A New Year dawns
Samantha O’Brien and friends ringing in the New Year at Gaules Bar, Burke Street, Fethard
Fethard rolled in the New Year on Saturday night last with celebrations throughout the town. At this nostalgic time of year many will reflect on the last twelve months with various happy and sad memories that touched different individuals and families. One thing that every new year brings is change. We adapt, maybe not because we want to but because we have to and that is not all bad.
The past year has seen many great occasions in our quiet small town with one of the most memorable being our local trainer, Mouse Morris, winning both the Irish and English Grand National with ‘Rogue Angel’ (Irish) and ‘Rule The World’ (English). This amazing feat will unlikely be surpassed for many years, if ever.
Our neglected Town Hall also received a huge boost this year with funding of more than €650,000 received from Tipperary Leader, Fáilte Ireland and Tipperary County Council towards the continued restoration overseen by Fethard Business & Tourism Group. This year should see the completion of the project and the installation of a permanent exhibition featuring the extraordinary use of the horse in our local community. This feature, will be a huge boost to tourism in Fethard and our thanks to the Magnier family at Coolmore for making it possible.
All in all we can look ahead with optimism to the future and welcome whatever changes lie ahead of us in the next twelve months. We particularly remember all the many people from our community that died during the year and their vast contribution to everyday life in Fethard. May they rest in peace.
Ringing in the New Year at The Well Bar, Fethard are L to R: Mick Smith, Jimmy Purcell and Frank Coffey.
Ringing in the New Year at Lonergan’s Bar, Fethard
Emily Sayers and friends ringing in the New Year at Butlers Bar, Fethard.
Members of the Conway family and friend ringing in the New Year at Butlers Bar, Fethard.
Ringing in the New Year at The Castle Inn, Fethard, are L to R: Val Needham, Margaret Needham, Francis Lonergan, Geraldine Lonergan and Keith O'Donnell.
Ringing in the New Year at Lonergans Bar, Fethard.
Ringing in the New Year at Butlers Bar, Fethard, are L to R: Monica Pollard, Brud Roche, Ted Cummins and John Pollard
Ringing in the New Year at The Castle Inn, Fethard, are L to R: Robyn Maher and Dylan Maher
Ringing in the New Year at Lonergans L to R: Sarah McManus and Nathan Costin
Ringing in the New Year at Lonergans Bar, Fethard, are L to R: Martin Shelly and Breda Slattery
Suir Paddlers fundraiser
An Afternoon Tea Dance charity fundraiser in aid of the Suir Paddlers (survivors of breast cancer will take place at Slievenamon Golf Club on Sunday, January 8, from 3pm to 6pm. Please come along and support this very worthy group. Tickets are €10 each and all are welcome.
Achievement Award nominees for December
Sandra Ryan, who was nominated for the December Sports Achievement Award, was presented with her certificate last weekend before she returned to Australia. The Certificate was presented by Niall Higgins. The December winner will be announced next Friday night.
The following seven nominees were received for the Butler’s Bar Fethard Sports Achievement Award for the month of December.
- Anita Pollard – Anita has just been presented with the ladies driver of the year award at Waterford Raceway as well as winning the Ladies Championship.
- Oisín Shelley – young athlete Oisín has recently won Gold medals in Munster and All Ireland under 12 cross country with Tipperary.
- Sandra Ryan – Fethard native now living in Australia has reached a significant milestone in her Australian Football League (AFL) career by playing her 100th first team game.
- Sinead Delahunty – Sinead’s gaelic football team, Foxrock, were narrowly beaten in the club All Ireland final having won both the Dublin and Leinster titles.
- Daniel Barry – another up and coming young athlete who won a bronze medal with Tipperary at the U9 Munster cross country championships held in Limerick.
- Fethard/Carrick-on-Suir U15 Ladies Rugby team – this combination team recently won a Munster title which was played at C.I.T.
- Aobh Ní Shé – this Fethard lady not only won two Judo All Ireland titles in December but has also become UCC’s first ever female black belt.
The December winner will be announced at a special function in Butler’s Bar on Friday night next, January 6. All are welcome.
