Thursday 15th December 2011

All-Ireland Champions
Patrician Presentation Secondary School captured the Senior B Boys National Volleyball title beating Colaiste Cathal Naofa of Dungarvan in the final played in UCD on Thursday last week. Meeting two Galway teams in the first round of competition, Fethard had a shaky start to this year’s season but in round 2 successfully saw off challenges from Davis College, Mallow; St. Brigid’s Vocational School, Loughrea, and St. Louis Community School, Kiltimagh at University of Limerick sports arena. These performances ensured a place for Fethard in the final against the Dungarvan side.

Hall A in UCD rocked with the noise of supporters from both sides and a wonderful atmosphere was created on final’s day. The focussed and well-prepared Dungarvan side got down to business quickly and imposed a complete dominance on the first set, which they won by 25-21.

Fethard needed a good start to the second set and they got it through the serving of captain Dion Butler. After 13 serves in a row it seemed as if nothing could stand in the way of a Fethard win. Dungarvan rallied, however, towards the end and despite losing to Fethard 25-9, were very strong towards the end of the second set and avoided what had started to look like a whitewashing.

Fethard needed a strong start to the third and deciding set to maintain their dominance. However, it was Dungarvan who started the strongest. Mistakes from Fethard and the determination of their opponents, saw them down again 15-8 within minutes of the restart. Again Fethard dug deep and from what seemed like certain defeat the Tipp boys began to compete and win points. Serves and smashes now began to find the lines, the lead began to decline and Dungarvan began to be nervous under the relentless pressure. Hesitancy replaced certainty and errors crept into a previously flawless performance. The tide had turned completely and the Waterford boys could not turn it back.

They improved their efforts and kept the scoring close but they never regained their earlier dominance and never once led again. Despite closing the gap near the end, the tiebreak was to be Fethard’s. To the delight of the Fethard support, which had loudly backed the team from first to last, the game was closed out at 25-17.

To complete the victory Fethard captain Dion Butler won the ‘Man of the Match’ award known in Volleyball as MVP (most valuable player). Indeed all the players contributed to the victory which was the sixth All Ireland win for Fethard since 2005 — four for boys (2005, 2006, 2008 and 2011) and two for girls (2006 and 2009) in what is a golden era for the sport in Fethard not seen since the girls’ success in the seventies when they represented Ireland in Europe.

Fethard’s First Festive Fun Friday
Fethard’s First Festive Fun Friday, held on December 9, proved to be a most enjoyable and successful event. This initiative, made possible by the availability of funding from South Tipperary County Council, was organised to encourage shoppers to ‘Think Fethard First’ when looking for everyday items and Christmas Gifts. The newly formed Business and Tourism Group co-ordinated activities on the day. In addition a number of business owners provided additional funding to support the event. Many locals commented on the festive atmosphere in Fethard on Friday last and going by the positive feedback received it is hoped to organise such events in the future. All day businesses held promotions in their premises, discounts were available in others and there was generous offers of complimentary festive refreshments available in numerous outlets.

Thanks to Sean Ward for chauffeuring Santa and his busy helpers to Fethard in good time to switch on the Christmas lights before dark. Santa was warmly received by the many children who came to meet him and was delighted with the pupils from Holy Trinity Primary School who greatly added to the event by singing a number of Christmas Carols and songs. Most of the children showed great patience as they waited to meet Santa in his specially prepared and illustrious grotto where a hundred and fifty plus children visited him, at no cost. Compliments to Kenny’s Centra, the organisers and hosts of Santa’s Grotto who did a wonderful job on the day. They provided lucky bags and lollipops, offered face-painting and also took a souvenir photograph of each visitor.

The presence of Tipp FM’s outside broadcast unit provided a focal-point for activities on Main Street while providing a great deal of publicity for the event. Norman Morrissey’s Show was broadcast from Fethard between 2pm and 4.30pm during which a number of live interviews were held with many locals.

The organisers would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the financial assistance of South Tipperary County Council and the on-going support of Pat Holland and Anthony Fitzgerald of Community & Enterprise in relation to the activities of Fethard Business & Tourism Group.

‘Think Fethard First’ was an initiative of the recently formed Fethard Business and Tourist Group. Other activities by the group included a calendar advertising local businesses, and a ‘Be a Local Hero’ poster campaign to encourage people to support local job creation in the area. A special thanks to Liza, Bill and Di for their work leading up to the campaign.

