Coffee Morning on Friday September 1
A Coffee Morning will be held in Fethard Town Hall on Friday, September 1, from 10am to 1pm in aid of The Irish Pilgrimage Trust – a registered charity in Ireland for the past 40 years. The Trust travels on pilgrimage and on holiday to Lourdes with young people with special needs, from all over Ireland.
Donations will be taken on the day and there will also be a raffle to support the fundraising cycle to Lourdes on Good Friday, 2018. This is a seven-day cycle totalling 1,200 km. Cards for the raffle are available from Kenny's Centra, Meagher's Daybreak or from Kevin Coffey.
Delightful walk to Rathcoole Graveyard
Group photographed at the start of the walk to Rathcoole Cemetery organised by Fethard Historical Society on August 10, via the old Monroe pathway.
Last Thursday, August 10, over thirty-five people met up in the Ballroom carpark for what proved to be a most enjoyable, leisurely trek on what is now a little-known pathway to Rathcoole Cemetery, situated a little over one-mile north of Fethard. Organisers of the walk, the Fethard Historical Society, were especially delighted to welcome along members of the St. Luke’s Walking Group.
Surprisingly, for quite a few locals this was their first time walking on this particular route where, leaving the car-park, we passed through Fethard Playground park and then followed the Clashawley River upstream in the direction of Monroe, going off-road along what was once a much wider walkway. Now nature has taken over, a canopy of trees arching overhead, luxuriant foliage pressing in from either side causing walkers to proceed in single file. It was a beautiful, balmy summer’s evening and the ground underfoot was mostly dry if a bit uneven in places. We would advise anyone walking this way to be sure to wear proper walking shoes/boots.
The tunnel of trees gave way to a wide clearing at Breen’s Bridge where we stopped for a while and some local ladies reminisced about swimming here in their childhood days. Obviously the water was a lot deeper then but it is still crystal clear and unspoiled. We also heard about the railway that once ran along here linking Thurles via stations Laffansbridge, Farranaleen, and Fethard to Clonmel. Apparently, it was one of the last railway lines to be built in Ireland by the Independent Southern of Ireland Railway, opening between 1879 and 1880. It lost its passenger service in 1963 but remained in use for goods until 1967. Recently there has been some suggestion of re-opening the erstwhile railway track as a greenway for walkers and cyclists as has been done elsewhere but it remains to be seen if that is viable.
The group photographed at Breen's Bridge
From Breen’s Bridge, the path led us out to the public junction at Monroe, and then it was a short meander beside curving stone walls to Rathcoole Cemetery. The graveyard is situated on a natural rise which affords a wonderful view across the surrounding countryside. Terry Cunningham of the Fethard Historical Society gave a brief, informative talk on what is known of the history of Rathcoole Cemetery and its church. It was a Norman foundation, of course, and Terry explained the difference between the preceding Gaelic ecclesiastical establishments and the new order introduced by the Normans under the aegis of Pope Alexander, who saw it as an opportunity to bring the Irish church back under the rule of Rome. The de Brets were apparently the Norman family who established the manor of Rathcoole and patrons of the new parish church built there. The west gable and the remnants of a nave side wall of the church still standing today probably date back to the early 1400s. The outline of the two opposing entrance doors are still visible. This was a common feature of 15th century churches but we don’t really know why they were built like that. The outline of the chancel can also be clearly seen. We were fortunate to have archaeologist, Barry O’Reilly, with us. He pointed out stones lying outside the church wall which, to the untrained eye, looked most uninspiring. Closer examination, however, revealed them to be part of 15th century one and two-headed ogive windows that would once have graced the church.
In the graveyard itself there are lots of gravestones whose inscriptions can still be easily read listing such familiar names as O’Meara, Hayes, O’Connell, Blackmore, Blake and Bowes. The full list is available in the Fethard Burial Ground Records on the Fethard website. Unfortunately, there are also many headstones whose details have been lost to the ravages of time.
A very interesting inscription refers to one John Delahunt who died on March 1, 1867, aged just 33, a citizen of the United States and, “Served as an officer with distinguished gallantry in the Grand Army of the Union throughout the Great War for the Unity of the Republic. He was through life an honourable, generous and brave patriot and gentleman. He lived beloved and died mourned by all who knew him. Here his ashes repose after life’s fitful fever beneath the green grass of the land he delighted to honour.”
