Employing over 150 staff, Cappoquin Chickens were awarded the ISO 9002 Quality Award at a function held in the town’s CYMS Hall – Ivan Yates, Minister For Agriculture, Food and Forestry, presented the award to Mary and Michael D O’Connor (MD) and Michael O’Connor Jnr.

The first ever East Cork Rose was selected, with four entrants vying for the title. Compere Jacinta O’Sullivan on behalf of organisers Watergrasshill Community Council, introduced the contestants (Helen Dorgan, Jackie Ryan, Lisa Cussen and Michelle O’Riordan) to those present at O’Mahony’s Bar. Genetic engineering student at Cork RTC, Jackie Ryan, was the inaugural winner, progressing to the next round of the East Cork Rose competition.

There were ‘strong hopes’ that Mitchelstown would get its own Urban District Council, with local Councillor Conor O’Callaghan calling on the people of the area to support such a move. Expressing his opinion to The Avondhu in April 1996 that ‘the town’s development had been hampered over the years by not having its own council’, Mr O’Callaghan believed there was now real hope, primarily due to a government commission reviewing the Reform of Local Government. Amongst the items being investigated by the commission was the setting of up additional UDCs throughout the country. While Mr O’Callaghan lauded the efforts of various community groups in the town, he stated that their work was on a voluntary basis and the formation of a UDC in the town would bring full-time administration and an increase in the number of public representatives.

Ballysaggart Heritage Group were seeking the return of an ogham stone which originated from an area known as Seemachuda, from UCC, where it was residing in the stone corridor of the College. The group were seeking its return, in an effort to help attract tourism to the Ballysaggart area – it was unsure how long the stone had resided at the Cork college.

Croke Park beckoned for the hurlers of St Colman’s College, Fermoy who overcame reigning champions, St Raphael’s of Loughrea, in the semi-final of the All-Ireland colleges championship. A game high in quality saw the Fermoy team trail 0-4 to no score after only seven minutes, however they showed their mettle, going in at the interval leading 1-9 to 1-5, their goal from Kilworth’s David Barry. Played in Nenagh, the boys in green never thereafter relinquished the hard earned lead, progressing to a final encounter with St Kieran’s, Kilkenny on a scoreline of 1-15 to 2-7.

The newly upgraded community hall in Rathcormac was nearing completion, with works taking place for over 12 months. FAS, who were responsible for the works, were ready to officially hand over the premises. Some of those involved on the project included Arthur Wilson (foreman), John Murphy (instructor), Robert Willis, James McCarthy, Pat McCormack, Tony Baker, Pat O’Connor and Fergus O’Connor.

The town of Fermoy was ‘slowly but surely being choked to death by traffic’ – sentiments echoed from various business interests in the town who were demanding a resolution to the traffic problems, seriously affecting both the quality of life in the town and potential business customers. The lack of adequate parking facilities was a concern, with a claim that many on-street spaces were being taken by employers and their employees on a daily basis, which was seen as a counter-productive move. There was a call from the chairman of the Fermoy Business Association, David Ryan and Cllr Michael Hanley, for the enforcement of 2-hour parking as a short term solution, while the local UDC came in for some criticism for failing to provide extra off-street parking facilities.

In brief – a new credit union office was opened at Knocklong, a branch of the highly successful and very progressive credit union at Mitchelstown. It was proposed at a meeting of the Northern Committee of Cork County Council that a telephone kiosk be installed in Brian Boru Square, Fermoy – one previously located in the Square had been damaged and removed following a motor accident, and was never replaced. Peggy O’Mahony, representing Watergrasshill GAA Club, won the recitation section at the Munster Scor finals in Clonmel, giving a rendition of ‘The Sack Of Baltimore’ – next stop, the All-Ireland finals in Athlone.