Butter wouldn't melt! Belinda Futzgerald and Martina O'Brien, members of The Palace Players, Fermoy, set to go on stage with their production 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brody' at the West Waterford Drama Festival, Ballyduff in March 1995.

Local Fianna Fail TD, Ned O’Keeffe was selected grand marshal for a Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the USA – guest dignitary at a ceremony in the town of Emmetsburg in Iowa. The town, named after the Irish patriot, Robert Emmet, was home to many ancestors of Irish emigrants who primarily settled there in the 1800’s.

By all accounts Ned was in for a right whooley in honour of our patron saint, as the folks in this particular town were preparing to celebrate a four day festival event.

Water, water everywhere! Fermoy again took the brunt of a winter storm in March 1995, the town suffering the worst flooding since the winter of 1988. Troops from Fitzgerald Camp were called into action, helping to ferry locals on the army jeep through some 5 feet of flood water in the area of Brian Boru Square – one local declaring “God help us all if Fitzgerald Camp is ever closed”.

The traders in the Square badly effected were Fitzgerald’s Butchers, Charlie Browne’s, The Avondhu Bar, Wimpy, Neligan’s and ‘the hairdressers’. Locals also made use of a small boat to shift goods  from several of the premises. Three cars were also marooned in floodwater. Ashe Quay, Rathealy Road, the Mill Road and Tallow Road were also badly effected.

While in Glanworth, the power of the driving rain swelled a stream on the Sandville Road and water rose to three feet, causing flooding to several properties. One ‘furious local’ told The Avondhu of what he felt was ‘a totally inadequate response’ from the county council, who after an initial delay in responding to a phone call for help, turned up two hours later with ‘a few sandbags’. The Mill Road was also closed off to vehicles. The Avondhu also reported on serious flooding in Skeheenarinky, Ballyduff, Araglin, Tallow, Lismore and Cappoquin.

Results were in from the 15th hosting of the West Waterford Drama Festival, which was successfully held in St Michael’s Hall, Ballyduff. The home group, with their production of ‘Noises Off’ won the Open section, while taking awards also for Best Producer (Bill Canning), Best Set & Design, and Most Entertaining Play of the Festival. Sandyford Little Theatre, Dublin (‘The Lament For Arthur Cleary’) took second, with Kilmeen Drama Group placing third with ‘Gentle Island’.

Conna Dramatic Society, making their debut on the festival circuit, won the Confined section with their presentation on John B Keane’s ‘Many Young Men Of Twenty’. Michael Riordan took an award for Best Producer in this section, while Tom Cotter won the Best Actor award. Glenbower Drama Group, Killeagh were placed second (‘Lovers Meeting), with ‘The Poker Session’, performed by Brideview Players, Tallow, being placed third.

Noel Dillon, Cork county manager, made a special promise to community groups and organisations in North Cork, when speaking exclusively to The Avondhu. He stated that his local authority ‘was prepared to move mountains on behalf of groups which were prepared to have a real go to enhance themselves’. He stated that where ‘local bodies were prepared to try and help their own advancement, he would row in one hundred per cent behind them. But where they were asking and expecting the county council to do everything for them, then he didn’t want to know.’ Simple!

Popular Tallow publican, Mattie Dineen, was retiring from the licensed trade, with the centrally located premises being put on the market. Dineen’s, a well known watering hole situated on the Square in the West Waterford town, held a seven day licence – the asking price? £72,000. Meanwhile, Spailp’s Bar, located at 29 Lower Cork Street, was also up for sale. Owned by Michael and Josephine Ahern, the establishment was reported to be trading very successfully, described by the selling agent as ‘a top quality licensed premises’.

In brief – Owing to course and weather conditions, the committee of Kilworth and Araglin Point-to-Points made the decision to abandon its 1995 fixture. Lead, valued at over £1,000, was stolen from the Dairygold yard, located to the rear of Convent Hill in Mitchelstown. Caroline Condon and Mary Moore-Corry, Ballyhooly (Mulcahy Group) were winners of the Bride Perpetual Cup for Junior Light Opera at Feis Maitiu, Cork.