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Monday 17th December 2007

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

Neilie makes it an even dozen!

Neilie Hall, Fethard, who ran his Twelfth Dublin City Marathon this year in aid of South Tipperary Hospice.

In October this year Neilie Hall surpassed all earlier efforts in his dozenth running of the Dublin City Marathon. Neilie, running again for South Tipperary Hospice, raised the tremendous amount of €2091.70 in sponsorship. Neilie is a member of Ballynonty Athletic Club and has been a great friend and supporter of South Tipperary Hospice over the past twelve years.

St. Vincent de Paul Collection
The St. Vincent de Paul Society, Fethard, would like to sincerely thank all those who contributed so generously to their Annual Church Gate Collection. The total amount came to a staggering €2,401 for which we are extremely grateful.

For those who have applied for assistance and have not heard from us by Tuesday 18th December, please ring any member of the conference.

Christmas Country Markets
Fethard Country Market will hold their ‘Christmas Markets’ on Friday 14th and 21st December from 8am to 11am. There will also be a free raffle for customers on 21st December.  We ask customers to come early if they would like to purchase any of our Christmas mince pies, Christmas wreaths or bunches of holly. We will also have a special range of gluten free Christmas products for sale. We take this opportunity to send seasonal greetings to all our customers.

Community Lotto Extra Christmas Prizes
For the weeks leading up to Christmas, Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto will have six extra free draws every week for 3 x Christmas Hams and 3 x Christmas Turkeys. This is in addition to the €10,000 Jackpot, €150 ‘Match Three’ prize and 3 x €50 Lucky Dip draws every week.  The sellers prize for the winning jackpot ticket is still €1000. The last draw before Christmas will take place on 19th December after which we take a two-week break, commencing again on 9th January.

The numbers drawn on Wednesday 5th December were: 11, 13, 29 and 32. There was no Jackpot winner and three ‘Match 3’ winners who received €50 each:

Eileen Moloney, Graystown, Killenaule; Mary Tobin, 31 Assumption Place, Urlingford; Michael Meehan, Coolbawn, Fethard.

The €50 Luck Dip winners were:
Niamh Moroney, Ard Alainn, Fethard; Paddy Butler, Saucestown, Fethard; Margaret Dunne, Ballycullen.

Winners of the Christmas Turkey Vouchers were: Phil Tobin, 16 Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard; Brud Roche, Woodvale Walk, Fethard; Tony Joy, Killenaule.

Winners of the Christmas Ham Vouchers were: Una Ryan, c/o Tom Purcell; Rev. J. Power, Cashel Road, Fethard; and Paddy Lawrence, 14 Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard.

Next week’s Jackpot continues at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1000. A big ‘thank you’ to all who supported the draw during the year and we look forward to your continued support in 2008. A very Merry Christmas to all.

Clothes Clearance Sale
A clothes clearance sale to raise funds for the work of the Presentation Sisters in Zimbabwe will be held in the ICA Hall, Rocklow Road, on Saturday 15th December from 11am to 4pm. Perfectly new clothes will be on sale featuring all the top brands i.e. Diesel, Levi Strauss, Rant & Rave etc. A raffle will also take place on the day.

Canon Patten’s Nursery Garden At Fethard

Back L to R: Edward and Ruth, Ida Patton, Front L to R: George Patten (William's son), Sam the dog and Meg Duthie taken approx 1952.

My father, Richard Cecil Patten (born 9 January 1872) was Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Fethard from 1904 until his death on 8th October 1942.  He married in 1906 and I was born the following year.  His youth had been spent mainly in the Dun Laoghaire area so he had little opportunity for gardening; he was self-taught but quickly became a keen and skilled gardener.  We always had excellent vegetables and fruit and from as early as I can remember, there was a wonderful, wide herbacious border between the vegetable garden and the tennis court, both enclosed by tall stone walls. The walls surrounding the tennis court were clothed with climbing roses, ‘William Allen Richardson’, ‘Gloire de Dijon’ and old cabbage varieties as well as shrubs such as the orange buddleia.

Apart from this large walled garden, there were about fifteen acres of glebe land but very few amenities. All the water had to be pumped and the drinking water carted from the town - so help for the garden, milking, and other tasks was essential. As long as I can remember, Dick Allen was with us and was still there at the time of my father's death.

From 1911 until 1914, my father and G.J. (Jack) O'Brien of Lakefield House organised the Fethard Flower Show.  This was an ambitious show, for as well as having classes for flowers, fruit and vegetables with handsome prizes, there were competitions and races for all ages and sideshows.

By 1930, Canon Patten (as he was by then) had become fascinated by alpine plants and had made an extensive rock garden in the field immediately in front of the house. This garden gave my father great pleasure and he loved to show people round it, but he continued to produce the bedding and herbacious plants so valuable particularly to local people. Woolworth's of Clonmel sold quantities of his plants and he found this sale most satisfactory as orders were given long beforehand and there was no wastage.

