Talented Irish stepdancer, Donnacha Howard from Kildrum, Mitchelstown along with his Dungarvan dance partner, Oriel O’Dwyer, danced their way to the All-Ireland finals of the Dairygold Starsearch Competition in 1995, run in association with Riverdance. Performing a four minute routine titled ‘Ag Druidim Le Cheile’ (Coming Together), which was specially commissioned by their tutors Michael Ryan and Brendan O’Brien, the final was set to take place in Dublin in December 1995. Performing with the Bru Boru group in Cashel that summer, Donnacha was setting his sights in 1996 on a one month tour of America’s East and west coast, Australia and New Zealand with Ceolteoiri Chiarai.

Shanballymore farmer, Frank Mannix, finished runner-up in the 1995 Best Breeder competition, sponsored by The Farmers’ Journal and Kerrygold. Working 70 acres with over 50 cows, he was farming for 40 years and received his prize from Junior Minister Jimmy Deenihan in Dublin.

The AGM of Fermoy Credit Union approved a dividend of 4.25% on members’ savings, representing a total return of almost a quarter of a million pounds. However, the highlight of the year was the winning of the Credit Union Cup Competition, which it was hoped could be used as ‘a launching pad for further development of products’. The confidence which members had in their local credit union was reflected in the fact that savings increased by a massive 33.5%. In excess of £3 million in loans were sanctioned to members.

While Mitchelstown Credit Union was ranked fifth amongst community-based credit unions in 1995 – its success due to ‘the trust by the members in the Board of Directors…. coupled with the dedication of volunteers and staff over the past 29 years’ – this according to their annual report that year. Further growth was reported in membership with total savings of over £20 million; the year also saw additional staff employed, existing services consolidated, the computer system updated, as well as the commencement of the development of the branch office at Knocklong. The return to members was a 5% dividend.

Down West Waterford way, Tallow Area Credit Union reported on another very successful year, with a 4% dividend for distribution to members. A total of 739 loans, totalling just over £1.5 million, were granted.

Mitchelstown’s newest public house, Auntie Mae’s, under the proprietorship of brothers Mick and Tony Lewis, opened on Lower Cork Street. The pub had run a special competition on The Avondhu to find a suitable name for the premises – with the final name suggested by the Lab Group at Dairygold, connecting the new pub with the Lewis brothers’ aunt, Mae Horgan, who had operated a business nearby for many years. The brothers also opened a well-stocked off-licence next door. Cork football star, Larry Tompkins, declared the premises officially open.

In brief – All Seasons fashion store (‘An siopa is fearr’), located at Kent Street, Fermoy were celebrating their first birthday. While close on 400 people attended the Fermoy Fianna Fail dinner dance in the Grand Hotel, where party leader Bertie Ahern was special guest. It was agreed that all work relating to Mitchelstown’s sewerage scheme be suspended over the Christmas period in 1995, to ensure no disruption in the town during what was a busy time for traders – works would recommence early in 1996.

Hat-trick fever was in the air – Eamon Maher was in form, scoring three goals in Ballyporeen FC’s defeat of Sarsfield Rovers away, winning 4-1. Castle Celtic FC recorded a 3-0 league victory over Kanturk at Celtic Park, courtesy of a hat-trick from Seanie Browne, his final strike from the penalty spot. While Hill Celtic had their own hat-trick hero, with Terry Broderick the man on form. His ‘rich vein of scoring form’ saw Fourth Battalion Celtic comfortable defeated 4-0 in the AOH Cup encounter.

County glory for Glenville junior A footballers, who secured the club’s first title at that grade, when overcoming Tadhg MacCarthaighs in a low scoring encounter, on a scoreline of 0-8 to 0-5. It was reported that ‘the Glenville roar’ was prominent throughout the 60 minutes, in a game played in atrocious conditions at Newcestown. The panel, captained by Sean Hegarty, along with mentors John Halbert (coach), Ger Sweeney and Dan Kearney, ‘were feted and acclaimed in a joyous Glenville’ on their return home. 1996 would see the team play in intermediate ranks.