The business group was set by Fethard & Killusty Community Council following a review of its organisation last year. The group is being facilitated by Catherine Corcoran and is fast becoming a highly energized group.

After Christmas the group will present their plans to revitalize the Town Hall and with the goodwill that is being created by these efforts, Fethard will soon become everyone’s favourite visiting and shopping destination.

If you have any comments with regard to the Festive Fun Day or would like to get involved in future events or the Business & Tourism Group please make contact by emailing business@fethard.com

Boxing Trilogy
Three fights, one week, three wins, that’s how the 2011 boxing season has ended for Fethard’s Jack Connolly who is in outstanding form at the moment, before the 2012 championships start in seven weeks time. The first of Jack’s fights was on Sunday, December 4, at St Johns boxing club in Fermoy, where his opponent was Munster champion John Keenan, from Loughmahon boxing club in Cork City. A hard fought three rounds, with Jack boxing out of his favourite red corner, winning the contest on a scoreline of 7 points to 5.

For the second fight it was of to the Killmurray House Hotel, Limerick, on Saturday December 10. Jack again in the red corner was up against All-Ireland champion Lee Sherlock from Ennis boxing club. An awkward southpaw with long arms and a favourite from the west Clare area, that was until he got into the ring with Clonmel’s Jack Connolly, who for the three rounds never let the Ennis man settle or gave him a minutes peace in the ring, with Jack winning on a majority decision.

The third fight for Jack and just 18 hours later, was on Sunday, December 11, at the Waterford/Tipperary County Board Christmas show held in Saviours Crystal boxing club in Waterford. Across the ring this time, another All-Ireland champion and Jack’s team mate from Bulgaria 2010, was Calvin Hayes from Dungarvan boxing club. Another southpaw with Hayes coming out strong, but the Fethard man picking him off with some accurate counter punching and combinations to put the Dungarvan man on the back foot to again win on a majority decision.

No rest for the Jack as there will be plenty of early morning runs to drop a few kgs before the festive season starts to allow for a few extra slices of turkey etc. Three hard fights in one week is a measure to Jacks fitness and dedication to his sport, when it just goes to proves that if you work hard, train hard, rest well and eat well, you will be successful in everything you do and that results will come your way some day. Well done Jack on another three fantastic performances.

Church Gate Collection for Christmas Lights
A church gate collection for Fethard Community ‘Christmas Street Lights’ will take place this weekend December 17 and 18. Please give generously so that we will be able to continue to light up our town over the festive season.

Fethard Athletic Club
Fethard Athletic Club held their Christmas dinner at McCarthy’s Hotel on Saturday night when eighteen members turned out on the night. We were also joined by three foreign students from Brazil and Germany who train with us regularly. Two of our student members were also part of the local school’s All-Ireland volleyball winning team. Thanks to Vincent and his staff for a beautiful meal and excellent service.

Training will continue at the usual time on Thursday night, and remember, the ‘indoors’ will take place in early January.

Extra Christmas Prizes in Community Lotto
Fethard Community Lotto will have extra draws for Christmas turkeys and hams on December 7, 14 and 21. So get your ticket in good time for a chance to win.

The numbers drawn on December 7 were: 6, 8, 22 and 31. We had no Jackpot winner and no ‘Match Three’ winner so the following drawn tickets received €50 each: Mike Fitzgerald, Red City, Fethard; John O'Brien, Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard; J. Slattery, c/o Tom Purcell.
The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also won €50 each: Sally Ryan, c/o Nellie Ryan; John Kenny, The Green, Fethard; Mickey Morrissey, St. Patrick’s Place, Fethard.

The winners of Christmas Hams were: Bridget Hayes, Main Street, Fethard; Jim Cooney, c/o Tom Purcell; Mary Keane, Knockelly, Fethard.

The winners of Christmas Turkeys were: Roseanne Carroll, The Square, Fethard; Bridget Ryan, Loughcopple, Killusty; and Michael Russell and J. Kenny, c/o Seamus Moloney.

