Thursday 21st June 2012

Fethard GAA 125 Year Celebrations
All roads led to the Clonmel Park Hotel on Saturday night June 9, last where over 150 club members gathered for a Dinner Dance to mark 125 years of GAA in Fethard.  The Fethard club was officially formed in 1887, shortly after the foundation of the GAA in 1884, but Gaelic Games were played in Fethard and the surrounding areas even earlier than that. It was great to see so many players and supporters, past and present, some who travelled great distances to be there on the night. The night was not one for speeches or ceremony, but for the large attendance to socialise and exchange stories about our experiences as members of this great Club, aided by the many photos on display throughout the night.

There were many great days relived, and indeed many had at least one eye on the present as our teams are progressing nicely and in with a chance of silver wear in a number of competitions. But one thing was clear, even though success seems to be the most important thing when you are playing, it’s the friendships made through the club that sustains it and perhaps that’s the most important prize of all. The Club would like to thank all of those who made the effort to be there on the night and all those who gave of their time to ensure the night was a great success. Go raibh maith agat.

Meeting to organise ‘Green’ people reunion
A meeting to organise a reunion, focusing on people from The Green and Barrack Street, will take place this Wednesday night at 8.30pm in the Tirry Centre. All are welcome to come along.

The reunion is being provisionally planned for Saturday night, August 18, 2012. Although this reunion is focussing on people and families that lived in that area, it is open to all their friends and anyone interested in reminiscing in Fethard times past.

If you are interested in getting involved please give your name to Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard, or by email at joe@fethard.com

Fethard Scouts celebrate 25th anniversary this year
This year Fethard Scouts are celebrating their 25th anniversary. Past scouters and former leaders, together with their families, are invited to join in the celebrations. Come along to Grove Estate (by kind permission of the Ponsonby family) on Sunday next, June 24, between 11am and 2pm. Join the present Beaver and Scout packs, their active leaders and parents as they enjoy a week-end camp. Bring along your ‘old’ photographs, meet scouting friends and leaders from your youth and share some fond or funny memories. Be prepared to make June 24, a ‘Scouting Reunion Day’.

Fethard Hospice Support Group
Fethard Support Group for South Tipperary Hospice will hold their Annual Church Gate Collection in Fethard, Killusty and Moyglass weekending June 30 and July 1. The support group are very grateful for your tremendous support in the past and look forward to your continued support this year.

Festival Alert
Just a reminder to everyone to ‘Save that date’ as the Fethard Festival committee confirm that this year’s medieval festival will take place over the weekend August 17-19, 2012. There are lots of events in the pipeline including the launch of the new Town Trail brochure, guided walks of the town, music sessions and, of course the medieval parade and festival down by the Town Wall on Sunday, August 19. We are delighted to report that we will once again have the Moycarkey Pipe Band to lead the parade. The wolfhounds will also feature. Wobbly Circus (familiar to lots of people from The Tall Ships event in Waterford last year) will be back to take part in our parade and will again facilitate a free interactive children’s workshop down beside the Town Wall. Lots of the regular attractions will also be present: the re-enactment group, coin-striking, the falconer, the dunking tank, the pet’s corner, dog show etc. Our usual complement of craftspeople will also be present and this year we will also have a calligrapher. There will be a hog roast and lots of quality food stalls. The Children’s workshop facilitated by Pat Looby will take place as usual in August and we hope also to organise an Adult’s workshop to make simple medieval costumes.  Our festival is going from strength to strength and we hope this year will be better than ever.

Ladies Football Club
Two weeks ago the Ladies Football Club were bag-packing in Clonmel to help raise much needed funds. We were delighted with the response we received, and would like to sincerely thank all the parents and committee members who gave up some of their time to support the Club. The money raised from this event will go towards the cost of providing referees for all our matches during the year.
The Under 14 Team were very narrowly beaten in the county semifinal by Galtee Rovers in Bansha. The Fethard girls were well ahead at the end of the first half, with a two-goal cushion from Kate Davey scores. However, Galtee Rovers got back to win the game by a single point. Many thanks to Michael Hayes and Bernadette O'Meara for all their efforts with this team in 2012.

