Thursday 1st March 2012

Stella Days Premiere
The Premiere of the film Stella Days which took place on Thursday, February 23, at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival was the culmination of seven years work. Jackie Larkin of Newgrange Pictures bought the rights to the book of the same name, got the legendary Martin Sheen on board and set about bringing the story of Fr Daniel Barry, a cultured priest in a rural town in 1950s Ireland, to the silver screen. The celebrations in Dublin were a culmination of the years of toil that went into making this independent film and the talent and well-wishers were out in force. Posing for the media mob outside the cinema on the night were members of the cast which included Martin Sheen, Marcella Plunkett, Stephen Rea and Tom Hickey, the director Thaddeus O’Sullivan, the producer Jackie Larkin and well-wisher President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, as well as Brian O’Driscoll, husband of starring actress Amy Huberman who was at another engagement, broadcaster John Kelly and finally television presenter Miriam O’Callaghan who hosted an interview with Martin Sheen after the premiere of the film.

The initial plan was to make the film in Borrisokane where the original story took place, but the town had changed too much in the intervening years, so Fethard was chosen as it has retained much of the character of a town of that era. The film is set in 1950s Ireland, an era of great importance when the country was forging its identity and opening up to the influence of the outside world. Fr Daniel Barry was a man with a passion for film and was more interested in opening a cinema than building a new church, which he had been ordered to do by his Bishop, a philistine who had “a countryman’s passion for concrete”. The Bishop was played superbly by Tom Hickey, (best known to Irish audiences as Benjy in ‘The Riordans’). Stephen Rea played the local TD, a man opposed to the cinema and the introduction of ‘American filth’. Intertwined with this was the story of the Rural Electrification Scheme in Ireland, the love that blossomed between the new teacher in the town (Tristian Gravelle) and his landlady (Marcella Plunkett), whose husband was one of the thousands who emigrated to England in search of employment. Fr Barry, we learn, was sent to be a Priest, by his family and he appears to be questioning his calling. At the same time, Joey, a young boy in the town thinks that he has a vocation.

Despite the grim times, the film has a lot of humour. Tom Hickey and Stephen Rea are superb as the Bishop and TD, playing the straight comic parts. The film is of huge local interest as most of it was shot on location in Fethard and it will be hard for any local to view it without the distraction of spotting people and places familiar to them. Thaddeus O’Sullivan, the director, promised at the premiere that he would return to Fethard with the film for a viewing in the town. It will go on nationwide release on March 9, 2012.

General George Plant 70th Anniversary Commemoration
The 70th Anniversary Commemoration of General George Plant takes place in St. Johnstown Churchyard on Sunday, March 4, at 3pm. The oration will be given by Dr. Ruan Ó Donnell, senior lecturer in history at Limerick University.

Carrick-on-Suir republican flute band will be in attendance. General assembly takes place on the roadway outside the graveyard at 3pm. All are welcome to come along.

Bunny Hop, music and movement
Bunny Hop, music and movement for 0-4 year olds takes place every Monday morning at the Fethard Youth Centre (old Convent Hall) from 10am to 11am. All welcome. For enquiries and to join please contact Nicola at 087 6742401.

Fethard & Killusty Anglers
Fethard and Killusty Anglers will hold their AGM on this Friday night, March 2, at 8pm in the Tirry Community Centre. All are welcome.

Novena starts this weekend
The first of a nine-day novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help takes place at 7pm in Holy Trinity Parish Church this Saturday evening, March 3, and will continue every evening up to March 11. On Saturdays and Sundays the starting time is 7pm and on weekdays 7.30pm. There will be a different preacher every night and your attendance is requested for this very beneficial and traditional Catholic method of prayer.

A novena is offered as a sacrifice to God and during this prayer devotion, the person saying the novena asks a specific request or intention. Its origin goes back to the nine days that the Disciples and Mary spent together in prayer between Ascension and Pentecost Sunday.

Sacrament of Confirmation
Sixty-one girls and boys from the parish will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation on this Friday, March 2, in Holy Trinity Parish Church at 11am, from His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly.

