One Mitchelstown couple had an unexpected discovery when undertaking renovations to the back garden of their house, uncovering ‘a grenade with its pin missing, but as yet unexploded’. Builder Adrian Baker came across the device when removing a ditch in the back yard of John and Peggy Barry’s in Robert Street, to make way for a new wall – the home owners promptly informed the gardai, who in turn contacted the Army Bomb Disposal Squad, based at Collins’ Barracks, Cork. Having carefully made the device safe, a small search was undertaken to establish if other grenades were buried in the vicinity, however none were found. The device was safely detonated at the Army lands outside Kilworth.
Rumours were circulating locally that supermarket giants, Dunnes Stores, had purchased the Blue Dragon complex on the side of the main Cork/Dublin Road at Ballinrush, Kilworth. Closed since the beginning of 1995, surprise had been expressed in many quarters at the alleged move, with one source describing the rumours as ‘mischievous speculation’.
May 1996 saw Fermoy businessman Tom Cavanagh, receive an honorary doctorate from the authorities at UCC, ‘in recognition of his significant contribution to his home town, Irish business, University College Cork and to the wider community’. A graduate of the university, Mr Cavanagh received the degree of Doctor of Laws from college president, Dr Michael Mortell, who described Mr Cavanagh as a ‘shrewd and far-seeing business man’, with a ‘generosity of spirit and a deeply felt and active social conscience’.
Cork RTC student Martin O’Keeffe from Ballynoe, was one of a four-member Challenging Times team to receive an award from the third level college, in recognition of having reached the national final for 2 years running. They were narrowly defeated by UCG in the final.
It was claimed by the prospective developers of Glanworth Mill, that Cork County Council were ‘dragging their feet’ with a substantial project which would allow the village to develop as a tourist destination. The planned conversion of the mill building into a hotel and restaurant was at an advanced stage, with the developers ‘ready and prepared to move into the mill site to begin renovations’. Although it was claimed that agreement in principal had been reached with the local authority ‘some time ago’, no lease agreement had been signed which would allow developers access to the site. While the ‘American branch of the development team’ had been patient as they believed in the viability of the project, it was warned that they ‘could run out of patience’ if swift progress wasn’t made.
All was set for the fourth staging of the annual Ballyhooly Arts Festival, with Peter Barry TD, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, performing the official opening. The Boat Band with special guest JC Gallo, were one of the featured musical acts performing over the 5-day festival.
ICMSA president, Frank Allen was calling for stiffer penalties to be imposed on those who used illegal growth promoters in farming, stating that those who use angel dust were ‘traitors holding the entire Irish agriculture sector to ransom’.
Galtee Electrical, located at 2 Upper Cork Street, Mitchelstown were celebrating 20 years in business. A 3-page Avondhu feature highlighted the complete range of electrical goods available instore, with proprietor Tom Hyland having seen many changes in the electrical business since he opened in 1976. Staff members included Jim Landers (installation/servicing), Kathleen Cott (receptionist/sales), along with Jackie Graham and Mary Cahill (video rental).
Young road bowling prospect, Billy McAuliffe from Glanworth, was eagerly anticipating his appearance in the European Bowling championships, which were to be staged in Holland in May 1996. Seen as one of Ireland’s key players, the Munster U16 champion from 1994 was expected to be challenging for a medal in both the Road and Moors disciplines.
St Catherines U21 footballers claimed the East Cork B title, in a ‘highly exciting final against a gallant Cloyne fifteen at sundrenched Castlemartyr’ in May 1996. Falling 4 points behind in the opening seven minutes of play, the slow-starting Catherines team gradually assumed supremacy, leading 0-7 to 1-1 at the interval. With crowd involvement ‘at fever pitch’ and the game tied at 0-9 to 1-6, Dave O’Connell slotted over the winning point, with team captain Brian Cotter proudly accepting the Sean O Murchu U21 cup.