Thursday 19th December 2013

Happy Christmas to all our readers
We take this opportunity to wish all our contributors to the Fethard Page and readers a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year, and sincere thanks for your help in supplying news items and photographs over the past year.

Christmas Mass Times
Abbey Church
Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, Carols at 8pm followed by Mass at 8.30pm; Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25, at 9.30am and 11.30am.
Parish Church
Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, at 7pm; Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25, at 8.30am and 11am.
Killusty Church of the Sacred Heart
Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, at 8pm; Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25, at 10am.

Patrician/Presentation Jottings
Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary School Transition Year pupils ran a pop-up shop over Fethard’s Christmas Festival weekend, December 6-8, where they exhibited and sold some of their mini-company products. Katie Whyte, Orla Walsh and Michael O’Mahoney, proprietors of the school shop ‘The Hunger Games’, also set up over the weekend. Or thanks to Sue-Ann O’Donnell for professional guidance with the mini-companies and to John and Maureen Whyte for the use of their premises over the weekend.

School Choir
The school choir participated in the annual Abbey Carol Service on Sunday last, December 15th. They joined up with the Holy Trinity Primary School and the local church choirs for this event.
The school choir, under the guidance of Ms Raggett, also took part in the Festive carol singing at the Christmas tree on The Square, on Friday, December 6, of the Christmas Festival. Well done to all.

Workshop on Stress
The Transition Years took part in a Workshop on Stress on Thursday last, December 12th . The workshop was facilitated by Ms Pauline Strappe of Tipperary Regional Youth Service.

Christmas Exams
All classes are currently sitting their end of term exams and reports will be available after Christmas. Students are requested to prepare well for these exams and students who miss individual exams will be required to sit these exams after school at set times

Christmas Bake-off
Students from the Home Economics classes participated in a Christmas Bake-off in conjunction with the Fethard Christmas festival. To enter students had to bake items with a Christmas theme and the majority of the ingredients had to be purchased in Fethard. Students were thus required to produce receipts to show that they had shopped locally for their ingredients. The judges were staff member Ms McKeogh and Emily Sayers of Emily’s Delicatessen from the local community. The winner was Orla Walsh (4th year) with her Snowman Queencakes and Emma Cronin (2nd Year) was in second place with her Reindeer Queencakes

Fundraising for Meals-on-Wheels
The Student Council organised a fund-raising Volleyball Match at the end of October between students and teachers. They decided this year to donate funds raised to a local charity: Meals-on-Wheels. On Monday, December 9, Geraldine McCarthy and Fionnuala O’Sullivan of Fethard Day Care Centre were presented with a cheque for €200 by the student council chairperson, Tara Horan. Other student council members and our Principal, Mr O’Sullivan were also in attendance.

Best Wishes for Christmas
Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2014 to all members of the school community.

Leaving Cert Class Reunion ’78-‘80 (Photo – Leaving Cert)
Calling all leaving cert students attending Patrician Presentation Secondary School during 1978, 1979 and 1980, to a school reunion which will be held in the Fethard Arms on Friday, December 27, from 8pm. Contact any of the organisers: Sean O'Donovan, Susanna Manton, Catherine O'Connell and Marée Moclair or email: fethardreunion@outlook.com

The main reason behind the multiple year reunion is that there was no transition year in the 1970s so students repeated fifth year. That meant the group you started with moved on – so which year did you really belong to?

We would also remind people who dropped out before the Leaving Cert are also very welcome to attend the reunion. Don’t forget, Fethard Arms, Friday, December 27, from 8pm onwards.

Emigrant’s Newsletter now on sale locally
The annual Fethard & Killusty Emigrants’ Newsletter, at €12, is now on sale in Centra Supermarket, The Green; McManus’s Grocery, Burke Street; Daybreak, Kerry Street; and the Post Office, Main Street. This year’s issue is the largest yet with over 248 pages of articles and photographs including many interesting features. We expect this year’s issue to sell out fast so we advise early purchase to avoid disappointment.

Copies of the Newsletter were also dispatched free of charge to emigrants and relatives from the parish living throughout the world. We thank you for your continued support and donations every year, as this enables us to continue this wonderful contact with our emigrants which first started in 1959 by the Legion of Mary.

