Thursday 27th June 2013

Medieval Festival a colourful affair
The seventh Fethard Medieval Festival, on Sunday last, was again a wonderful spectacle with the old walled town looking its colourful best.

All was set for the Medieval Parade at two o’clock from the Town Hall to the carnival village which stretched for hundreds of metres along by the Clashawley river and the Town Wall.

Hundreds of children took part in the parade and all with class banners, family shields, fantastic hats or in full medieval attire. This huge family involvement was as a result of the creative workshops that have been carried out with all the pupils of the parish schools over the past number of weeks by artist Patricia Looby.

The parade had music, spectacle and humour. Nuada, a musical duo playing medieval bagpipes and hurdy-gurdy led off, followed by the multitude of children, knights, ladies and medieval characters of one sort or another. The parade had wolfhounds, stilt-walkers, jugglers and some fierce Celtic warriors that were spoiling for a fight with anyone who crosses their path.

Wonderful Setting
The Valley Park along by the Clashawley River is without question one of the most dramatic settings in the whole country for a medieval festival. With the backdrop of the shield bedecked Town Wall, the flags of the four provinces billowing from the top of the church tower and the sun shining down on the huge crowd, then Fethard was looking its very best.

The organisers put many man-hours (and woman-hours) in painting and mounting the huge shields and also erecting flagpoles, signs and banners. The grounds and town were also in immaculate condition and the County Council staff and Tidy Town’s volunteers must be congratulated and thanked for a job so well done.

Family friendly
The aim of the organisers, Fethard Historical Society, is to create a great day out – at minimal or no cost – for all the families of the area. The funding comes via The Irish Walled Towns Network, which is an off-shoot of the National Heritage Council, and their objective is to support groups and events that promote an appreciation of our history and culture. A detailed report, with many pictures, has to be submitted every year to ensure that funding is forthcoming and so far the ‘powers that be’ are very happy that Fethard puts on a quality event.

Town Model and Holy Trinity Church
Old Holy Trinity church was a very busy place on Sunday last with hundreds and hundreds of families and individuals visiting this beautiful 800-year-old church, one of the very few in the country that are still in regular use after all these years.

Pride of place went to the Town Model that has found a truly wonderful home in the newly carpeted  gallery in the tower of the church with lighting coming from the iconic west window. There was a continuous flow of people all afternoon to see the end result of a year’s work of the Transition Year Students under the supervision of their art teacher Patricia Looby and with technical support from Michael Costello.  The model has become a visitor attraction in itself and its setting in Holy Trinity Church is inspired.

On display in the church also were the medieval class banners completed by all the children in the parish schools as well as the hundreds of entries in the Art Competition that came from Fethard, Killusty, Cloneen, Moyglass, Killurney and Lisronagh primary schools.

The church was also the perfect setting for Calligrapher Tony Whitney and ‘historical’ music duo Nuada. Tony Whitney stated that he got only one ten minute break all afternoon as hundreds of people wanted their names written out by his expert hand.

Nuada, as well as playing wonderful music, also had on display an intriguing array of ancient instruments which recalled the days of the wandering minstrels of medieval Europe.

Holy Trinity Church came alive on the day and the local Church of Ireland community and rector Rev. Barbara Fryday must be thanked for the wonderful condition  in which they maintain this national treasure.

Fethard Gathering 2013
The Fethard Business and Tourism Group would like to extend our thanks to all who helped make an outstanding success of this year’s Fethard Gathering Festival; South Tipperary Development Company and South Tipperary County Council for their considerable financial support.

We acknowledge the marvellous support received from Coolmore Stud Farm whose professionalism made the event run so smoothly and also for sponsoring the Kiddies Fun Park, Duck Race, Ice cream and Burgers. Special thanks to the ICA, Country Markets and Civil Defence teams for their work.

Our teaming up with Fethard Historical Society’s Medieval Festival this year was a great example of a joint community effort. We acknowledge the terrific effort from the staff and pupils of Holy Trinity National School for the great music and dance street entertainment that got the Festival moving to a fantastic start on Friday.