The nursery had by this time long out grown the old walled garden, where large greenhouses and frames had followed the original small green-house; two of the fields were in use for the propagation of perennials, etc. It was a happy matter that the nursery could give employment in the area.  In the height of the selling season additional boys were taken on; so far as I recall, as many as 25 people might be working. All during the war, Miss Phyllis O'Connell did his secretarial work.

After his death, the family was happy that Mrs. A.C. Vigors took over the nursery, keeping it for a year at the Rectory and then moving it to her home at Tullamaine Castle and later to Coolmore House, both of Fethard.  The nursery was known as ‘Pattens Gardens’.  Doris Vigors was a gifted gardener whose interest was chiefly in shrubs and alpines, so bedding and vegetable plants were given up. It is good to know that Pattens Gardens live on at least into the mid-1950s.

I should add that I do not think my father made much money out of the nursery; even for the times his prices seem low; however, it did allow him to have a beautiful garden, to indulge in his hobby even if this meant he had to work hard, and to give some much-needed local employment.  He loved to show the garden to people who came from far and wide to see it and to buy plants.  It certainly should not be thought that he neglected his pastoral duties for he was a much-loved and devoted parish clergyman.

My sister Patience Welch died at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford on 4th May 1989.  Not many people living in Fethard will now remember her but she had the warmest affection for the town and loved to visit it and meet old friends.  Latterly, this had not been possible because she had been for many years so disabled by rheumatoid arthritis.  Her death, at 68, was indeed due to complications related to this condition but she had not lost her interest in life and what was happening in the world. She showed great courage right to the end.  — by Ruth E. Duthie 1989

Christmas Party at Slievenamon Golf Club

Photographed with Santa at the Slievenamon Golf Club 'Christmas Party' are Back L to R: Mary and Percy Butler, Majella and Michael Hayde. Front L to R: Laura Butler, Santa, Mark Hayde and Aileen Butler.

Christian Casey photographed with Santa at the Slievenamon Golf Club 'Christmas Party' last Sunday.

Photographed with Santa at the Slievenamon Golf Club 'Christmas Party' are L to R: Muireann, Ross, Danielle and Cian Mullane

Santa photographed with Sarah Clarke and Robyn Schubert at the Slievenamon Golf Club 'Christmas Party' on Sunday.

With the White Heather Harriers
Sunday’s meet at Cloneen looked like being cancelled when huntsman Donie Slattery was unable to hunt hounds coming down with the flu.  However, they say, “with the hour cometh the man”, on this occasion it was a case of cometh the boy and the day was saved.  Donie’s ten year old son, Cillian, offered to carry the horn if first whips Richard Sayers and Sean Ronan would help.  Setting off in desperate conditions a fox found in Ballinard Wood provided quite a good run.  Taking some persuasion to leave the wood, which hounds hunted in great style, they eventually, after a small circle, had him away by the Castle.  Running to the Drangan Road which he crossed they hunted him strongly to McGrath’s and on to Spike.  Turning left handed here they ran back to the road and seemed to be heading back to where they had found.  Wheeling right handed here our fox now ran back through McEniry’s to the large Knockelly plantation at Ginny Hutton’s.  This large forest is a safe haven for foxes with usually a brace or more on foot with hounds divided.  Richard and the few hardy followers out decided to call it a day while still ahead with light fading. 

Young Cillian’s expertise on the horn was soon evident.  Within a very short time he had to call hounds on from a covert which is usally very difficult to presuade them to leave.  Hounds were loaded and home was blown after a very good day and everyone wet through.  Surely a ten year old huntsman must be a candidate for the Guiness Book of Records.  The Ballyluskey White Heathers meet next Sunday, 16th December, at Rocklow and on Sunday 23rd at Peppardstown Gate. 

County Manager takes Town Wall tour

South Tipperary County Council Manager, Ned O'Connor, photographed with representatives from Fethard Historical Society and Fethard & Killusty Community Council during his visit and tour of the Town Wall. L to R: Terry Cunningham (Rural Tourism Adviser, Teagasc), Joe Kenny (Chairperson Fethard & Killusty Community Council), Hugh O'Brien (Planning South Tipperary County Council), Cllr John Fahey, Chairperson South Tipperary County Council), Ned O'Connor, County Manager South Tipperary County Council), Dóirín Saurus (Chairperson Fethard Historical Society), Peter Grant (Fethard & Killusty Community Council) and Tim Robinson (Fethard Historical Society).

Mr Ned O’Connor, County Manager with South Tipperary County Council, paid a visit to Fethard recently, at the invitation of Fethard Historical Society, to view the town walls and other medieval features. Mr O’Connor was accompanied by Cllr John Fahey, (Chairperson South Tipperary County Council), Hugh O'Brien (Planning Section South Tipperary County Council), and Ann Ryan (Administrative Officer Arts & Heritage Facilitator). The Fethard representatives were: Terry Cunningham (Rural Tourism Adviser, Teagasc), Joe Kenny (Chairperson Fethard & Killusty Community Council), Dóirín Saurus (Chairperson Fethard Historical Society), Peter Grant (Fethard & Killusty Community Council) and Tim Robinson (Fethard Historical Society).

