Mattie McGrath resigns from Fianna Fáil party

The first babies of 2011 born in South Tipperary were both born on January 2. The first baby born was a little girl Sophie Hayes, to her mother Denise. Just a few hours later Deirdre Hennebry from Carrick-on-Suir gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Ryan.

The first babies of 2011 born in South Tipperary were both born on January 2. The first baby born was a little girl Sophie Hayes, to her mother Denise. Just a few hours later Deirdre Hennebry from Carrick-on-Suir gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Ryan.

The year began badly for County Tipperary with the announcement that the directors of Celtic Bookmakers had appointed a receiver to the business with the loss of 25 jobs. Celtic Bookmakers had branches in Carrick-on-Suir, Cahir, Cashel and Clonmel with four people employed in each shop and three further shops in North Tipp.

Extensive coverage in our first issue of 2011 was given to the funeral of one of the county’s famous hurling sons, John Doyle, which took place in Holy Cross Abbey. The 80 year-old, former Holycross and Tipperary legend, had died the previous week. GAA president Christy Cooney led the mourners which also included four former GAA presidents. At the funeral Mass his son Johnny described his father as a very gracious man, who was modest about his achievements, and someone who loved his family very deeply.

The threatened closure of the Cluain Arann welfare home in Tipperary was highlighted at a meeting of South Tipperary County Council in January. Angry members hit out at the HSE treatment of 19 elderly residents of the home which was under threat of closure. Councillors expressed outrage at the behaviour of the HSE who they said had told 19 residents at the home to ‘go away and make alternative arrangements.’

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore visited Clonmel early in January paying a visit to South Tipp General Hospital. The Party leader was visiting South Tipperary to launch Senator Phil Prendergast’s General Election campaign.

Around 50 new retail jobs were announced for three new stores at the Showgrounds Shopping Centre in Clonmel with the arrival of Argos, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Luigi’s.

Carrick-on-Suir Town Council was to seek planning permission to re-develop the Town Hall to make it accessible for people with disabilities and to provide more space and facilities for the public.

The threatening news the previous week of a potential closure of Tipperary’s Cluain Arann nursing home was quickly cast aside with the announcement by Health Minister Mary Harney in the Dail that the home would not close. This came as great news in particular for the 19 residents.

Clonmel CBS High School indicated it was to appeal to the Circuit Court the findings against it by an Equality Tribunal, regarding its enrolment policy of members of the Travelling Community.

In the Old Bridge area of Clonmel a new town bus service was proving popular with commuters. The service set up by the Borough Council and the OPW was intended to bus Old Bridge residents to and from town during flood alleviation work on the River Suir.

On the sporting front the first forays of 2011 for the county’s hurlers and footballers were losing ones. New hurling manager Declan Ryan took charge for the first time but his side lost out to Waterford I.T. in the Waterford Crystal Cup. The footballers fared similarly against Waterford in the McGrath Cup losing a close encounter at Walsh Park.

The Tipperary United Sports Panel (Annerville Awards) for 2010 were announced and the proud winner of the Knocknagow Award was Patsy Fitzgerald of Glengoole, honouring a glittering career in athletics.

January came to a close with the news that Fianna Fail TD Mattie McGrath had decided to walk out on a Fianna Fail party he was ‘born into’, announcing he would contest the General Election the following month as an Independent.

At the same time Minister of State Martin Mansergh decided to pledge his support for Brian Lenihan in the leadership race for Fianna Fail following the resignation of party leader Brian Cowen.

In a horror car crash on the old N8 road north of Cashel three Romanian men died when the car they were travelling in crashed in to a lorry.

At the end of January the town of Clonmel looked forward to a E15 million bonanza with the staging of the annual greyhound coursing festival. An estimated 25,000 coursing supporters were expected to flock to Powerstown Park.