IWA hold meeting in Fethard
On February 22, the ‘JR Gang’ part of Tipperary Irish Wheelchair Association youth group met for the first time in Fethard Youth Centre. We had a nice meting in a very accessible premises which offers lots of potential for the group. On the business end we discussed our agenda of events for March which will start with a table quiz in Cloneen on Friday March 2, and on March 11, we will be back in Cloneen for a branch party where members from all over South Tipp will attend.

On St. Patrick’s Day it’s off to Cashel to take part in their parade. We’re then looking forward to a great evening where P.J. Murrihy from Clare will perform in Cahir House to raise funds for the branch. P.J. will be supported by Joan Brown from Fethard and Norman Morrissey will be popping in. We also have some great local Ceoltas musicians and dancers to add to the craic. Tickets are available at the door at €15 each. All our events are open to everyone and we hope we see you there.

GAA Club News
Training continues as usual with great attendances and numbers turning out for the gym sessions is holding steady. With the long evenings just around the corner some challenge games will be arranged to sharpen the lads. One of our respected retired players, while watching a training session recently, was more than impressed with the style and method being adopted this year and the response from those in attendance.

Our deepest sympathy to the Fogarty family in Congress Terrace on the death of their mother recently.

Membership fees now due before the start of March to qualify for tickets and the right to vote at Convention as per rule.

The GAA Sports Lotto took place on Tuesday, February 21, and the numbers drawn were 4, 10, 17 and 23. There was no jackpot winner and four ‘match three’ winners who received €40 each: Tony Maher, Barrack Street; Johnny Murphy, Ardfinnan, Mary Coen, Killusty and Dick Fitzgerald, St. Patrick’s Place. The €50 Lucky Dip winner was John Phelan, Butlerstown.

Our thanks to our promoters, supporters and to Clonmel Oil Ltd for sponsoring tickets. Next week’s jackpot is €2,200 and the draw will take place in McCarthy’s Hotel on February 28.

The lotto ticket sales have improved recently and John Fitzgerald’s efforts are showing results. One last drive will get us over the line so we ask all our followers out there to dig deep and remember if you are not in you can’t win.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on February 22 were: 6, 12, 18 and 31. We had no Jackpot winner and one ‘Match Three’ winner who received €150 each: T.J. Sheehan, Killusty, Fethard.

The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also won €50 each: Maisie O'Dwyer, Knockinglass, Moyglass; Nicole Moloney, Abbey View, Fethard; and Anne Connolly, Main Street, Fethard.

The next Lotto draw will take place on February 29, and 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 €8,300 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €830. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

Died Recently
The death has occurred on Wednesday, 22nd February, of Mr Pat O'Brien, aged 94, late of Ballinard, Fethard, and also of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England.

Requiem Mass took place in Holy Trinity Parish Church on Sunday, February 26, followed by interment in Killusty Cemetery.

Hunting News
With their Lawn Meet at Killeens, Ballynonty, on Saturday the Tipperary Foxhounds ended the 2011-12 season as did the Ballylusky White Heather Harriers with their Lawn Meet at Orchardstown on Sunday. The season provided some excellent hunting with the weather being so kind no day was lost through frost. Both packs would like to thank most sincerely the landowners over whose lands they hunted during the season without whose good will and co-operation hunting could just not continue.

On a personal note, having not been out as many days as I would have liked, I would like to thank those, especially Richard Sayers of the White Heathers, for their assistance in compiling the weekly column. We are truly amazed at the amount of readers who never actually go hunting look forward to it each week. Here’s to next season, maybe we will be here, maybe not. Until then, slán agus beannacht.

N.B. The Tipperary Foxhounds open the six-day Suir Valley Harriers Hunting Festival when they meet in Upperchurch at 12 noon on Tuesday March 6. (E.A.N.)

Patrician Presentation Jottings

Writer in the Classroom
Tuesday last, February 21, the well-known writer Mary Arrigan from Roscrea held a very interesting workshop on story writing with the J.C.S.P (Junior Cert Schools’ Programme) pupils and the Transition Year Group. One of Mary’s books is ‘Chocolate Moon’ with deals sensitively with the topic of Alzheimers.

