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Monday 15th August 2005

Last Week's News - Forward Week's News
Gortnahoe & Glengoole - Killenaule - Mullinahone - Ballingarry

Holy Year Cross Pilgrimage

The annual pilgrimage to the Holy Year Cross takes place this coming Sunday 14th August. Ceremonies will begin at 2pm at the Hill Wall and as usual, for those who are unable to make the climb, the rosary will be recited at the mass rock in O'Donnell's field where there is also ample parking. For those who do intend to make the climb, please allow approximately 20 minutes to walk from the car park to the Hill Wall. On the return of the walkers, mass will be celebrated in O'Donnell's field. This will take place at around 4pm. This is also a special year as it marks the 55th anniversary of the erecting of the first Holy Year Cross. This year we will also open a visitors' book as a record for future generations.

Fancy Dress Parade

Fethard Festival Fancy Dress photograph of 30 years ago includes Jimmy 'Buck' Ryan, Eamon 'Crusher' Keane, Michael 'Wacky' Healy, Michael 'Chas' Keane, Pat Hurley and Concepta Hurley.

Children, are you prepared for this year’s ‘Fancy Dress Parade? The Parade will take place at 3pm on Sunday 28th August as part of the celebrations for the Feast of Saint Augustine. Banna Cluain Meala and Majorettes will lead the parade from the Ballroom to the Abbey Grounds where a fete will take place, which will include a recital from the award-winning trio of girl musicians, ‘Amadeus’. Lots of prizes to be won! All are welcome to take part in this celebration, which is organised as part of the Augustinian 700 Anniversary Celebrations in Fethard.

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on Tuesday 9th August were: 5, 13, 16 and 23. There was no Jackpot winner and one ‘Match 3’ winner who received €150:
Margaret Bradshaw, Congress Terrace, Fethard;
The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:
Michael & Paul Walshe, Barrack St., Fethard.
Conor Ryan, c/o Nelly Ryan, Fethard.
Biddy O'Donnell. Slainstown, Fethard.
Next weeks Jackpot remains at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1,000.

An evening of Light Music at the Abymill
An evening of light music will take place in the Abymill Theatre on Saturday 20th August, at 8:15pm, featuring "Cór Cois Abhann" from Cork who will entertain us with their repertoire which varies from the classic, ‘Down by the Sally Gardens’, to Abba’s famous, ‘Money, Money, Money’ and ‘Thank you for the Music’, to Burt Bacharach’s, ‘Close to You’. Accompanying them will be Sinéad Ní Mhurchú, soprano, and also, classical guitarist, Antanas Keturakis. This promises to be a very enjoyable evening not to be missed. Musical director is Ian Sexton. Tickets are €15 and booking is now open at O’Flynn's Menswear, Burke Street, Fethard, Tel: 052 31252, or from any Jubilee 700 Committee member.

Fethard GAA News
The Senior Football Munster League continued last Saturday when Moyle Rovers obliged us with the use of their field when playing Dr Crokes (Kerry) that resulted in a win for the Kerry team on a scoreline, Fethard 0-12 (0-4), Dr Crokes 2-10 (2-4). We are very grateful for the availability of Monroe under the circumstances and we thank them most sincerely. The match was an evenly contested game with both sides missing a number of top players and the goals scored in the first half for Dr Crokes shading the issue. Fethard team was: Paul Fitzgerald, Alan Phelan, Michael Aherne, Michael Carroll, Willie Morrissey, Miceál Spillane, Stephen O’Donnell, Tomas Keane 0-1, Michael Dillon 0-1, Karl Maher 0-2, John P Looby, Jimmy O’Meara, Conor McCarthy 0-2 (1f), Brian Coen 0-2 (1f), Kenneth O’Donnell 0-3. Subs used were: Shane Walsh, Brian Burke, Tom Anglim 0-1, and Darren O’Meara.

