Fethard News

November 8, 2018

Abymill 20th Anniversary

On Monday 26th May, the Abymill Theatre celebrated its twentieth anniversary in McCarthy’s Hotel. A large number of friends associated with the Abymill, Fethard Players and Hogan Musical Society gathered to reminisce over the past decades of theatrical life in Fethard. The evening was enhanced with a presentation of photographs and video clips of past shows. Also featured was the official opening of the Abymill Theatre in 1988.
Tasty finger foods, provided by Eileen Connolly, were served to all present. This was followed by a presentation to Austin O’Flynn by Joe Kenny to mark his long time dedication to community work in the parish of Fethard. The presentation was made on behalf of Fethard & Killusty Community Council. Marian Gilpin then spoke on behalf of the Fethard Players and thanked Austin for his foresight in pursuing the Abymill project. Austy was then called on to cut the Abymill’s ‘birthday cake’. Entertainment followed as the group joined in the chorus of “Olde Tyme Music Hall’, a show produced by Anne Connolly and first performed in the Abymill by the Hogan Musical Society in 1990.

Public Realm Plan — Public Consultation

The public are invited to discuss the proposed Public Realm Plan with members of South Tipperary County Council from 3.30pm to 6pm on Friday 30th May at the Tirry Community Centre, Barrack Street, Fethard.

The Public Realm Plan for the historic walled town of Fethard was prepared for South Tipperary County Council, The Heritage Council / Irish Walled Town Network by The Paul Hogarth Company and ERM Ireland Ltd.

Fethard GAA Club News

The County Hurling League semifinal game against Newport will be played on Wednesday 28th May. Full match report next week.
Our Senior Football South Championship continues with a game against Clonmel Commercials on Monday 2nd June in Kilsheelan at 3.30pm. On 4th June we are scheduled to play Moyle Rovers in the County League final which will be also played in Kilsheelan starting at 7.45pm.
Our Intermediate Hurlers are out again in the South Championship when they play their first round game against Cahir rescheduled for Clonmel on Friday 6th June at 7.30pm.
Our last promotional push is now on to sell tickets for the first two draws of the County Board Draw which takes place this Friday 30th May in The Ragg. We wish all those who have joined the very best of luck. Please contact any promoter if you still wish to join. The cost is €100 per year or €10 monthly,
The Lotto Jackpot of €10,000 was not won. The numbers drawn were 5, 11, 15 and 24. We had one match three winner of €150 which went to Abigail Doyle (Woodvale Walk, Fethard). The €50 Lucky Dip was won by Katie McGrath (c/o Merrys Garage Clonmel). Thanks to AIB Main Street, Fethard, for supplying the tickets.

Fethard Walled Towns Day Festival

Plans are now underway to organise this year’s ‘Walled Towns Day Festival’ which will take place on Sunday 24th August. A full day programme of events will take place to suit all ages. Please put the date in your diary and your thinking caps on for the Fancy Dress Parade.

The Historic Knights

On Tuesday evening, 20th May, the Fethard Historical Society, organised an evening to focus on The Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John who had a huge presence in Fethard from near its foundation in c.1200 up to Reformation times.
The group met in the grounds of Holy Trinity Church of Ireland, where Tim Robinson outlined the history of the Order and their connection with Fethard. The Order had been founded way back in 1020 when they built a hospice, dedicated to John the Baptist, in Jerusalem to look after Christian pilgrims, as the Holy Land was then ruled by the Caliph of Egypt, who was the Moslem ruler of the area.
It would now appear that the whole precinct surrounding the medieval church was part of a religious establishment of the order that included Court Castle, Edmond’s Castle and other buildings that we see today.
The group then went out to Baptistgrange, another of the order’s properties so called after St John the Baptist, where there was a grain farm, a mill, a church and even a village in those medieval times.
Over the summer the Historical Society intend to visit further sites associated with the order, especially Buolick which is situated in towards the bog between Ballysloe and Gortnahoe. Anyone wishing to join the Society can do so by contacting Pat Looby, Kerry Street, Fethard or by phoning 052 23402 or 31936. Individual membership is €7 and family membership is €10 for a year.

First Winner

Congratulations to 17 year old Josh Halley, Rathvin, who made his first Point-to-Point mount a winning one at Bartlemy, Co. Cork Point to Point meeting on Sunday 18th May. Riding his father’s horse, King of Spades, Josh jumped the field two out, a move which proved a winning one as the odds on favourite Supreme Deal failed by two lengths to catch him on the run in. Well done Josh and may the Bartlemy winner be the first of many.