Mock Exams
The Mock Exams were held in the school before the mid-term break and the pupils are currently receiving the results of same.

Bon Appétit
Our whole school community celebrated Mardi Gras, Pancake Tuesday in French style with the Transition Year Group running a Crêperie for all the French classes during the day. The First Year French class also investigated the concept of Mardi Gras and made some Mardi Gras masks like those used in the Mardi Gras carnivals all over the world.

Ash Wednesday
Thanks to Fr. Gerry Horan OSA for distributing the blessed ashes to those wishing to receive them on Ash Wednesday. The significance of the ashes and the value of the Lenten observance were discussed in classes on the day.

Transition Year
The TY group are engaged in a number of extra-curricular activities at the moment. Pupils, Aobh O’Shea, Karen Hayes, Svetlana Novikova, Danielle Sheehan, Tara Horan and Michelle Walsh are busily preparing for the ‘Build A Bank Challenge’ which will be held in Waterford on Tuesday, March 6. This competition is based on the organisation of a School Bank and recognises innovative ways of managing a bank and attracting pupil-customers to it. The group submitted their Junk Kouture entries during the week and hope to qualify for the regional finals in Limerick in March. The school is proud of their endeavours, and wish them and their teachers Ms Mulhall and Ms Looby, all the best in both competitions.
The TYs are also busily fundraising for their four-day-trip to Paris on April 27. More news on this trip in future jottings.

Entrance Assessment
A reminder to the parents of incoming pupils that the entrance assessment will be held in the school on Saturday, March 10. This year the Parents’ Association in our school invite the parents of prospective 1st Year Pupils to a ‘Meet and Greet’ in the school on March 10, at 12.15pm (during the assessments). Refreshments will be provided and it will be an excellent opportunity for parents to meet before September. The current Parents’Association will be in attendance to answer any queries you may have about the school.

Lunchtime Volleyball
The lunchtime Volleyball Club in the school is going from strength to strength with lots of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year pupils turning up each day for the friendly matches. The venture which is now in operation for a number of years only requires Staff Supervision as a significant number of pupils are trained to referee and keep the scores of these matches.

South Tipperary Military History Society
The 2nd AGM of South Tipperary Military History Society will take place in IUNVA House on Tuesday, March 6, at 8pm. All Members and prospective members are asked to attend. Membership Fees will be collected on the night.

Fethard Ladies Football Club
It's been a really busy week in the Ladies Football Club. Our ‘Last Man Standing’ competition is underway, thanks to the tremendous support we received over the last two weeks. The prize pot stands at €1,000, so we're sure to have great excitement as we progress through each round of the competition, until we find our ‘Last Man Standing’. If, like most people, you picked Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea to win in Round 1, then you'll be delighted to know that you are through to Round 2. Man City had a great 3-0 win over Blackburn, while Chelsea were 3-0 winners over Bolton. In his 900th appearance for United, Ryan Giggs scored an injury-time winner for Man United to help them scrape past Norwich on a scoreline of 2-1. If you had any of these three winning teams, you are now through to Round 2, but remember you won't be able to pick the same team twice. Newcastle were a popular choice in Round 1, but their 2-2 draw means that anyone who picked them is now out of the competition - sorry! We'll keep you posted on how the competition progresses over the next few weeks.

Our Under 16 Team had a challenge against Clonmel Commercials on Saturday, February 25. This was our first game of the year, so it was great to blow off some of the cobwebs. Although Commercials were a stronger side, we enjoyed some great passages of play. Well done to everyone on the team, especially captain Nell Trehy and vice-captain Karen Hayes. With our first championship game coming up against Galtee Rovers, we need everyone to put in a massive effort at training.

Training for the Under 12, Under 16 and Junior teams is now fully underway. The Under 14s are welcome to join up with the Under 16 team, and the Minor team are asked to join up with the Junior Ladies team. Details of all training timetables are on our ‘Fethard Ladies Football’ Facebook Page. New girls are always most welcome.

