Speculation was ‘rife’ regarding the future of MetLife in Fermoy town. A major employer, calls were issued to Fermoy Enterprise Board, the IDA, local TDs as well as Enterprise and Employment Minister, Richard Bruton, to ‘extend all their energies to ensure the plant’s future in the town’.

There was unanimous support from members of the Northern Division of Cork County Council for proposals to create a hydro-electric generating station at the mill complex in Castletownroche. Speakers on behalf of a delegation representing the committee of the mill restoration committee, Majella Murphy (chairperson) and Jim Hogan, pointed out that the group had already secured a commitment from the county manager of a £25,000 grant – following on from an impressive fundraising envelope collection in the parish, which realised approximately £30,000. The group believed that by harnessing the power of the River Awbeg, they would be able to create enough power to receive about £10,000/annum from the ESB. A feasibility study was being undertaken.

Councillor Aileen Pyne was appointed as chairman of Cork County Council’s Northern Division, only the second ever woman to hold the position. Proposed by party colleague Deputy Paul Bradford and seconded by Frank Crowley TD, she took over the ‘hot seat’ unopposed from Fianna Fail’s Cllr Carey Joyce. The position of vice chairman went to Cllr Ted O’Riordan, FF.

Fermoy Rowing Club member and Kilworth native, Gearoid Towey, wrote himself into the history books in July 1995. At Farran Woods, he took the men’s national lightweight sculls title, defeating world silver medallist, Niall O’Toole from Commercial RC, Dublin. He became the first Irish man to win junior, intermediate and senior titles all in the one year – all the more remarkable considering he had just completed his Leaving Certificate shortly before the finals.

The 1995-96 Taste Of Ballyhoura Restaurant Directory, which featured 28 restaurants in Ballyhoura Country, was launched by Tony Lenehan, industry training manager CERT. The directory was designed as a helpful guide to locals and tourists, wishing to dine in the Ballyhoura region. A special merit award for ‘best starter’ was presented to Mary O’Callaghan, O’Callaghan’s Deli, Mitchelstown for her ‘warm salad with prawns and crab claws’.

23 officer cadets were commissioned by Minister for Defence, Sean Barrett at the Curragh, Co Kildare in 1995. These included two local ladies, Therese O’Keeffe, Ballyhooly and Sinead O’Sullivan, Fermoy. Sinead was posted to 6 Field Signal Company, The Curragh, while Therese would take up a post in 2 Field Supply and Transport Company, Dublin.

Lismore town was ‘a hive of activity’ in July 1995, as the American Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith, arrived to officially launch the book, ‘The famine in Waterford, 1845-1850.’ First visiting the town library, she viewed an exhibition constructed by Lismore schoolchildren on the topic of the famine, congratulating project winning students Aisling Kenneally and Maeve England. She was presented with a set of five videos of the Waterford group ‘Batchelors In Trouble’, as well as items of Lismore pottery, crafted by Eleanor Howard. Following her visit to St Carthage’s Cathedral, a ‘prestigious function’ to launch the book took place at the banqueting hall of the castle, where the Ambassador spoke of the ‘strength and courage’ of the many Irish people who left their homes during the famine, including her great-great-grandfather.

The bridge in the village of Castlelyons, which provided a link to the local pitch and putt course was ‘deemed to be in a bad state of repair’, necessitating demolition and a rebuild. Responsibility fell to the roads committee, with members Bernard Maye, Jim Sheehan, Jerry Savage, Con Shanahan and Donal O’Brien undertaking the works. The bridge was officially opened by Florence Waters, chairman Castlelyons Community Council, in July 1995.

Glanworth won the North Cork junior A football league, defeating Fermoy on a scoreline 0-9 to 0-8. Playing with a strong breeze in the first half, the Harbour men led at half-time 0-5 to 0-1. Some staunch defending in the second period held Fermoy at bay, with James Condon kicking the winning point.

In brief – Eileen Kennedy was crowned the 1995 Rose of the Hill at Kildorrery Festival. Castletownroche U14 footballers won the North Cork final in Mallow, defeating Churchtown by the minimum, 2-6 to 2-5. There was double All-Ireland success for Glanworth’s Mary Sheehan, with the Grange-Fermoy athlete winning both the 800m and 1,500m titles at the national BLE Veterans Track & Field Championships in Santry Stadium, Dublin.