Prize fighters: Richie O'Leary Jnr. and Mikey O'Brien who did their Eubank/Collins boxing impersonations at Fermoy's St Patrick's Day parade in 1995 and won much acclaim as an award for their efforts.

The March 30th edition of The Avondhu in 1995, carried an exclusive report titled ‘Lucrative ostrich farming confirmed for Kilworth Ranges’. Good news in every sense, both for the local economy and food lovers, with the first batch of 100 animals set to arrive ‘within a week’ on the Ranges. The lands, owned by the Ministry of Defense, were described as absolutely ideal for such a venture, due to its ‘sprawling wilderness receiving little or no human encroachment’.

Apparently what gave rise to the idea for the ostrich farm, was a comment from an ex-Congo veteran in the higher echelons of the military, which sparked a year-long study involving agricultural scientists and local officers of the wildlife service. It concluded that the birds would ‘thrive’ in Ireland. The lands in question also possessed vegetation, commonly known as elephant grass, which would make an ostrich ‘as happy as Larry’. Coincidentally, a large male, named ‘Larry’ as well as 50 birds, were gifted by the Government of Zaire toward the venture, as a gesture to acknowledge the UN role Irish troops played in the country (formerly Congo) in the 1960s.

It was also reported local FCA units were working ‘flat out’ to replace fencing, with teams of electricians installing electrified perimeter wire. The potential for the project was ‘boundless’ – even the birds toes could be ground down into powder which the Chinese considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac! True entrepreneurial spirit!

Ballygown National School pupil, Gavin Linehan, won the INTO Cork County Handwriting competition, his second year in a row to win the award. The school were further celebrating, as pupil Orlaith Carey was placed 2nd in her age category. Over 1,000 entries were received for the competition.

The national broadcasting authority, RTE, confirmed that they were seeking ‘a suitable site for a new transmitter’ for Mitchelstown. This followed an official query by Deputy Ned O’Keeffe, as there were ‘some difficulties with reception’ in the area. The broadcaster said that it would be making a final decision on site location ‘within a matter of days’, however allowing for ‘necessary surveys, planning permission and licence’ application, the process was likely to take at least 6 months.

The mentality of those dumping illegally, in a location off the main Mitchelstown to Kildorrery road towards Marshalstown, was brought into question by concerned locals, who had to put up with an unsightly mess on a daily basis. Our reporter visited the site, and saw first hand the scale of the wanton dumping, consisting of every type of rubbish imaginable, which included ‘cars, furniture, washing machines and fridges, as well as items of a personal nature’. Even ‘the leg of a cow or bullock’ was found at the dump site. The relevant authorities were informed and it was hoped a swift resolution could be found.

Ballynoe Point-to-Point races were marking their 50th year being staged, with a bumper crowd expected at the well-appointed Garryanne, Killavorilla and Park course. To mark the occasion, a special 190 page book was produced, detailing the history of the event.

Gardai were investigating a rather unusual incident. A lady in the Marshalstown area received ‘a rather nasty shock’, on investigating a noise at the back door of her house. There, standing right in front of her was a man who she did not recognise and who was naked from the waist down! Gardai said ‘she promptly slammed the door in his face, and other parts’ and had told them that ‘he was wearing no trousers at all, in fact nothing on his bottom half’. Investigations were continuing.

In brief – Fermoy Youth Centre was preparing to stage the All-Ireland Macra Drama finals, with Michael Twomey of ‘Cha and Miah’ fame as adjudicator. The five competing groups were Castlecomer Macra (Co Kilkenny), Arva (Co Cavan), Camross (Co Wexford), Kilmacthomas (Co Waterford) and Moylough Macra (Co Galway). Lismore CBS were well beaten in their Harty Cup final v Midleton CBS played in Fermoy; although the West Waterford side only trailed by a point at the interval, 0-9 to 1-5 they were well beaten in the end on a scoreline of 3-18 to 3-5.