February 1995 – Some headline news from The Avondhu

There was a meningitis scare in the area, with a number of reported cases; Castlelyons had a national Scrabble champion and the Beech Park Riding Centre in Rathcormac had ambitious plans - just some headlines from February 1995.

Following her All-Ireland win, a native of Mohera, Castlelyons could never be accused of being lost for words! Chris Broderick swept all competition before her aside to take the national Scrabble title at the SMA Hall in Wilton, Cork. An employee at MetLife, Fermoy, Chris confessed to having ‘amazed herself’, as she never dreamed of being good enough to win the All-Ireland title. Her victory would now see her travel to London in November 1995, to represent Ireland in the World championships. She was a member of the 40 strong Cork Scrabble Club, along with her 13 year old daughter Louise, who was the youngest club member. Scrabble fans watch out, you know what they say, ‘Like mother, like daughter’!

Three cases of meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) were reported in the area – two cases surfaced in Rathcormac, as well as one case in Mitchelstown. The incidents caused a scare, particularly amongst parents of young children. A spokesperson for the Southern Health Board informed The Avondhu that none of the three cases were linked, reassuring parents that there ‘was no epidemic and thus no cause for concern’.

Carol Murphy, representing Mitchelstown Community Council, was crowned the Mitchelstown Rose of 1995, at an event hosted by media personality Gerry Ryan in The Firgrove Hotel. She would progress to the Cork Rose finals in May, having been crowned number one ahead of 14 other contestants.



After much lobbying, it was hoped that planning permission would soon be granted for an additional two classrooms at Ballygown National School. School principal, Mrs Nora Moroney, told The Avondhu that although the school would be availing of a sizeable grant from the Department of Education, a local contribution would be required. While prefabricated buildings were usually provided to alleviate school overcrowding, etc, Mrs Moroney and the Board of Management were confident that a permanent block built structure would be utilised. Costing £35,000, this would consist of one classroom and a smaller remedial room. The school has 60 pupils enrolled.

A red alert was issued by gardai to the whole community, following a number of suspicious house calls by a bogus duo, in both Fermoy and Mitchelstown. Described as being in their early twenties, the duo first tried their luck at the house of a senior citizen at St Fanahan’s Place, Mitchelstown, gaining entry purporting to be council workers – a well worked ploy. They fled empty handed however after the occupant became suspicious. A short time later ‘down the road’ in Fermoy, gardai suspected the same duo were involved in two suspicious house calls, to Mary Potter Crescent and MacCurtain Street. They again gained entry to both premises under false pretenses and fled after the occupants became suspicions.

A record sale was reported at Galtee Deer Care’s show and sale. The two day sale saw producers pay more than £270,000 for 60 animals. The top price paid was £12,000 for a three year old pure bred, with ‘intensive’ bidding reported. A feature of the sale was the auction for charity of a cross-bred hind, which sold for £900. The next show and sale in August 1995 would see the venue also host the World Deer Congress, with ‘thousands of visitors’ expected.

Owners of the successful Beech Park Riding Centre in Rathcormac, announced plans for an £80,000 development of the facility. An Avondhu feature outlined the ambitious plans, which would include the erection of an indoor arena, allowing the centre to operate throughout the year. With the receipt of some recreational grants from the North Cork Enterprise Board, proprietors Bill and Marian Hornibrook hoped to have the development up and running within three months.

Local man, John Donegan from Mitchelstown, was ‘between the posts’ for Cork City FC in early 1995, and the southern club were keen to retain his services, extending an initial one month loan period. In contract with Scottish first division side St Johnstone, John was looking to secure ‘a prolonged spell in the first team’ on his move back to Scotland. Signed to English first division side Millwall in 1990, a broken finger kept him out of the game for a year. A multi-talented athlete, John also played Gaelic football with Cork minors, as well as trying his hand at Aussie Rules ‘down under’ in 1988.

For further photographic memories from February 1995, see the Print Edition or online Digital Edition