Monday, August 20, 2018
Visitors travel home for annual pilgrimage to Holy Year Cross on Slievenamon
We had another glorious day on Slievenamon last Sunday, August 12, and when the sun is shining sure there is nowhere else you would rather be.
The ceremonies were started by Fr Liam Everard PP, who was joining us for the first time. On the way to the cross patrons recited the rosary and read from our missal, John Lee was on hand to photograph the moments. When we reached the cross and had time to refuel, the Kenny brothers, Laurence and Joe, took photographs like they were going out of fashion.
At the Mass rock Fr Everard celebrated Mass assisted by Canon Tom Breen A.P. and Fr Iggy O’Donovan OSA. After Mass a presentation was made to our hostess Eileen O'Donnell who was celebrating a special 80th birthday on the day. Billy Prout made a presentation on behalf of the Holy Year Cross community and Gus Fitzgerald presented a bouquet on behalf of the Legion of Mary. Judging by how much tea was made and how little food was left I think it's fair to say that people really enjoyed themselves.
Now comes the hard bit, with so many people to thank there is always a danger of leaving someone out, if so please forgive me. Thanks as always to our hosts the O'Donnell family, to our parish priest, Fr Liam and Fr Iggy, on what we hope was their first of many days with us; the Fethard Scouts and Fethard Day Care Centre, both great supporters down through the years. To Paddy Doheny and Jasper Murphy – two ‘sound’ men – who helped make sure we were all heard.
A huge thanks to those who painted crosses, directed traffic, erected and took down tents, supplied food, helped with catering, took photographs and all the other little things that go into making this such a special day in the parish. The biggest thank you goes to all of you who travelled from near and far if you hadn't taken the time and effort to be with us all the hard work would be in vain, so once again thank you one and all.
We are compiling a photographic record of all the pilgrimages since it began in 1950 and would appeal to anyone with photographs from the events to let us make a copy for our collection that will be on display every year. You can email photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Joe Kenny if you need them scanned and returned.
Finally one story from the day, Tommy Healy formally from the Green, travelled especially to make his first trip to the Holy Year Cross celebrations since he was last there in 1950 – the first year the Cross was erected.
On the next visit of Archbishop Patrick O’Donnell, during the Marian year of 1954, Mary Barnable from Cloran, made it up to the cross at 100 years of age, so remember that the next time you're trying to find an excuse for not making the climb.
Tommy Healy recalls his first pilgrimage to Holy Year Cross
On the Sunday I went with my father, Ned Healy, to the ceremony. The day was very wet and windy. Being November it was cold as well and we all got thoroughly soaked and chilled. However, it did not spoil our ardour and a huge crowd made its way to the site halfway up the mountain. We wore commemorative badges which cost a shilling. Mine blew away but Tommy Fogarty, who lived at Trehy’s at Kilnockin, bought me a replacement. I wonder if any of these badges has survived.
The parish priest, Canon Ryan, made his way to the site on horseback. I do not remember how the archbishop made the journey. I suspect he did so like the rest of us, on foot.
The cross was erected to commemorate the Holy Year of 1950 and to mark the occasion when Pope Pius XII formulated the doctrine of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. The work of making the cross and conveying it up the mountain was organised by a committee from Killusty. It must have been a formidable task especially when machinery was limited in scope and impossible to employ on most of the terrain of the mountain. I can only marvel at the dedication and persistence of those who undertook and completed this project.
I remember that the original cross was made of wood, not the best material to withstand the rigours of the Slievenamon climate. I also recall that, at certain times of the year, it was illuminated. The light came from a set of wet batteries which had to be recharged frequently. By the early 1970s the cross had deteriorated badly and was replaced by a more robust concrete structure which was blessed by Archbishop Thomas Morris in 1974. This has stood up well to what the mountain can throw at it and seems likely to last for a long time.
I was seven at the time, my birthday having arrived two days before the ceremony. The walk up the mountain did not seem to bother me in the slightest, such being the energy, agility and enthusiasm of youth. I wish I could say the same now. With my seventy-fifth birthday not so far off this year’s trip seemed more of a challenge. However, I enjoyed it immensely especially meeting so many people from the time when I lived in Fethard and bringing home to me that no matter how long you have been away the place still has the irresistible pull of home. What also impressed me greatly was the size of this year’s congregation. Despite the decline of religious faith and practice in Ireland the basics of that faith still exercise a deep and lasting influence.
More photographs from this year's pilgrimage on August 12
Social dancing at Fethard Ballroom
Historical Society's National Heritage Week Events
Exploring Fethard's Past
Walking Tour of Fethard
Launch of the Digital Atlas of Fethard
Exhibition of artwork of Fethard
All the events are free of charge, but we would be grateful if you could register your interest by emailing the Fethard Historical Society on email@example.com or by contacting Mary Hanrahan on 087 9009722
Senior Citizens’ August outing
Community Games athletes ready for National Finals
The County Tipperary H.Q. will be based in Kilmurry Village beside the Athletic Track and near the playing pitches. Singlets will be provided for competition to Sam and Jack. Tracksuit tops will be available for medal presentation. Our Tipperary Flag will be flying from the window to identify the location. Michaél Maher is the County GAA Team manager. Wishing everybody the very best of luck.
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The following ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also received €50 each: Joe Kenny, Rocklow Road, Fethard; Margaret Walshe, Barrack Street, Fethard; and Geoffrey Hannigan, St. Patrick's Place, Fethard.
Next week’s draw takes place on Wednesday, August 15. 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 next draw takes place on Friday, August 17, in Burke’s Bar at 7.30pm, when the jackpot is €20,000 and the seller's 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.
Roadworks starting on Tuesday August 14, 2018
St. Patrick's Place Reunion – stories, memories and photographs wanted!
Articles invited for Annual Emigrant's Newsletter 2018
Help is always needed gathering articles and photographs, indeed, one of the most time-consuming chores is trying to put captions to the 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 by the Legion of Mary in December 1959 and is 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 'first newsletter' was discovered in a drawer by Pat Shine, formerly from Crampscastle and now living in London. Today, over fifty years later, the newsletter has grown into a full colour 200-page production and is still posted free of charge to all our emigrants living throughout the world.
Fethard Faces and Places from the Past
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