Sean Keane Christmas tour for the Abymill
The Abymill Theatre presents Sean Keane and friends with their ‘Christmas by the Hearth’ tour on Saturday, December 28. This concert will provide a wonderful night of music and song from that great singer whose voice has a superb unique tone, Sean has the ability to take any song and make it his own – a master musician who can also play any instrument.

Early booking is advised (maybe the perfect Christmas present for music lovers) Sean concert will commence at 8pm in the Abymill on Saturday, December 28. If you want to make it a ‘Christmas to Remember’ book your tickets now at: 086-0834208.

Community Lotto Christmas Prizes
The numbers drawn on December 18 were: 6, 7, 19 and 32. We had no jackpot winner and one ‘Match Three’ winner who received €150: Eileen Power, c/o Kitty O'Donnell. The three following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners received €50 each: Emma O'Donohoe, Mellison, Glengoole, Thurles; Frank Fogarty, Congress Terrace, Fethard; and Brud Roche, Woodvale Walk, Fethard.

The winners of free draw for a Christmas Turkey were: Peg Gleeson, Coolmore, Fethard; Spud Culligan, c/o Kathleen Connolly; and Bernie O'Brien, Fethard. The winners of free draw for a Christmas Ham were: Orla Lawrence, Woodvale Walk, Fethard; Liam O'Sullivan, Cois Falla, Fethard; an Gerry Nyland, c/o Kathleen Connolly.

On behalf of the Lotto Committee we take this opportunity to thank you for your support through the year and we look forward to your continued support in 2014. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Our next lotto draw is on the January 8, 2014, when the Jackpot resumes at €7,000.

Died Recently
The death has occurred on December 5, 2013, of Bro. Ultan O'Mahony (aged 97), Patrician Brothers Monastery, Newbridge. Bro Ultan, along with Bro Paul and Br. Raymond, were the last Patrician Brothers to teach in Fethard before they left in July 1993 and the monastery was sold.

Deeply regretted by his sister-in-law Mary Jane, niece-in-law Mary, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and all of his fellow Patrician Brothers, neighbours, relatives and friends.
Interment took place at St. Conleth's Cemetery, Newbridge. May he Rest in Peace.

Fethard’s Heritage – a lot done, more to do
The Fethard Historical Society celebrated the 25th Anniversary of its founding during 2103 and a review of the last twenty-five years shows that much of the ‘medieval built heritage’ that existed in 1988 has been preserved and in many cases enhanced, especially the walls, over those twenty-five years.

Credit must go firstly to the people of Fethard and especially the property owners in the core of the town for the manner in which they keep their properties and in many cases try to ensure that any development work is done in as ‘sympathetic’ a way as possible.
Fethard is very unusual, unlike the Rock of Cashel or Cahir Castle for instance, in that the whole living and working town of Fethard is in effect a ‘national monument,’ so it is a much more complex operation to ensure that the unique built heritage of the town gets preserved for the next generation. Of course the objective of the Local Area Plan of Fethard, drawn up by the Planning Office of the County Council, is to ensure that no unsuitable developments take place, especially in or near the old town.

But at the last meeting of the Historical Society for 2013, the general mood was one of achievement and a firm belief that the town will now begin to benefit from all the time and money that has gone into preserving what is, in Irish terms, a truly unique place – a still intact walled town from eight hundred years ago.

A quantum leap in the development of the town will soon become apparent when the Fethard Business and Tourism Group’s plans for the Tholsel (Town Hall) begin to take place. The formation of a ‘Tourist Hub’ - with Information Office, Toilets, Catering and Display facilities - will radically change the visitor experience to the town and ensure that Main Street begins to come alive again. This new visitor centre will enable the coach tour business to include Fethard in its itinerary and this will kick start the development of a real tourism business that should create jobs and businesses all across the town.
Again, the Tidy Towns group, along with the county council staff, were commended for the huge effort that is going into keeping the town and the Valley Park in such pristine condition. It also goes without saying that the churches in the town are a credit to all involved – the people and priests of the parish, the Augustinians and the Church of Ireland community.

