21 years ago – a look back at March 1995

Ballygown National School pupils, who won a basketball competition on their first competitive outing in early 1995, pictured with teacher John Hannon, back l-r: Jean O'Donovan, Marie O'Neill, Muireann Lane, Ann-Marie Kelly and Ann-Marie O'Callaghan. Front l-r: Deirdre Harnett, Irene Quieke, Niamh Hickey (captain), Blathnaid Lane and Emma Good.

An intricate and illegal operation, involving the importation of stolen vehicles from different parts of the United Kingdom for resale, came to a head in the Ballylanders area of South Limerick, with numerous vehicles being impounded.

16 officials were involved in the operation, including ‘local gardai, personnel from the Central Detective Unit in Harcourt Street, Dublin and a contingent of British police’. It was reported that the co-ordinated 2-day operation ‘netted several stolen vehicles’. Up to 30 vehicles, with a ‘possible estimated value of nearly a quarter of a million pounds’, were likely to be involved.

It was reported that several honest people may have been ‘duped’ into believing they were buying genuine used cars – with the ‘fixed up’ vehicles having had their chassis numbers changed. While no initial arrests had been made, investigations were ongoing.

Thefts all the way in March 1995! According to the weekly Garda Report, the following items were listed: 2 beds were stolen following a burglary at a dwelling in Raspberry Hill, Ballyduff; Bags of coal were stolen from a yard at Oliver Plunkett Hill, Fermoy; The rear left window of a Ford Fiesta was stolen from the car park at SCI Fermoy; A mountain bike was stolen from a house in Cork Road, Fermoy; while a vacant cottage at Doonawanly, Castletownroche was entered, with copper piping, a copper cylinder and a blue coloured rubber backed carpet stolen. Quite a mix!

Watergrasshill Youth Club, which had only formed two years previously, claimed an All-Ireland title in early 1995 when their production ‘Hillstreet Blues’ took gold at the Premier Hall in Thurles. A crew of some 50 enthusiastic souls defeated the might of favourites Clare’s Sixmilebridge, amongst others, who with a cast of 150 were hoping to secure three-in-a-row. Arts director James O’Callaghan of the Cloyne Federation of Youth Clubs, youth leaders Derry and Bernadette Desmond and Johnny O’Regan, along with a strong support crew, celebrated the victory with gusto.

Parishioners in Glenbrohane ‘voted by a vast majority to build a new church’, which it was hoped would cost less than £200,000. The existing St Patrick’s Church needed ‘vast and costly renovations to ensure its preservation’, and following much debate and soul searching by parishioners, the decision was made to move ahead with this significant parish project.

The intrepid duo of Dave McCarthy, Ballylanders and Pat Irwin, Knockadea, were set to undertake a fundraising drive from South Limerick to Donegal and back – in a restored vintage 1954 Massey Ferguson TEF 20! Running on a mixture of paraffin and petrol, it was estimated that the 676 mile round trip would mean fuel consumption of 125 gallons. The optimistic duo, who were looking to collect funds in 80 towns and villages along the way, were hoping to complete the lengthy round trip in just seven days – pedal to the metal no doubt!

In brief – Canon Tim O’Leary was afforded a civic reception by Fermoy Urban District Council, to mark his departure from Fermoy parish as administrator, after moving to Mitchelstown as parish priest. A section of O’Neill-Crowley Quay wall on the banks of the River Blackwater in Fermoy, was in danger of falling into the river – Cllr John Murphy pointed out the ‘very obvious slant’ in the wall with TD Michael Ahern during a visit, something which had deteriorated following torrential rainfall. There would be no new GP for Watergrasshill, to replace the retired Dr Hutch, with the Health Board agreeing that patients would transfer to a practicing GP in either Fermoy or Rathcormac.

Castle Celtic FC, in defeating Killavullen 3-0, retained the annual shield between the sides, which was postponed from St Stephen’s Day 1994. A lacklustre first half was put down to both clubs’ long lay-off from action due to a spell of bad weather. However, the second half proved a different affair and the opening goal came after 20 minutes when Mick Browne scored from 12 yards.

Goal number two arrived when John O’Mahony latched onto a ball over the top from Paca Cummins and the tie was closed out when O’Mahony scored his second, again from 12 yards. Team: D Magner, M Shaughnessy, N Vaughan, P Cummins, J Power, T Barrett, J Sheehan, F Barry, M Browne, J O’Mahony, E Shaughnessy.