On a final note, if you buy the Irish Independent over the next few weeks, you'll notice GoPlayToday tokens on page two. We're trying to collect 250 of these tokens to get a free Sports Equipment kit worth €500 for the Club. We'd be very grateful if you could collect the tokens with us, and give them to any member of the club committee. Your support for the club over the past few weeks has been terrific, and we are truly appreciative. Many thanks.

County and Munster Titles for Jack
The 2012 boxing season has proven to be successful so far, as Jack Connolly has picked up County and Provincial titles for the 5th and 4th years in a row. Jack won his 5th County title on Sunday, January 29, when he defeated his Clonmel club mate Ryan Hyland on a unanimous decision.

The Munster finals were hosted by Nenagh boxing club on the weekend of February 18 and 19. Jack’s semi-final was a repeat of last years final, when he was drawn against Aaron Ronan from the Glen boxing club in Cork City. Jack never gave the Cork man a minute’s peace, in what was one of his best displays ever to book his place in the Munster final on a convincing scoreline of 22 points to 4.
Jack having picked up the vomiting bug the night before the final, thought of conceding the contest, but got the strength from somewhere to enter the ring way below his best to face Michael McDonagh from Mitchelstown boxing club. Jack on the back foot for most of the 3 rounds, put in a determined and dogged performance on how to pick up points on the defence, and went on to win his 4th Munster title, 12 points to 9.

Next up it’s the All-Ireland finals to be held at the National Stadium in Dublin, on a date to be confirmed. Jack we wish you the very best of luck at the Stadium in Dublin.

Fethard & District Rugby Club
Fethard Under 8s played a well-versed strong Kilfeacle side on Sunday. Fethard scored the first try of the game and thereafter put in a series of fine tackles throughout with Johnnie Gleeson and Conor Neville constantly tackling. We had a fine turnout of players with a squad of 11 and worth mentioning for their playing skills were Michael Long, Ben Ruttle, James Ryan and Michael Ryan.

Fethard U9s travelled to Kilfeacle for a mini blitz. After a slow start against Clonmel they got into their stride with fantastic tackling and brilliant support play, came back into the game. Clonmel proved the stronger team and won out. Fethard played Kilfeacle next and in a great game Oran Ryan (captain) made a good break and set up Robert Wall for a great try. With a tough defence working hard Fethard finished with a fantastic draw.

First up for Fethard U10s were Clonmel who put up a spirited display but always in defence. Fethard were keen and ruthless and picked up scores at every opportunity. The tackling was good, the rucking excellent with the stand out moment being the ruck that was turned over, the ball moving through hands and a fine try resulting.
Kilfeacle provided a tougher competition altogether, a gruelling, close-quarters game with flashes of breaks and solid cover tackling. This match had those watching singing the praises of both teams as play went first one way and then the other; passing and recycling were the order of the day. It was 2-2 as the clock ran out and the referee called last play and still these players didn`t let up, a last drive by Kilfeacle, a ruck, a break and a try in the corner; 3-2 to Kilfeacle at full-time Two very evenly matched teams and exciting to watch.

Fethard U13s played a good side in Nenagh with the visitors starting the better going 12 points to Nil in as many minutes It would of been easy for the Fethard side to let there heads hang and just go through the motions, but not this side the team showed great fight and will to get right back into the game with Ross McCormack scoring a fine try with the help of his forwards and Mark Heffernan converting leaving it 12-7 to the visitors.

The second half was a half of really good rugby from both sides. The Fethard pack pressed Nenagh hard with there hard work paying off with Ross scoring his second try of the day leaving it level in the last 15 minutes of the game. It was end-to-end rugby with the visitors getting in for a try in the corner, Fethard battled real hard to score again but it was not to be. Fethard will have learnt a lot from this game in that the way they finished it would make you proud of the way they battled.

Also a big thank you to the ref Ian Cooke for refereeing the game at short notice and also for allowing the game to flow as it did thank you.



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