Remember we have Christmas hams and turkeys for the next two weeks. We will have no Lotto draw on December 28 or January 4. The Lotto will resume after a two-week break on January 11, 2012. You can also 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 €6,950 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €695. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

Fethard GAA Club News
The adjourned AGM of the Fethard club was held in the Fr. Tirry Community Centre on Sunday last. The attendance was a little disappointing, bur nevertheless all the business on the agenda was wrapped up in just one hour, under the governance of the sitting chairman P.J. Aherne.

The following teams are to be entered in the championship for next year: senior football, junior football, intermediate hurling, minor hurling and football, under-21 hurling and football.

Senior football selectors are Michael Quinlan, Jimmy O’Meara and Willie Morrissey. Junior selectors are: Paul Fitzgerald, Brendan Brett, Jimmy O’Shea and Pat Sheehan. Intermediate hurling manager is Philip Butler. Minor and under-21 selectors to be ratified later.
Membership fees can now be paid to our treasurer Stephen Fitzgerald. Officers elected at convention: President, Fr Tom Breen; Vice Presidents Joe Ahearne, Tony Newport and Jimmy O’Shea; Chairman, Patsy Lawrence; Vice Chairman, P.J. Aherne; Rúnai, Mary Godfrey; Assistant Rúnai and Juvenile Sec, Ann Fleming; Treasurer, Stephen Fitzgerald; Assistant Treasure, John Fitzgerald; Field Officer, Pat Lawrence; Public Relations, Miceál McCormack; Assistant PRO, Denis Burke; School Liaison Officer, P.J. Aherne; Children’s Officer, Andy O’Donovan; ASAP (Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention) Officer, Edel Fitzgerald. Committee members: Michael O’Riordan, Pat Sheehan, Brian Delahunty, Jimmy O’Shea. County Board Rep is Stephen Fitzgerald; South Board Rep is Miceál McCormack; Football Board Reps are Pat Lawrence and Austin Godfrey.

Juvenile GAA Club
Saturday saw our presentation to our U16 Football Champions of 2011. Tom Anglim and Stephen O’Donnell, two of the three trainers of the football team, presented the medals. John Hurley, the third trainer, was unavailable to attend the event. We thank all those who came along to celebrate with the team and bring along refreshments with them. Thank you to Fethard Youth Club for the use of their premises which is an ideal place for small functions. Lets hope that we will be celebrating again this time next year.

Congratulations to our Josh Nevin on winning an All Ireland Racquetball title. Josh is also a member of our football and hurling team. A complete all-rounder, well done Josh.

Ronan Fitzgerald, our Juvenile assistant secretary, has organised a survey to be carried out in the Patrician Presentation Secondary School this week asking students from 1st year to 6th year about their involvement or interest in all areas of our Gaelic Games.
Juvenile Membership fee for 2012 has remained at €20 per child and €40 for two or more children in same household. Non-playing adult membership fee is €30. Please note that if you are involved with underage players you must also be affiliated with our club and have your membership paid.

We always welcome new players and volunteers, so if you are interested in joining our club for the 2012 year, our 125th anniversary year, you can contact our Juvenile secretary, Ann Fleming, on 086 8963925, or any club member. We have a stock of club replica jerseys, sizes ranging from 5/6 up to XXL. We also have club crested 'beanie hats'. If you would like to purchase one please contact club secretary or juvenile secretary.

Tuesday, December 13, will be very important to the new Premier 12 games, as the County Bord na nÓg will hold their AGM and propose a number of rules. One of the proposed rules is, to be eligible to play a team of eleven-a-side or nine-a-side, the team must have two subs, and if a club cannot produce this number of players at a fixture then the club will forfeit the game being unable to field a team. Fethard will be represented and will be opposing this section of the County Bord na nÓg's proposal.

With the White Heathers
Drawing the riverside covert in Saucestown hounds hunted a brace here both going to ground in covert. Moving on to Mouse Morris’ they found again. Hunted here back to Carroll’s and hunting well in covert here they ran back to where they found and lost him. Byrnes Rock drew blank as did Bannixtown. They found again in Killusty Glen ran back crossing the Fethard Killusty road to Tullow and were hunting well towards Kiltinan and were stopped. A second fox had been viewed in the Glen. Returning here they were quickly away on this one. He ran something the same route as the other. Again they crossed the Fethard Killusty road and were stopped, home being blown at 4.30pm.