The Under 12 Team also reached a county semifinal, but were beaten by a stronger Lattin Cullen side. This Fethard Under 12 girls team were very impressive this year, competing very capably in the U12 A/B division during the championship. Many thanks to Lattin Cullen on the night of the semifinal for their generous hospitality, and to the management team of Miceál Spillane, Jacqui O'Flynn, Michael Ryan and Bernadette O'Meara.

The Junior Ladies team are back in training for their upcoming championship campaign under the guidance of Willie O'Meara, Kieran Treacy and Tomás Keane. Members of the minor panel should also train with the Junior Ladies because the minor championship will begin very soon.

The Gaelic4Mothers were very well represented last weekend at the Munster Blitz. There were twenty teams from all around Munster in Mallow for the event, including two teams from Fethard. Each team got to play four games, and the Fethard Ladies really enjoyed the occasion. Training for the G4M team continues every week, and many thanks to Patricia Fitzgerald, Michael ‘Magic’ Ryan, and M.J. Croke for their continued efforts in managing and training the G4M team.

Mikey and Samantha share Community Lotto Jackpot
Congratulations to Mikey Fitzgerald and Samantha O’Brien who bought the winning ticket that claimed the Community Lotto Jackpot of €10,000 last week. Popular winners, Mikey and Samantha, shared their delight with ticket seller, Tom Purcell, who also received €1,000. The lucky numbers drawn on June 13 were: 15, 20, 24 and 25.
The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also won €50 each: Tom Grant, Killerk, Fethard; Norma McCarthy, c/o Kitty O'Donnell; and Martin Leahy, Annsgift, Fethard.

The next Lotto draw will take place on June 20, and you can also purchase your lotto ticket in local shops or online at www.fethard.com. Buy seven weekly tickets online and get one free! Check on the Fethard website for lots of special offers. Next week’s Jackpot commences at €2,500 and the Jackpot seller’s prize is €250. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

Outing to Holy Cross Abbey
On Sunday 10th June 2012 about thirty-five members of the Fethard Historical Society visited Holy Cross Abbey for a guided tour with Willie Hayes. Welcoming us to the Abbey, Willie declared it a twofold pleasure to greet a Fethard contingent; firstly to a place that has such personal significance for him and, secondly, because he stills sees himself as a Fethard native, hailing as he does from Rathcoole, even though he now resides in Roscrea.

Our two hours with Willie flew by as he detailed the history of the Cistercians, their coming to Tipperary and the foundation of the Abbey by Dónal Mór O’ Brien. We learned about the lives of the monks, their daily routines, the influential role they played at both local and national level and their links to Europe. Throughout his talk, Willie referred to the similarities and the differences between the Abbey and the medieval Holy Trinity Church in Fethard which would have been built shortly afterwards. This was particularly interesting for all of us.

We also learned about the amazing restoration of Holy Cross undertaken from 1971 to 1975, at a time when people were probably much more inclined to build new modern churches than to invest money, time and energy in the regeneration of an abandoned ruin. Willie’s passionate commitment to the restoration of the Abbey and the support of the local community enabled that vision to become a reality. Interestingly, all the craftsmen involved in the restoration were from the locality, belonging to families with a long tradition as carpenters, stonemasons etc. Holy Cross Abbey today is a testament to the skill with which those local craftsmen restored and\or replicated the wonderful features of the original.

