Thursday 9th May 2013

Tidy Towns prepare for national judging in June
Fethard Tidy Towns would like to thank all who participated in the ‘Spring Clean-Up’ during the month of April. We would particularly like to thank the pupils and teachers of Holy Trinity National School who came out in force to lend a hand in litter picking around the town.

We ask people to be extra vigilant with litter over the next few weeks as judging for the national tidy towns competition will take place in the first week in June. Our aim is too improve our marks every year and we can certainly achieve this with your help. We would also love to see more window boxes and hanging baskets to add some colour to our streets and estates.

If you notice an area or neglected spot around Fethard that is in need of attention and not on private land, please being it to the attention of any member of the committee and we can see what help is available to improve the situation.

Work is on-going by the river bank and playground park which will be a great addition to the town when completed in June. A perimeter fence will be erected along the riverbank in due course which will provide safety for young children. A CCTV security system will also be a feature in the new playground.

Sports Achievement Award for April  
Congratulations to Mouse Morris who was the April winner in Butlers Sports Bar’s ‘Fethard Sports Achievement Awards’. Mouse rounded off a great year for his stable with victory in the prestigious Bet Fred Bowl chase (Grade 1) at Aintree with his horse First Lieutenant.

The award was presented by Paul Kavanagh, representing this month’s sponsor 'United Colours of Benetton', on Friday night, May 3, at a function in Butlers Sports Bar. Special sports guest on the night was jockey Stan Murphy.

Nominees for May 2013 are now being taken and can be handed in to Philip Butler at Fethard Sports Bar, Main Street, Fethard, before 6pm on Friday, May 24, or emailed to: sportsaward@fethard.com

Historical Society marks 25 years
The 25th Anniversary AGM of the Fethard Historical Society was held on Tuesday, April 30, last in the Abymill Theatre and the occasion was marked in a number of different ways.

Kitty Delany, one of the most active members of the society for most of those years was made a ‘Life Member’ of the Society on the night, only the fourth person to have been honoured in this way. Patricia Looby, chairperson of the Historical Society, also presented Kitty with a bouquet of flowers and thanked her for her support and commitment to the Historical Society and to community life in general.

The Historical Society run many lectures, outings and functions -including the Book Fair - throughout the year which, of course, always entails work and preparation of some kind and without the interest and efforts of people like Kitty Delany then much of this activity would not take place.

Presentation to ‘Founding Fathers and Mothers’
The original committee members, elected on March 23, 1988, were invited to be part of the 25th AGM and to be presented with a signed copy of the most recent book produced by the Society  - ‘Heraldic Memorials in Fethard’ by Gerard Crotty.

The original founding committee was as follows: Peter Grant (chairperson), Joe Ryan (vice-chairperson), Mary Hanrahan (secretary), Denis Burke (treasurer) Joe Kenny (PRO), Marie O’Donnell, Pat O’Shea, Christy Mullins, Michael O’Donnell, J.J. Keane, Jimmy O’Connor, Vincent Doocey, Diane Stokes and Mary Healy.

It was wonderful that many of the original committee were able to be present to mark the occasion and Mary Healy, the one deceased member, was represented by her daughter Catherine on the night. John Joe Keane, who could not be present, sent a poem for the occasion, which historically he is wont to do, and again the gesture was much appreciated and enjoyed.

Lecture and Reception

The AGM was followed by a lecture by Cóilín Ó Drisceoil on his recent archaeological survey of the Town Hall and the evening ended with a wine reception and reminisces of the past twenty-five years. Overall, it was felt that the dreams and plans of the ‘founding members’ have been mostly achieved but as is always the case, ‘A lot done, more to do!’

The officers for the coming year are: chairperson, Patricia Looby; vice-chairperson, John Cooney; secretary, Mary Hanrahan; treasurer, Catherine O’Flynn; public relations officer, Terry Cunningham. Committee members: Ann Gleeson, Diane Stokes, Kitty Delany, Marie O’Donnell, Jane Grubb, Colm McGrath, Ann Lynch and Gerry Long.

