Monday, October 22, 2018
Alice delighted with turnout for book launch
On Thursday night last, October 11, a very large crowd attended the Fethard launch of Alice Leahy’s new book 'The Stars are our only Warmth', co-authored by journalist Catherine Cleary. The large number of books brought by publisher Brenda Boyne, Sales Manager, O'Brien Press, didn’t underestimate the attendance or the queue that waited in line, patiently, as Alice personally signed each copy. As book launches go, this was quoted as one the best ever launches for book sales. A fitting tribute to Alice Leahy, her life, her work and her dedication to the lesser well-off people in our society.
Alice and her husband Charlie Best are no strangers to Fethard and enjoyed meeting their many friends again at the launch. The launch and reception, organised by Jimmy O’Sullivan, went flawlessly smooth, enhanced by the performance of Sinéad O’Donovan who sang beforehand. Co-author and journalist Catherine Cleary gave a very true description of the life Alice led on the streets on Dublin and how well she was known and appreciated by the homeless and less fortunate individuals on Dublin streets.
Radio presenter Fran Curry further delved into what makes Alice Leahy tick with a twenty-minute interview on stage that was very easy listening as Alice explained her many traits – both good and bad, funny and sad.
Fran Curry then had the honour of officially launching the book, which he did with extreme pride and admiration for a woman with a huge story to tell.
The book priced at €19.99 (hardback) comes very highly recommended by those who have read it and is available in all good local bookshops and online from the publishers at: www.obrien.ie/alice-leahy
"Fethard instilled in me a sense of belonging and acceptance", Alice Leahy speaking at Abymill launch
The stage was set – a midnight blue backdrop echoing the colour of the door into the Alice Leahy trust – a door open to all, with a special welcome for those Alice defines as different. The people of Fethard afforded the warmest of welcomes to this much esteemed daughter of Annsgift. It was in every sense a homecoming as old friends revisited former days with Alice and new admirers lined up to get their books signed.
The evening began with a brief recital by the very talented young local soprano Sinéad O’Donovan. She delighted the audience with a trio of songs: When she loved me, I don’t know how to love him and The Derry Air (Danny Boy). Following a summer performing in New York, Sinéad is now back studying music in Cork.
Special guest Sinead O'Donovan, singing 'Danny Boy' at the launch of Alice Leahy's book, ''The Stars are our only Warmth', in the Abymill Theatre, on Thursday, October 11, 2018.
Working on the memoir obviously entailed spending lots of time with Alice. She told how they walked through city-centre Dublin together visiting food kitchens and hostels with Alice meeting and greeting people along the way. It became apparent that Alice had created her own personal ‘village’ within the city, establishing a sense of connection that transcended all barriers. As she learned about Alice’s childhood in Annsgift and the strong women who influenced her, such as her mother Hannie and Mrs Olivia Hughes who established the Irish Country Markets in Fethard back in 1947, Catherine began to understand the source of Alice’s strength and resilience. She expressed her delight in bringing to completion the story of the little girl from Annsgift who grew up to be the voice of the marginalised.
Brenda Boyne, Sales Manager, O'Brien Press, spoke next thanking Jimmy O’Sullivan, Jasper and the Abymill team for organising the event so well and Fran Curry for agreeing to interview Alice. Michael O’Brien established O’Brien Press in 1974 while Alice Leahy set up Trust 1975 so it seemed most appropriate that they should publish the memoir. They were very privileged to work with Alice and Catherine on The Stars Are Our Only Warmth. This book is a social history as well as a wonderful insight into Alice’s childhood in Tipperary. “Alice has a very special way about her, a way of getting things done,” Brenda stated. She too told of travelling through Dublin city centre with Alice, this time to visit booksellers, and how along the way so many people just had to come over to say Hello. Needless to say, the booksellers also fell under her spell. They ended up, as one does, in the Palace bar (only a Tipperary pub would do for Alice) drinking ‘tea’ and putting the world to rights.
Brenda concluded by wishing Alice every success with her book and whatever she does in the future.
Catherine Cleary, co-autor of Alice Leahy's book, ''The Stars are our only Warmth' speaking at the launch of the book in the Abymill Theatre, Fethard, Co. Tipperary, on Thursday, October 11, 2018.
Surprisingly, it was Alice’s first time in the Abymill Theatre but she recalled, with evident pride, reciting The Old Woman of the Roads by Pádraic Colum onstage in the Town Hall.
