Home Industries Fair

Post Advertiser, Dec. 1985, Vol 1 No 10


There was a fine response to the Cashel Lions Club Home Industries Fair at Grant's Castle Hotel, Cashel last Sunday. Hundreds of people turned up· to see over twenty exhibitors display their home-produced goods. At the end of a very enjoyable afternoon there was a fashion show by two of the exhibitors, Hazel Stapleton and Rita Thornton, which proved extremely popular with a very appreciative audience. 

This event is a new thing for the Cashel Lios Club. Under their very energetic President, Eamon Carew, the·club is seeking new ways in which they can fulfill their motto of service to the community. In a time of high unemployment the members want to highlight those people in the community who are exploiting their creative talents. And, for this show, they succeeded in discovering quite a lot of talent in the neighbourhood of Cashel. They don't for one moment claim that they assembled all the local talent on Sunday, In fact they believe tha there is quite a lot of talent out there that they didn't discover and hope to tap it all at some future exhibition. But this was a very good beginning.

Where can you get Cashel, Fethard and Ballingarry cheese? I didn't know until, last Sunday. These cheeses are being made by Louis and Jane Grubb of Fethard and are available at a selection of stores in Fethard, Cashel and Clonmel. It is interesting that the Ballingarry is a Caherphilly type of cheese, which is most appropriate since both are mining places. Having tasted the Cashel Blue I can recommend it highly. Across the way from the Grubb stall was another cheese display by Mrs. Sheila O'Sullivan of Ballinure. She got the idea of a semi-soft cream cheese a couple of years ago and through books, courses and experiment she produced the Derrynaflan Cheese which won the 1985 overall championship medal at the R.D.S. She now supplies top hotels and claims that the cheese is so filling that it isn't fattening: you get full before you get fat! 

Also in the food line were three German families from the Cahir area, Finkes, the Hulers and the Bordus who produce natural foods from their Ballybrado farm. Their Ballybrado bread is a health product and they also sell drug-free lamb and mutton. But the exhibition didn't cater only for the belly. There was also plenty of apparel to cover it. Rita Thornton had an exhibition of very fine leather goods. She works in leather, sheepskin and swede. Hazel Stapleton had a display of knitwear from her own designs. John Walsh had a fine display of Shanagarry tweeds which included blankets, tablecloths, scarves and other items. 

John's brother, Ned, of Rossa Pottery, who has been potting for about twenty years, had a fine range of his products on sale. Sarah Ryan of Rossmore, who is presently operating from Dundrum, specialises in miniature ceramics which are hand-painted. 

There was much more besides on display. Mrs. Littleton of Cahir displayed an impressive range of soft toys. Mrs Barry of Ardmayle, for long noted for her rushwork, displayed her skills at the fair. The Craft Centre from St. Patrick's Hospital had a fine presentation of their work. Mrs. Louise Spearman of Cashel displayed her floral artistry in arrangements, centre pieces and wreaths. Mary White of Clonmel displayed her Carrickrnacross Lace. Woodcraft Ltd. of Dundrum had a display of table-tennis' tables. 

The fair was a credit to the initiative of the Cashel Lions Club who will celebrate their 25th anniversary next year. It is a fine tribute to their desire to serve the community of Cashel better. In holding this exhibition they were satisfying a great need for home producers, a place to show their goods. It is hoped that as a result of their efforts more people will know of their existence and where their goods can be got. The Cashel Lions Club will also be happy if some people have been inspired by what they saw on Sunday to take the plunge and plumb their own creative depths. That would be the greatest possible result from Sunday's Home Industries Fair.