Memories From The Archives – June 1996

Michael Barry, author of ‘Fermoy GAA Club History’, looking at the finished publication with Tom Cavanagh, who officially launched the book and Mick Dolan, chairman Fermoy GAA, prior to the launch in 1996 at The Grand Hotel.

Aghern Duck Derby was acclaimed a ‘quacking’ success, with over five hundred ducks coming under starter’s orders. It was reported that the famous ‘Aghern roar echoed as far afield as Knocknagopple’ with Noel Clancy’s promising newcomer Ballytrasna Pullet putting enough water between itself and Johnny Flynn’s entry, Rubber Ducky, to win by a short head. All for a good cause, with over £1,000 raised for Conna National School.

The future of Irish dancing in Doneraile looked safe, as pupils from the local boys’ national school, St Joseph’s CBS, ‘performed an almost clean sweep of medals’ at the Munster Irish dancing championships for national schools in 1996, finishing first in five of the six competitions. In total, 90 pupils brought home medals having competed in the four, six and eight hand reels. Eileen Farrelly-O’Dwyer was their dance teacher.

“Most disturbing” was how Cllr John Hussey described the inaction from those responsible for repairing a public light at De Valera Drive, Fermoy in June 1996 which was leaving concerned residents completely in the dark at night. One resident informed The Avondhu of his plight to have the situation rectified, being left ‘confused’ in trying to ascertain who had responsibility to carry out the repair work and ‘being shoved from pillar to post’. Having contacted the County Council, the local UDC and local and regional offices of the ESB, the resident was non the wiser as to who had final responsibility to restore the lighting to the six houses being served by the lighting. The situation for residents was claimed to be so bad, that people were ‘blundering into cars and walls’ in the darkness. It transpired the council engineer responsible for approving the works was ‘out of the country’, with the ESB likly to undertake ‘some temporary repairs’.

A fire which destroyed ‘much of a high-tech and ultra modern’ piggery near Doneraile saw as many as 2,000 piglets perish from smoke inhalation. Occurring over the June bank holiday in 1996, fire brigade units from Mitchelstown, Mallow and Kanturk arrived at the Annakisha piggery, bringing the blaze under control in a short time. Two workers at the piggery were also slightly injured as they tried in vain to fight the blaze.

The official launch of the Fermoy GAA Club Book, written by local historian Michael Barry, was held at a special reception in The Grand Hotel – MC for the night was Tommy O’Brien. A project which took five years, the 700 page book documented 108 years of the ups and downs of both the club and town. Speakers included club chairman Mick Dolan; Tom Cavanagh; chairman of Fermoy UDC, Cllr Michael Hanley; Christy Cooney, chairman Cork County Board; Michael Lyons, vice chairman North Cork Board and Jim Clifford, a member of the 1945 football county championship winning team.

Gardai in Doneraile found over £300 worth of cannabis when undertaking a search of a house in the town ‘in an attempt to locate stolen furniture’. A man was arrested, questioned and later released, with a file being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. No stolen furniture was found.

BUPA Ireland officially announced it would locate its main operational base in Fermoy, employing over 30 people in the first stage of the development. Expecting to be operating by the end of 1996 from the Mill Island complex in the town, the company’s main headquarters would be based in Dublin.

In brief – The planning application by a private telecoms company for the erection of a 30 metre transmission mast at Clogheen was withdrawn, much to the delight of locals who had, in the main, objected to the plans. Mitchelstown’s Queen of the Galtees in June 1996 was announced as Ann McGrath, representing Christine’s Country Kitchen Café. The champagne was flowing with funds raised for the Mitchelstown Leisure Centre Project surpassing the £100,000 figure in less than 12 months.

Ballyporeen/Skeheenarinky U12 footballers advanced to the South Tipperary final, comprehensively defeating St Patrick’s in the semi-final on a scoreline of 4-11 to 4-3. Leading 1-9 to 1-0 at half-time having played with the elements, there was never any great threat to their lead as they emerged 8 point winners. Scorers: B Finn (0-2), D Lyons (0-2), MJ Meaney (2-4), P Williams (1-1), K Lynch (0-1), S Molan (0-1), P Hennessy (1-0).