Only 3 months after the launch of the Mitchelstown Community/Leisure Lotto, a ‘significant contribution’ was being made to the project’s funds, with in excess of £20,000 raised by year end. Such was the progress being made, the committee completed the purchase of 5.3 acres of land at Brigown in December 1995, a plot of land known as Harrington’s Field, for £100,000. It was reported that ‘minimum of bank borrowing’ was necessary. Major progress was therefore anticipated for 1996.

Interesting times lay ahead for Ballindangan man, Ryan Howard, who would take charge of the £1.74 million in LEADER money allocated for the East Cork region over the coming four years. Based in Midleton, and employed as development officer with the East Cork Area Development Company, Ryan told The Avondhu he was there ‘to help people bring their ideas to fruition for the development of the area’, as the substantial funding was the property of the people rather than of the company. He received his education at Ballindangan NS, St Colman’s College, Fermoy, Scol Pol, Kilfinane and UCC.

Husband and wife, athletes John and Caroline Kearney from Bartlemy, qualified to represent Ireland in the international cross-country event to be held in Mullusk, Belfast in January 1996. Qualification was attained at the inter-county championships held in November 1995 in Killenaule, Co Tipperary. Both were looking forward to the international challenge, with good performances likely to place them in line for selection for the World cross country championships, to be staged in South Africa in 1996. Caroline, a native of Mullingar, Co Westmeath had previously run in the World cross country championships for Ireland in 1987.

Fermoy Business Association, through a full page advert in The Avondhu, announced the holding of a ‘Tramps Ball Party’, in aid of Fermoy Geriatrics Association, to be held at The Grand Hotel in January 1996. Tickets were priced at £16, a top class buffet would be followed by dancing to both The Silverglades and Stardust, with ‘dress optional, clothes a must and masks provided!’

The jury was still out on what some locals had termed ‘The Ghost Bus’ – the much publicised and advertised LOCALINK bus service sponsored by Guinness which commenced operation on December 7th, 1995. Operating on ‘circular routes in certain designated rural areas’, those wishing to avail of the service, to avoid the headache of returning home after consuming alcohol, would pay £1 per journey. One such route in the area started in Tallow, travelled on to Ballynoe, Conna, Aghern, Castlelyons, Rathcormac, Bartlemy and Watergrasshill, before turning around and retracing its steps to Tallow. When contacted by The Avondhu, many publicans indicated that very few people were availing of the service.

Ballyporeen County Councillor, Con O’Donovan was officially recognised for his long-standing service as a member of the South Eastern Health Board – a period which spanned 25 years since its foundation – with a presentation from the Board at their monthly meeting in Kilkenny. Con’s service was all the more remarkable, due to the fact that five elections to the Board had taken place since Minister for Health, Erskine Childres established the Health Boards back in November 1970.

Some interesting acts were lined up to entertain over the festive period in 1995 – The Stuttering Bum would play at The Piper’s Inn, Mitchelstown; The Turtle Tavern in Castletownroche would host a performance by Wicked Willie; The Unknown Legends were heading to An Bodhran, Mitchelstown, while a Krazy Kapers’ Karaoke would be staged at The Harbour Bar, Glanworth.

In brief – Local organisations were set to benefit from grants under the 1995 Recreation Facilities Scheme, announced by Minister Bernard Allen – Watergrasshill Community Association were allocated £6,000; Rathcormac Community Council £10,000, Lismore Community Centre £8,000, while Cappoquin Rowing Club would receive £5,000.

Goodtyme Rovers, courtesy of an extra time strike, secured the North Cork Shield title in December 1995 1-0, defeating Mitchelstown Celtic at the Showgrounds, Fermoy. A game which started at a tremendous pace saw chances presented to both sides, however 90 minutes failed to separate the teams. The strike during the first half of extra time saw Paul Philpott blast home after a headed assist from Scottie Quirke. Winning panel: Eoin Butler, Michael Carr, PJ Walsh, Brian Kearney, Kevin Gould, Willie Cody, John Fant, Paul O’Farrell, Scottie Quirke, Kevin Corcoran, Anthony Barry, Paul Philpott, Mark Kenny and Woodie.