The Late Frank Gomez

The death has occurred in Florida, USA, of top American trainer Frank (Frankie) Gomez. A native of Croom, Co. Limerick, Frankie spent the first thirteen years of his racing career in Fethard. Following his father, grandfather and four brothers into racing he arrived as a fifteen year old to Tullamaine to serve his jockey apprenticeship with Larry Fahy, private trainer to Mrs Vigors at Tullamaine Castle. On the completion of his apprenticeship Frankie remained on in Fethard with Larry Fahy at Coolmore riding many winners on the flat and over jumps. He surprised many of his friends in Irish racing circles by handing in his licence in 1958 and moving to the US. He started training in New York and later moved to Florida. He was leading trainer at the prestigious Calder racecourse on four occasions. He handled four Breeders Cup winners early in their careers — Cherokee Run, Smile and Princess Rooney, who won a total of twenty-four races under Frankie’s care — for other trainers. He trained in total 1423 winners.
A man of very friendly and genial disposition, Frankie Gomez will be fondly remembered by all in Fethard who knew him. An excellent ballroom dancer he was a regular patron of the old Town Hall and Kilnockin Platform. Many the tough game of handball he took part in in the old Barrack Field ball-alley, won and lost a few bob at the pitch-and-toss and joined in with great enthusiasm in the training games on the playing pitch. Interment took place in America.

Fethard Bridge Club

At Fethard Bridge Club AGM on Wednesday 21st May the following officers and committee were elected:
President: Gemma Burke;
Vice-President: Kathleen Kenny;
Secretary: Anne Connolly;
Treasurer: Rita Kane;
Asst. Treasurer: Anna Cooke;
Tournament Directors: Frances Burke, Gemma Burke, Alice Quinn, Betty Walsh;
Partner Facilitator: Berney Myles;
Committee: Nell Broderick, Bernie O’Meara and Ellen Rochford.

The results of the game following the AGM were:
1st Gross: Marie Delaney and Annie O’Brien;
2nd Gross: Frances Burke and Breda Walsh;
1st Nett: Eileen Frewen and Anne Connolly;
2nd Nett: Kathleen Kenny and Philly Kenny.
The revised winners of the Club Championship and Hayes Trophy for 2008 are Berney Myles and Alice Quinn.
Bridge continues for the summer at the Bridge Centre in Clonmel at 7.30pm on Wednesdays and at 7.45pm in Ballinure on Thursdays. All are welcome.

Online Community Lotto

The Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto is now online and tickets can be bought from the comfort of your own home by visiting the Fethard website:
The Fethard & Killusty Community Fundraising Lotto draws which run on a weekly basis play a huge part in the fund raising efforts of our community. Local projects supported to date include: Convent Hall, Youth Project, Fethard & District Day Care Centre, Town Hall, Slí na Sláinte Walking Trail, Fethard Heart Safe Project, Christmas Lights, Town Wall Floodlighting & Walled Towns Day Festival, Historical Society Medieval Trail, Resident’s Associations, Foróige Youth Club, Community Sports Field, Fethard & Killusty London Reunion, Senior Citizens Club and ACORN Childcare Project.
We encourage all of our neighbours and community to play the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto. We also hope that we can all work together to promote this lotto and help get back in touch with people from the Fethard & Killusty community who may now be living all over the world.

Barbecue at McCarthys for Acorn Childcare Centre

A fundraising barbecue will take place at McCarthy’s on bank holiday Sunday 1st June. The night is in aid of the Acorn Community Childcare group who intend to build a proper childcare centre in Fethard. Music on the night is by Willy and the Poor Boys (better known to Fethard music fans as Back Door or the Super Noodles over the years). Tickets for the night are €10 from McCarthy’s or at the door on the night. Your support will be most welcome.

Race Night at Castle Inn

A Race Night in aid of the Alzheimer’s Association will take place in the Castle Inn on Friday 30th May. Eight races will take place and a great nights entertainment is guaranteed with lots of spot prizes etc so please come along and give your support on the night.

