A quiet Christmas period was recorded by gardai in both Fermoy and Mitchelstown in 1995, with drink-driving offences kept to a minimum, ‘as the harsh reality of a drink-driving conviction was realised by the public at large’. Sergeant Willie McCormack confirmed to The Avondhu that ‘incidents of reported crime were less than average for the time of year’, with very few accidents in the area over the Christmas period. There were no recorded incidences of drink-driving in the Mitchelstown area, according to Sgt Kieran Barry, with ‘a number of people were breathalysed at several checkpoints’.

‘Poems From The Priest’s Garden’, a collection of poetry by Bartlemy man John Arnold, was launched by Canon Donal O’Driscoll in Bartlemy Parish Hall. The title was a reference to the area in which John resides, Garryantaggart – the English equivalent of the priest’s garden. The majority of the poems in the collection were written between 1987 and 1991 and many of his friends and local characters were mentioned in the collection. Illustrations for the publication were provided by Bartlemy artist, Geraldine Dorgan.

A special night of celebration was held in the Galtee View Bar, Anglesboro to mark the appointment of Galbally native, Frank Allen, to the position of president of the ICMSA. His election came following victory over Pat O’Rourke by a single vote at the national conference. His term of office would be a minimum of 2 years.

Gardai were continuing to investigate an armed robbery which took place on December 22nd 1995 at the Texaco filling station located on the Mallow Road, Fermoy. Two men, described as wearing ‘black jackets, trousers and balaclavas’ and carrying a handgun, fled with approximately £500 in Irish pounds and £500 sterling.

Staff at Fermoy Hospital were preparing for ‘a great day of celebration’ on January 6th 1996 as the oldest woman in the Republic of Ireland, Fermoy’s Ciss Geaney, would celebrate yet another remarkable milestone, her 110th birthday. Described as being ‘in relatively good health’, a special Mass was to be held in her honour, followed by a party to be attended by her many friends and acquaintances. Longevity was certainly a trait which ran in her family, her mother having lived to be 91, her grandmother lived until 90 and her brothers Michael and William living to within weeks of their 90 birthdays.

A spokesperson at The Firgrove Hotel in Mitchelstown ‘described as “chronic” the traveller encampment situated near the hotel grounds’. Reported to have ‘badly affected their business’, the owners had been unsuccessful in their attempts to get the encampment relocated to a more appropriate site, with ‘most of the blame laid firmly at the door of Cork County Council, who had done nothing to rectify the problem despite being approached on numerous occasions’. Concerns were also expressed for motorists’ safety, as the encampment was causing a major obstruction on a public road; while there were ‘no sanitary conditions’ at the site.

One of the world’s most gruelling sporting events, the Dakar Rally, was being undertaken by three enthusiastic Cork men, including locals Philip Gunn from Watergrasshill and Vincent Dooley from Castlelyons. Expecting to spend up to 14 hours a day on their specially adapted 600cc Honda motorbikes, a hefty entry fee of £5,000 would see the lads at the start line in Barcelona amongst an estimated 600 fellow competitors. With 10,000Kms to travel, the lads would have to contend with gruelling heat and the dangers of the sand dunes of West Africa. The third member of the group was Richard Fair from Douglas.

A function held by Shanballymore GAA Club at the Green Acres Lounge, saw the men from the club who won the junior B hurling championship in 1965 reunited. Michael Lyons, North Cork GAA Board vice chairman presented the players, or family representatives, with trophies to mark the 30th anniversary ‘of one of the greatest victories the club had ever achieved’. Referee from that day in 1965, Tommy O’Brien spoke, while Tom O’Regan spoke on behalf of the players.

In brief – ‘The party of the family, offering a new positive vision and putting principals into politics’ – the claim of the newly formed Christian Solidarity Party (CSP) which was set to meet in the Resource Centre, Fermoy in January 1996. Araglin FC were defeated by Pinewood Rangers 3-1, in the final of the Tony Bolger Cup – a ‘brilliant solo goal’ from Aidan Hyland was not enough to overcome a strong Pinewood team in Lismore.