Thursday 3rd May 2012

Ni fheicfimid a leitheid aris …
Sr. Winnie Kirwan joined the staff of Fethard Nano Nagle National School in 2004 where she then taught Senior Infants for seven years. She had spent many years previously in Zimbabwe and returning to care for her mother brought a wealth of experience to our school. Seeing and dealing with such poverty in Zimbabwe, Sr. Winnie instilled a great awareness of re-using, recycling, growing your own etc. in our children. She gave the pupils a great interest in children from other lands and continued a spirit of ‘children helping children’ through various fund-raising efforts in our school.

She adored working with the Infants; her sense of fun and love of the outdoors endeared her to her pupils. On one foray into the bogs around Ballinure searching for tadpoles, she nearly came a cropper, but fortunately she lived to tell the tale!

Another facet of Sr. Winnie’s personality, which will be remembered and cherished, is her heightened awareness of the underprivileged and children with special needs.

She continues to be involved with our amalgamated Holy Trinity School on a voluntary basis, organising prayer-services and fund-raising for her beloved Zimbabwe – she’s probably getting her runners ready for the Women’s Marathon in June, as we speak.
Sr. Winnie officially retired from Holy Trinity N.S. in October 2011. Fond memories abound of her dedication, kindness and interest in all. Much as we will miss her, we wish her a long, happy, healthy retirement.

Presentation Sisters
During this very special year for the Presentation Sisters in Fethard, we would like to pay tribute to their selfless dedication to education in the area over the last 150 years. They were involved in primary education in Fethard until 2010, when they handed over the trusteeship to the diocese.

Sr. Maureen Power was the last serving Presentation school principal and was a much-respected incumbent of that position. Her gentle personality and concern for all made her a very popular principal. Sr. Maureen continues to be involved with the school on a voluntary basis and is currently teaching the children how to knit.

On behalf of Holy Trinity school community, we sincerely thank all the sisters who have been involved in education in Fethard over the years and we remember those who have passed away since the institution of the convent in Fethard.


Greetings from Fordham University, New York
I’ve just heard the Presentation Sisters are celebrating their 150th Year in Fethard. As a former student I want to add my Congratulations, Best Wishes and Gratitude to the thousands of students whose lives have been touched and blessed by your presence.

I attended the Convent School Infants’ to third year Intermediate and have great memories of Sisters: Ita, Assumpta, Raphael, Josephine, Agatha, Margaret Mary, Angela, Bernard, Antonio. Benignus, Teresa, Teresita, Carmel, Berchmans and Bridget. 

A total of fourteen Fethard girls entered the American Province of the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk. I am the only one left now at age ninety-two. As years went by I became more indebted to the nuns for the excellent command of fundamentals, the love of poetry and music that they taught us.

Once again congratulations and best wishes for another 150. Go raibh mile maith agat.  Ad Multos Annos, Sincerely, Monica J. Kevin, O.S.U.

Tourist advisers visit Fethard 
Over thirty people involved in the tourism business in South Tipperary visited Fethard last Wednesday, April 25. The visit was part of a ‘Familiarisation Trip’ being organised by the South Tipperary Tourism Company, which is the official body involved in the development and marketing of South Tipperary as a tourism destination.

These familiarisation trips are aimed at tourist office personnel, hotel receptionists, B&B owners and anyone else who has the job of advising visitors as to what is to see and do in South Tipperary. Last Wednesday’s trip also included visits to Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir and the Slieveardagh area.

The last stop on the tour was to the Walled Town of Fethard where they were shown around by local guide, Terry Cunningham, of ‘Backs to the Wall Tours’. As usual some of the visitors (especially those who had passed through Fethard before) were genuinely amazed by the view from  the Valley area and by the richness of the medieval heritage in the old town.

Tony Musiol, Chairperson South Tipperary Tourism Company, and Eimear Whittle, Fáilte Ireland, were again very impressed by what they saw in Fethard and by the high standard of upkeep being maintained by the County Council staff and the great voluntary efforts of Fethard Tidy Towns group.

Butler Trail
Tony Musiol further reiterated his desire to have Fethard included in the ‘Butler Trail’ which at present embraces Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel and Cahir.

Fethard, of course, is also central to the Butler story as it was in Fethard (c1430) that James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond annexed County Kilkenny and joined that county to his original Tipperary property in what is known as ‘The Statutes of Fethard’. More than likely that ordnance was signed in what we now call Court Castle (beside the Castle Inn, Watergate) as the The Ormonds held their courts there and (we presume) hence the name, Court Castle.
Of course Kiltinan Castle and Knockelly Castle were also Butler strongholds, so without doubt the Butlers had a very firm grip on Fethard and much of the South Tipperary countryside.