The title of her memoir is taken from another poem, Last Night by Tony Gill, a homeless man who was well known to Alice, the final three lines of which are:
The interview flowed seamlessly, Fran’s deft questions serving as gentle prompts to the unfolding of an intriguing story of courage and selflessness. Alice spoke eloquently with the accomplished ease of one who has spent a lifetime advocating her particular cause. Her message was clear and concise- there is no quick fix solution: the homeless problem will not be fixed in a year or two, if ever. But we can start now, today, showing kindness and compassion, suspending judgement, offering practical help.
Alice spoke too about her family and the values passed down to her by her parents; a strong work ethic and a belief that you were as good as the next. Fethard was a very special place, there was a sense of belonging and an acceptance within the community of those who were different. That acceptance is, she feels, sadly lacking in our society today. Instead, we tend to focus on achieving success and judging everything on outcomes, ignoring the importance of the individual’s need for human contact.
Alice Leahy interviewed by Fran Curry, Tipp FM, at the launch of her book, ''The Stars are our only Warmth' in the Abymill Theatre, Fethard. co-authored by journalist Catherine Cleary, on Thursday, October 11, 2018.
Alice worked as a nurse and a midwife, volunteered with Simon in the slums in Benburb Street and then gave up her job to found Trust. It is not aligned to any political party or religious group and it doesn’t accept government money. The focus is on accepting people as they are and treating them as equal human beings. It’s not about trying to change people because, as Alice says, “You can’t change people unless they want to change”. These are the broken of our society, the fragile, the unwanted who could so easily disappear in plain view. Building relationships is what is important, in an accepting, non-judgemental way.
Alice has served as a Human Rights Commissioner and was Chairperson of the Sentence Review Group. She has received many awards in recognition of her lifetime commitment to working with the homeless including honorary fellowships form both the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, an honorary doctorate from University College Dublin and she was named Tipperary Person of the Year in 2004. However, Alice waves away acclaim, wearing her laurels lightly, with an obvious sense of humour that refuses to allow her to take herself too seriously.
She was totally in earnest, however, when she stated that the political system has to change if it is to be effective. There is a great danger of becoming complacent or indifferent. She commended Alan Kelly, TD, who was in the audience, because he was the first minister to bring together everyone involved in working with the homeless. She believes similar initiatives are needed today to tackle the issue. Above all, she said, people need to think ‘outside the box’.
Asked if she is religious Alice replied with a resounding No. But she is, she said, a woman of faith, with a belief in a higher power and she is constantly amazed at the wonderful way things work out, as evinced for her every day in the realising of her mission. She begins each day with a prayer God, today is the day you have made. I am grateful to be part of it. She also recommends taking time each day simply to be quiet and reflect.
Launching The Stars Are Our Only Warmth, Fran Curry said how immensely proud the people of Tipperary should be of Alice. “This book is so special it should be compulsory reading for every politician. There is so much to learn from it about real Christianity, about reaching out to those who are broken, with love and empathy, not judging them.”
Then it was time for Alice to meet more of her public and sign more books. The Abymill foyer rang with laughter and reminiscences as people enjoyed the refreshments supplied by McCarthy’s, another Fethard legend.
The book is published by O’Brien Press, the long-established and well-known Irish family publishing company. All royalties from the book go directly to the Alice Leahy Trust. The Kindle edition of the book is now available for sale at Amazon.co.uk
Emigrants Newsletter Church Gate Collection this weekend
We ask for your continued support again this year that will go towards the publication and distribution of the Emigrant’s Newsletter, free of charge, to all our emigrants, family members and relatives, living away from Fethard throughout the world. We are totally dependent on your donations from at home and abroad, and your support by buying the newsletter at home, to enable us to continue this much appreciated service, now in its 58th year.
Donations & Church Gate Collection
‘Cups against Breast Cancer’ coffee morning this Friday
By supporting this coffee morning you are supporting patients with breast cancer and their families. The donations from your coffee morning will fund research and support services for breast cancer patients across Ireland! Contact 086 8040806
Lucy receives award for voluntary services to Limerick Suicide Watch
Thirty-two-year-old Lucy is PRO for Limerick Suicide Watch who launched their mobile phone app which is designed to provide a one-stop-shop for many of the mental health service providers in Limerick City and County. This will give greater access to people who may need help or support.
Limerick Suicide Watch was set up in May 2016 and over the past two years they've had 180 interventions. All volunteers have completed suicide intervention skills training provided by the HSE. The city's suicide watch volunteers work in teams of three, with eight to ten volunteers out on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights. Often they walk 10k a night along the Shannon River or cycle 20k if they're on bikes.
