A blow to the economic fabric of Clogheen in March 1996, with the announcement that Moroney’s Bakery had gone into voluntary liquidation. In existence since 1939, the family run bakery employed 16 staff – ‘severe trading conditions’ were cited as the reason for its closure.

A night of close shaves in Killavullen, as seven local lads underwent something of a transformation, when getting their much-loved beards shaved off – a fundraiser in aid of Fermoy Multiple Sclerosis Society. The ‘cutting crew’ consisted of Angela Ducey and Grainne Geegeeboy, who ‘applied their skills with expertise and panache’ in Garry’s Bar, to volunteers Jerry Justice, Donal Buckley, Philip Ahern, Liam Browne, Ross Cannon, Neily O’Brien and Jim O’Kelly. Jim was the ‘proud owner’ of a seventeen year old beard, while Philip Ahern kept the atmosphere light, arriving for his shave ‘dressed as an Arabian Knight’. In total, £1,230 was raised.

There were conflicting views as to why a four-day working week had been enforced at the Dairygold-owned bacon factory in Mitchelstown in March 1996. A management source at the factory told The Avondhu that the move was ‘made necessary by a general shortage of pigs’, stating that it would be reviewed on a weekly basis. Several farmers however told The Avondhu that they had ‘great difficulty getting their pigs in to the Mitchelstown plant’, with Dairygold ‘refusing to take pigs off some farmers’ – a situation which Dairygold ‘totally refuted’. Local county councillor, Conor O’Callaghan encouraged both sides to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible, stating ‘minor difficulties can soon become major ones’.

A serving of vegetarian chilli with brown rice was good enough to see Majella Aherne, a fifth year student at St Fanahan’s College, Mitchelstown, being chosen as one of six finalists in the Uncle Ben’s Schools Cookery Competition. 2FM DJ Ian Dempsey, presented her with a voucher to the value of £100 for Levi’s clothes and cookery books to the value of £100, at the finals held in Jury’s Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

The discovery of an ancient skull, possibly 4,000 years old, was made by farmer Dominic Ryan, when levelling a field on his property at Mitchelstowndown, Knocklong in early 1996. He came across the human remains when trying to move a moat in one of his fields, in the process uncovering ‘a large flat stone’ which appeared to ‘reveal some form of funeral pyre or burial area’. Sensing the find could be of historical significance, Mr Ryan contacted local gardai, with archaeologists from the National Museum also arriving on the scene.

Parishioners in Ballylanders were sorry to lose ‘one of the most popular priests to ever serve its flock’ in 1996, namely Fr Tom Breen. Having previously ministered in Tipperary Town, as well as ‘down under’ in Brisbane and remote parts of the Australian outback, Fr Tom arrived to his new parish in South Limerick some four and a half years previous, with ‘a broad smile and an outstretched hand’. He oversaw important parish work during his time there, including much needed repairs to the parochial house and the circular roof of the church, as well as overseeing the building of a fine extension to Knockadea school. Of farming stock and from the parish of Cappawhite, he departed for the historic Holy Cross Abbey, leaving behind ‘many a tear stained eye’.

An attempted bank robbery at the Bank of Ireland on Lower Main Street, Cappoquin, was thwarted by gardai, when they apprehended two men leaving the premises, with what was believed to have been between £2,500 and £3,000 in their possession. Armed with screwdrivers and believed to be from Dublin, the men were taken to Garda district headquarters in Dungarvan and later appeared in court in Tipperary.

A traditional stone wall, measuring some 110 metres in length and taking over 12 months to complete, was nearing completion in the centre of Bartlemy village. Initiated by Bartlemy Improvement Group and run by FAS, builder Pat Cotter admitted he “got the hang of it fairly quickly” and enjoyed doing the work.

In brief – The owner of Kilmurry House, Mrs Cecelia Quinn, appealed for help ‘in clearing up the mess caused over a seven month period by New Age Travellers’, seeking aid from Government and other sources. Octogenarian Matt Feerick was chosen as grand marshal of the Fermoy St Patrick’s Day parade – the colourful character being a popular choice, due to his love of all things Irish, particularly Irish music and dance.