Texaco Art commendation
Congratulations to Roisín Geoghegan, age 5, from Fethard and Junior Infant class of Holy Trinity National School, who received a certificate of commendation from the judges of the Texaco Childrens Art Competition this year. Roisin's picture was the only one selected from the school, which included a total of 26,000 entries nationally in the annual competition. Parents, Ciaran and Colette, and big sisters Aisling and Emma are very proud of her.


Secondary School final enrolment date
The final enrolment date for all year groups at Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary School is Friday, May 11. All Junior Cert Subjects and Levels available.

5th Year Options for 2012 are:
Higher and Ordinary Level Gaeilge, English and Maths (separate classes for each level);
French or Study;
Biology or Construction Studies;
Geography or Study;
Home Economics or Chemistry or Design and Communication Graphics;
Art or Study.
All pupils take Religious Instruction, Career Guidance and Physical Education.
For further details and school brochure, contact the school at (052) 6131572.

May Bank Holiday Monday Tour of Fethard
The ‘Backs to the Wall Tours’ group will continue with their ‘open’ guided tours of the medieval town this Bank Holiday Monday, May 7, meeting up at the ‘Foot Bridge’ in the Valley Park at 12 noon.
No booking is required, just turn up, the cost is €5 per person with children going free. Further information can be got on www.backstothewalltours.com or by phoning Colm on 086 3502360 or Terry 086 3905373

Fethard ICA
Fethard ICA will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, May 8, at 8.15pm in the ICA Hall, Rocklow Road. Guest speaker is Tina Mulhern who will tell us about ‘The Gathering 2013’. Hostesses for the night will be the ‘Green Group’.

On Wednesday, May 16, our members are invited to the Glanbia Lifestyle Garden Centre. This is always a very enjoyable evening, so ladies, have all your gardening questions ready for horticulturist Linda.

Day Care Centre AGM
The Fethard & District Day Care Centre will hold their AGM on Thursday, May 31, at 8pm in Fr. Tirry Community Centre. All are welcome.

Community Council AGM
The AGM of Fethard and Killusty Community Council will take place on Tuesday, May 8, at 8.30pm in the Tirry Community Centre. We would like to invite all who are interested in community affairs, members of community organisations and particularly those interested in getting involved.

Killusty Soccer Club
Killusty Soccer Club reminder that the first of our scrap metal collection days is next Saturday, May 5, between 10am and 4pm. You can leave your unwanted scrap metal (no electrical goods please) at the designated area in Killusty sportsfield. If you need items collected you can do this by calling or text to, 087 2355964 or 086 1061452.

We will have collection days at the same time every Saturday during May, so now is your chance to get rid of those unwanted items.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on April 25 were: 12, 16, 29 and 30. We had no Jackpot winner and two ‘Match Three’ winners who received €75 each: Marco Sabitini, Main Street, Fethard; and Josephine Prendergast, Burnchurch.

The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also won €50 each: Thelma Griffith, Crampscastle, Fethard; P.J. Lonergan, The Square, Fethard; and Nellie Ryan, St. Patrick’s Place, Fethard.

The next Lotto draw will take place on May 2, and you can also purchase your lotto ticket online at www.fethard.com. Buy seven weekly tickets and get one free! Check on the Fethard website for lots of special offers. Next week’s Jackpot is €9,650 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €965. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

Patrician Presentation Jottings

Bon Voyage
Early on Friday morning last, eight Transition Year Pupils and their teachers Ms Whelan and Ms Maher set off on a four-day visit to the French capital. During their stay, they will visit the main tourist sites and lesser-known areas of Paris such as the Marais and Place des Vosges. It is hoped to awaken the students to the riches of French culture and to instil in them a love of the French Language and French History. They have already worked in class on Metro maps and have themselves worked out the routes they will take on the underground system. One lesser- known but interesting place they will visit will be the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop near the Seine. The owner of this, famous bookshop George Whitman died before Christmas at the age of 98. This bookshop became a meeting place, a tearoom, a salon for soirees and poetry readings, a matchmaking centre and not the least of its functions, a stage in every bookish traveller’s education. Students doing research often were put up overnight here free of charge.

Italian Success
Well done to 3rd Year Pupils, Adam Fitzgerald and Kieran Whyte, who recently travelled to Treviso outside Venice with the Fethard under17 Rugby Team, to compete in a European Rugby Tournament there. They were rewarded for their efforts with a fine trophy and competed against provincial teams from Italy, France, Spain and England. This tournament began 38 years ago and the Fethard Club represented Ireland in the competition. The match was broadcast on Eurosport and the Irish and English National Anthems were played before the English game which was won by the Fethard Club. Congratulations to all concerned on their great achievements in Italy.

Congratulations also to Thomas Channon, Lisronagh on recently winning the 100 metres event at the County Secondary Schools’ Track and Field Championships in Templemore. Thomas is a newcomer to the sport and is a member of Fethard Athletic Club.