Under 16 County Champions
Congratulations to the Anner Gaels U16 football team on winning the County U16 A title with a one-point win over Loughmore Castleiney on Saturday, October 13, in Golden. The final score was, Loughmore Castleiney 3-7 to Anner Gaels 1-14 which was a great result considering the team was 7 points down with twelve minutes to go.
Anner Gales is a combined team of players from Fethard and St. Patricks (Cloneen and Drangan). The selectors from Fethard are Michael Healy and John Hurley, and the selectors from St. Patrick’s are Declan Morrissey and Liam Fitzgerald.
Congratulations to all and the following pupils who attend Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary School: Keith Morrissey, Darragh Hurley and Robert Hackett, (5th Year), and Tyler McCormack, Jack O’Donoghue, and Keenan Ahearne (2nd Year).
Patrician Presentation Secondary School jottings
St. Vincent de Paul Bag Packing
Comhairle na nÓg
Busy Sunday for Girls’ Rugby
Our U18 Girls were at home for their league match against a Highfield / Bantry amalgamation team and scored an amazing amount of tries. The team worked well together. Prop forward Orla O’Donnell (captain) organised a solid defence and fellow prop-forward Anna Kennedy was great in the scrum and the lineouts. Eabha Fitzgerald was a tackling machine throughout. Second rows of Matilda Magner worked strongly in a great partnership with Mairead McCarthy who scored a lovely try in the second half. Therese Ryan scored two fine tries and Nicole Vaughan had her usual top game. Faye Dowling was a tough tackler and scored a lovely try in the second half. Hannah McCabe improves with every game and a great asset to the team. Jennifer Fogarty at 2nd center scored three lovely tries. Annica O’Connor at full back had a fine performance. Karen Bennett showed great speed and scored two fine tries. Kate Gayson was top try scorer with 4 tries and 10 conversions. Lucy Murphy worked well with Kate and scored three tries. Well done girls and keep up the great team work.
Fethard & District Day Care Centre
Reposing at Condon's Funeral Parlour, Clonmel, on Tuesday evening from 5pm, with removal at 7.30pm to St Mary’s Church, Irishtown. Funeral Mass on Wednesday morning, October 17, at The Church of the Sacred Heart, Killusty, to arrive at 11am. Internment afterwards in the adjoining cemetery. Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to South Tipperary Hospice Movement. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-Anam Dílis.
Fethard Bridge Club Results
Next Wednesday, October 24, we play for Halloween prizes. Bridge starts at 7.15pm. Anyone looking for a partner contact Gemma Burke 086-6064148.
Social dancing at Fethard Ballroom
FHS attend lunch at Royal Irish Academy
The Royal Irish Academy invited along the Fethard Historical Society committee and all those who took part in the Transcribeathon in June, as part of the project to develop the Digital Atlas of Historic Fethard. It was a great honour to be invited but unfortunately, due to previous commitments, only a few were able to attend.
Sarah Gearty (Historic Irish Town Atlas) introduced the event as an opportunity to bring together people who work in and contribute to urban heritage in Ireland. She paid tribute to the work of Heritage Officers and local historical societies throughout the country. There followed short demonstrations by Pat Read (HeritageMaps.ie) and Jennifer Moore, (IHTA Online), showing how the collaboration between their two organisations works and can be accessed online.
Dr. Rachel Murphy, Fethard Historical Society, gave a presentation outlining their project to develop a Digital Atlas of Historic Fethard, one of the first in Ireland. She explained how the society involved volunteers from the local community in the Transcribeathon last June. The society also involved the Transition Year students from the Patrician Presentation Secondary school working under the guidance of their Art teacher, Ms Pat Looby to depict their favourite aspects of the town. The resultant drawings were reproduced in the Digital Atlas of Historic Fethard. Rachel explained that further layers of information may be added in the future. She concluded with a demonstration of how the digital atlas works online allowing the viewer to access information about the various features of the town, the history of the buildings and the students’ artwork.
Howard Clarke (Irish Historic Towns Atlas, Royal Irish Academy) spoke of how the historic atlases will be of use not only to students of history, geography and archaeology but also to architects, town planners and conservationists. He pointed out that while five hundred such atlases exist across Europe, Ireland in fact is leading the way with the quality and standard of atlas produced.
Michael Parsons (Chairperson, Heritage Council) commended the partnership and collaboration between the Royal Irish Academy and the Heritage Council which has made the twenty-three Irish Historic Town Atlases available on a digital platform. He spoke of the shared common purpose to nurture a sense of belonging and to develop a sense of place.