Congratulations to Katie Cross on being elected ‘Rose of Fethard’ on Friday and being a great representative for the Festival at all the weekend’s events

Thanks to our local sports clubs: Fethard Athletic Club, Fethard GAA and Rugby Club for their well-organised events run over the weekend. Thanks to Diana Stokes, Pat Culligan and Catherine Kearney for organising a great Dog Show by the Town Wall. Thanks to the eight local pubs and all the business people of the town for their on-going support.

Thanks to the Community Council Team for all the administrative back-up; the Convent Hall team for their support; Clonacody Country House and Slievenamon golf Course and must appreciated sponsorship; most importantly a special thanks to the people of Fethard and our national and international visitors for making the day so special.

Last and no way least, a very special thanks to Sergeant John Bourke and his team for effective policing of the event and the estimated 4,500-5,000 guests who visited Fethard for the Festival on Sunday.

Festival Dog Show Results
This year’s Fethard Festival Dog Show had many entries enjoyed by all in festive spirit at the Fethard Gathering. The results of each group are as follows:
Small Dog Class 1: 1st Amanda Quigley’s ‘Daisy’; 2nd Tara Moquet’s ‘Froggy’; 3rd Conor Tracey’s ‘Winnie’.
Small Dog Class 2: 1st Teresa Fahey’s ‘Gismo’; 2nd Darragh Doyle’s ‘Tiny’; 3rd Amy Kenny’s ‘Bardock’.
Large Dog Class: 1st: Sarah Healy’s Molly’; 2nd Trisha Noonan’s ‘Finn’; 3rd Amy Murphy’s ‘Honey’.
Dog to Take Home Class: 1st Denise Dawson’s ‘Sally’; Isabell Kennedy’s ‘Tubs’; Joseph Carroll’s ‘Princess’.
Best Groomed Class: 1st Eleanor Walsh’s ‘Brandy’; 2nd Maeve Aoibheann’s ‘Ruby’; 3rd Diana Stokes’ ‘Elvis’.
Fancy Dress Class: 1st Tara Moquet’s ‘Froggy’; 2nd Conor Tracey’s ‘Winnie’; 3rd Paige Moloy’s ‘Eddie’.
Best in Show Class: 1st Champion Sarah Healy’s ‘Molly’; 2nd Reserve Champion Eleanor Walsh’s ‘Brandy’.

Pat elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy
Professor Pat Guiry, son of the late Jerome and Maureen Guiry of St. Johnstown, Fethard, was recently elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy. Each year, this accolade is bestowed on a very small number of academics in science, humanities or social sciences. It recognises not only their outstanding academic achievements, but also major contributions to their discipline both nationally and internationally. The Academy was established in 1785 and is the most prestigious learned institution in the country. Among the membership of the Academy are many of Ireland’s leading scholars, the best known of whom include: Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate; Joe Lee, historian; Dermot Gleeson, barrister and Attorney General 1994-7; Peter Sutherland, lawyer and banker; Geraldine Kennedy, journalist; Mary Robinson, President of Ireland 1990-7; Mary McAleese, President of Ireland.

A past pupil of the Patrician Presentation Secondary School in Fethard, he is Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Head of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at University College Dublin. He leads a group of researchers who develop new catalysts and synthetic methodologies to prepare biologically interesting organic compounds, particularly those with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. He is internationally renowned for his expertise in asymmetric catalysis, stereoselective synthesis and medicinal chemistry. He has over 120 publications and book chapters to date and has supervised 32 PhD students to completion. He has delivered over 70 lectures internationally, including at Oxford, Princeton, Paris, Shanghai, Chicago, Stockholm, Rome, Toronto, and Imperial College London. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2012 and a Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry in Ireland in 2007.

Wins for Fintan Rice and Claire Annan
The Great Fethard Run took place on Friday, June 21, in conjunction with The Gathering Festival with all profits going to Fethard & District Day Care Centre.

Thirty-four hardy souls took to the roads in unfavourable conditions to run this brand new 5k course with only the start and finish in the town.

