The results of the February 25 General Election were covered comprehensively in our first issue in March. The front page headline of “Independents Day” reflected the response of the South Tipperary electorate the previous week. Tom Hayes (Fine Gael) topped the poll with the other two seats going to Independents Seamus Healy and Mattie McGrath respectively.
The South Tipperary GAA Board’s Nationalist Awards took place in Hotel Minella, nothing unusual about that. However, one award winner followed a more unusual route to the ceremony. Ralph O’Callaghan, recipient of the Hall of Fame Hurler of the Past Award, made the trip up from Carrick-on-Suir in a freighter canoe. After the ceremony, the former Tipperary and Carrick Davins star, donned “a good warm jacket” over his suit and headed back downstream and home.
Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Dr. Dermot Clifford, celebrated the silver jubilee of his Episcopal Ordination at a Special Mass of Thanksgiving in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles. Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh, presided, while the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, read a message of congratulations from Pope Benedict XVI.
In Tipperary members of the Town Council instructed officials to embark on a strategy of using the three vacant factories now in the town, the Pall building, the Atari building, and the advance factory, as assets in an effort to turn around the local economy.
Described in a report as “perhaps the greatest day in the club’s long and illustrious history”, Cashel RFC’s 33-14 victory over Richmond was good enough to see Cashel move from junior to senior ranks for the first time. The win over the Limerick side was good enough to secure the Munster Junior League title for the “High Kings of Cashel.”
A business community revolt over plans to shut down one of Clonmel’s main roads for a period of up to four weeks to facilitate flood relief works resulted in the proposal being scrapped by the Borough Council. The Davis Road retailers welcomed an announcement that the Council would not proceed with the closure of the road from March 28 to April 21.
A good news story in March informed us that Bansha man William Bresnan, who underwent life-saving surgery to replace both of his lungs, was feeling “better than ever.” Cystic Fibrosis sufferer William was counting his blessings after the seven-hour operation at a hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was a success.
A story reflecting the difficult economic times we now live in appeared in our March 17 issue. A former Cashel business woman, Anne O’Keeffe, was forced to raffle her former beauty salon in John Street. Anne had bought the property for E260,000 in 2006 but having failed to sell it in the usual way was now raffling it. Tickets were E100 each and the draw was due to take place on May 6.
The campaign to save acute services at South Tipperary General Hospital was given a massive boost by the new Minister for Health’s decision to halt reconfiguration plans for the hospital services in the South East. Paud O’Regan, one of the consultants leading the campaign, said Minister James Reilly’s intervention had blocked the advanced plans of the HSE to close St. Michael’s psychiatric unit in Clonmel and transfer acute surgery, maternity and paediatric services to Kilkenny and Waterford.
Carrick-on-Suir Town Council at its March meeting decided by six votes to two to reject a proposal to invite the British monarch and President Mary McAleese to the town’s Tudor manor during her historic trip. Councillor Pierce O’Loughlin made the proposal and his only backer on the night was Independent Councillor Patsy Fitzgerald.
On St Patrick’s Day at Musgrave Park in Cork, Rockwell College secured their 24th Munster Schools Senior Cup title with a 9-3 win over Presentation Cork. It was the college’s first provincial win since 2001.
Confirmation of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the Rock of Cashel and Coolmore Stud finally arrived in late March when Deputy Tom Hayes revealed the the Taoiseach Enda Kenny had informed him that South Tipperary was on the itinerary of the state visit.
All-Ireland winning manager Liam Sheedy was named as Tipperary Association (Dublin) Person of the Year. The Portroe man had led the Tipperary senior hurlers to the Liam McCarthy Cup the previous September.