Golf Classic in aid of Bro Paul in Eldoret

A golf classic will be held in Slievenamon Golf Club in aid of Bro Paul Brennan’s Kabongo Project in Eldoret Kenya on Friday 20th June. You can support this very worthwhile project by entering a team in this ‘Three Ball Champagne Scramble’. The cost is €150 per team. Tee boxes cost €50 or you could donate prizes for the raffle. Please contact the Golf Club directly at 052 32213 for time sheet booking. Dinner is included with music and song till late!
This project of education and health at Kabongo is also supported by the Rotary Club of Portlaoise and the Rotary Club of Eldoret. Further information from Brendan Kenny (086 2828647), Vincent Woodlock (086 2650766), Mick Ryan (086 2669972) and Margaret Ryan (086 8055017).

Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto

The numbers drawn on Wednesday 21st May were: 15, 22, 27 and 28.
 There was no Jackpot winner and no match 3 winner.
 Three tickets were drawn and each of the following received €50:

Edwina Newport, Main Street, Fethard, Co. Tipperary;

Maria Murphy, Coleman, Fethard;

Dorothy Wall, Knockelly, Fethard.

The three €50 Lucky Dip winners were:

Ted Cummins, Cois Falla, Fethard;

Carina Condon, Kilnockin View, Fethard;

Carmel Shine, Red City, Fethard.

Next week’s Jackpot continues at €10,000 and the Jackpot sellers prize is €1000. Don’t forget you can now play our lotto online from your own home by visiting

School Magazine ‘Off The Wall 2008’ On Sale

The annual publication of Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary School’s yearbook, ‘Off The Wall’ is now on sale at the school and in local bookshops at €10 each. This year’s issue is packed with articles and full colour photographs of school classes and events.
These collectors’ items are a credit to the transition year students and their editorial team who compile the information and raise funds for publication. Get your copy now!

St. Vincent De Paul annual holiday

The Society of St. Vincent De Paul wish to announce the annual holiday for Senior Citizens to Carne, County Wexford will depart from the Town Hall at 1pm on 31st May. For further information contact the Secretary Denis Burke, Phone 31852.

Michelle prepares ‘Big Brown’ for Triple Crown

She’s been all over, from Dubai to Kentucky, following standout thoroughbreds and making them follow her lead. A daughter of a jockey/trainer and a granddaughter of a trainer, Michelle Nevin of Fethard, was born for it. Like so many Irish, she inherited the horse gene.
For the past six or seven years, Michelle, has been a key member of Rick Dutrow’s powerful stable in the US. In the mornings she rode 2005 Horse of the Year ‘Saint Liam’ and fellow Breeders’ Cup winners ‘Silver Train’ and ‘Kip Deville’. Then along came ‘Big Brown’, who turned Michelle into a minor celebrity. Hardly a day goes by when she’s not photographed and videotaped with the 3-year-old superstar.
Before coming to New York after finishing secondary school, Michelle dreamed of riding professionally. “I wanted to be a jockey, but that wasn’t going to happen for me — I was too big,’ she said. So she did the next-best thing. Michelle exercised horses for her dad, Michael Nevin, and Kiaran McLaughlin before freelancing for a few years. Her first employer was trainer Leo O’Brien, a fellow Irish immigrant. Then she connected with Dutrow, who regards her horsemanship so highly that he sent her to Dubai with two stakes runners in March while he stayed in Florida with ‘Big Brown’.
On 29th March, Dutrow had the most lucrative day of his career, and his assistant trainer was responsible for two-thirds of it. Michelle saddled ‘Diamond Stripes’ to take the $1 million Godolphin Mile and sprinter ‘Benny the Bull’ in the $2 million Golden Shaheen at Nad al Sheba.
Six hours later, ‘Big Brown’ cruised home in the $1-million Florida Derby. Greater success followed by winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness — the first two legs of this year’s Triple Crown. After almost six months in Florida, Louisville and Baltimore, Michelle has returned to New York, to prepare ‘Big Brown’ for the final leg — the Belmont Stakes on 7th June.
‘Big Brown’ isn’t the first mainstream hero Michelle has ridden. In her mid teens she exercised ‘Rough Quest’, the 1996 Irish-bred winner of the world’s greatest steeplechase, the Grand National in Aintree, England.
“It would be unbelievable to get all the way through,” Michelle said. “To have a horse who wins the Triple Crown would be the thrill of a lifetime, and every day I think about it.”
We wish her the best of luck on 7th June when her dreams may well be realised.