It was great to see all the injured players back. The only down side on the day was the collision off the field and on the field when Willie Morrissey and Michael Aherne and a Dr Crokes player collided that necessitated stitches and a hospital examination. We are thankful to Gus for the transport and time and are grateful that both were discharged the same day. We wish them a speedy recovery. We also wish the best to Paul and Damien in the Tommy Murphy Cup on this Saturday against Antrim in Thurles.

The match with our South semifinal opponents, Grangemockler, is scheduled to take place on Sunday 21st in Kilsheelan at 6.45pm.
Our Intermediate hurlers play a crunch match on Sunday next in Clonmel against Ballybacon/Grange at 7pm. A win is a must!

The Junior A footballers lost their opening game on Friday last on a scoreline, Fethard 1-10, Ballylooby /Castlegrace 1-13. With a penalty in both halves, one put away and one brilliantly saved, we lost by 2 points in a fine sporting game. We had a large number of our ex senior players on duty who gave their best on the night. Team was: Ronan Maher, Shane Walsh, Tom Anglim, Philly Croke, James Smith, Jimmy O’Meara, Kevin O’Donnell, Colm Coen, Brian Burke, Brendan Brett, Michael Quinlan, Jason Nevin, Martin Coen, Shay Ryan, Eugene Walsh. Subs used were: Darren O’Meara for Kevin Walsh, and Jamie McCormack for James Smith. Our next game is against Ballingarry.

Junior B Football gets under way this week for Fethard with a game against Kilsheelan in Marlfield on Friday 12th August at 7.15pm. The Minor Hurling B game fixed for Wednesday 10th August now goes back to Tuesday 16th August at 7pm.

Fethard GAA Club members delighted to see a Senior Hurling Championship Final played in Fethard for the first time in many years. L to R: Miceál McCormack, Seamus Hackett, Joe Ahearne and Michael Keane.

The club would like to thank all those who helped in any way to make last Sundays Senior Hurling South Final such a tremendous success in Fethard. With teams locked at 1-19 each at the final whistle, the replay will also be in Fethard in the near future when much of the same help will be appreciated. To Gus, who coordinated the whole affair, we show our thanks, and also to the field committee, who had the pitch in excellent condition we are truly grateful. To all the patrons and sponsors, for there continued support, we thank you, and to the Juvenile Club who all put there shoulders to the wheel on the day, thanks! We also host the Minor A Football replay on this Thursday, 11th August at 7pm, between Moyle Rovers and Commercials.

The Diarmuid O'Hurley Pipe Band from Cashel, founded 1935, playing at the South Hurling Final between Killenaule and Ballingarry in Fethard last Sunday.

The GAA Lotto Jackpot of €2,300 was not won. We had no match three winners so five tickets were drawn and the following won €30 each: Pamela Daly (Cashel Road), Mary Coen (Killusty), Sharon O’Meara (8 Cedar Grove), Patsy Lawrence (Woodvale Walk), and Joe Ahearne (Main St). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Niall O’Dwyer (c/o Bob Fitzgeralds, Main St, Clonmel).

Gerry Celebrates 90th Birthday

Gerry Fahey (centre), Coleman, Fethard, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, is photographed above being congratulated by Seamie Dineen and Mick Looby (right).

Concern Collection
A very special word of thanks to all who contributed to the Concern Collection taken up last weekend and thanks to the collectors who gave their time willingly to support this worthy cause. The total amount collected was €1,207.65.

Ladies Football
We had our first game against Moyle Rovers on Tuesday last in the first round of the junior champion ship. After a very bad first half we improved considerably in the second half, but even though, Moyle Rovers ran out winners in the end.

Fethard and Killusty Community Games
A special meeting will take place in the Tirry Community Centre on this Friday night, August 12th at 9pm. All parents, managers and competitors who have qualified for the Community Games National Finals are expected to attend this important meeting where details of the finals will be available and the fee of €100 for all competitors who are staying in the camp must be paid on the night.

Emma Walsh, Main Street, Fethard, who will represent Munster in the Girls under-30kg Judo event at the Community Games National Finals in Mosney next weekend.