The society would be most interested if anyone has further information relating to this son of Fethard.
The winding road to Rathcoole Cemetery.
While there is now a gate into the graveyard, until the 1980s coffins had to be lifted over the boundary wall via a stile consisting simply of eight stones set into either side of the wall. Barry was able to ascertain that those stones too were probably taken from the original fabric of the church. The evening concluded with light refreshments before we headed back the way we came.
Slievenamon Pilgrimage to Holy Year Cross
Some of the large crowd that made their way to Holy Year Cross on Slievenamon on Sunday last. (Photos supplied by Miceál McCormack)
It's not often that I’m lost for words but when watching the crowd gathering for the walk to the Holy Year Cross - I was speechless! Many people agreed that it was the largest turnout in recent years. The weather also played a part as we could not have asked for a better day, and the rain didn't arrive until everything was cleared away and the last car had left.
Michael Kenrick (left) and Noel Sharpe taking a rest on the pilgrimage to Holy Year Cross on Slievenamon
As always, this day doesn't happen without the help of so many people. We must say a huge thank you to the O'Donnell family for all their help, in what has been a very difficult and sad year for them. We have been very fortunate in this parish to have dedicated clergy who give so freely of their time and none more so than Canon Tom Breen, who for the last sixteen years has helped us keep the tradition alive, we wish him well in his retirement. Thanks also to the Fethard Scouts and Fethard Day Care Centre staff for all their assistance.
Fethard GAA members and past players photographed at the Holy Year Cross on Slievenamon, includes Willie Morrisssey, Noel Byrne, John Keane, Willie O’Meara, Paddy Kenrick and Gerry Fogarty
This page wouldn't be big enough to name everyone that helped out during the last few weeks and on the day itself, but you know who you are, the part you played, and thank you one and all.
Robert Phelan and Gerry Fogarty (right) having a chat after making their way to Holy Year Cross on Slievenamon
The special appreciation goes to all of you who took the time and effort to be with us on this this special day in the parish. Our visitor book shows that you came from not just the four corners of Ireland but also England, America and Canada. Your attendance makes all our work worthwhile, and if God spares us all the health, we will do again next year. (KTR)
Fethard Heritage Week Events
Fethard events to celebrate National Heritage Week which takes place this year from August 19 to 27.
- Thursday, August 24 – a talk and walk-about on ‘Masons’ marks and Carvings in Medieval and Early Modern Fethard”, expertly explained by Dr. Louise Nugent. Assemble outside the Town Hall at 8pm. Adults €5.
- Saturday August 26 – a guided tour of Medieval Fethard will commence from the Clashawley Footbridge, The Valley, at 2.30pm. Adults €3, Family €5.
FHC Experience Open Evening for Heritage Week
Join us for an evening of music, horse and history in the recently restored C17th Tholsel building. Fethard Horse Country Experience will open late from 7pm - 9pm on Friday, August 25, with Free Entry for all and an informal recital by local harpist Margaret Anne Geehan. Celebrate Heritage Week in Tipperary's latest addition to Ireland's Ancient East! www.fhcexperience.ie 052 6130439
Heritage Week in Tipperary Studies, Thurles
Do you want to see an original Military Cross medal or hear about the lore of Irish trees?
On Monday 21st August, National Heritage Week is marked by Tipperary Studies with a dual event in The Source, Thurles, where the Military Cross medal awarded to Fr Edmond Kelly, native of New Inn, Cashel, is going on display at 6.30pm. Fr. Kelly, volunteered for service as army chaplain during WWI. He was awarded the Military Cross for 'conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty ' on August 16, 1917 , East of Ypres. He continued as army chaplain until 1920 before returned to pastoral duties. He became PP in Killenaule in 1937 and was buried there in 1955.
'Trees – at Home and Abroad'
At 7.30pm, In his talk, 'Trees at Home and Abroad', George Cunningham will take his audience to visit the many tree treasures of home, and discuss the lore of the tree in Irish history. He will also travel to places such as California to introduce trees such as the redwoods and bristlecone pines. So come, join us in The Source for a most entertaining evening which includes the usual cup of tea and chat.