Prior to moving off on Sunday presentations were made to Tom Sayers and Tony Newport who have now joined the ‘Four Score Club’, having recently passed their eightieth birthdays. Making the presentation Michael McCormack, long time officer of the club thanked Tom and Tony for their life long dedication and work done on behalf of the Ballylusky WHH. Perhaps he was overstating it more than somewhat when he said that but for both their efforts the pack may not be in existence today.

Replying on both his own and Tom’s behalf, Tony thanked sincerely the officers, committee and members of Ballylusky WHH for their magnificent gift of two inscribed hunter watches. This gesture made on Sunday come as a complete, very pleasant, surprise to both of them. He also said that whatever they did for the pack was just part of their interest in the sport. He paid tribute to the younger members who now do all the Kennels work, feeding and exercising the hounds and keeping the Kennels in such good shape. “There were dedicated men and boys associated with the pack before our time, during our time and D.V. offer it who will continue to keep the Ballylusky White Heather flag flying for many a year to come and uphold the great tradition of a pack that goes back to at least Charles Kickham’s time and beyond and is mentioned in Knocknagow.

Michael also thanked sincerely Laurence and Rosina Kenny and family for the brilliant, by now, traditional hospitality shown to them at their annual Christmas period meet at the Glebe House. A special thank you also to Laurence for his lovely photographs taken on Sunday.

Patrician/Presentation Jottings
Open Evening 2011
Well done to all members of the School Community who were involved in the organisation of our Annual Open Evening on Monday, December 5th. A great number of 5th and 6th Class pupils from Holy Trinity National School and surrounding schools attended the event with their parents. It was great to meet a significant number of Past Pupils and to see their interest in their Alma Mater and its traditions.

GAA Youth Forum
Transition Year Pupils, Karen Hayes, Michelle Walsh, John Paul Fitzgerald and Aobh O’Shea represented the school at the GAA Forum which was held in the Dome at Semple Stadium on Friday, December 2nd. The Forum attracted delegates from all the Secondary Schools in the county and consisted of workshops and discussions on the role of young people in the GAA.

Religious Services
Penitential Services for Christmas will be held in the school and in the Convent Chapel during the week of December 12. The Carol Service will then take place on Friday, December 16. We thank Fr. Tom Breen, Fr. Anthony McSweeney and Fr. Gerry Horan OSA, for all their moral support and practical help in the school throughout the year. The school’s Religion Department, in the tradition of its founding orders, highlights and celebrates all the important events in the liturgical calendar.

Junk Kouture
The Transition Year pupils are currently working on their creations which have to be submitted for this competition at the end of January. The pupils use materials that are beyond their intended purpose and craft them into high-end couture fashion.

Mini-Company Interviews: Interviews for positions in this year’s mini-company will be held in the school on Monday, December 12th. The Mini-Company experience aims to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in the pupils and to inform them of the procedures involved in setting up a business.

Rugby Workshops
A group of second year pupils are taking part each Tuesday in a series of rugby workshops, run by Mr Ed Leamy, brother of Irish International Player, Denis Leamy. It is a chance for those already playing rugby to improve their skills and an introduction for other pupils to the sport.

Visit to Cashel Blue Cheese
The 5th Year LCVP pupils and their teachers Mr Leonard, Mr McGree, Miss Looby and Ms Maher visited the Cashel Blue Cheese Production, run by the Grubb Family in Mobarnane on Wednesday, November 30 last. This visit formed part of the LCVP Programme and was intended to make the pupils aware of a successful family-run business in their local area.

6th Year Visit Sr. Éilís Bergin
The Leaving Cert recently visited Sr. Éilís Bergin in the Presentation Convent to view her recent beautiful art collection. Sr. Éilís worked with this class in 2008 and they were thrilled at the invitation to renew their acquaintance with her. Sr. Éilís presented the class with one of her works titled ‘Forest’ which she painted in late 2009.

European Gold Medallist
Congratulations to Fionnuala Britton on her Gold Medal success in the European Cross Country Championship in Slovenia at the weekend. Fionnuala is a niece of our Principal, Mr Ernan Britton. We wish her many more successes in her athletic career.

Fethard & District Rugby Club ‘Festive Cheer’
Don't forget that Santa will be visiting training at 6.45pm on Friday evening Also the draw for the Christmas hampers will take place at 8.15pm so if you have not bought you tickets please get them from Mary Lynch, Deirdre O'Dwyer or at training.

