The first Fethard branch of the Irish Red Cross was formed in May 1981 to help further the aims of the society and provide first aid instruction for people in the area. The first officers were: Chairman: Mrs. Carrigan, (Clonacody); Secretary: Kathleen Bradshaw; Treasurer: Ann Woodlock; Committee: Breda Walsh, Phyllis McDonnell, Eleanor O'Riordan, Máiréad Ward and Marie Crean. In that first year a total of 59 'first aiders' prepared every Monday night in the Tirry Community Centre for their first aid examination in early December.
Kathleen Bradshaw and Ann Woodlock were very active at local level but when they returned to work, interest dwindled. Comdt. Jerry Lambe and Austin Kenny from the Red Cross were well supported for their trojan work with the result that the branch has continued to the present day.
The Fethard Branch of the Irish Red Cross was one of only seven branches in the country to increase its house to house collection in 1984 and this achievement merited a visit from the Organisation's National President. Around this time the female dominance was broken when Frank Coffey was appointed Chairman of the branch. Comdt. Jerry Lambe and Comdt. Paul Bonelli were providing very informative lectures so Frank had plenty of moral support.
The Red Cross lectures deal with all aspects of safety in the home, on the farm and in the factory. The lectures explain how to act when confronted with a road accident. Along with the general first aid courses, the Red Cross provides lectures on home nursing and can organise courses to suit special needs or requirements, provided there is sufficient interest. When courses are completed an examination is held and certificates awarded.
People of all ages and either sex can join the Red Cross. Young people, especially those who are interested in pursuing a career in nursing or medicine, should consider joining the local branch to gain some experience in what may be their future lifestyle. It is also recommended that those who are involved in sport should do a general first aid course which can be done at local level. Members of the Red Cross attend numerous sports events and they can be recognised by their very smart uniform which is provided by the Red Cross.
To cater for all needs the local branch of the Red Cross is hoping to start a general course in first aid in the near future. They are also prepared to run another home nursing course and a hand care course will also be available provided, of course there is sufficient interest in the courses.
While first aid and safety are synonymous with the Red Cross, the social aspect cannot be overlooked. There is the making of friends, helping of others and, at local level, two deserving people are sent on a holiday for a week to Mosney every year.
The members of the local branch of the Red Cross would like to thank all those who have helped and supported the club down through the years. A special word of thanks must go to Jerry Lambe, Austin Kenny, Tony Lawlor and Dr. M. Corcoran, their medical adviser. A special thanks must go to the long serving Branch Secretary, Biddy Trehy. New members are especially welcome.
The Officers are Frank Coffey (chairman), Bridget Trehy (secretary), Maureen Guiry (treasurer) and Jacqueline O'Gorman (supervisor). Contact: Mr. Frank Coffey, Burke Street, Fethard. 052 31525