Annual May Procession
This year’s May Procession on honour of Our Lady will take place on next Sunday evening, May 12. The procession will start at the Parish Church at 7pm and make its way to the Augustinian Abbey.

Social Dancing at Fethard Ballroom
Dancing at Fethard Ballroom on Sunday Night, May 12, to the music of the Moynihan Brothers. All welcome to come along and enjoy a great night’s entertainment and social dancing. Dancing 9pm to midnight and admission is €7.

Finding new Life in the Spirit!
A seminar, ‘Finding new life in the Spirit’, continues in Holy Trinity Parish Church at 7pm on this Wednesday, May 8, topic is ‘Salvation’. The seminar will continue each Wednesday evening at the same time until May 29.

Following Wednesdays: May 15 ‘The New Life’; May 19 (Sunday) ‘Baptism in the Spirit’; May 22 ‘Growth’ and finishing on May 29 with ‘Transformation in Christ’.

All are invited to attend this very informative journey of faith. Guest speakers will attend.

Town Hall was once a Hospital
On Tuesday last, April 30, in the Abymill, Cóilín Ó Drisceoil of Kilkenny Archaeology made public his discoveries following his investigations in the Town Hall over the winter months. He again emphasised that the Town Hall building began life as an alms-house (or an old people’s home/hospital in today’s language) around the year 1600 AD. He then listed some of the subsequent uses that the building was put to; including – Tholsel, Court House, Market House, Town Hall, Dance Hall – to name but a few.

He again stated that Fethard’s Town Hall is one of the biggest public buildings of its age, 400 years, still in use in the country and that it was truly wonderful that it is being brought back to life by the people of the town.

In fact his investigation indicated that a much older building stood on the same site and he also felt quite sure that there was a ‘basement’ in the building which may have been filled in over the years (or it may still be there or, even better, connected to a secret passage way). He showed photographs of the three wonderful cut stone fireplaces that lay hidden under the wainscoting and plaster that has covered the inside walls in living memory.

His archaeological survey, financed by Fethard & Killusty Community Council, was completed as a necessary part of the planning application to the County Council by the Fethard Business and Tourism Group (FBTG) for their very ambitious plans for the Town Hall.

It is hoped that planning permission will be granted for the revamping of the Town Hall as a tourism hub for the town and area and the Business and Tourism Group are very busy pushing ahead with fundraising to ‘match’ the funds already committed by the County Council and also with their application to South Tipperary Development Company (LEADER) for the bulk of the funds for this major project.

It is widely felt by all the government agencies, especially Fáilte Ireland, that Fethard can’t take off as a visitor destination unless it has a ‘focal point’ building with all the services that visiting groups require, i.e. Tourist Information, Toilets, Café, exhibitions, in other words a place where visitors can ‘hang out’ and get a feeling for the town and area. 

Already groups are being brought to the town by local guides Terry Cunningham and Colm McGrath (www.BacksToTheWallTours.com) but the absence of some essential facilities makes the planning of group visits somewhat difficult at certain times.

New Tourism Centre
Hopefully, all going to plan and especially fundraising, Fethard should have a visitor centre up and running within two years, which will be a great boost to general business in the town and hopefully spawn new enterprises and attract further funding and capital to the area. If you would like to support the Town Hall project you can do so by purchasing a ticket from any committee member or online at www.fethardbusines.com where you will also find details of the upcoming ‘Fethard Gathering Festival’ planned for June.

GAA Sports Lotto Results
Fethard GAA Sports Lotto results for April 30 are as follows. The numbers drawn were: 5, 10, 14 and 17. We had no jackpot winner three ‘Match 3’ winners: John Connelly, c/o Merry's, Clonmel; Michael Quinlan, Tullamaine; and Stephen Fitzgerald, St. Patrick’s Place. The €50 lucky dip winner was Austy Godfrey, Derryluskin.
Our next draw takes place in the Castle Inn. Jackpot is €6,100. Best of luck to all and thanks to AIB for sponsoring tickets.

Alzheimer’s Coffee Morning at The Convent
The Presentation Sisters will host a tea/coffee morning on May 9, from 10.30am to 11.30am, in aid of Alzheimers. All are invited to come along, enjoy a cuppa at the Convent and make a donation to this worthy cause.