As Willie pointed out the Abbey is an amalgam of many different styles in its various features and yet they all meld to form a most harmonious whole. We had time to admire the many impressive aspects of the Abbey: the elaborately carved stone columns of the colonnade, the wonderful oak-beamed ceilings, the groined roof with arched stone ribs, the hunting fresco, the famous stone-carved owl, the masons’ marks, the East Window, the modern stained glass windows and much more besides. We learned that the floor of the nave slopes down towards the altar not for any profound liturgical reason but simply because when the monks started to build their church that part of the site was on a slope. The sedilia,(the stone seats for the Abbot and two other high-ranking monks),with its intricate carvings merited special attention, Willie told us, as it is regarded as the finest example of its type in Ireland.

Finally, we visited the side altar where one can see the relics of the true Cross from which the Abbey derives its name. As everyone knows these relics were stolen last October but were retrieved by the Garda Síochána in January of this year and are now safely ensconced behind reinforced glass and back where they belong.

Emerging into the June sunshine, we continued at a leisurely pace around the lovely environs of the Abbey while Willie told us more about the restoration, pointed out features of note on the exterior of the Church and told us about such tales as that of ‘The Good Woman’s Son’. We had a wonderful visit to the Abbey and we would like to thank Willie most sincerely for giving so generously of his time and knowledge. Holy Cross Abbey is indeed a national treasure, it’s on our doorstep in a most beautiful location and it is well worth a visit. Indeed, many of us came away vowing to return soon.

Then it was time for the next part of our trip organised by Pat Looby: tea & scones & a surprise. So, having invited Willie to join us, very much in the spirit of a mystery tour, we headed off through the park opposite the Abbey, down a narrow lane, along a grassy pathway to find ourselves in the delightful surroundings of Philip Quinn’s Stone Mad Workshop. Philip, originally from Killenaule, is a sculptor working in stone and wood. Everywhere you look there are the most amazing pieces, some abstract, some not, all inspired! Mermaids and dancers and lovely, tactile, curved polished limestone pieces abound. It is a treasure trove of beautiful objects, again well worth a visit.

Philip’s wife Liz welcomed us with tea, coffee and an array of homemade scones, blackcurrant jam, apple jelly and cream. As Pat knows we in the Fethard Historical Society take our food very seriously and Liz did us proud. Suitably fortified, it was out to Philip’s workshop where he gave us a fascinating demonstration of the various techniques and tools used in working with stone. He explained the varying properties of different stone such as the local blue limestone, Portland limestone, French sandstone etc. and then showed us how the stonemason varies his technique accordingly when working with the stone. Referring to some of the older inscriptions we would have seen in Holy Cross Abbey, Philip carved one such letter for us in limestone, making it look incredibly easy. As mentioned already, Philip also works in wood and is currently working on a Madonna and Child figure in cypress wood sourced from Fethard! It was the perfect ending to a lovely afternoon and all that was left for us to do was to thank Philip and Liz for their hospitality and for welcoming us into what is a very special space.

Killurney Historical Ramble this Thursday
The historical walk, to sites in the countryside around Killurney, will now take place this Thursday, June 21, beginning at 7.30 pm. The three-mile ramble, on the south side of Slievenamon, is being jointly organised by the Fethard Historical Society and the Killurney Sport and Social Club. Meet up at Killurney Old School Hall at 7.30pm, the walk is 3 miles (via roads, tracks and fields) and the fee is €3 per person, with children going free. Stout country shoes or boots are required. Tea/Coffee will be served in the hall at the end of the walk.

GAA Juniors on a Winning Streak
Last week we had mixed fortunes on the playing fields, with our Junior football team recording a great win over Ballyporeen in the South Junior Championship and our Senior team falling at the quarter final stages of the south senior football championship.
The Junior team continued its winning ways at Cahir on Wednesday night last when they accounted for Ballyporeen. Even though we were short a few players we were able to give twenty of our panel a run during the game. In fairness we were a little to strong for the opposition and this reflected in the score but, nevertheless, all games have to be won and we can be sure the waters will get rougher as we progress in the championship.