Senior Citizens’ Club Outing
Fethard Senior Citizens’ Club members’ next outing will take place on Tuesday, August 22. Bus departs from Town Hall at 1pm.
Social dancing at Fethard Ballroom
Dancing at Fethard Ballroom on Sunday Night, August 20, to the music of ‘Dave Rea’. All are 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.
The death has occurred recently of Kathleen Gibson (née Ryan), Trencherdstown, Tullaroan, Co Kilkenny and formerly of Kerry Street, Fethard. Kathleen was a sister of the late Jack Ryan, Kerry Street and is survived by her three sisters, Elsie, Breda (Wilson) and Peg (Hanlon), her husband Maurice and extended family, to whom we offer our sincere condolences. Interment took place in Calvary Cemetery on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
‘Message of Peace’ at the Abymill this Saturday
On this coming Saturday, August 19, Fethard Abymill Theatre will host an evening of music, song and history at 8pm when renowned singer and poet Seán Tyrrell will perform his one-man ‘Message of Peace’ show – telling the life story and legacy of Fenian leader, poet and author, John Boyle O’Reilly. Admission is at the special price of €10 and the evening will be preceded with a cheese and wine reception from 7.30pm in the foyer.
This special event is Fethard Historical Society’s way of marking the 150th Anniversary of the Fenian Rising of 1867, which was led by Fethard man Thomas Francis Bourke, and another Fethard man, Michael Doheny, who founded the Fenian Brotherhood in New York nine years earlier.
The show itself, ‘Message of Peace’, consisting of songs with some commentary, was devised by the singer himself and focuses on the life and legacy of another Fenian leader, poet and author John Boyle O’Reilly. A man whose poems are as relevant now as they were when first written; the title poem and song being a perfect example. Tracing his journey from early childhood, set against a backdrop of famine, revolution, and penal servitude for life in Australia.
Booking is not required and admission will be taken at the door. For further information if needed email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 086 3905373.
“If you're lucky, you come across a voice like Seán Tyrrell’s once in a lifetime. When he sings I feel alive.” – Brenda Fricker (Former Oscar winner).
Volunteers needed at Fethard Ballroom AGM next Tuesday, August 22
Fethard Ballroom will hold their AGM in the ballroom on Tuesday, August 22, at 8pm, and all are invited to come along. This meeting will hopefully see the start of a new lease of life for this very successful community venue.
At an important public meeting held on March 25, those involved for many years in the running of the hall expressed their desire to take a step backwards and leave room for new voluntary helpers to get involved and help with the continuance of this fantastic community facility. The Fethard & Killusty Community Council offered to facilitate this changeover and maintain the existing events that run in the Ballroom and in order to maintain the day-to-day running of the Ballroom it is essential that new volunteers get involved and support the remaining members who will also work to facilitate a smooth changeover.
In 1967 a local group of business people, headed by Paddy O’Flynn, acquired the Capitol Cinema premises and opened it the same year as, 'The Capitol Ballroom'. This group known as ‘Fethard Enterprises’ later sold it to Wexford business man Danny Doyle in 1972, who added Fethard to his list of other hugely successful dance halls run around Ireland. Danny always maintained that 60 percent of dancers met their future husband or wife in his dance halls.
Fethard Ballroom has fondly touched the hearts of many people living in County Tipperary and far beyond. Musicians and top bands, local and international, will also remember the heyday packed-to-capacity dancing nights in the 'Country Club' ballroom owned by Danny Doyle.
In these times of lots of choices and lots of commitments it is more important than ever to give a little time to your community and help lighten the load of those already providing voluntary services to make our town a better place to live. Please come along to the Ballroom on Tuesday, August 22 at 8pm, and offer a little . . . it will mean a lot!
Fethard & Killusty Community Games
Photographed at a briefing session for the Community Games Handwriting National Finals are Back L to R: Iain Meagher, Noreen Sheehy (area secretary) and Micheál Maher (chairman). Front L to R: competitors Micheál O’Rahilly, Marissa Meagher and Mark O’Meara.
