Young Fethard hurlers who took part in the Liam Connolly hurling tournament named after the club legend
The Fethard GAA Club was formed in 1887. Its founder member was Dick Cummins, a great Gael who was honoured as County Chairman (Tipperary GAA) in 1900-1905 and he also became the first chairman of the Munster Gaelic Athletic Association in 1901, a great honour for the Friary town.
Other clubs in the parish - Coolmoyne (1887- 1965), Killusty (1915-1960), St Augustines (Fethard/Kilsheelan) (1970-1985) and Kilnockin Emmets (1942- 1943) make up the present day Fethard GAA Club (Fiodh Ard CLCG).
The Fethard club has stood out since its inception as the outstanding football club in Tipperary, having amassed 21 county titles; 15 were won up to 1978, having won 10 titles from 1887 to 1928, with two in the 80s (1984 and 1988), three in the 90s (1991, 1993 and 1997) and the last won in 2001, twenty years ago.
The club is striving to get back to winnings ways, with great talent at underage at present coming through with close guidance from the coaches, selectors and volunteers working tirelessly to promote the game at root level.
Over the years Fethard has supplied quite a number of players to the county, who wore the jersey with pride. Since the 1980s the club had outstanding players from 1984 Michael O’Riordan (captain), with three titles (1978, 84, 88), Denis Burke (1984), Tommy Sheehan six titles (1978, 84, 88, 91, 93, 97, 2001) Rev Aby Kennedy (RIP) won two (1984, 88), Michael Buddy Fitzgerald six (1978, 84, 88, 91 captain, 93, 97, 2001) Joe Keane (RIP) won four titles (1978, 84, 88, 91), Brian Burke five (1984, 88 captain, 93, 2001), Willie Morrissey five (1988, 91, 93, 97 captain, 2001), Willie O’Meara five (1988, 91 captain, 93, 97, 2001), Shay Ryan two (1988, 93), Eoin Cummins two (1988, 91), Miceal Spillane four (1991, 93, 97, 2001), Paul Fitzgerald two (1997, 2001), Damien Byrne two (1997, 2001), Glen Burke one (2001), Cian Maher one (2001), Aiden Fitzgerald one (2001), Brian Coen one (2001), Thomas Anglim one (2001), Michael Quinlan three (1993, 97, 2001), Chris Coen one (2001), John Paul Looby one (2001).
Paul Fitzgerald and Brian Burke served over 10 years each playing senior football for the county and both also played for Munster.
In 2020 the Bloody Sunday Committee recognised those who played in Croke Park on November 21 1920. Fethard had three players on the first 15 that day; Ned O’Shea captain, Frank Scout Butler in goal and Gus McCarthy at corner forward, with a Blood Sunday plaque unveiled in Fethard GAA Park that was renamed in 1982.
The Fethard Club has won 29 south senior football titles (1914-2005), U21A football eight county titles (1966, 67, 68, 87, 88, 2000, 01, 02) and 15 south titles (1966-2002) and in minor football holds four County Titles (1957,85,89,99) and 12 south titles (1932-1999); in junior football five county titles (1921, 26, 32, 56, 99) and 12 south (1913-2008).
Fethard also has quite a few south hurling titles in all grades from senior to minor. Those won most recently were six intermediate south titles (1982,89,92,2002,06,08) with no adult underage title won since 2007.
In 2013 Fethard lost its senior football status for the first time in its history and was regraded to intermediate. For the next three years the club strove to regain the status and in 2016 won its first south intermediate title, beating Fr Sheehys 0-16 to 0-9 in the final.
They had already won the county final the previous week in a great game in Cashel (Fethard 1-11 Golden/Kilfeacle 2-7) with Cian Maher leading the way as captain on the day.
After this success the club was regraded again in 2018 and has remained there since.
Fethard's top hurling grade is Junior for 2021.
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