Oral Exams And Practicals
Best of Luck to all Leaving Cert and Junior Cert pupils as they do their practicals and oral exams in French, Irish and Russian. The Art, LCVP, Material Technology and Home Economics practicals are all timetabled for the coming weeks.

Presentation Celebrations
Best Wishes from all in the Secondary School to Sr. Winnie and all the Presentation Sisters as they celebrate the 150th Anniversary of their foundation in Fethard. We thank them for the great legacy they have left us and for their contributions to Fethard over the years. The Sisters continue in many ways to support our school in the spirit of Nano Nagle and particularly in these days of increased need and staffing restraints.

Ladies Football Club
Fethard Ladies Football Club had a tremendous response to their ‘Cash for Clobber’ fundraiser at the weekend. Sincere thanks to everyone who supported the club by donating unwanted clothes, which helped generate a little extra cash to provide footballs and water bottles for teams. Many thanks, once again.

The Under 12 team had a tough game against Cahir on Saturday, April 28. Cahir, who won last year's 12A Division, proved too strong for the Fethard girls and were comfortable winners. Training for the Junior Ladies team continues on Wednesday evenings; the Minor and U16 panels are encouraged to also attend.

Fethard GAA Club News
Fethard had their outing of the Championship in Kilsheelan on Sunday, April 22. The first half saw the Blues give a great display finishing level with St. Marys at the half way stage. The second half saw Clonmel use the wind to better advantage and go on to win the game on a scoreline of St. Marys 2-15, Fethard 1-9. This wasn’t helped by the fact Fethard being short of a goodly number of players. There was still a few other good displays from this side and when at full strength they can progress.

On Saturday night we played Cahir in the 2nd Round of the Championship in Monroe going down with a score of, Cahir 2-9 to Fethard’s 0-8.

In Minor football we gave Commercials a walkover due to the fact that half our team were unavailable due to being out of the country. Not a very satisfying situation but something that we have to live with in these times.

It was great to see one of our exiled players, Johnny Leahy, Annsgift, starring with the Na Fianna GAA club in Abu Dhabi, in the Middle East. Na Fianna won the tournament at the GAA Football Festival was run by the Asian Gulf GAA Board at the Zayed Sports City Grounds. John’s next big game will be in the Asian Games with teams coming together later in the year. Well done young fellow and regards from the Fethard GAA club.

At the present level of ‘player drain’ there will be more top class players playing outside the country than in the country. Statistics don’t lie and we believe the GAA should close ranks and help our young players to stay in the country.

Condolences to the family of Shamie Dineen, formally of Kerry Street, who died recently in Los Angeles. Shem was a great supporter of tennis and athletics in the town and many the time he dug deep to help out with sponsorship for various events. Even though he had been in the States for most of his life he was always up to date with the happenings of the GAA in the town. Shem had planned to take a trip home this year around Munster final time but alas it was not to be. Thanks Shem for your friendship and generosity. You will always be remembered with cherished thoughts.

It was nice to have the County Board Officers down to the Fethard Arms last week to launch the new Co. Tipperary GAA draw. Our promoters will be calling around shortly to renew your membership so don’t be shy, and, if you are not a member already, any officer or committee member will get you sorted out.

A Trip Of A Lifetime 
On Friday, April 20, after receiving an invitation through our Director of Rugby, Paul Kavanagh, from the Rugby Academy Rovigo Italy to play in their annual tournament, the Fethard & District U16 team set off to represent Munster. It was a huge honour for the team and their coaches to have been invited to such a prestigious event.
They flew into Venice and onto Rovigo where the boys were fully accommodated in a luxurious hotel with food and transport all taken care of. At the opening ceremony of the tournament the boys met the Mayor and presented him with a plaque from Fethard & District RFC. Then the tournament began with us playing firstly an academy team from Northern Italy followed by a very strong team, and subsequent outright winners, from Amargnac France.

The boys played tremendous rugby and this set them up for the following day where they met the Southern Italian Academy again a huge pack and came very close to beating them. Fethard were the first to get on the score board with a fantastic try by Luke Keating. With a break away try the Italians snatched victory in the dying minutes!

The final was played against the Northampton Barbarians and again our boys put on a fantastic display of rugby winning 24-7 with great tries from Joss Murray, Cian O'Connell and Ger Gorey. This win resulted in Fethard RFC being presented with a cup whilst Amhran Na bhFiann and Irelands Call were played. Our boys sang with great gusto and pride.

Friendships were forged with other clubs and already invitations for rematches have followed. The tournament was an unforgettable experience and has created lifelong memories for everyone involved.
Our AGM will take place at the Abymill Theatre on this Thursday night at 8pm looking forward to seeing you there.



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