First Holy Communion
The sacrament of First Holy Communion will take place for children of the parish on next Saturday morning, May 11, at 11am in Holy Trinity Parish Church.

Fethard Rugby Club AGM
On Monday, May 20, our AGM will be held in our club house and any motions for the AGM can be emailed to fethardrfc@gmail.com by Thursday, May 16, please. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Strictly Come Dancing
The time has come around again for this year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ at Fethard Ballroom which features local schoolchildren giving a colourful exhibition of ballroom dancing under the guidance of Marina Mullins.

This event takes place on Monday, May 20, at 7.30pm, and attracts a large audience every year. All are welcome to come along and proceeds are in aid of Holy Trinity National School.

Died Recently
The death has occurred on Thursday, May 2, 2013, of Mr Paddy Lawrence, Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard. Interment took place at Calvary Cemetery.

Community Games News
Fethard and Killusty Community GAA teams had a busy time last week. The U11 hurling team played a wonderful game against Powerstown Lisronagh in Fethard on Monday evening. These boys treated their mentors and supporters to a most exciting match which could have gone either way up right to the final whistle where the score was 3-2 to 2-2 in favour of Powerstown. Ryan Walsh scored 1-2 and Michael Quinlan scored a goal for Fethard. Dean English scored 1-1, Paddy O’Keeffe and Rian O’Halloran 1-0 each and Peter McGarry 0-1 for Powerstown.

The U12 girls travelled to Monroe on Thursday evening and quickly compensated for the defeat of the boys with a fine victory over Powerstown Lisronagh. Fethard denominated this game from the beginning with Leah Coen and Ava Hickey scoring a point each within the first seven minutes followed by two points by Ciara Connolly and a point from Carrie Davey gave Fethard a 5-2 lead at half time. They kept the pressure on in the second half with a further 1-1 from Ava Hickey to win the match by an impressive 1-6 to 0-3. Powerstown points came from Eva Ryan, Louise Norris and Sarah O’Connor. All members of both teams played well, they will have benefited from the experience and had an enjoyable game.

Well done Manager Micheál Spillane and his team. It was lovely to see the large number of parents who turned out to support their children. Best of luck in round two.

Fethard Macra news
Well done to Michael Moclair who took part in the Macra Munster Vice Presidency, Michael lost out by a very close 35 to 37 votes but would like to offer a huge thank you to all of those who supported him. Michael said, 'Everything happens for a reason and I’m not quitting!' so watch this space.

Michael also took part in the Mastermind section of the Macra National Talent Competition on Saturday, May 4, in Brú Ború, Cashel, and came in third place, well done in your participation.
Congratulations to Fethard Macra who won the Farm Skills competition in Cahir over the weekend. We would also like to say well done to Kevin Byrne who competed in the National Macra ‘Mister Personality’ competition in the Springhill Court Hotel Kilkenny on April 19-21.

For more enquiries or if you are interested in joining South Tipp Macra contact Laurann on 085-7337432 or Una 087-4165826 or find us on Facebook under South Tipp Macra.

Fethard Convent Community Hall
How would you like to get your teeth whitened without spending a fortune? ‘Sparkles Whitening’ are coming to Fethard on Saturday, May 18, and are offering a fantastic intro offer of €50 so if you would like an appointment call 085 7547092 or visit ‘sparkles whitening’ on FaceBook.

Fethard Convent Community Hall is now available for bookings for Communions, Confirmations, birthday parties or any special occasion, for more details phone 086 8743752 or (052) 6131000.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on May 1, were: 7, 11, 17 and 26. We had no jackpot winner and five ‘Match Three’ winners who received €30: Kitty McCarthy, Main Street, Fethard; Kathleen Spillane, c/o Maria Murphy; Pat Looby, The Valley, Fethard; Danny Croke, Killenaule; and Tom Tobin, St. Patricks Place, Fethard.

The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners won €50 each: Seamus Moloney, Cloneen, Fethard; Rory Shelly, Moyglass, Fethard; and Gus Slattery, Kilnockin, Fethard.

