‘Backs to the Wall’ tour group will lead a free guided walk of the new Fethard Historic Town Trail, commencing outside the Town Hall at 7pm. This walk, led by Terry Cunningham and Colm McGrath, will take in the trail of Fethard as illustrated on the new historic tourist signs erected recently. This event is open to all and will finish at 8pm at the Town Hall where participants will enjoy a short break and refreshments.

At 9pm, David Brown from Queen's will deliver a short lecture on 'Dendrochronology and the Dating of the Roof Timbers of Holy Trinity Church' in the church. Admission free. This interesting talk may shed some light on the age of Holy Trinity Church from information gleaned from samples of the roof timbers taken earlier this year. David’s short talk will be followed by a recital from Anja Bakker, recorder player, harper, singer and conductor who lives in West Cork. Anja travelled extensively by foot, carrying a 26-string harp, from St James’ Well in Ardfield, Clonakilty, West-Cork to Dublin and after that to Santiago de-Compostella in Northern Spain in a ‘Solidarity Walk’ for survivors of abuse.

Sliabh Na mBan pilgrimage to Holy Year Cross
This years pilgrimage to the Holy Year Cross takes place on this Sunday, August 14. As usual, ceremonies will begin at the hill wall but this year at the earlier time of 1 pm. Mass will be celebrated at the Mass rock at 2.30pm approx and even after tea and refreshments we will still have you home in time for the throw in. As always we ask patrons to arrive early and allow at least twenty minutes to get from the car park to the starting point.

Community Games
Fethard and Killusty Community Games Committee would like to thank most sincerely all those who contributed to their Church Gate Collection last weekend.

They would like to wish the very best of luck to Ben Coen, son of Shay and Ann from Killusty when he competes in the boys under-10 100m on Saturday, August 20.

Concern Collection
There was an excellent response to the recent church gate collection taken up in aid of Concern. The total collected was €1,500. The organisers wish to thank all those who contributed.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on August 3, were: 10, 14, 16 and 32. We had no Jackpot winner and two ‘Match Three’ winners who received €75 each: Esther Breen, Barrack St., Fethard; and Anne Marie Kenny, Castlehiggins, Fethard.

The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also won €50 each: Ele Roche, Strylea, Fethard; John Carroll, Lonergans Bar, Fethard; and Kitty Sullivan, Canon Hayes Court, 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. Next week’s Jackpot commences at €4,250 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €425. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

From Fethard to Kazakhstan
A record 380 boxers from fifty-two nations, in thirteen weight categories, entered the 3rd World Junior Boxing Championships, held in Astana, Kazakhstan. One of those was Fethard man Jack Connolly from The Green, entering for the first time, at 60kg, and under the new AIBA scoring system.

Twenty-six boxers entered the light-weight division, with Jack drawn against the excellent Shamil Malsatov from Russia, who became European champion three weeks ago in Hungary and who also picked up best boxer at the same championships.

Malsatov knew he was in a fight, when this bout started, Jack having lost the first round, pushed the Russian all the way and forced him on the back foot, with the Tipperary man winning the second round, 7 points to 6, but the European champion, who is nearly one year older than Jack, snatched the third round, winning 3 points to 2.

Jack, who boxes out of Clonmel Boxing Club, can hold his head up high after a thrilling and tough fight. Both boxers received a standing ovation after what was voted best contest of the day.

Jack, who has already boxed International in Russia and Bulgaria, can now add the current European champion to his impressive list of opponents and learn from his experiences in his first World championships, to become an even better boxer.

Jack has done himself, family, club, town, and country proud for his outstanding performance against the Russian who won the gold medal at these championships.

We would like to thank everyone who phoned, sent messages and cards, and especially, Sean Connolly (Clonmel Oil), Jimmy O'Sullivan (O'Sullivans Pharmacy), and Declan Walsh (Sign Design, Clonmel).
Last but not least Jack, well done on a fantastic display of heart, commitment and dedication in the sport of boxing, you are an inspiration to all, and yes, one day, you will be World Champion.



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