90% of residents in the Fermoy area were in favour of Cork County Council’s preferred Green route for the Fermoy bypass, following a public consultation process held in June 1995, where an estimated 1,200 people attended. 217 questionnaires in total were returned. Improving traffic conditions was deemed the most important consideration in route selection (54%), followed by the ‘least effect on people living near the route’ (20%). While reasons for opposing the Green route included community severance, the negative effect on livelihood and property, the effects of pollution, proximity of the route to the town, effect of future development near the route, as well as visual impact. Only 8% of respondents opposed the preferred Green route.

Three local firms secured over £1 million in FEOGA grants. Galtee Food Products – £879,750 to benefit the pigmeat processing facilities; Riverview Eggs Ltd., Watergrasshill – £147,943 to modernise their egg grading facilities; while Barry Bro Meats Ltd., Conna would receive £105,000 to upgrade their abbatoir.

Time to book the Christmas party night out – Alexander’s, Fermoy were offering a 3-course menu, plus Barry’s Tea or Bewley’s coffee and after dinner mints, for £9.95 inclusive, with pre-dinner happy hour pints £1.50 and musical entertainment. In Mitchelstown, the Castle Park Hotel Christmas party nights would see Gina & The Champions for musical entertainment – dinner (4-course) and show price £17.50.

Work was progressing well on substantial renovations at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Watergrasshill. Services returned back to the church in November 1995, as since the renovations begun members of the public could not access the building, with the community hall hosting any services. The estimated cost of works was £200,000.

The saga of Garda cutbacks in Mitchelstown continued to cause disquiet at a local level, with one of the ‘most successful and enthusiastic meetings’ of the Mitchelstown Business Association (MBA) since its foundation, hearing strong opposition to the reduction in man-hours. The meeting was unanimous that what Minister for Justice, Nora Owen stated regarding improved efficiency, etc was ‘not at all acceptable’. The MBA were intent on organising ‘a very strong petition’ and would be asking the local Community Council to join them in fighting the issue.

‘A great victory for common sense and community action’ – the response by John Hurley, chairman South Coast Community TV, after it won its court case against the Minister for Communications, who had previously dismissed their application to obtain a broadcasting licence. So business as usual, in the short-term at least, with the group continuing to rebeam UK television stations into many homes throughout Cork and Waterford, thanks to a temporary licence. In his ruling on the case, Mr Justice Keane ruled that ‘the Minister had not considered SCCTV’s application for a licence in a fair manner and directed him to reconsider its application in accordance with the law’.

Castletownroche appeared to be doing a roaring pub trade, with The Turtle Tavern celebrating its first anniversary in November 1995. Formerly the Awbeg Fountain, Dubliner Steve Carroll was behind the bar, where 18 draft taps catered for all tastes. Beamish was £1.30, with Bulmers only £1.50.

Celebrations in Conna to mark a significant anniversary of Muintir na Tire in the village, with a gala dinner held to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the community hall. Guest of honour for the occasion was Jim Quigley, Muintir national president, while Willie Kearney was on MC duties. Popular playwrite, John B Keane, who had long associations with the local dramatic group, sent a letter of congratulations, stating “Conna always paid my royalties at a time when I was always broke”! ‘Conna By The Bride’, a social and sporting pictorial history, was also launched.

Kilworth junior B footballers were defeated in the 1995 county final by Diarmuid O Mathunas, 2-10 to 2-5. Meanwhile, Glenville made history by qualifying for their first county junior A football championship final, defeating Clondrohid in Glantane on a scoreline 2-6 to 0-7.

In brief – Remember comedy duo Jon Kenny and Pat Shortt, who toured with ‘Tom & Gerry D’Unbelievables’, visiting Kilworth’s Village Arts Centre for a 3 night run. ‘Fresh Foods’, an upmarket butchers and delicatessen, opened its doors on Lower Cork Street, Mitchelstown in the premises formerly occupied by The Golden Spoon – proprietor was local man, Jim O’Brien.