Champagne was flowing at National Lottery HQ in Dublin for the ‘Famous Five’ syndicate from Rathcormac, who scooped the £1 million Lotto jackpot. Syndicate member, Dermot Quinlan, told The Avondhu that upon checking their lucky ticket, he didn’t “freak out”, instead he kept checking the numbers before contacting syndicate members Barry Hogan, Daniel Smyth, Liam Hallihan and Kevin O’Doherty to relay the good news. The ticket was promptly deposited in a safe and the lads began their celebrations in O’Doherty’s pub on the Main Street. 30 people in total made their way, via train, to Dublin and following the obligatory photocall, it was back to Rathcormac where drinks were on the house. The winning ticket was sold at Dooley’s Newsagents in the village.

Declan Higgins’ goal of reaching the Atlanta Olympics drew a step closer, when claiming the national senior light middleweight boxing title for the second year in a row, defeating James Kelly (Manorhamilton) comprehensively on a 10-2 verdict. This result qualified the Fermoy man for the European Championships, where a top eight finish would secure an Olympic place.

Residents in Doneraile ‘vented their anger’ over what they saw as ‘a U-turn by the Minister for Justice, Deputy Nora Owen on the issue of the appointment of a Garda sergeant to the town’. In reply to a Dail question tabled by Deputy Ned O’Keeffe, querying when the position vacated by Sgt Dinny O’Leary in August 1995 would be filled, the Minister said it was the responsibily of the Garda authorities and ‘having reviewed the position’ it was not proposed at present to allocate a sergeant to the town. This was at variance with a number of letters previously sent to members of Doneraile Community Development Company, assuring them the vacancy would be filled ‘in the near future’.

Englishmen Julie Francis and Bruce Coker, operating out of Tallow Enterprise Centre since 1994, were seeing good demand for work from their design company, ‘Caravan Crafts and Design’. Believing in their business, which primarily involved screen printing, mural design and sign-writing, the duo told The Avondhu ‘the next six months would tell a lot’. The company name originated from the time they operated out of a caravan in Knockanore in 1992, when their business was established.

Reykjavik, Iceland was the St Patrick’s Day destination for a group of seven musicians from the Ballyduff/Ballinvella/Ballysaggart branch of the Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann, along with seanos singer Sean MacCraith and two members of the Naomh Padraig branch outside Dungarvan. The three-day trip would see the traditional music, dance and singing group give four performances, as well as participating in dance workshops. Local members included Thomas Hyland, Michael Kearney, Tony Dunne, Raymond Dempsey, Shelly and Orla Gover, Colette Noonan and the Dunne sisters, Ciara and Claire.

Jim Smith, a.k.a. ‘The Marathon Man’, was nominated to lead both the Mitchelstown and Ballyporeen St Patrick’s Day parades as grand marshal in 1996, in recognition of his outstanding charitable work undertaken over 30 years, where in the region of £300,000 was raised by Jim for deserving causes. Jim believed it was the “people’s way of saying thank you” and he was extremely honoured.

Fermoy GAA Club, in conjunction with the pitch & putt and squash clubs, established a weekly lotto to help defray the costs of a number of planned projects – minimum jackpot would be £500.

Castle Celtic were dumped out of the County Cup in March 1996, when visitors Dripsey Celtic progressed following a penalty shoot-out, the game ending 2-2 after extra time. A ‘tame’ performance by Castle saw the home side ‘intent on walking the ball into the net’. Castle levelled the game 20 minutes from full time through Des Mellerick, the visitors having taken a first half lead. Into extra time, Dripsey struck first blood, before ‘a spectacular’ goal from sub John O’Brien saw the dreaded penalty shoot-out. However, the home side missed their final two spot kicks, ‘to hand it to the visitors’.

Meanwhile, the Fermoy Rugby Club’s second XV cruised into the second round of the Minor Cup, recording a comprehensive 48-10 victory over Kanturk at the showgrounds. ‘Non-stop’ action over the 80 minutes saw 10 tries for the home side from Simon Stapleton (x3), Garrett Hickey (x2), Liam McCarthy, Brian McCarthy (x2), John Hayes (showing his ‘navy fitness’) and Micheal Lovett. Paul Cashman and Pat Sweeney propped well.