Caroline Keating and her niece Rachel Keating at the St. Patrick's Day parade in 1995.

St Patrick’s Day parades around The Avondhu area were reported to have been a resounding success. Despite ‘one of the heaviest falls of hailstone to hit Fermoy’, the parade went ahead under blue skies as the sun broke through.

Great commitment was shown by participants, no more so that ‘young man Michael Bermingham who got up at 6.30am on St Patrick’s morning to catch the sheep for the Macra na Feirme float’!

Grand marshal Chris White, manager SCI Ireland, led the parade ahead of the Thomas Kent Pipe Band. Fermoy Credit Union won ‘best overall’, ‘commercial’ prize went to Telecom Eireann, while ‘best club’ went to 105 Glanworth Scout Group.

Meanwhile in Mitchelstown, with well over 40 entries, it was their biggest parade to date – however the Galtee town didn’t escape that hailstone shower, which fell mid-parade. Jim Smith, grand marshal, led the parade off from Clonmel Road, followed by The Fitzgerald Memorial Brass Band and Thomas Kent Pipe Band (having made their way from Fermoy).

Prizes were presented by 1994 Queen of the Galtees, Siobhan Donegan. Winners included Mitchelstown Youth Drama Group, Mitchelstown Indoor Bowls, Mitchelstown CU Youth Sammy Stamp Savings and Knockadea Community Sports Club.

A ‘complete press ban’ was called for by chairman of Fermoy UDC, Michael Hanley, at a council meeting, in relation to ‘upcoming talks over granting an extension of a Knockananig Reservoir licence to Avondhu Tourism’.

The tourism body were looking for an extension on the licence, of up to 20 years, in order to avail of much needed grants, to ‘fulfil their dreams’ at the reservoir. The Avondhu reported at the time that the local authority’s chambers ‘oozed some very serious undercurrents’, with mixed views on the chairman’s request.

Town clerk, Micheal Cremin, said the Council were checking ‘from various bodies’ the assertion that such an extended licence was necessary in order to be eligible for substantial grant aid – they had received assurances already from Cork/Kerry Tourism.

Problems with public access were highlighted as being a potential issue, something which was rejected by some council members. The meeting finished with ‘the whole situation going out of the reach of the general public and (being held) behind closed doors’.

Waterford County Council had donated trees to Lismore town, as a major planting programme was under way, aimed at assisting the West Waterford town win the international Entente Florale award in 1995.

The ‘fairly mature’ trees were of a wide variety, including lime and ornamental apple, with planting to take place in the Main Street, Church Lane, Ashley Court, Bank Field, New Street and Chapel Lane. A separate section entitled ‘permanent planting’ was awarded marking in the competition –  a FAS scheme was to be employed to help with the planting programme.

Two prominent business figures in Mitchelstown were honoured for their input to the commercial life of the area. A function in The Firgrove Hotel saw a tied result, with both Tom Hyland of Galtee Electrical and Michael Horgan of Horgan’s Delicatessen Supplies, selected with most votes by the town’s business people, who had been asked to vote for their ‘Business Person of the Decade’.

The night also saw a ‘very lively debate’ on the topic, ‘St Fanahan said the native would perish while the blow-in would prosper’. In favour of the motion were John Reen and Maura Horgan, while Seanie Chamberlain and Conor O’Brien opposed the motion. This also resulted in a tie!

In brief – Fermoy contemporary folk group Unknown Legends (Odhran O’Reilly, Kevin McCormack and Paul Comerford) had qualified for the final of the Live At 3 ‘Search For A Star’ competition. Lismore CBS were hoping to secure Harty Cup glory, when they faced Midleton CBS in the premier Munster Colleges competition in March 1995; they recorded an impressive semi-final victory over Harty specialists North Mon, Cork on a scoreline of 4-11 to 2-8. It was reported that the Christian Brothers were set to leave Doneraile after 125 years.

The Brothers’ first came to the North Cork town in 1870, where 3 Brothers were stationed in 1995, prior to the announcement. 249 people had applied to become residents in a new 8-house local authority scheme in Fermoy – Senator Joe Sherlock pointing out the ‘real housing crisis’ facing the town.