The first weekend of the national finals will take place in Mosney commencing on Friday August 19th. Representing the county are: Áine Proudfoot, Strylea (Girls Art); Louis Rice, Everardsgrange (Boys Art). In Judo are: Emma Walsh, Main Street; Natalie Cahill, Woodvale Walk; Samantha Feery, Killusty; Padraig O’Shea, The Valley; and Cathal Gorey, Moanbeg. Manager is Alice Feery.

Representing Munster Girls Under-16 Volleyball Team are: Carrie Sweeney, The Valley; Lisa Anglim, Kilknockin; Sinead Coffey, Spitalfield; Debbie Lawrence, Woodvale Walk; Chloe Gough, Sarah Conway, both St. Patricks Place; Mary Anne Keane, Woodvale Walk; Ida Carroll, Menlo; Niamh Fanning, Burke Street; Lesley Looby, Gráinne Horan, Tullamaine; and Sarah Hayes, Burke Street. Managers: Denis Burke and Fintan Rice. Well done to all who took part in the 2005 competitions and congratulations and ‘Good Luck’ to all who will compete at the National Finals. We are very proud of each and every one of you.

Irish Ways and Irish Laws
Five ladies from New South Wales in Australia stopped off in Fethard on their tour of Ireland. A daughter of one of the party had previously spent some time in Fethard as a nanny and, as she was returning for a friend’s twenty first, the ladies decided to spend a few days in town. When asked about their trip, they declared that they were having a great time despite a few setbacks.

The car hire firm didn’t have the car that they had ordered, so they had to take a smaller model. It was a bit tight but it would do. Then they hit the Irish roads and got lost, they couldn’t figure out the road signs. Major towns were listed but not the smaller ones in between, so each turn was a guess. Each time they tried to leave Dublin, they got lost again. Eventually they ended up in what they described as a fairly rough neighbourhood. They asked a man for directions out of Dublin. He ignored them. Turned out he was deaf. The next man was drunk. He summed up their chances of getting out of Dublin in the most eloquent manner. He stuck his head in the window of the car and declared, “Ladies, I’m afraid yez are f**ked”. The next man was thanked profusely for his directions. As they drove off, the lady at the wheel of the car asked the lady who took the directions where she should turn. She said that she hadn’t a clue. She hadn’t understood a word that he had said. Eventually, they escaped the city and enjoyed their tour of the West.

They were amazed at the amount of cars that whizzed by them at the most inappropriate moments . . . on white lines, and near bends or intersections. These drivers usually had an ‘L’ sticker on the back window and drove unaccompanied. In Australia they would be arrested for that. Yet despite the poor road signs, poor roads, and lunatic drivers, the ladies were enjoying their visit to Ireland.
(N Gawe)

Juvenile GAA Club
The Juvenile GAA Club will hold its Summer Camp on Monday 15th August to Friday 19th August, from 10pm to 2pm each day where our coaches will help to advance all kids in the skills of GAA, in both hurling and football, and with some of the county’s top players to make some appearances it has the making of a great week’s entertainment.

There will be lots of other games for small kids, including face painting and a bouncing castle on the last day, so come on and enjoy the week. Each child will also receive a ‘kit bag’ and tee shirt on the final day of the camp. If any information is needed contact our secretary on Tel: 086 17813505.

Our under-6s, 8s, and 10s had no game last week but will resume on next Saturday from 3pm to 4pm. All are welcome.

The under-12s played their semifinal against Mullinahone in Monroe on Sunday last and, after a titanic struggle, we came away with a one-point victory. We have now qualified for the South Final for the 2nd year in a row where our opponents will be Kilsheelan, who we held to a draw in the early rounds. The final promises to be a great game so lets hope that we can go one better this year and win! Best of luck!

The under-14s played Cahir last week and came away with a 1 point win thanks to 2 goals scored in the last 5 minutes. This win should now put us in the semifinal where we will make a bold bid to retain our title.

The under-16s played their second game against Cahir, in Cahir, on last Saturday night and had a great win. The lads gave a great display in bad conditions to put them in pole position with three games to go. Well done to all!

