Four brave Ballylanders lads were putting their well groomed beards on the line at the local Macra club’s field evening – namely, Johnny Connolly, Eddie Slattery, Peter O’Dowd and club chairman, Niall Walsh. Funds raised would benefit Lisnagry Mentally Handicapped Association.

The Sawdoctors were officially announced as the headline act for the newly organised Carling Mitchelstown Music Festival in 1996. Festival PRO Conor O’Callaghan informed The Avondhu that, being a major coup and with no admission charge, it would be ‘one of the most attractive festival and concert events in the country’. While stating he expected that the festival would generate an estimated turnover of £500,000, he equally appealed through The Avondhu for more volunteers. The overall cost of staging the event was projected to be in the region of £35,000, with local vintners also involved in the sponsorship – any remaining balance would be raised ‘from local sources’.

The ‘hot seat’ at Fermoy UDC saw a new chairperson elected, as Cllr Richard O’Leary was elected unopposed in June 1996. Acknowledging the previous 2-year term as being ‘difficult years’ which outgoing chairperson, Cllr Michael Hanley had served through, Mr O’Leary was looking forward to serving to the best of his ability.

The sewerage plant serving Rathcormac was deemed ‘inadequate’, following a sewage spill into the river Bride near the village. The spillage was noticed by a local man out with his family, seeing the water ‘a strange black colour’ and noticing a ‘foul odour’ coming from the river. Cork County Council confirmed the incident, ‘claiming that a fault at the plant had occurred which had been caused by a blockage’. PRO of Rathcormac Community Council, Peadar Scannell, told The Avondhu in June 1996 that ‘other spillages had been suspected in the past’, claiming the plant was not capable of dealing with the amount of sewage generated in the area, with the problem worsening as new housing developments had been completed in the village.

Bill Cleary, national president of St Vincent de Paul, was on hand to officially open the new St Vincent de Paul headquarters, the aptly named Ozanam Centre, at Thomas Street, Mitchelstown in June 1996.

A proposal was made by Fermoy town engineer, Flan Groarke to provide water tankers as an interim measure to help resolve the inadequate water supply being experienced at the Uplands Estate in the town, with a recent dry spell having made the situation critical. Other measures proposed, included the sinking of a temporary well in the vicinity of the estate to alleviate the problem; as well as curtailing the water supply to those areas of the town which never experienced such shortages, thus increasing water pressure to the Uplands supply. An engineer’s report was awaited.

Lismore’s new public toilet, constructed at an estimated cost of £70,000, was set to open its doors for business in June 1996. Town commissioner, Dick Canning was the main party involved in securing EU funding for the project. John Heneghan felt that it was ‘only fitting that the occasion be marked in an appropriate manner’ – it was agreed to give the idea of an official opening of the ‘superloo’ more consideration.

Deputy Ned O’Keeffe and Cllr Conor O’Callaghan had strong words to say on the litter problem in Mitchelstown, when both described the state of the town’s streets as appalling. The matter had been brought to Deputy O’Keeffe’s attention by foreign visitors, with Cllr O’Callaghan pointing to the existence of so many fast food restaurants on the main street as a ‘major contributing factor’.

Festive fever was taking hold in the area. The sun shone on Glanworth GAA Harbour Festival, with the opening days seeing plenty GAA action, with a Ballyhooly selection victorious over the home team in what was billed as a veterans match; however the Glanworth ladies junior football team recorded a well deserved victory over Glenville in a tournament semi-final, 0-17 to 0-7; Mac’s Bar emerged winners in a heat of the inter-pub quiz, while young Michael O’Neill was overall winner in the children’s fancy dress with the topical entry ‘Milk quota problem’. In Fermoy, Fermoy Show took place amid heatwave-like conditions – some winners included Kelly Anne Doyle in the U1 year baby show, U2 years Oisin Ramirez; best dressed lady Nellie Fitzgerald, Mitchelstown, with Esther McCarthy from Parks Road, Lismore emerging winner in the £4,000 Premier Dairies All-Ireland Home Baking Championship, qualifying for the All-Ireland final at Moate Show.