Three Fethard contestants, Micheál O’Rahilly, Marissa Meagher and Mark O’Meara, will represent County Tipperary in the Community Games Handwriting event at the ALDI Community Games National Finals in Abbotstown this coming weekend. Mark O’Meara, now competing at U12, is becoming a familiar figure at National level as he previously represented Tipperary in Handwriting and Swimming. It is a first time for Micheál and Marissa who are both competing at U10. We wish them all the very best of luck.
The committee would like to express their sincere thanks to everybody who contributed to their recent Church Gate Collection.
Proposed Amenity Area viewing
Clare Lee, Tipperary County Council, photographed with some of the local that turned up to view the proposed amenity area between Barrack Street and Burke Street which was opened for viewing on August 8.
Tipperary County Council opened the proposed new amenity area between Burke Street and Barrack Street for the public to view on Tuesday afternoon, August 8. Although the weather was unfavourable for a while, many people still braved the elements and came to see the extent of land available for development and the section of Fethard's medieval town wall currently hidden from public view.
Photographed at the viewing of the proposed amenity park site between Barrack Street and Burke Street are L to R: Terry Cunningham, Alan Moore, Peter Grant, Clare Lee (Tipperary County Council) and Leo Darcy
The general consensus of those present that the first priority should be to open the area to the public when the area was cleared and made safe, followed by the installation of good lighting, CCTV cameras and a gated entrance on both ends that would be opened and closed by a local community group. Clare Lee, representing Tipperary County Council, stated that presently only limited funding is available but further development could possible be added at a later date.
Photographed at the viewing of the proposed ameniety park site between Barrack Street and Burke Street are L to R: John O’Shea, Michael Kenrick, John Kenrick, Mary O’Connor and Rory O’Connor.
The next stage will present a proposed landscaping plan for the area designed by experts who worked on other similar projects completed around Ireland. The plans will then need to go through the planning process, which will also be open to public consultation and submissions.
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The numbers drawn on August 9, were: 5, 12, 18 and 19. There was no jackpot winner and three ‘Match Three’ winners who received €50 each: Audrey Devitt, Strylea, Fethard; Richard Allen, Cashel Road, Fethard; and Carmel Gahan, Kylenagranagh, Cloneen (online ticket).
The following three ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also received €50 each: John Connolly, Clonmel; Christy Williams, Killusty; and Denis O'Meara, St. Patrick's Place, Fethard.
Next week’s draw takes place on Wednesday, August 16. 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.
GAA Sports Development Lotto
The numbers drawn on Friday, August 11, were: 4, 12, 13 and 34. There was no jackpot winner and two match three winners who received €75 each: Harry Butler, Kilknockin; and Hilda Laslett, Moyglass.
The next draw takes place on Friday, August 18, when the jackpot is €20,000 and the sellers prize is €1,000. The committee of Fethard GAA/Sports Centre Development Lotto would like to thank all our supporters near and far who participate in our weekly lotto draw. The funds raised are used to promote sport in the local community.
Fethard Annual Emigrant's Newsletter
Work on the production of this year's Annual Emigrant's Newsletter has now commenced. We invite anyone interested in submitting articles or photographs for this year’s issue to contact Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard, Tel: (052) 6131663 or by email: email@example.com
We are very much aware that some people find it difficult to put pen to paper but have very interesting stories to tell. So if it helps, we can arrange to have someone call and interview you at your own convenience. Help is always needed gathering articles and photographs, indeed, one of the most time-consuming chores is trying to put captions to photographs with correct names. Other ways people can help is interviewing, writing articles, typing or inviting others to write articles in good time for publication.
The first issue of the Fethard & Killusty Emigrants' Newsletter was published in December 1959 (dated 'Christmas 1960'). On checking the dates of the events and deaths featured in the newsletter we discovered that they all happened in 1959 so we concluded that the Newsletter was published in December 1959 and posted in January 1960. This very 'first newsletter' was discovered in a drawer by Pat Shine, formerly from Crampscastle and now living in London. We send our sincere sympathy to Pat on the death of his wife, the late Josie Shine (née Murphy), who died on May 12, 2017.
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
Items for inclusion on this website and on the weekly Fethard News page on The Nationalist can be emailed before noon on Mondays to email@example.com or delivered by hand to Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard.
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