27 Nov 2021

Public Meeting called to help in continuing the fantastic work of Fethard Ballroom

Public Meeting called to help in continuing the fantastic work of Fethard Ballroom
By Joe Kenny @TheNationalist

Fethard Ballroom are holding a public meeting in on Saturday, March 25, at 8.15pm in the ballroom, to discuss the running of the ballroom and the election of some new members willing to get involved to help with the continuance of this fantastic community facility.

Again, the time has come when those involved in the running of the hall want to take a step back and make room for new voluntary help, which unfortunately is getting harder in these present times.

It is now shortly coming up to the 24th anniversary when on St. Patrick’s night, 17 March, 1993, the former Country Club Ballroom, opened its doors under the umbrella of the Fethard & Killusty Community Council.

The Community Council purchased the ballroom in very bad repair about twelve months previously. However, community spirit came to light when committee members and various other members of the community spent endless nights working to reinstate this building to its former glory.

A limited company with charitable status was later formed and in 1995 the original debt of £47,341 was reduced to £20,379, with great credit going to the Fethard Festival ‘Mayoral Candidates’ who worked extremely hard to reduce the debt and enable repayments of the subscriber loans to commence. The directors for that year were: Bernard Walsh (chairman); Peter Grant (vice-chairman); Seamus Barry (treasurer); Teresa Roche (asst. treasurer); Robert Phelan (secretary); Joe Keane (asst. secretary); Chris O'Dwyer; David O'Donnell; Catherine O'Connell; Peggy Colville; Pat Byrne and Paddy Hickey. Joan Heffernan, Gay Horan and James Roche were later co-opted on to the board.

In 1997, the Ballroom experienced a very difficult year when they were faced with a large increase in insurance costs due to some claims. Thanks to the dedication of the committee these problems were overcome and they were able to continue and host a variety of activities for the community for the following years.

In 2001, founder member David O’Donnell resigned as chairman. The committee continued to improve the facilities under the direction of new chairman Mick Aherne, fitting new doors and windows, new carpeting, and non-slip floor covering in the kitchen. These improvements helped to eliminate draughts and reduce heat loss and add to the comfort of patrons.

In 2007, chairman Mick Ahern sadly died, and for the following years the hall was run by the following committee: Gay Horan (chairman), Monica Aherne (treasurer), Robert Phelan (secretary), Sheila O’Donnell, David O’Donnell, Breda Spillane, Sean Spillane, Pat Horan, Margaret Phelan, Paddy Hickey and Seamus Barry.

Today, the day-to-day running of the Ballroom is now discharged by Monica Aherne, with the help of a participant from Fethard Community Employment Scheme. The public meeting on Saturday, March 25, will hopefully see the start of a new lease of life for this very successful community venue.

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