An ambitious fundraising target of between £2,000 and £3,000 was set by three Ballyduff men, preparing to undertake a 140 mile charity cycle in aid of the Fermoy branch of MS Ireland. The intrepid trio were Pat Flynn, Mike Kenneally and Pat McCarthy who had put in a number of months of training in preparation for the trek from Dublin to Fermoy. Their journey would take them along the N8, where they would be accompanied by a back-up crew – they estimated a journey time of ‘about 14 hours if the wind and weather was any way kind to them’.

A large haybarn fire at Ballydoyle, Castletownroche, caused ‘extensive damage to property’ in July 1996, with 17 fire fighters from both Fermoy and Mallow Fire Brigades tasked with fighting the outbreak. Upwards of 3,000 bales of hay were reported to have been destroyed, with the fire units spending in the region of 8 hours at the scene. Slurry tanks were used to transport water to the site of the fire, to assist with the fire fighting effort.

A large influx of English music lovers was expected for the 1996 Mitchelstown Music Festival, according to festival PRO Conor O’Callaghan. With The Sawdoctors secured as the headline act, the group enjoyed a fan club of 58,000 in England, compared to just 2,800 in Ireland – with only 6 other dates for the band scheduled in the 26 counties in 1996, therefore it was felt Mitchelstown would ‘benefit in no small way’. The range of free concerts on offer were eagerly anticipated, with six main sponsoring publicans in the town, namely An Bodhran, Paki Fitz’s, Spratt’s, Cleary’s, Clongibbon House and Miko’s, presenting a cheque for £6,000 to the festival organisers.

94 year old Nell Fraher from Ballyarthur, Mitchelstown struck it lucky, when selecting the number 13 to secure £500, as part of 96FMs ‘Cash Call’. Radio presenter Robert Walsh from sister station, 103FM, called on Nell to present her with the cheque and a bouquet of flowers. A regular participant at 45 card drives around the area, Nell said that following her win, the phone never stopped ringing, with people offering their congratulations.

The development and construction of a new laboratory at Moorepark, Fermoy got under way in July 1996, with the facility expected to provide ‘up to 25 extra jobs’ in the area of food research, upon completion.

Approximately 50 people attended the official opening and blessing of the Ballyduff sub-office of Tallow Credit Union. Although the branch, which was the old library, had been operating since May 1991, the premises had only been refurbished and decorated by Ballyduff Community Council in 1996, under a Social Employment Scheme. Rev Fr K Mulcahy PP performed the blessing.

Lismore’s Mary McNamara made history by becoming the first lady firefighter to join Lismore Fire Brigade. She was following in the steps of her father, Sonny, was also a firefighter in the local station.

A dual celebration event was held in Anglesboro church in July 1996 – to celebrate the reopening of the local church which had been closed since March to facilitate ‘an impressive refurbishment’, while parishioners also gathered to say farewell to Fr Cunningham, who was transferring to Upper Church.

Skeheenarinky junior hurlers comfortably defeated neighbours Fr Sheehy’s in the final of the 1996 South Tipp junior hurling league. Played out in wet conditions, this was the club’s first league title. Leading 1-4 to 03 at the interval, the goal from P Bennett, Skeheen’ were always in control and two second half goals from W Cahill and G Fox, saw the side run out winners on a scoreline of 3-9 to 1-5. The side were captained by Liam Finn.

Bride Rovers junior A hurlers made their championship exit v Erin’s Own by a 2 point margin. ‘Running out of steam’ in the final 10 minutes, Erin’s Own took full advantage scoring 1-4 versus a single point for Rovers, who succumbed on a scoreline of 2-11 to 2-9. Leading 0-7 to 0-5 at the interval, having registered 13 wides, Rovers would live to regret their wayward shooting, exiting the East Cork championship for the third year in a row, with Carrignavar the venue.