The purpose of the visit was to show the towns potential for development and to discuss the best way that this could be implemented into the future planning for the town. The County Manager was very impressed with what he saw on his walking tour of the town and had some very positive suggestions as to how the local groups and the County Council could work together on future projects. One of the priorities that was highlighted for attention was the deteriorating condition of the Town Hall.

The Public Realm Plan for Fethard is currently available in draft format and copies were made available to the members of the Steering Committee for Fethard Town Wall Conservation and Management Plan for discussion. The group met on Friday of last week to make their recommendations as to how the draft plan could be improved.

The public realm plan for Fethard was commissioned by South Tipperary County Council and The Heritage Council in the summer of 2007. It was prepared by Landscape Architects and Urban Designers, The Paul Hogarth Company and Environmental Consultants, ERM Ireland Ltd., working closely with members of the community. A process of desktop research, site appraisal and consultation formed the basis for a developed concept and a series of public realm proposals. Importantly, the plan is intended not only help to establish a positive vision for the future of the town, but also a practical measure by which this can be delivered.

On a final note we were delighted to hear that Fáilte Ireland, The National Tourism Development Authority, presented The Fáilte Ireland Certificate of Excellence Award to Fethard for its Irish Walled Towns’ Day held on Sunday 26th August 2007.

Penitential Services for Christmas
The penitential service in preparation for Christmas will take place in the Parish Church on Monday 17th December at 7.30pm. There will be a penitential service in Killusty on Tuesday 18th December at 7.30pm. The penitential service in the Abbey will take place at 7.15pm before Mass on Saturday 22nd December.

Christmas Mass Times
Abbey Church
Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December at 9pm;
Christmas Day, Tuesday 25th December at 9.30am and 11.30am.

Parish Church
Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December at 8pm;
Christmas Day, Tuesday 25th December at 8.30am and 11am.

Killusty Church
Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December at 9.30pm;
Christmas Day, Tuesday 25th December at 10am.


Full cast of Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary School Show 'Abbabuja' photographed on stage after their very succesful show staged for three nights in the Abymill Theatre

Fethard GAA Club News
Fethard club was honoured on Sunday night, 9th December, in Clonmel GAA Centre, when the South Board elected both their chairman and secretary from the Fethard club —Miceál McCormack (Chairman) Noel Byrne (Secretary). This is Miceáls third year in office and Noel’s first year. The last time both served in the same roles was at club level in 1993 when the club won South and County senior football titles and in the same year won the South Under-21 B hurling title. We wish both of them the very best of luck in their respective roles. Having both positions is a first for the Fethard Club since the foundation of the association in 1884.

On the same night our club was again honoured when Centenary Special engraved medallions were presented to Miceál McCormack (South Board Chairman 2007), Noel Byrne (South Board Fixtures 2007), Dick Fitzgerald, Stephen Fitzgerald, Tony Fitzgerald (all Gate Checkers 2007), Michael O’Dwyer (Fethard Chairman 2007), Mary Godfrey (Fethard Secretary 2007), Nicky O’Shea (Fethard Treasurer 2007). All presentations were made to mark their contribution to the South Board during Centenary Year Celebrations, which ended on 9th December 2007.

Thanks to all who contributed to our very successful Buster Draw with the winner of €2000 first prize announced during the week.

Our Lotto Jackpot €7,900 was not won. There was no match three winners. The following tickets were drawn and won €30 each: John O’Meara (Grove Road), Canon Power (Cashel Road), Brian Coen (Killusty), Josie Fitzgerald (Kiltinan), Mary Newport (Congress Terrace). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Dick Fitzgerald (St Patrick’s Place). Thanks to Fethard Wholesale Electrical for supplying the tickets.

Pheasant Pluckers Gig

Pheasant Pluckers after their gig in McCarthy's L to R: John O'Connor, Andrew Maruzsenszki (Hungary), Fintan Rice, Tommy O'Brien and Joe Kenny. Photograph taken by Andrew's girlfriend Ildikó Trafcsik.

Christmas Lights Appeal
The Festive mood is in full swing with the erection of the lights and Christmas tree in the Town.  As you can imagine the cost of this is quite substantial.  The actual putting up and taking down of the lights is €7,500 and the ESB electricity costs are €2,000 approx. This annual cost is paid by Fethard & Killusty Community Council and the support received from local businesses and fundraising. It would be a great pity if we were unable to continue to have our tree and streets lit up for the festive season. This year we ask for your support by donating to our ‘Christmas Lighting Boxes’ in the local shops. You can also buy a line to go towards a bulb for €5 with the chance of winning a beautiful Christmas hamper. We also ask local businesses to make a donation to Jimmy Connolly (Treasurer), c/o Post Office, Fethard, and thank those who have already agreed to make a donation.

Slí na Sláinte reflective jackets
In an effort to promote Slí na Sláinte, the Community Council have purchased reflective jackets with the Slí na Sláinte logo.  At this time of year all walkers should wear these safety jackets.  They are available at the Tirry Community Office at a minimal cost of €5. So Be Safe, Be Seen!

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