A night of celebration as mini medieval Fethard town is unveiled

Pat Looby (right), chairperson Fethard Historical Society, making a presentation to Labhaoise McKenna, Heritage Officer South Tipperary County Council, who is leaving Clonmel to take up a new position in Dublin.
Friday night last was a night of celebration in Fethard when a large scaled model of the medieval town was unveiled at a function in the Convent Community Hall.

Friday night last was a night of celebration in Fethard when a large scaled model of the medieval town was unveiled at a function in the Convent Community Hall.

The 8ft x 4ft mounted model was the result of a year’s work by the Transition Year students of the Patrician Presentation Secondary School under the guidance of their art teacher Patricia Looby. The project was greatly assisted by former pupil Michael Costello, a trained architect’s technician, who gave of his expertise to ensure that the model was a true-scaled replica of the medieval town.

The model itself is based on the work of artist Daniel Tietzsch-Tyler, who works out of Limerick and is one of the national experts at executing 3D drawings, especially of medieval towns, castles and fortifications of all types. Mr Tietzsch-Tyler was present and explained the measurement system of ‘perches’ that was used eight hundred years ago by the builders of the new town and used to divide the town into ‘burgage plots’ for the new residents who came with the Norman invasion.

New Medieval Town Trail Brochure

Dan Tietzsch-Tyler’s work, in turn, was commissioned by the Fethard Historical Society so as to publish a new visitor brochure to the medieval walled town. His drawing is set in the year 1650, which is, coincidentally, also the year that one Oliver Cromwell passed this way. This publication was supported by the Leader South Tipperary Development Company and will match the Fáilte Ireland supported signage/information system that was erected by the County Council in the last year or two.

The brochure will be distributed to all the businesses in the town where they can be picked up by visitors who want to wander around what is now regarded as the best example of a walled town in Ireland.

Both the town model and the new brochure were launched by Ms Labhaoise McKenna, the Heritage Officer for South Tipperary. On the night Ms McKenna was presented with a bunch of flowers by the chairperson of the Fethard Historical Society, Patricia Looby, as Labhaoise is leaving her post in the next few weeks and is going to the Department’s headquarters in Dublin.

Terry Cunningham of the Historical Society, who acted as MC for the night informed the large gathering that Labhaoise McKenna did huge work for heritage issues in the county over the last five years and that she was a great friend of Fethard, having sourced funds-especially from the Heritage Council and the County Council for a myriad of projects, including funds for the creation of the model of the town that she unveiled on that very night.

Gathering Festival Launched

Maurice Moloney then spoke about the exciting ‘Gathering Festival 2013’ which will take place in Fethard from Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23. The festival was officially launched and fliers and posters were distributed on the night, copies of both can be downloaded from the fethardbusiness.com website.

The Festival will include a ‘Battle of The Bands’ in the marque at Fethard Convent Community Centre from 7pm to 10pm on Friday, June 21; ‘Rose of Fethard’ competition at Lonergan’s Bar on the same Friday night from 9pm to 12.30am. On Saturday the ‘Country Markets Gathering’ will take place from 11am to 4pm; and that night the Festival Barbecue and Dance will take place in the marque with music supplied by the fantastic live band ‘20th Century Gold’. This event promises to be one of the festival highlights and tickets are available from the committee members. On Sunday the traditional Medieval Festival and Parade will take place by the Town Wall and this year’s event will be complemented by the staging of the semifinals of the Irish Strongman’s ‘Highland Games’ by the Town Wall. From 6pm to 7pm local pubs will compete in the ‘Magnificent 8’ Pub Challenge, which will take place on the streets and should be great fun.

The Festival will have lots of other sporting and fun events throughout the weekend and full details are available on the festival poster or website.

‘Bring Them Home Draw’

The evening was rounded off with the big ‘Bring them Home’ draw for €5,500 worth of travel vouchers organised by Fethard Business and Tourism Group. The winning ticket for €3,000 was drawn by Rev. Barbara Fryday, and won by Dearbhla O’Brien, Cahir; Second prize for €1,500 was drawn by Canon Tom Breen P.P. and won by Ger Manton, Main Street, Fethard; third prize for €1,000 was drawn by Fr. Martin Crean OSA and won by Mary Murphy, Marlfield, Clonmel. The proceeds of the draw will go towards bringing the Town Hall and Main Street back to life as a busy hive of activity for locals and visitors alike.

The evening concluded with plenty of food and drinks for the happy audience who could see the great work being done in the town by many organisations including the schools and the Convent Community Hall committee. Of equal importance is the knowledge that the official bodies are fully behind the community in Fethard mainly because they always deliver when they set their mind to doing something.