As the Avondhu was going to press in early August 1995, news was officially being broken by management at Metra Life (formerly Met Life) that it would cease operations in the Fermoy on September 1st, 1995.

Sources indicated that employees there were ‘still unaware of a redundancy package’. Rumours were ‘rife’ in the town that moves were afoot to put pressure on the government to fill the void with a decentralised department; while rumours also circulated of the building being ‘turned into a hotel’.

Something which had been feared since Christmas 1994, as a result of 2 takeovers in America, close on 150 employees were coming to terms with the news as a ‘large black cloud’ had been cast over the whole area.

The second largest employer in Fermoy behind SCI, the medical assurance claims processing company originally located at the Mill Island complex in the town in early 1990. As our reported observed at the time, ‘cars were purchased on the strength of it, mortgages were taken out’ –  a hammer blow to everyone concerned.

The community hall in Killavullen was ‘packed to overflowing’ as locals turned out in force to register their objections ‘to the Southern Health Board’s refusal to appoint a new local doctor to the General Medical Services scheme’. With the 9pm start time delayed due to the numbers attending, Community Council chairperson Ann Scully outlined the seriousness of the problems encountered since the retirement of the previous doctor on June 19th and the ‘hardships’ encountered since, especially by the elderly.

She named the public representatives on the Southern Health Board who were invited but who failed to attend, as TDs Paul Bradford, Ned O’Keeffe, Senator Joe Sherlock and Cllr Ted O’Riordan were in attendance. The community vowed to ‘continue fighting’ until they got what they wanted.

One of Castletownroche’s most famous sons, athlete Fanahan McSweeney, died aged 47, having battled cancer for a number of years – he was interred in Ballyhooly cemetery, with several well known names, including runner Eamon Coughlan and RTE’s Brendan O’Reilly, Ger Canning and Stevie Bolger in attendance.

Mitchelstown was preparing for the first World Deer Congress to be held in Ireland, a five day event which would see the leading world experts in the deer farming industry in attendance. It was estimated that close on 2,000 delegates from 25 countries would attend.

Travellers who ‘were demanding drink and when refused would not take no for an answer’, were subdued by locals in Ballyporeen following trouble, as they awaited the arrival of gardai. It was reported that a ‘major disturbance’ was prevented thanks to the intervention of locals, which arose when Travellers, who had earlier been asked to leave a local hostelry and having to receive some persuasion from locals, returned in a Hiace van. One individual threw ‘a huge rock’ through the front window of the pub and when ‘surrounded by very upset local people’, his comrade then attempted to ram the front door in the van. ‘Weight of numbers ensured that there was going to be no more trouble’ and when gardai from Cahir arrived at approx 1.30am, they were ‘glad of the assistance of several members of the local community’.

A gala dinner held in The Firgrove Hotel, Mitchelstown brought a night of nostalgia, where eyes were firmly focused on the future, as four of Mitchelstown’s ‘best known and successful natives officially launched the exciting community leisure centre project.’ Over 300 people welcomed the ‘eminent four’, guests of honour on the night and patrons of the project, namely Chief Justice Liam Hamilton; retired Chief of Staff of the Army, Lieut General Jim Parker; internationally renowned architect, Kevin Roche B.A. PhD, and famous award winning author, William Trevor OBE. MC for the occasion was well known broadcaster and Gaelgeoir, Michael Ó Muircheartaigh. Lieut General Parker described the proposed complex as ‘an anecdote to the ills of society’ and following presentations to the guests of honour, the craic continued into the early hours to music by the Neil Toner group.

A revolutionary new treatment to help people get rid of the ‘spare tyre’ was making ‘waves’ on the slimming scene and was newly available at Ultratone, Market Place, Fermoy – the Eurowave treatment offered ‘immediate inch loss where you need it most’. Almost too good to be true really!

The Ballygiblin GAA ‘79ers were ‘confident’ of victory in their Mitchelstown Deer Festival pageant match versus ‘the current Ballygiblinites’ in 1995. Guest players, including Gary Kirby and Ciaran Carey would only be used ‘if fellows were running out of steam’. Their team was announced as: Paddy Barrett, John Donegan, John Ryan, Mick Allen, Michael O’Sullivan, JJ Lynch, Jackie Slattery, Davy Ryan, Ollie Cussen, Thomas Molan, Eddie Lynch, Mick Shinnick, Pat Mulcahy, Harry O’Brien, Matty Slattery. Subs: Pat Creed, Jim O’Brien, Mossy O’Sullivan, Ger Hennessy, Pa Gallahue, Mick Lewis, Steve Hanley, Paddy Ryan, Willie Hennessy.