The Avondhu carried a column in May 1995, penned by Eamonn McCarthy, Kildorrery and Priscilla Sweeney, Fermoy who were living abroad in Australia at the time. Quite the local community, or ‘crew’ as they were referred to, were living the life Down Under at the time, including Noel Owens, Tommy Looney, John O’Donovan, Catherine Turner and John O’Reilly (Killavullen). They noted Christmas time as being a ‘big difference’ and found eating turkey in the golden sunshine ‘rather strange’. However, the B&S (Batchelor & Spinster) Ball in Sydney on New Year’s Eve came highly recommended, where ‘a mighty night was had by all’. Three Irish pubs worthy of mention were The Hero Of Waterloo, The Mercantile (barmaid Nessa Hartnett providing a Fermoy connection) and St Patrick’s Tavern.
Castlelyons woman Mary Crotty secured a top teaching post in 1995, appointed lay principal at Loreto Convent, Youghal. A teacher of English and French, Mary was leaving her teaching post at Loreto Fermoy, to take over the prestigious post in the East Cork seaside town. She told The Avondhu that she was ‘excited by the prospect’ and was ‘looking forward to the move’.
It was reported that the Castletownroche Mill building, which had been idle for a number of years, was to be purchased by the local community. Chairperson of the local community council, Majella Murphy, confirmed to The Avondhu that ‘the acquisition was at a very advanced stage’. A sub-committee had been established in March 1995 to gauge local opinion on the purchase of the mill from owners Farrell Brothers – following 2 favourable public meetings it was decided to proceed. Notable funding was provided from locals who had given monies to the committee ‘on an interest free basis’, with the shortfall made up from bank borrowings. A feasibility study was to be undertaken to determine the best use of the facility – grant aid was to be sought for development of the building, with a sum of £300,000 reported to turn it into a ‘marketable and functional building’.
Fermoy’s UDC meeting was ‘abandoned following uproar’, ending abruptly while the ‘thorny issue’ of Knockananig Reservoir was being debated. The core issue related to the granting of a licence to Avondhu Tourism – a proposal from Cllr Tom Egan, seconded by Cllr John Hussey, to give this group a 15 year licence on the facility was voted down 5-4. A proposal from chairman Michael Hanley that Fermoy UDC grant a five year licence to both Avondhu Tourism and Fermoy Course Angling Association, to develop and maintain a coarse fishing lake and other tourism related developments, then caused controversy, with it being labelled a ‘con job’ by Cllr Egan. After protracted debate, with ‘a pitched verbal battle’ between members and no resolution, the meeting was brought to an abrupt halt.
The life and times of well known fisherman, ex-ghillie and Ballyduff man, Connie Corcoran were set to be depicted in a book entitled ‘Kingfisher’. The book’s author was Mike McCartney, brother of ‘Beatle’ star Paul McCartney. The duo became acquainted during Mike’s visits to Ballyduff on his fishing trips and remained firm friends.
Ballyhooly GAA Club was en fete, with a significant visit from Association President, Jack Boothman for the opening of the club’s new dressing room facilities. Meanwhile,
Mr Bernard Allen, Minister for Sport, visited Fermoy to present the local GAA club with a cheque for £100,000, a sports grant from the government towards their ambitious covered stand, a project costing in the region of £158,000.
Notable sporting achievements in May 1995 – Ballyporeen Football Club’s senior side created history, taking the 1994 Senior Football Clonmel Oil League title, defeating county champions, Clonmel Commercials 2-8 to 1-9. St Fanahan’s College hurlers defeated Colaiste Daibhis, Mallow 3-10 to 0-1 to claim the Cork County U16 Vocational, Comprehensive and Community Schools’ title. Bride Rovers U21 footballers took the East Cork championship for the first time, scoring a 0-9 to 0-8 victory over Glenbower Rovers.
In brief – Minister for Agriculture, Ivan Yates TD, was set to travel to Castlelyons in May 1995, with the local Fine Gael branch as hosts; a dance was organised to mark the occasion at Pat & Mary’s Bar, with locals invited to meet with the minister. Outstanding performances by Kilworth oarsman, Gearoid Towey saw him take several titles in the Oslo Regatta in May 1995, ideal preparation for the EU Championships in Belgium – he won the junior and single sculling titles, as well as the lightweight senior title.