Other Club News
After a busy week it was great to see so many players representing the club last weekend at various levels. Congratulations to Gavin Fitzgerald, Matt Fitzgerald, and Daniel Hickey on playing with South Tipperary Football team who won the divisional championship. Congratulations also to Eoin O’Connell who played with South Tipperary hurling team, and to Tommy Sheehan, Aaron Conran, Alan Lawrence and Brian Delahunty who played in the mini game at the half-time display during the South Hurling Final. Well done to all these boys, it was a great honour to have our club so well represented throughout the county last weekend.

Finally, it was great to see so many people in Fethard last weekend at the Senior Hurling Final. Many hours of hard work went in to get the field looking so well and the club would like to thank all club officers and juveniles who helped in anyway to get everything to run so smooth. Thank You!

Sheedys in Fethard
Looking at the 1870 list of businesses in Fethard, it shows a James Sheedy and Michael Sheedy, who were both nail makers. The 1886 list has only James Sheedy, nail maker. Is there anyone out there connected to either?

My great-great-grandfather was a James Sheedy from Cashel Road, Fethard, married to Mary Sheehan/Sheahan. I know that "my" James Sheedy still lived in Cashel Road in 1888 — found on a power of attorney signed in Clonmel, after one of his sons died in Queensland Australia in 1886. Four sons and one daughter all came to Queensland between about 1880 and 1890. Any further information would be gratefully received: Maggie Roberts (email:

Trying to locate Dr. Maureen Concannon
I am trying to locate Dr. Maureen Concannon (O'Brien) to discuss with her my branch of the Concannon family, which are not mentioned in her book, ‘The Story of the Concannons’. I would love to get a web site, email address, or even telephone number would be fine. I live in Baltimore, Maryland, but will be visiting Ireland again in September. Thanks very much. Griff Garland (email:

In a public talk on Sheela na gigs held by the Fethard Historical Society, on Saturday, February 12th 2005, Dr. Maureen Concannon spoke on what she considered were the three great early stands of Christianity in Ireland. Dr. Concannon believes the Sheela na gigs stem from Celtic spirituality and were used as a pagan representation of birth, abundance and fertility.

Moving Statues
Twenty years ago, statues began to act in a strange way. They began to move. Ballinspittle in County Cork led the way when some locals announced that they had seen the statue of the Virgin Mary making shapes. The story was picked up by the media, and before long, huge crowds were visiting the grotto, some to pray, some to observe and some to scorn. It became a huge story, and before long, other sightings were reported at grotto’s around the country.

A group from Fethard set off for our nearest grotto, which was at Mount Melleray, as the Fethard Statues had refused to budge. They left late on a Sunday night after pub closing time, which back then was ten o’clock. Around midnight the entourage arrived at the entrance to the shrine. The night was dark and windy but that hadn’t deterred a large number of hardy souls from attending the potential visions. A chip van did a brisk trade down the road from the site. A member of the Gardai surveyed the comings and goings — he was probably watching out for trouble from the assembled observers. Rumour had it that there were factions growing among the faithful. One group swore that they saw the statue move. Another swore that it shook. They Fethard souls entered and stood on neutral ground between the movers and the shakers.

As they looked at the statue they were sure that it didn’t move, but, were convinced that if you wanted to believe that it did move, you could easily do so. There was a constant light shining in the grotto, which was accompanied by a number of people shining flashlights from different angles at the same statue. This caused new shadows to appear all the time. They say that if you look at something long enough, it will move and this appeared to be the case for a few people.
One poor woman was helped to think by two of the Fethard party. They stood at either side of her and declared that they saw various parts of the statue moving. First her right hand, then her left, followed by her right leg and so on. The woman agreed with them each time. If the statue had performed all the moves that they had supposedly seen it would have been doing the ‘Hokey Pokey’. Eventually they left the woman to enjoy her own visions and hopped into the car and went home. Taking a long hard look at the Fethard statue as they passed the Parish Church — it still refused to budge — and pretty soon the others stopped their gyrations too.
(N Gawe)

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