Fethard ran out winners with a score of, Fethard 4-10, Ballyporeen 1-4. The field in Cahir was in excellent condition and the club must be complimented on same. The team was: Paul Kenny, Curley O’Connell, Tom Anglim, Peter Gough, Frankie O’Donovan, Damien Byrne, Cathal Gorey, P. J. Aherne (capt), Cathal Hurley, Dion Tobin, Miceál Spillane, Brian Healy, Martin Coen, John Fitzgerald, J.P. Looby. Subs used were: Philly Prout, Ned Allen, Eugene Walsh, H. Morgan and Ronald Allen. Best were: P.J. Aherne, D. Byrne, Ml. Spillane M. Coen. B. Healy and J.P. Looby.     Saturday night at Cahir saw Fethard exit from the South Championship for this year when we were defeated by old rivals, Ardfinnan, after a reasonable performance in very good conditions. Minus a number of players due to holidays and the ‘green army’, we were not at full strength for this encounter and ran out of steam in the latter stages of the game. At the break, Fethard were trailing by 1-3 to Ardfinnan’s 0-10, but when the play resumed the Blues made a mighty effort to bring the sides to just two points separating them with nine minutes to go. A number of frees didn’t hit the white spot and left us short at the end of play. Now we must await the deliberations at the County Board to see where we are in the Co. Championship.

The final score saw Ardfinnan run out winners on a score of Ardfinnan 0-17, Fethard 1-7. Best for Fethard were Brian Delahunty, Ronan Fitzgerald and Michael Hayes. Team was: Paul Fitzgerald, Shane Aylward, Gavin Fitzgerald, Alan O’Connor, Ronan Fitzgerald, Dee Burke, Brian Delahunty, Shane Walshe, Cian Maher, Aiden Lonergan, David Hayes, Dylan Fitzgerald, Ciaran O’Meara, Karl Maher and Kenneth O’Donnell.

Fethard and Killusty Community Games 
The following children from the area are all qualified to compete in the Community Games County Athletics Finals which will take place in Templemore Athletic Club, situated on the right hand side of the square on Sunday, June 24. Assembly for the parade is at 11.30am followed by the opening ceremony with the events commencing at 12 noon sharp.

The Fethard Banner will be erected at a central point as a landmark for the competitors to meet. We are still awaiting an offer of a volunteer to act as athletics manager which will involve distributing numbers to the competitors and make sure they know time of their race.

Complete programme of events including running order of same and names of competitors in each race may be downloaded from the www.tipperarycommunitygames.com website from Thursday, June 21. This will give everyone a chance to have their own programme and avoid confusion. Best of luck to all qualifiers:

U8 60m Lily O’Mahoney, Tullamaine; Kelly Ryan, Strylea; Shane Lawrence, Woodvale Walk; and Thomas Donegan, Tullamaine.

U8 80m Eabha Ryan, Killusty; Aine Connolly, Tullamaine Dara O’Meara, Killusty, Michael James Phelan, Jossestown

U10 100m Jennifer Phelan, Jossestown Alison Connolly, Tullamaine; Ryan Walsh, Killenaule Road; and Michael Conway, Kilknockin View.

U10 200m Ciara Spillane, Nell Spillane both Tullamaine; Michael Quinlan, Tullamaine; and Cathal Ryan, Killusty.

U12 100m Leah Coen, The Green; Lucy Spillane, Tullamaine; Ben Coen, Killusty; and Robert Hackett, Cashel Road.

U12 600m Carrie Davey, Everardsgrange; Megan Hackett, Cashel
Road; Stephen Crotty, Killusty; and Cathal O’Mahoney, Tullamaine.

U14 100m Aisling Gorey, Moanbeg; Jack Dolan, Coolmore Stud; and Mark Heffernan, Ballyvaden.

U16 100m David Heffernan, Ballyvaden

Long Puck U12 Boys Jack Ward, Garrinch; and Darragh Lynch, Coolmore Stud.

If competitors are unable to attend the finals they might please ring 086 8110768 before Sunday.



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