Infobox Irish Place
name = Fethard-on-Sea
gaeilge = Fiodh Ard

motto =

pin coords = left: 35px; top: 117px
north coord = 52.195333
west coord = 6.83333
irish grid = S793049
area =
elevation = .. m (... ft)
province = Leinster
county = County Wexford
town pop = 326 [ [http://www.cso.ie/census/documents/census2006_volume_1_pop_classified_by_area.pdf Irish Census of Population 2006] (PDF file - 4.22 MB).]
rural pop = ...
census yr = 2006
web =

Fethard-on-Sea ("Fiodh Ard" in Irish), or Fethard, is a village situated in south-west County Wexford, Ireland on the eastern side of the base of the Hook peninsula.


Now known as a fishing village and holiday resort, in past times Fethard was a place of some importance. It was the site of Norman landings in the 12th century, and the remains of Norman-era earthworks and fortifications [ [http://www.southeastireland.com/content.asp?id=109] ] may be seen at Baginbun Bay, south of Ingard Point.

A 12th-century castle was built by Raymond le Gros, which passed to the Bishop of Ferns and was used as an episcopal residence. There is little evidence of the castle today. "Alexander Devereux" (the 16th century bishop of Ferns and Abbot of Dunbrody) is buried in St Mogue's Church (Church of Ireland)

Fethard was granted a charter by James I, and became a municipal borough, sending 2 members to the Irish parliament, before its dissolution. In 1798 a harbour was built and was a landing site for French troops during the revolutionary wars.

In modern times the main industries have been fishing and tourism. The village has a population of 253. It lies in the electoral district of Fethard in the constituency of County Wexford. It is bordered by the districts of Bannow and Ballyhack.

A parish in the Catholic diocese of Ferns, Fethard is bordered by the parishes of Templetown and Poulfur.

"Ne Temere" decree incident

In May 1957, Fethard-on-Sea found itself embroiled in controversy related to the "Ne Temere" decree. A Roman Catholic priest, Father Stafford and his parishioners started a boycott of Protestant-owned local businesses; a Protestant music teacher lost 12 of her 13 pupils, and the Catholic teacher of the local Protestant school was forced to resign. [ [http://www.nationalarchives.ie/search/index.php?browse=true&category=1&subcategory=9&offset=18440&browseresults=true] National Archives press clippings] The boycott was in response to the actions of a Protestant woman, Sheila Kelly Cloney. Mrs. Cloney had left both her Catholic husband, Sean Cloney, and the village, taking her two daughters, rather than sending them to the local National (Catholic) School as Father Stafford demanded. The boycott received national and international coverage through the summer (some TDs regarded this as a case of kidnapping), [ [http://www.gov.ie/oireachtas/archives/launch.htm#Fethard-on-Sea%20boycott Remarks by Professor Brian Farrell at the Launch of the Parliamentary Archive on the Internet on 5 July 2001 ] ] before ending that autumn. [http://www.ucd.ie/archives/html/collections/fisher-rev.htm Revd Adrian Fisher ] ] Sean Cloney himself was boycotted as he continued to frequent the Protestant shops [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,809747,00.html?iid=chix-sphere Fethardism] - Monday, Aug. 19, 1957] Eventually the family was reconciled, with the daughters being home-schooled and not attending their parents' churches. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4161/is_19991205/ai_n14497602 Love conquers all: but for decades a village paid the price] Sunday Mirror Dec 5, 1999 by Amanda Doherty]

In 1998, the diocese's bishop publicly apologised for the boycott.

The Film

A movie, "A Love Divided" (1999) was made about the Cloney family, starring Irish actress Orla Brady as Sheila Cloney. [ [http://www.cinemaguild.com/LoveDivided.pdf A Love Divided ] ] The film itself also proved to be controversial, with allegations of fabrications and historical misrepresentation, [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4161/is_19991205/ai_n14497602 LOVE CONQUERS ALL; But for decades a village paid the price of | Sunday Mirror | Find Articles at BNET.com ] ] [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19991022/ai_n14282062 Obituary: Sean Cloney | Independent, The (London) | Find Articles at BNET.com ] ] [ [http://www.nationalarchives.ie/search/index.php?browse=true&category=1&subcategory=9&offset=18440&browseresults=true National archives Finding aid: Women in 20th-Century Ireland, 1922-1966 (Browse records) ] ] and the omission of important facts relating to the case. [ [http://www.mayonews.ie/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1639&Itemid=38 The Mayo News - Fethard boycott recalled ] ] [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,809747,00.html?iid=chix-sphere Fethardism - TIME ] ] Press criticism in Ireland focused on one of the movie's writers, Gerry Gregg, a Communist and former member of The Workers Party of Ireland, [http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2001/05/06/story510533928.asp The return of the revisionists: ThePost.ie ] ] who was accused of antagonism towards both the Catholic Church [ [http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=383 Catholic League: For Religious and Civil Rights ] ] and Irish Republicanism.

ee also

* Hook Head
* List of towns in the Republic of Ireland
* List of RNLI stations



*Cassells Gazeteer of Great Britain and Ireland Vol I/II A-C (sic)

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