Fethard J2s travelled to Clonmel on Saturday evening last to play a Gleeson League game. Fethard must count themselves very unlucky not to have come away with a win. They scored the only try of the game through a good back movement which saw Willie Power feed Philip Ivors who scored, the conversion was just narrowly missed. Fethard kept the pressure up for the second half and could have scored a couple of times but Clonmel’s defence was resolute. This was a good game of rugby between two even teams that Fethard could have won. Final score 6-5 to Clonmel. They can now look forward to a good second half of their season after Christmas.

Fethard Under 7s travelled to Carrick on Sunday for a great morning’s rugby in fine conditions. Yet again this team showed quick hands in both their games with great improvement. Brilliant work throughout from Thomas Smyth and Tomas Ryan. Louis Ryan had a storming game and was assisted by Mark Neville who recycled the ball very well with fine tagging by Luke Fitzgerald. Not forgetting the fast footed Michael James Phelan who with his team put plenty of scores on the board.

The Under 8s played ferocious rugby throughout the morning and worked very well together. Johnny Gleeson, James McCormack and Conor Neville continually tackled and scored fine tries from recycling of the ball. Quick thinking by James Ryan and David McCormack proved a great partnership in retrieving ball for scores. Yet again Charlie Cummins and Padraig O'Dwyer tackled and rucked well to help the team with tries. Thank you to Carrick for the wonderful sandwiches and cakes with light refreshments.

Travelling to Carrick-on-Suir, Fethard U-10s knew to expect a tough game; on a good pitch and in decent weather our hosts provided just that. Our team of Mathew Burke, Darragh Fitzgerald, Aoife Fitzgerald, Mathew Gleeson, David Gunn, Ian Harrington, Jack Hassett, Courtney Jade, Angus MacDonald, Andrew Slattery, Eoin Walsh and Ryan Walsh played the best game of their season so far. Terrific ball carrying from all players, good rucking (at last!) and nimble passing made Fethard an unstoppable attacking force, whilst the covering tackling by Ian, Jack and Andrew gave Carrick nowhere to run. This is a team that improves by the week and to concede only one score today whilst putting more than there is room to mention over the opposition`s line allows these children to go into the festive break content and duly proud of the work they have put in so far. Plenty to do next year.

Fethard U12s won all three games in a blitz played in Carrick-on-Suir on Sunday morning. They played some great open rugby and moved the ball really well with Joe Carroll, Darragh Lynch, Harry Cummins and Paraic Harrington linking up well. In the forwards Jack Cleere was impressive and was well assisted by John Hillman, Seamus Cleere, Danny Gleeson and the improving Barry McGrath. Our thanks to Carrick-on-Suir for their hospitality on the day.

On Sunday morning our U13s lined out against Thurles in the league semi-final, in the eagerly awaited replay. Thurles on the day were by far the better side and Fethard wish them the very best of luck in the final. Our special thanks to the referee who did a great job from start to finish. The Fethard dressing room was a very sombre place after the game with all the players knowing what they have to do in order to lift their performances.

The Under 15s side travelled to waterpark on Sunday it was a bruising encounter with Waterpark seeking to balance the account after been beaten by Fethard in the earlier league match.

The first half saw Fethard start slow as the opposition ran at them in waves and Fethard’s defence was unusually caught off guard to let the opposition claim the first points. Jason Ryan put the opposition’s number 15 under pressure with a number of high balls before Fethard pounced for a super try by Killian O’Dwyer, converted by Ben Murray. Waterpark came back and worked their way up the pitch and through some slack Fethard tackling, let the big number eight in under the posts. Adam Fitzgerald got a try back to tie the game at half time.

It was a very close game for nearly 25 minutes and neither side could break through. Fethard with a few substitutions, Eoghan McCormack, Tom Stakelum, Paudie Feehan and Andrew Phelan, allowed fresh legs to get involved and play it out wide to Darren Prout who had a great run to the corner but was deemed to have been shoulder barged into touch giving Fethard a penalty. This was quickly taken by Adam Fitzgerald and pot over in the corner to put Fethard in front. With a minute to go Waterpark broke free from the lineout and got in under the posts to add the full 7 points to win the match 17-19. Great play from Larry Gleeson, Philip Fogarty and Gearóid Fahey have now put Fethard in the upper half of their league.



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