Some photos ‘that maybe should have been censored’ were being passed around the parish of Glanworth, showing some of the things that the parish Macra group got up to on their trip to Holland. Their Avondhu report from July 1996 tells us that ‘the chairman would go to sleep with a bottle of Grolsch on hand’, while ‘D’Unbelievables’ (the local version apparently), ‘were actually quiet from time to time’. Wonder who they were?
‘Shame on the UDC!’ read the front page headline from July 1996, referring to the ongoing plight by residents at the Uplands Estate in the town to secure a decent water supply. Regardless of the ‘years of silly squabbles and personality clashes in the past between councillors’, The Avondhu posed the question, would the dire water situation at the estate be resolved long ago if the local councillors, local engineer, etc were allocated those same houses when they were ready for occupation? Having endured ‘scalding showers, burnt-out appliances, scum in their teacups, etc’ residents had endured enough hardship. At the time of going to press the estate was ‘by some miracle or other’ receiving ‘plenty of water’ – as phase three of the contract document was being prepared.
Although reigning Irish single sculls champion in 1996, Fermoy based rower Gearoid Towey received the devastating news that he was being left out of the Irish double lightweight sculls team for the Atlanta Olympics. He would, though, travel to the USA as reserve to selected duo, Niall O’Toole or Brendan Dolan. The reason given for his omission from the team was that he was ‘too young’ – at 19 he would likely have other opportunities, whereas the selected duo at 26 and 29 respectively, may not. Gearoid underlined his pedigree to prove the selectors wrong, when taking gold by 20cm, from Frenchman Frederic Dufor, in the U23 single lightweight sculls world championship final in Antwerp a month later.
The ‘cream of Irish busking talent was set to descend on Mitchelstown over the August bank holiday weekend in 1996, with a major busking competition announced as part of the Carling Mitchelstown Music Festival. Total prize money would be €1,500.
Two businesses located on Fermoy’s Patrick Street were set for big moves, at a time when a ‘vibrant commercial atmosphere’ was being experienced in the town. Keogh’s Cleaners, operating from 40 Patrick Street, would relocate to the premises of O’Connor’s Bakery’. While Ryan’s Centra would expand their store to include extended fresh foods and bakery departments, as well as the addition of an off-licence.
Matt O’Callaghan, chairman of Limerick County Council in 1996, got the surprise of his life at a ‘parish social’, being presented with the famous red book at a ‘This Is Your Life’-style evening held in his honour in Glenroe community hall. A slideshow, showing Matt in his ‘short pants’ right through his career, was shown by Tom Fox to all in attendance, with many contributors acknowledging his roles in the community and his political career.
One of the country’s longest running and most successful carnivals was making preparations for another blockbuster event. Some of the big names playing the marquee at Araglin Carnival in July 1996 included Something Happens, Off The Record, Big Generator and Lightning Strikes.
In brief – Joanne McDonald from Ballyorgan, Glenroe was crowned the 1996 ‘Rose of the Hill’ at Kildorrery Festival. A thirty mile sponsored walk by Ed Walshe, from Cork to Mitchelstown, received a tremendous response with £1,000 raised for Fermoy Hospital fundraising committee. Park United in Mitchelstown celebrated the 21st anniversary of their formation, with a packed programme of events which culminated in the official opening of a new clubhouse in Brigown.
A thrilling finish in the junior hurling championship, saw Shanballymore claw back a 6 point deficit with 10 minutes remaining, to secure a draw and subsequent replay versus Buttevant. Taking all of 24 minutes to register their opening score, courtesy of a Vincy Burke point, a low scoring opening half saw Buttevant lead 0-6 to 0-2 at the interval. Leading 1-9 to 1-3 going into the closing stages, the introduction of Donie Curtin brought about the required change for Shanbally’, with his first touch ending up in the net. Vincy Burke clinched the draw with a last gasp point, the game finishing on a scoreline of 3-0 to 1-11.