Remember you can purchase your lotto ticket online at fethard.com. Buy seven weekly tickets and get one free! Check on the website for lots of special offers. Next week’s draw takes place on Wednesday, May 8 and the Jackpot is €9,100 and the Jackpot seller’s prize is €910. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

Run The Walls Of Fethard with Fethard AC
Cahir was the venue on May 1 for the South Tipp Hospice 4 miler, with 450 athletes taking to the start line in fabulous conditions for running. Fintan Rice's great season continued with victory in the Masters section and 5th position overall. Edmond Kinane put in another solid showing to come home 30th overall.

Next home was Paraic McCormack with another improved 4 mile time in 105th position and with that bagging himself a spot prize. Imelda Vaughan had another great run in 207th and Miceál McCormack dusted of the runners and wound back the clock to come home highly placed in the walkers section and 305th overall. It was also nice to see many other Fethard folk such as Stephen O’Donnell, Siobhan Ryan and John Fitzgerald take part in this event for a very worthy cause.

On May 2, Jennifer Rice was in action in the Cashel Community School 6k Fun Run in aid of Pieta House. In a crowd of nearly 1000, Jenifer was well placed overall and took 1st place in the senior girls section. Edmond Kinane also took part less than 24 hours after running in Cahir where he was joined by many of the county’s top athletes. Jennifer and Edmond and the event itself was well supported by our club members, families and friends.

There are now just three weeks to go to the thirteenth staging of The Walls of Fethard 4 miler plus 2 mile ‘fit4life fun run’, which takes place on Wednesday, May 29, starting at 8pm. The race has been given a bit of a shake up for this year. It will see us use 2x2 mile laps for the first time which makes the event more fun runner friendly whilst still testing for top athletes, in place of the old 4x1 mile laps of the town. It will also see us use the Convent Community Hall for sign-in and changing area. This a fabulous and fresh new facility which allows for a more comfortable atmosphere to enjoy the refreshments and prize-giving afterwards. The race itself will start in the town centre, head up Barracks St. turn left at Kenny's Centra taken in the small loop thru Slievenamon Close on to the Killenaule Road, head back down Barracks St. to the town centre taking in two laps of the town and its surrounds including Main Street, Kerry Street, Jesuit's Walk, Watergate, Burke's Street turning left at the Abbey up to The Green, left again down Barrack's Street to Main Street and finishing as always under the Northgate Arch on the Moyglass Road.

Last year saw wins for David Shelley of Ballynonty AC and Martina O'Dwyer Carrick AC. In the Mens we wonder if 2012 runner-up, Ross Alexander, Coolquill AC, go one better? Local man Fintan Rice, Fethard AC, will be one to watch as will a number of Clonmel AC athletes, or will the win go outside the county as it did on many occasions.

In the ladies Angela McCann, Aine Roche and Johanna Lacey, Clonmel AC will be ones for the 2012 winner to watch out for as will Claire Annan, Marie Fitzgibbon, Thurles Crokes, Dympna Ryan, Dundrum AC and 2011 winner, Siobhan O'Doherty, Borrisokane AC. Aine Doocey, Fethard AC, will be looking to mix it with the best after a fine season so far.

This race is open to all levels and types of competitors, with prizes up for grabs in all categories and spot prizes for random finishers. Our 2 mile fun run/walk will give people the chance to take part and enjoy a race in a ‘no pressure’ environment with a equal chance for everyone to pick up a spot prize if you’re first or last. If you’re not running why not pop outside your door and give some support as the runners go past or come down to the Main Street and enjoy the pre race and street music. Sign in is from 7pm. For any further race information contact Paraic on 087-9229747 or Miceál on (052) 6131534 or find us on Facebook. Mark this one in your diary and help make this our biggest and best event to date.

Running continues every Monday and Friday night at 7.15pm, meeting at the Ballroom. Keep on running!

Fethard News
Items for inclusion on the weekly Fethard News page on The Nationalist can be emailed before noon on Mondays to news@fethard.com or delivered by hand to Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard.



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