Dubbed the ‘craziest football match of all time’, tension was running at fever pitch in Castlelyons, with Pairc Peadar O Laoghaire set to host ‘the grudge match of the century’, featuring The Dolly Mixtures v The Barbie Atrics. Team managers, Billy Buckley and Bill Slattery, had ‘gathered together two of the most talented bunch of players that had surely graced any football pitch in the area’, the event forming part of the planned activities for the 1996 Britway/Castlelyons/Kilmagner Parish Reunion. The referee and officials were ‘courtesy’ of the Sisters of the Congregation of St Jude for Hopeless Cases, with The Avondhu being ‘reliably informed’ that all participants would be ‘tested for alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and tannin’ and ‘would be provided with these (substances) if not found in their systems’! With players being ‘kept away from all publicity’, the stakes were high and the parish priest would be in attendance at the big game, with extra Gardai set to be posted to the area for the day in case things got ‘out of hand’.

The Araglin Valley Residents Association were taking up the case of a number of households in July 1996, including local businesses, who were ‘unable to use the water from their own private well’, due they claimed, to the water being ‘seriously contaminated’. It was stated that the water was ‘undrinkable, foul smelling and completely off colour’ and ‘could not be used for any purpose, even after boiling’. Those effected were ‘very much dependent on the continuing goodwill of friends and neighbours for supplies of water’. Cork County Council were informed of the situation and took a sample for analysis, while residents ‘also arranged for a private concern to carry out independent tests’. A public meeting was organised for the community hall.

A ‘paint job’, which turned out to be shoddy and half finished, resulted in an elderly gentleman living on his own in the Coolisheal area of Ballyduff, being conned out of a large sum of money. The ‘contractor’ who undertook the job, received a substantial payment for 2 days work, however, disappointed with ‘an extremely sub-standard job’, the homeowner reported the matter to the Gardai, with a source informing The Avondhu that the job ‘would hardly survive a drop of rain’. Returning a few days later to receive his final payment for the works, the ‘contractor’ was ‘approached’ and after some discussion, ‘agreed to pay back a substantial portion of the money’ already handed over. Gardai were advising people to be aware of callers offering to undertake works.

The official opening of BUPA Ireland’s operational base at the Mill Island complex in Fermoy, took place in August 1996. Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Hugh Coveney was on hand for the occasion, with the first phase of the development and investment in Fermoy to employ 50 people in the early months of operation. The company had announced their intention to introduce competition in the health insurance market, however would not be up and running until early 1997, with training and recruitment being initially undertaken in the Fermoy premises. The premises was formerly occupied by Metlife.

A solution was being sought to the traffic congestion being experienced at Convent Hill, Mitchelstown, the issue getting an airing at a meeting of the Mallow Area Roads Committee. Deputy Ned O’Keeffe and Senator Joe Sherlock brought two separate motions, with the problem being described as ‘bedlam’. A letter of concern was presented to the council on behal of Sr Carmel Hannigan, a resident at Presentation Convent, located just off Convent Hill. With a site almost secured to provide extra off-street parking in the town, it was decided to write to the Garda authorities, to find a short term solution to the problem.

More water woes in Fermoy – both domestic and commercial supplies were effected following ‘a major break in a rising main at the town’s water source in Coolroe’; inclement weather hampered repair works, however a full supply was eventually restored.

Fermoy tug-of-war team won national gold in the 680Kg championships held in Cavan in July 1996. Defeating seven of the top teams in Ireland, they overcame Rathanna from Carlow in the final in two straight ends.

Sportsman and Kilworth native Gearoid Towey made his broadcasting debut with RTE, joining commentator Myles Dungan to cover the rowing at the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta, USA.

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Kevin Howard
General Manager Kevin joined The Avondhu team in 1996, and worked in a variety of roles within the company following completion of third level education in Computer Software and Engineering. A shift in focus saw him move abroad in 2000 and 2001, progressing to a role as Customer Care Team Leader in Finland. His return to Ireland, co-incided with the opening of the company's Fermoy office, where he remained as Office Manager until 2007. Transferring to the Mitchelstown office, he has moved into the position of General Manager - his ethos is simply to ensure continuous improvement and advancement of a newspaper which has brought the community together for well over 30 years.