The Clogheen Action Group was formed at a ‘hastily convened meeting of Clogheen Community Council’, to fight plans to locate a 30 metre transmission mast less than a mile from the town. Locals out walking came across the planning notice ‘almost by accident’ at Shanrahan, some 2.2 miles from the site of the proposed mast. In excess of 450 locals signed a petition, with 98% of those canvassed during a door-to-door petition in favour of the Community Council’s stance on the matter. Objections were primarily on the grounds of the proposed mast’s negative visual impact, potential property devaluation and on health grounds.

The millrace in Castletownroche was set for restoration – a FAS scheme involving upwards of 10 people would commence the substantial project on June 10th, 1996. Fundraising was ongoing.

It was claimed that the proposed changes in the parking bye-laws in Fermoy, which would see more areas of the town fall into the two-hour parking category, would ‘run people out of Fermoy’. The planned changes would see areas such as the Mill Road, Ashe Quay and O’Rahilly Row become two hour parking zones. Chairperson of Fermoy Business Association (FBA), David Ryan expressed disbelief, saying it was ‘going completely overboard’. Representations had been made by a new committee from the FBA, with both the Gardai and the UDC, with a view to having tighter enforcement of existing two-hour zones, and speeding up the provision of extra off-street parking in the town. Hence, the proposals came as a “shock to its members” – the “unsatisfactory” situation would “run people out of town” it was claimed. Supt Eamonn Ryan stated that discussions had been in progress for five years, saying ‘no decisions had been rushed into’.

‘A massive gesture to the town of Lismore’ was how a donation of £90,000 by the Christian Brothers was described by Town Commissioner, John Heneghan – the sum would be put towards the estimated £600,000 cost of amalgamation of the town’s two primary schools, namely Lismore CBS and Presentation Convent. With the Department of Education stipulating that 15% of the total cost would have to be raised locally, the contribution “made it a certainty that the two schools would join forces”. It was hoped the new school would be ready for September 1st, 1997.

Drama on Mitchelstown golf course, when golfers rescued an elderly gentleman from the river which flowed through the course. Encountering a body in the water while on the green of the 7th hole, which was ‘face downwards with arms outstretched’, golfers immediately raised the alarm. A local garda, who was playing on the nearby 15th green, entered the river and brought the body to terra firma – thankfully the male in his seventies was still alive. Those present ‘attempted to bring the man around’, while one golfer ‘had in his possession a mobile phone’ (not so common back then of course!) and alerted emergency services. The man was made a good recovery.

Members of the organising committee of the third annual Fermoy Salmon Festival declared themselves ‘very happy’ with the success of the 1996 event. With an action-packed programme, one of the highlights of the weekend was the pram race which visited six local hostelries en route – must have been interesting!

Two local girl guides received Gold Chord Awards at a special ceremony in Dublin – Elaine O’Brien and Caroline Fletcher of Galtee Company, Mitchelstown made a visit to the capital, being honoured for their commitment and service in both Guiding and the community over several years.

Young Ciara Hennessy, a second class pupil at Lismore Presentation, was awarded 1st prize in the 1st/2nd class category of the INTO/EBS Handwriting Competition – her hand writing submitted on her 150 word passage was adjudged ‘neat, tidy and very careful’.

The Conna indoor football leagues, sponsored by Dave Feeney & Sons Builders, proved an outstanding success in May 1996. In its 10th year, the men’s premier tournament, made up of 16 clubs in the league section, was won by Walsh’s Bar, Mitchelstown who defeated Denis Martin’s Tallow 6-2. The Men’s plate final saw Kenny’s Bar B (Castlelyons) defeat Conroy’s Ardfinnan 3-1 on penalties. The ladies A final was won by St Catherines, defeating Cadena 2-1, while the ladies plate final saw Conna Youth Club ‘upset the form book’, defeating Castle Bride 3-0.