Michael Moclair (Fethard AC) set the early pace with his club mate Fintan Rice sitting comfortable on his shoulder as they approached the 2k mark. After the fast downhill section between the 2k and 3k mark Fintan had taken control of the race and had a lead of approximately 100 metres. Fintan pressed home his advantage in the final stages to win in a time of 17.46. Michael paid the price for his early pace as he was overtaken by Niall O Ceallaigh (Clonmel AC) on the home run with Niall taken the runners-up spot in a time of 18.28.
In the Ladies race Claire Annan (Carrick AC) had a comprehensive victory in a time of 19.02 ahead of Helen O Ceallaigh (Clonmel AC) in a time of 25.22. There was good running right down the field with Fethard athletes Audrey Conway, Noreen Harrington, Bernard Feery and Biddy O'Dwyer all doing well.

The feedback on the course was very positive as it was marked and marshalled very well. We would like to thanks all that helped out on the night, including our hosts at the Day Care Centre, the local Gardaí’s traffic control, Dr Carmel Condon, Niall O’Sullivan and The Gathering Festival for promoting the event. Watch this 5k grow from strength to strength and maybe next time we wont forget to order better weather.

Community Games
Congratulation to all competitors from the Fethard and Killusty area who competed last Sunday at the county athletics finals in Templemore and finished with excellent results. Jack Dolan, Coolmore, won gold in the Boys’ U16 1500m event with silver medals going to Leah Coen, Ben Coen, Alison Connolly and Mark Heffernan.
Jake Coen and Michael James Phelan qualified for the semi-finals in their events. Matt Coen and Aine Connolly qualified in their heats and Katie Ryan gave a fine performance in the U14 long puck even though out of the medals.

Jack Dolan has now qualified for the National Finals in Athlone. Passport type photograph and Birth Cert to Peggy asap please. Best of Luck to the U12 girls football team who will contest the Munster finals in Tralee on next Saturday, June 29.

Mass in the Abbey for the late Joe Keane
At the request of his many friends, the 7.30pm Mass in the Augustinian Abbey on next Saturday night, June 29, will be celebrated for the soul of Joe Keane, late of The Green, Fethard, and Monasterevin.

Local Hospice Support Group Collection
Fethard Support Group for South Tipperary Hospice will hold their Annual Church Gate Collection in Fethard, Killusty and Moyglass weekending July 6 and July 7. The support group are very grateful for your tremendous support in the past and look forward to your continued support this year.

Killusty Pony Show
This year’s Killusty Pony Show will take place on Saturday, July 6. Entries close on June 28. For schedules and entry forms please contact Pat Culligan 087 9451810 or Betsy O’Connor (052) 6131130 or you can download same from the Irish Pony Society website: www.irishponysociety.ie

Bridge for Beginners
Fethard Bridge Club hopes to run classes for bridge beginners next winter. The classes would run over twelve weeks and start in September or October. If anyone is interested, please contact Eileen at 086 0781448 for further details.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on June 19, were: 3, 20, 27 and 28. We had no jackpot winner and one ‘Match Three’ winner who received €150: John O'Brien, Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard.

The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners won €50 each: Liz Hunt, Lisronagh, Clonmel; Anna Bradshaw Cooke, St. Patrick's Place, Fethard; and 'Sparky' Sabatini, Main Street, 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, June 26, and the Jackpot is €3,100 and the Jackpot seller’s prize is €310. All proceeds go towards community work in Fethard.

Social Dancing at Fethard Ballroom
Dancing at Fethard Ballroom on Sunday Night, June 30, to the music of ‘Dave Rae’. All welcome to come along and enjoy a great night’s entertainment and social dancing. Dancing 9pm to midnight and admission is €7.

Sean Keane coming to the Abymill
Sean Keane and his band will stage a concert in the Abymill Theatre in Fethard on Saturday, July 20, at 8pm. Sean whose unique sean-nós style of singing is known and loved worldwide. Younger brother of Delores Keane, Sean began singing before he could talk and this concert is a once off down south before his tour of America at the end of July. For a night of good music and song this is a must for any music lover. Ticket enquiries to Anne 086 0834208

Rathcoole Graveyard
Cleaning of Rathcoole graveyard will continue on Wednesday, June 26, at 7pm. All help gratefully appreciated, please bring a strimmer if you have one. Contact Seamus on 086 2547162 for more details.

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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