But, the work goes on, and the objective should be to make Fethard ‘the premier medieval walled town in Ireland’ and thus capture that title and then to benefit from the resulting business that will flow from achieving that position. Fethard is well on the way to achieving this objective, but as someone once said, ‘a lot done, more to do!’

Fethard & District Rugby Club
Fethard U7s were at home on Sunday of last week against an improving Cashel team. Charlie Walsh with Noah O'Flynn were very quick with their ball carrying resulting in a couple of tries each. Sam Austin played well and scored along with Adam Ruttle. Newcomers Ivan Mochan and Ned O'Meara were great to support and Sean Fitzgerald worked really well with Sami Laaksonen to put tries on the board. Sam Wyse and Harry Barton are fabulous ball carriers to support the teams for more scores.

Fethard U8s also played Cashel. Andrew Connorton worked well with Andrew Wall and rucked over consistently and recorded fine tries. Sam Coen and Bill Smyth improved with fine tackles to stop tries. Newcomers Sean Nash and Paraic O'Connor have also improved. Well done to all the players
Excellent game from our U9s winning 7-4 against Cashel, with great tackling from Tom Smyth, Tomas Ryan and Michael Blake, and some courageous runs on the wings from Mark Neville, Louis Ryan, Daithi Hogan, Anna Quigley and Luke Ryan. Tries were scored by: Jack Quinlan (3), David McCormack, Mark Neville, Padraig O’Dwyer and William Cleere.

Our U10s, consisting of Ben Ruttle, Johnny Gleeson, Charlie Cummins, James McCormack, Jack Cleere, Michael Ryan, Michael Long, James Ryan and Conor Neville resulted in a resounding wins over Cashel U10s and Kilfeacle U9/10s. Most satisfying was the opposition coaches comments of Fethard being an honest and fair team. This team is reaping the benefits of training with the under 11s.
Fethard U12s had the sun shining for the visit of Cashel RFC and Kilfeacle U10s, 11s and 12s. Fethard countered well against Cashel first, who were playing without some of their larger players. Both sides had scores on the board at the halfway mark. Second half saw Fethard stretch a lead and solid defence work saw them hang on for the narrowest of wins.

Kilfeacle, carrying their reputation for no nonsense good rugby, looked a different proposition altogether. Kilfeacle moved the ball well to provide a platform for their nimble No. 9 to send play either direction. Fethard countered good tackling and both sides looked even at half time. The second half saw both teams adding to their scores but Fethard were one ahead when Kilfeacle’s last attack was tackled into touch to finish the match. Well done to Fethard’s team of Mathew Burke, Ethan Coen, David Gunn, Mathew Gleeson, Iain Harrington, Tom Hayden, Declan Hayes, Angus MacDonald, Mark McCormack, Sam Quigley-O'Dwyer and Eoin Walsh.

Fethard U16s in Pan Munster Qualifier
Fethard U16s played Waterpark in Pan Munster Qualifier on Sunday morning last and were narrowly beaten, but still qualify for the Munster competition after Christmas. This makes them the first team to represent Fethard at this level. We look forward to the prospect of playing different clubs from outside east Munster.
Finally the club would like to wish all its players, supporters, families and friends a Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

"Ode to the Valley of Sliabh ne mBan"
Milo Power wrote this poem as he was looking out the window admiring the beautiful surrounds and Sliabh na mBan as he wrote his objections to the proposed pylon plague on our beautiful valley.

O God how blessed we are by Thee
Your wondrous beauty here to see
Warmed, sheltered, and enfolded thus
This fertile valley, oh so lush.

The hews, the colours can all be seen
The lush rich pastures and the shades of green
The tree lined hills that slope away
The berried hedgerows and the fields of hay.

This time of year in the autumn shade
The trees and pastures just seem to fade
The falling leaves flutter and decay
And evening mists hide the day.

But with lengthening days the spring breaks through
The singing birds our hearts renew
The fields awake from their winter sleep
Burst forth with pasture for their summer keep.

So now, to all who care in this Golden Vale
The call goes out, tis no fairy tale
Its up to YOU, don’t wait until its gone
Come on, stand up, we now must fight for
The Valley of Sliabh na mBan.
– Milo Power (all rights reserved)




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