THIS month, our Courtmacherry correspondent, John Sexton, celebrates 60 years writing the local notes for The Southern Star, which is quite a record in the regional newspaper industry.
Through his involvement over the years in several rural organisations, John has built up a range of contacts and information that is unsurpassed in the locality and his weekly notes reflect his great local knowledge.
His first set of notes appeared under the heading of Timoleague and Courtmacsherry in The Southern Star dated November 22nd, 1958 and included items on road bowling, ploughing, GAA, Ballycatten Harriers, the beet campaign, a cargo of coal being discharged at Courtmacsherry for the local co-ops, a film show and agricultural classes for farmers.
The eldest of six children, John and his wife Betty ran an extensive tillage and dairy operation and reared a family of seven. He was instrumental in setting up a branch of Macra na Feirme in Courtmacsherry and going on to hold key positions within both the Carbery region of Macra in the 1960s, along with being a member of the national council of Macra na Feirme.
John continued in leadership roles with the IFA and the Beet Growers Association. He was awarded the prestigious Paddy Fitzgerald Memorial Award in 2010 for his exceptional contribution to both the IFA and his local community.
Ploughing is another of his great passions and he is known the length and breadth of this country for his involvement in this pursuit. John has also written a number of books on the subject, which provide a valuable historical resource.