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Fethard Book Fair a great success

Mossie Hayes, Rathcoole, Fethard, browsing at Fethard Tipperariana Book Fair last Sunday

Mossie Hayes, Rathcoole, Fethard, browsing at Fethard Tipperariana Book Fair last Sunday

The 19th Tipperariana Book Fair took place in the Fethard Ballroom last Sunday, January 9, and again booklovers came in great numbers from far and wide.

This year’s book fair received very extensive coverage indeed, both within the county and nationally, as the Irish Times Magazine had mention of it in their Weekend Magazine on two consecutive Saturdays.

All the main county papers, ‘The Nationalist’, ‘Tipperary Star’ and ‘Nenagh Guardian’ had lead articles, as did the Midland Tribune. This wide coverage brought many new people for the first time and all were more than happy with what they encountered.

One first-timer was heard to say, “I’m actually amazed at this, I wasn’t expecting this” as he waved his hand across forty bookstalls and thousands of books.

Good Value Day Out

With an entrance fee of €2 and children free, it really is a good value day out for a family and this is appreciated by the public, especially in these ‘cash strapped’ times. Fethard Historical Society’s own stand is a great draw, selling on ‘donated books’ which has three very beneficial outcomes – firstly, the donors can off-load some unwanted books; buyers get some good value books; and thirdly the Historical Society makes an income that keeps the society afloat for the year. One woman stated as she paid for her pile of books, “I buy my year’s reading at the Fethard fair”.

No Irish event can be held without a ‘raffle’ and the book fair is no different. The first prize of a special ‘Celtic Warrior’ carving by David Gorey went to Kieran O’Brien of Ballymacadam, Cahir, and other prizes went to Treasa Puirséil (Nenagh), Veronica Fogarty, Sarah O’Donnell and Niall O’Connor.

Famous author takes pride of place

Seán Hogan, the author of the Tipperariana Book of the Year 2013 – ‘The Black and Tans in North Tipperary’ – took pride of place at the book fair. He may be ‘famous’ now as an historical author but of course his real fame comes from his appearances on TV and Radio informing on the flood and wave damage around the country. Seán was appointed as Ireland’s first National Director of Fire and Emergency Management’ in 2009 and appears on national airwaves whenever there is very ‘bad’ news – indeed the last few weeks have seen very testing times right round the country.

Community Effort

The event is organised by Fethard Historical Society but chairperson Patricia Looby freely admits that, but for the input of many more people that the event would not be the success that it is. The Ballroom committee must be commended for their great efforts and indeed all the generous book donors.

Twentieth Tipperariana on February 8, 2015

This year’s printed programme for the event finishes with, ‘2015 Fair – Sunday 8th February 2015’ and, as next year will be the 20th Tipperariana Book Fair, the organisers (Fethard Historical Society) will endeavour to continue with this popular event and to give people one more reason to visit the old walled town of Fethard.

 

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