Monday, July 29, 2019
I'll lay you an even bet, you were never in Farranaleen!
In the Autumn of 1961, the use of a steam engine on the goods train appeared to have finally been superseded by diesel traction. Regular goods service between Thurles and Clonmel continued after the passenger closure in 1963, until the line was closed finally to all traffic from Monday, March 27, 1967, sadly long before there was any concept of greenways.
Farranaleen will always be immortalised in the first verse of C.J. Boland’s ‘The Two Travellers’ which reads:
All over the world, the traveller said,
Following up on our research, we came across a very interesting true story from Farranaleen that we received in 2001 about a young man, Jimmy Condon, including a photo of his parents Bridget and Jack Condon, stationmaster at Farranaleen Station, 1960. Excerpts from the story are as follows.
Jimmy Condon – a true story
“I would love to tell you a story. A true heart-breaking story about the life and death of a young man from Farranaleen. His name was Jimmy Condon, born in 1937, died in 1964.
There was nothing unusual about his youth except that he was a daredevil. He had to be the first to try out anything remotely dangerous, like walking across the old red bridge over to the railway station at Farranaleen, while a passenger train passed underneath.
Jimmy Condon listened to few people, not least his parents. When he should have been working, he was skulking off work (from Scully’s). His popularity at home was strained due to his wild nature, and his disappearing for three days at the age of fourteen did not impress his austere father, Jack. Maybe this was the start of the nomadic Jimmy Condon. He left to join the army in Clonmel, nothing unusual for young men at that time, except that they took your word you were 16 years or older.
A twist of fate and life changes. Half disowned at home by a disciplinarian father, but not by his adoring heartbroken mother, and not happy with the unexciting Irish Army he left for London. From there to Aldershot, Hereford and finally Sarawak province of North Borneo.
Jimmy Condon joined the Special Air Service Regiment in 1959, much to the absolute horror of his parents, and against the wishes of his younger brothers Sean and Billy, and sister Maureen.
From 1963 to 1966 Britain fought a war in South East Asia on the Malaysian side against the Chinese Communists and Indonesian Soekarno. Paratrooper Jimmy Condon, being a member of the S.A.S, was posted to Borneo in 1963. Each unit comprised of four men who attacked supply routes and staged surprise attacks. Patrols made friends of the locals as best they could. Condon, who volunteered for a second tour, was well versed in the Malayan language, and acted as interpreter of his party.
Early in March 1964 the usual four-man patrol was sent out, including paratrooper Jimmy Condon. Here was the very short, slight and very quiet man from the banks of the Clashawley River at Farranaleen whose daredevil attitude to life endeared him to his comrades. After ten days they came across a large enemy camp which the unit decided to watch before moving on the next day. On the morning of March 14, 1964, they encountered an enemy patrol. A large enemy force confronted them and thereafter followed a shootout. Following a well-rehearsed routine, the troop moved in different directions. Three men re-convened at a prearranged point. Jimmy ‘Paddy’ Condon did not make this point. Shooting became rapid again and things looked bad at that stage. For four days, these three troopers searched every pre-arranged point without success. They knew then that Jimmy Condon was dead. Confirmed in the next few days when Indonesian soldiers boasted that they had killed a British paratrooper.
Jimmy was grievously wounded in the first encounter, having taken a bullet in the groin. He was taken captive and interrogated. He pretended his knowledge of Malaysian was limited, he succeeded in giving them the idea that the S.A.S patrol was larger than it was. Not taking any chances they retreated on this information. His comrades to this day acknowledge that they owe their lives to the misinformation Jimmy Condon supplied on that fateful day.
The enemy retreated and being unable to walk, the injured paratrooper was shot and finished off in the lonely jungle of North Borneo. Jimmy died alone, un-mourned, un-prayed for, but dearly loved — the young daredevil from Farranaleen. He was buried in an unmarked grave in this foreign land, having done more in his short life than most.
His beloved parents left this world in 1972 and 1981 still clutching to the possibility that this young wild man from Borneo would someday come home. Say a prayer for Jack, Brigid and Jimmy Condon. All three are together again (Jimmy, since April 2001), at home in the lovely churchyard in Moyglass.”
The full story entitled, 'A young man from Farranaleen', was printed in the Fethard & Killusty Emigrants Newsletter 2001, starting on page 25, and can be downloaded from our Emigrants Newsletter Page — at the bottom right-hand side you will find a download link for the 2001 Emigrant's Newsletter.
Holy Year Cross Pilgrimage to Slievenamon takes place on Sunday August 11
The Holy Year Cross was erected by the people of the parish to commemorate the Marian Year and was blessed by the late Rev. Patrick O’Donnell, Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia, on August 15 1950. The cross was made of wood and was illuminated both on Christmas night and Easter time using a lamp powered by wet batteries. By 1974 the wood of the Holy Year Cross had to be replaced by a concrete structure.
First home match for Fethard Ladies Senior footballers
Roadworks in Fethard for next Two Weeks
Social dancing at Fethard Ballroom
Moyglass hosts Ned Kelly Festival this weekend
Moyglass village will host this year’s Ned Kelly Festival Weekend from Saturday, July 27 to Sunday, July 28.
Events will begin with the annual Tractor Run starting at 4pm and registration at 3.30pm. Food will be available on return. Music later that night in The Village Inn, provided by The Sheehans, where you can also brush-up on your Ned Kelly history while enjoying lots of chat and a few of your favourite drinks from the bar.
For the more energetic minded, early Sunday morning will suit when you have a choice of taking part in a refreshing 60k and 100k cycle starting at 9.30am with registration at 9am. If you don’t have a bike, why not try the 5k Run starting at 11.30am with registration at 10.30am.
Sunday afternoon in Moyglass village will host a variety of family entertainment all day at the Community Complex with Ned Kelly Re-enactments performed throughout the day at regular intervals. Traditional platform dancing will be followed by an Open Mike session from 1pm to 2pm. Set Dancing, at the crossroads, will take place from 2pm to 4pm. The popular Dog Show will commence at 3pm.
If you’re still not tired, an open invitation to all is extended to a ‘Mock Wedding’ at The Village Inn’, commencing at 10.15pm.
The annual Ned Kelly Festival Weekend in Moyglass is well-worth a visit so mark the dates in your diary, Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28. You are also supporting the organising committee’s chosen charities by donating to their ‘Bucket Collection’ on the day. The chosen beneficiaries of this year’s event are three deserving charities: C-SAW (Community Suicide Awareness Workers), South Tipperary; Irish Wheelchair Society’s Tipperary Volunteer Branch; and The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. The organisers are to be commended for their support of deserving charities every year.
Patrician Presentation Secondary School
Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto
Next week’s draw takes place on Wednesday, July 24. 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, July 26, in Burke’s Bar at 7.30pm, when the jackpot is €22,400 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.
Articles invited for Annual Emigrant's Newsletter
Fethard & Killusty Community Council AGM
Faces and Places from the Past
Photographs taken 20 years ago in Fethard and surrounding areas!
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