First Hunt of the New Year
Huntsman, Gavin Shorten, leading the Tipperary Foxhounds out the Cashel Road, Fethard, following a brief stop at Dooks Fine Foods at their New Year’s Meet in Fethard on Monday last.
Bank Holiday Monday, January 2, was a perfect day for Tipperary Foxhounds to hold their first meet of 2017. An extra large number of horses and riders gathered in crisp sunshine by Fethard Town Wall to shake of the seasonal cobwebs and take part in the first hunt of the year.
This year the hounds left by the Valley and, after a brief stop outside Dooks Fine Foods at Kerry Street cross, they headed out the Cashel Road on their quest to raise a few foxes from their otherwise undisturbed dens. The hunt was well represented by the attendance of many former huntsmen and their families along with a large group of regular participants and many spectators who came along to enjoy the traditional spectacle.
The formation of the first Grove Hunt Club was at a meeting held in Fethard on Wednesday, February 14, 1821, chaired by William Barton of Grove where the following resolutions were unanimously resolved:
- That a Club be established to support the Expenses of the Covers of the Grove Hunt.
- That the following Gentlemen compose the Club as the original members: William Barton, Captain Barton, Charles Barton, Robert Cooke, John Cooke, William Perry, William Quinn, Stephen O’Magher, Wm. Pennefather, Edward Lloyd, Nathaniel Taylor, Mathew Jacob, Richard Long, Thomas P. Lloyd, George Gough, Mathew V. Sankey, Richard Millet, John Millet, Richard Elliott, Henry Langley, Andrew Stein, James Wall, Richard Wall, James Millet, John Bagwell and James G. Jacob, Esqrs.
- That after this Meeting no Person can be admitted unless by Ballot.
- That One Black Bean in Ten excludes the Person balloted for.
- That there be an Annual Subscription of Five Guineas.
- That each new Member pays Five Guineas at entrance, besides his Annual Subscription.
- That any Gentleman who proposes a new Member shall be answerable for his Entrance Money on his being admitted.
- That the following Gentlemen be appointed to form the Committee the present Year, viz. William Barton, Nathaniel Taylor, Robert Cooke, Richard Millet, William Perry, William Quinn and Mathew V. Sankey, Esqrs.
- That the Committee do meet and adjourn from time to time as they deem necessary to transact the business of the Club, and that three do form a Committee
- That John Millet, Esq. be appointed Treasurer.
- That all subscriptions be paid into the Treasurer on or before the end of May, in each Year.
- That any Gentleman neglecting to pay in his Subscription on or before that day, be no longer considered a Member of the Club.
- That any stranger coming to hunt with the Club may be introduced into it by a Member for that Day only.
- That each Member be furnished with a printed copy of these Resolutions.
— William Barton, Chairman.
Social dancing at Fethard Ballroom
Dancing on Sunday Night, January 8, to the music of ‘Declan Aungier’. All welcome to come along and enjoy a great night’s entertainment and social dancing from 9pm to midnight. Admission is €8 which includes tea and cakes.
Community Lotto resumes on January 11
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto will resume on Wednesday, January 11, when the Jackpot is €10,000 and the Jackpot seller’s prize is €1,000. All proceeds go towards community projects in Fethard, and we thank you for your on-going support.
The Lotto Committee would like to thank you for your support during the past year and look forward to your continued support in 2017 and wish all our supporters a Happy New Year.
A tale of Two Bridges
Watergate Bridge in 1840 showing five arches in a print by George Victor Du Noyer, artist with the Irish Ordnance Survey. Currently the arch on the right is buried under soil. (Royal Society of Antiquities of Ireland).
The proposed flood defence plans for Fethard by the Office of Public Works were available for public consultation at two meetings, both in the Fethard Convent Community Hall. Those who became aware of the plans and who read through the 300 page document were surprised to learn that the engineers in the OPW have rated Fethard as being at “high future risk” of flooding and therefore deemed to require correspondingly major remedies to address this risk.
The draft plans outline two options for the town, both costly and involving heavy engineering work. Each plan involves building walls and embankments. Option 1 has higher walls and banks whereas Option 2 has lower walls and banks but includes dredging a mile of the river bed above and in the town. Based on various considerations Option 2 has been chosen by the OPW, pending the outcome of submissions and various other assessments.