In conclusion, Mary Canning (Vice-President, Royal Irish Academy) stated the Academy’s commitment to share the resources and scholarship with the wider community and the need to spread that message further afield. She also mentioned having visited Fethard a few years ago and how having a digital map of the historic town would have really enhanced her visit. A return trip is envisaged with the digital map now available!
The visit to the Royal Academy also afforded the opportunity to peruse their wonderful library with its unique manuscript and printed collections. The exhibits currently on display include The Psalter of St. Colum Cille (Columba), known as the Cathach, dated c. A.D. 560-600, and Lebor na hUidhre (the Book of the Dun Cow), the oldest extant manuscript completely in Irish.
Of interest to the Fethard contingent was the collection includes a brief introduction to Geoffrey Keating’s Foras Feasa ar Éirinn and its textual transmission over three centuries.
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
The following three ‘Lucky Dip’ winners also received €50 each: Joan Shine, The Valley, Fethard; Fiona Conway, Friarsfield, Fethard; and Niall Connolly, c/o Eileen Connolly.
Next week’s draw takes place on Wednesday, October 17. 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. PLAY ONLINE
GAA Sports Development Lotto
The next draw takes place on Friday, October 19 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. PLAY ONLINE
Fethard Golf Challenge Cup
A Pub Society Golf Competition for the Fethard Golf Challenge Cup, kindly sponsored by Michael Mouse Morris, will take place on Saturday, October 13, at Slievenamon Golf Club. Four teams of 12 will consist of eight four-balls, four four-balls singles and a non-playing captain. The four teams will be captained by Michael Smyth (The Well); Bobby O’Leone (Burkes Bar); Annette Murphy (McCarthys Hotel); and Nat McCarthy (Butlers Bar).
Non-handicap players will play off 18 for Men and 26 for Ladies. The four captains will decide under the rules of golf any disputes and if we don’t have an outcome, organisers Bill O’Sullivan and John Hurley will have a casting vote. Medals for the competition are kindly sponsored by Burkes Bar.
Happy 80th Birthday Olly
'A Night on Broadway' at the Abymill
Shane Neville, Kilnockin, Fethard, a TY Student will be donating funds raised to the HOPE Foundation in Kolkata, India, when he visits there next February.
An October Evening with the Choirs
The choirs include The Gordonaires, Fethard Choral Society, Nire Valley Voices, Cahir To Sing, STSA Clonmel and special guests Marji Maxwell and the choir of Bridgewater House and Knocklofty Rural Day Service.
‘Ireland after the Rising 1916-1918’
In this lecture she will look at what was happening in Ireland after the 1916 Rising: the execution of the leaders, national and international reaction to those executions, the Royal Commission of Enquiry, the Home Rule Scheme, the trial of Roger Casement, the deportations to internment camps in Britain with emphasis on life in Frongoch Interment Camp in Wales. Noreen will also speak about the Prisoners’ Aid Association, the National Aid Association, the death of Thomas Ashe and the rise of Sinn Féin culminating with their success in the General Election of December 2018.
She intends to talk too about January 1919 on the night as it will be relevant, considering we are nearly at the end of 2018 and she herself is involved in a conference relating to the 100th anniversary of the Soloheadbeg ambush in January 1919, which is traditionally the start of the War of Independence.
All are welcome to what promises to be a very interesting insight into the aftermath of the 1916 Rising and what was happening in Ireland one hundred years ago.
Photographs wanted for St. Patrick’s Place Reunion
The next meeting to organise the St. Patrick’s Place Reunion later in the year will be held in the Tirry Community Centre, Barrack Street, on Tuesday night, September 25, at 8.30pm. All interested in getting involved are more than welcome to come along.
The committee are very pleased with the encouragement and interest shown so far and are now interested in gathering any photographs relating to St. Patrick’s Place people and events from when the first houses were built in 1941 to the present.
We have also received correspondence and photographs from overseas and would welcome any stories or information that relate to events, games, characters and families that lived in any of the houses for any period. You can also send photographs or information by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meetings will continue to be held on the last Tuesday of every month in the Tirry Community Centre and you can always help in many ways by coming along, even if you’re not from St. Patrick’s Place! As most Fethard people will have experienced a variety of situations and contact with the people from ‘The Ring’!
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
Dawn Foods Production Line 1995 L to R: Marian Thompson, Ann Looby, Annette Fox, David Purcell and John Kelly.
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