There was a magnificent response to the open day organised to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of Gortroe school in December 1995. So much so, that the organising committee decided, ‘due to public demand’, to reopen the school once again to the public for a second weekend. Copies of the commemorative book, ‘Mitchelstown’s West Side Story’, compiled by Margaret O’Doherty, sold well. The occasion also celebrated the anniversary of Killacluig Church.

The ‘comprehensive recreational facilities’ on offer in the ‘satellite village’ of Kilworth, were viewed by Minister for Sport, Mr Bernard Allen TD on a cold December morning in 1995. Welcomed along with Tom Daly from the Department of Education, by Eddie Gover, chairman Sports Complex facility, all facilities were visited. These included the floodlit tennis courts, the recently opened pitch & putt course, the squash, handball and racquetball courts, as well as the GAA facilities, guided by stalwarts Lar Flynn and Fred Sheedy. A ‘light breakfast’, prepared by Ann McDonnell, was enjoyed after the walk-about by the Minister, who informed those present that he would be in contact again with the committee through local representatives.

Local gardai were presented with animal welfare awards, from the Cork Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals, for their work in promoting animal welfare at a function in Cork. Those awarded were Garda John Hutton (Fermoy), Sergeant Larry Condren (Castletownroche), Supt Eamon Carey (Fermoy) and Garda Michael O’Donovan (Fermoy).

Some of the senior citizens given the honour of cutting the Christmas party cake at their community gathering, included: Mary Dineen and Johnny Higgins in Ballynoe; Michael Bermingham, May McDonnell and Pad Lawton in Glanworth; Jimmy Barry and Margaret Forde in Ballyhooly; and Lucy McCarthy and John Scanlon, Conna.

At the third and final time of asking, Fermoy Urban District Council finally passed a set of estimates for 1996, with previous meetings failing to come to agreement. Five councillors, enough to secure majority vote, proposed a partial amendment on the original proposals. The main amendments were a 3% rise in commercial rates, as opposed to a 5% rise in original estimates; Also, urban domestic and rural domestic water rates to remain at 1995 levels (£80), rejecting a proposed £5 increase. The loss in revenue resulting to the Council, would be somewhat balanced by measures, which included cutting spending on the town development plan by £1,500 and to reduce the amount spent by the council on tourism promotion. The five councillors to pass the estimates were chairperson Michael Hanley, vice chairperson Richie O’Leary, Ml O’Dwyer, Mary O’Connor and John Dunlea.

Several locals featured on national media at the latter end of 1995 – Ballyduff’s ‘Maker of Toys’, Pat Condon was invited to appear on ‘Live at Three’ in the RTE studios, to display his Christmas themed creation, a thatched crib. The ingenuity and craftsmanship of his work was well known locally, a maker of ‘fascinating wooden items’. This followed on from a visit by the ladies of Ballyduff ICA to the Donnybrook studios, where they ‘further enhanced the reputation of the small Waterford village’. Meanwhile, singer/songwriter Geraldine Walsh from Kilworth qualified for the final six in the Gay Byrne radio programme carol competition – entitled ‘Christmas Joy’ and as she told The Avondhu ‘a simple carol sung to her own guitar accompaniment’, Ger’s carol was chosen as a finalist from 400 entries.

In brief – SIPTU Regional Secretary, John McDonnell, officially opened the SIPTU offices at New Square, Mitchelstown. Four members of the 82nd Rathcormac Cub Pack – David Boyce, David Sheehan, Peter Johnson and Brian Quirke – won the North Cloyne Regional Cub quiz, thus qualifying for the national finals in Dublin in 1996.

Rathcormac connections to a winner at Haydock Park, England when 5-year old gelding Crown Equerry, bred by Tom O’Connor, Ballybrowney took the Harvey Demmy Hospitality Novices Hurdle (DW1) by 5 lengths. Making his racing debut, he returned at ‘handsome’ odds of 7/1. Jason Titley rode the winner for trainer Andrew Turnell.

Big ball success for the GAA fraternity in West Waterford, as the Ballyduff U21 footballers made club history when capturing the county B title at Fraher Field in December 1995. Dunhill/Fenor were no match for the Upper lads, as captained by Michael Drislane, they easily accounted for their opposition, winners on a scoreline of 3-11 to 0-4. Dunhill/Fenor were reduced to thirteen men during the second half.