The crackdown by gardai on drug use in the area, saw an intelligence led operation yield a significant quantity of drugs at a house party in the Leamlara area of Watergrasshill. Gardai were continuing to turn up the heat on both ‘users and pushers’, with members of the force from Fermoy, Glanmire, Cobh, Watergrasshill and the Drugs Squad in Cork, swooping on the private residence. The ‘well organised’ party – with a person helping to park cars, also saw ‘an outside bar in operation and a stage for music’ – was attended by some 80-100 people. A ‘significant quantity of amphetamines, ecstasy and cannabis’ was seized and a file was being prepared for the DPP – there were no arrests.
Sporting success for pupils at Ballylanders National School – their boys’ basketball team defeated Tonetarriffe 10-2 in the Limerick county division 2 final; the girls’ team, defending champions, unfortunately lost in the final to Killenure, 12-6. However, the school’s hurlers ‘destroyed all opposition’ to win the South Limerick Division C title in Knockainey, disposing of Mount Bruis in the final 2-4 to 0-0.
Following much community preparation in Kilworth, Clogheen and Galbally, President Mary Robinson visited the area in June 1995. Her hectic schedule saw her officially open The Village Arts Centre in Kilworth, being welcomed by Liam Howard and Jerry O’Leary from the Centre, and Dave Gleeson, chairman of the local community council. To mark the occasion, she planted a tree in the village square and appealed to the people of Kilworth, particularly the young people, to look after ‘the President’s tree’, stating she remembers every tree she plants. Meanwhile, down the road in South Limerick, Her Excellency arrived to a thronged main street in Galbally, being greeted by Tidy Towns chairman, Tim Ryan. Following much fanfare, she then proceeded to unveil a special plaque in the centre of the village, marking their 1994 All-Ireland Tidy Towns success. Visiting Clogheen in County Tipperary, President Robinson officially opened the Day Centre.
Some new businesses in the area were highlighted in a number of features in The Avondhu – Tyso’s Gym, located in Lower Abbey Street, Cahir was opening under the management of Bernard O’Brien and Deirdre O’Dwyer. While a new restaurant, seating 26 diners, opened at the well known landmark, the Glocca Maura Inn, which had been under management by John McCarthy since 1991.
Dairygold triumphed in the All-Ireland inter-firm senior football final, defeating Genfitt Traders – the awarding of a penalty in injury time to Dairygold, when the sides were deadlocked at 1-6 apiece, saw Willie O’Riordan with the simple task of taking a point to secure their first All-Ireland senior football title.
The National Roads Authority put on display plans for the long awaited Fermoy bypass, with a price tag of £35.4m. This would take priority over similar works at Rathcormac and Kilworth. The 3-day long public exhibition would take place in The Grand Hotel, highlighting the 3 considered route options. The Red route ran around the western side of the town (Duntahane, Grange East and West, Lisnasallagh), having a major impact on houses in its proposed path. This would necessitate the demolition of 23 dwellings, would be 7.45Kms in length and cost £40.7m; The Green route, the preferred option (and that which was finally selected), was the most economical at £35.4m, running to 6.75Km in length and offered the least disruption to householders (2 demolitions) and the ecology; The Blue route, running to the east (Strawhall, Mountrivers, Moorepark), at 8.85Kms, would be the most expensive option at £44.6m, require 3 demolitions and would have the ‘more adverse affects on the landscape and ecology of the immediate area’. Traffic flow figures from 1994 indicated approx 15,500 vehicles per day passing through the congested town, 2,000 of these being heavy goods vehicles.
In brief – Fermoy UDC’s AGM in June 1995 saw Michael Hanley re-elected back into ‘the hot seat’ for another 12 months on a 5-4 vote. Thieves struck in a night-time raid at the Esso Shop on the Cork Road, Mitchelstown and stole a ‘very large quantity of cigarettes’. Fitzgerald Camp 1st Cavalry squadron secured several tug-of-war titles at the All Army Games – the 600Kg junior side defeated the Army Cadet School in a straight final; while the 720Kg senior team defeated 3rd Battalion, having been within 6 inches of defeat at one stage.