The OPW proposal document does not pull its punches in outlining the negative effects of all this work for example stating that there will be long term permanent impacts on river health from dredging due to the release of sediment, and that “the flood defences and upgrade works proposed to the south east of the bridge at the west end of Main Street will impact view and will have a permanent negative impact”. It also states that “proposed flood walls, gates and embankments are likely to permanently change the setting of Fethard Town Walls which is a national monument so that they are completely altered in some areas.”
A group of local residents including members of the Fethard Historical Society, the Business and Tourism Group and the Fethard and Killusty Anglers became aware of the flood plans in late November and began to examine the OPW document in some detail in the few weeks leading up to the December 13 deadline. They compared the high flood rating with their own experience of flooding events in the town. They talked to other residents about the behaviour of the river after heavy rain. They looked at photographs, old prints maps and documents, and walked the river banks.
The group came up with some interesting findings which may be summarised as follows:
- Fethard does not have a history of significant flooding, though an event in 2012 demonstrated two important blockages to river flow which are not mentioned in the OPW plans.
- The concrete footbridge at Abbey Mill acts as an effective dam in high water due to its low height, small arch and high parapet. The dam is a clear cause of water backing up into the town.
- The four arched bridge at Watergate Street also acts as a dam after heavy rain, backing up water which can rise to road level and flow down the Kilsheelan road towards the Creamery. However, there is an additional fifth arch on the north (town) side of the bridge which has been buried under soil for the past 50 years and the existence of this buried arch was also overlooked by the OPW engineers who surveyed the town. (There is actually a sixth arch, also buried, on the south side of the bridge beside the Council yard.)
- One of the group discovered century old documents referring to diversion of tributaries of the upper Clashawley into the River Suir in the 1800s thus explaining why the river is smaller now than before and why the extra arches were needed in the past to accommodate the higher water levels.
Based on these observations, the group made the following suggestions:
- Replace the footbridge at Abbey Mill with an appropriate structure which would be both attractive and which would allow the free passage of flood water, and which would be an asset to the town.
- Re-open the blocked fifth arch at Watergate Street. This would be a very simple operation involving digging out clay and stones and which could also enhance the appearance of this beautiful medieval bridge while allowing the release of dammed up water in flood conditions.
The above two measures would certainly cost much less than the 1.5 million euro estimated cost of the OPW proposals and would have the added advantage of enhancing rather than detracting from the unique riverside environment of our amazing medieval town.
Tipperary Council has a further opportunity to make a submission to the OPW by January 13th, and it is hoped that the suggestions outlined above will be supported by the Council to ensure a favourable outcome.
These suggestions have been incorporated into a number of written submissions to the OPW from the following groups: Fethard Historical Society, Fethard Business and Tourism Group, Fethard and Killusty Anglers and a Fethard Community Group.
Fethard Faces and Places from the Past
The following are a selection of photographs recently added to the Fethard Faces and Places from the Past page on Facebook, also published here
for the benefit of our readers who are not on Facebook. The Facebook page is used for sharing old Fethard photographs with other members of the group and is open to all interested in joining. Send any comments or photo information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fethard Carnival c.1960s passing outside the Parish Church where it is interesting to see all the business premises in operation across the road from L to R: Percy Dillon's Chemist Shop, Lil McCarthy's Sweet Shop, Kay Fahy's Ladies Hairdressing, Fethard Bakery, O'Connell's Furniture and Electrical Shop, Jack O'Shea's 'While U Wait' and another shop premises but can't make out the name. Maybe some one will be able to pinpoint the year thses Carnival photographs were taken. Information to email@example.com
Fethard Carnival Fancy Dress entries 'My Story by Nicky Rackard' and
'Padraig Puirseal, Irish Press Reporter'.
Fethard Carnival Fancy Dress entry 'Black & White'.
Fethard Carnival Fancy Dress entry 'Stars from Cork Film Festival visit Fethard'.
Fethard Carnival Fancy Dress entry 'Flower Queen'.
Items for inclusion on this website and on the weekly Fethard News page on The Nationalist can be emailed before noon on Mondays to firstname.lastname@example.org or delivered by hand to Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard.
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