It’s like a joke you’d hear told, ‘Did you hear the one about the fox that walked into a pub and …’; well, rewind to The Castle Tavern, Ballyhooly in early 1996. Much to the astonishment of proprietor Jim Quinn and some regular customers, a ‘tame and quite sociable red fox’ simply walked through the main door one evening. Jim explained to The Avondhu that he was pulling a pint at the time when the fox ‘simply walked straight up to me and began looking up at me… I though he was going to order one for himself, so intent was the look on his face’. Unperturbed by the whole affair and wondering what all the fuss was about, the animal showed no inclination to leave at closing time, as Jim left the animal settle in for the night, with a number of customers reportedly throwing ‘envious glances in the foxes direction as they left’. On visiting the premises, The Avondhu’s reporter evidenced the fox ‘happily munch his way through a packet of bacon fries’ as it ‘sipped from a glass of Guinness’. Jim was content to leave the animal on the premises ‘as he was causing no harm’, with locals deriving ‘an amount of satisfaction’ from his presence.

The impressively named Rosco RA Velocity Patcher was set to transform filling potholes, the machine being demonstrated to members of the Northern Division of Cork County Council prior their monthly meeting. Requiring only one operator, it was envisaged any manpower released from the purchase of three such machines, could be made available to undertake other work, such as tackling drainage problems throughout the region.

Fermoy man Pat Phelan, received official recognition for his long service to water safety in Ireland, being presented with a Medal of Honour by the Minister for the Environment, in a ceremony held in the Ferry Carrig Hotel in Wexford. Organised by the National Safety Council, it honoured people who had given at least 25 years service to water safety. Pat, with over 40 years service to the advancement of water safety, was the only recipient from Cork. Pat traced his interest in water safety back to 1942 when he witnessed the drowning of two men, who were taking part in army manoeuvres, in the Blackwater river at Barnane.

McCarthy’s Hardware & Home Decor store in West Street, Tallow ran a 2-page promotional feature in The Avondhu in February 1996, highlighting the extensive range of products available at a local level. Proprietors Tom and Elizabeth McCarthy, were confident of accommodating all customer requests, from tiling to painting, bedding to lighting and a lot more besides.

Ann Carey, a member of Ballysaggart PTAA Centre, was preparing for the All-Ireland Pioneer Readoiri Talent competition (senior singing solo section), having won the Munster Pioneer Readoiri. A singer with the Booley House in Ballyduff, she was also the holder of the Waterford county Scor solo singing section.

A prestigious scholarship was awarded to St Colman’s College, Fermoy and Castlelyons native, Paul Kenny following his exceptional performance in German in the Junior Certificate of 1995. The all-expenses paid trip to Germany, lasting 4 weeks, was confirmed following a successful interview at the German Cultural Institute in Dublin – only 6 students nationwide were chosen.

Many in West Waterford soccer circles were toasting the appointment of ‘Captain Fantastic’ Mick McCarthy, as manager of the Irish soccer team. Although born and bred in Barnsley in the north of England, his nephew Tom McCarthy was a resident of West Street in Tallow. Mick’s father, Charlie was born in Chapel Street, Tallow and prior to emigrating to England in the 1940s, he played with both the Tallow and Ballyduff clubs, his brother Tom describing him as ‘an absolute topper with a hurley in his hand’. Local club, Brideview United were already hatching plans for a visit to the town by the Ireland manager.

Fermoy rugby maintained their promotion bid to the Carling Munster Junior League Division Two, when defeating Newport away by a two point margin (6-8). Captain Michael Lacey opened the scoring with a try for Fermoy, assisted by Shane O’Donoghue, while the home side opened their account after 30 minutes from a penalty. ‘Bone crunching tackles’ from out-half Brian O’Donoghue and good wing play generally, saw a well struck penalty from Stephen Dennehy secure the league points. They were now joint leaders with Ballincollig with only one ‘must win’ game remaining.