Conna Drama Group were set for a ‘court appearance’, preparing to tread the boards in late 1996 with their production of ‘The Evidence I Shall Give’, written by former circuit court justice, Richard Johnson. A play set in the south west of Ireland during the 1960s and featuring a cast of 25, direction was by Michael Riordan, who also played the part of District Justice McCarthy. Other cast members included Tom Cotter, Liz Hannigan, Peter Barry and Frank Hayes.

A ‘straw poll’ undertaken by The Avondhu on the streets of Fermoy back in November 1996 ‘met with a generally favourable response’ towards the proposal to introduce pay parking, in an effort to fund the purchase and development of a further off-street site for parking. The poll found business people were generally in favour of the concept of disc parking along the main street, as people “might have more respect for the streets of the town and for the parking regulations”. One trader expressed the opinion that any levy charged ‘should be reasonable and affordable’, perhaps 30p for two hours, so as ‘not to turn people away’.

A new history book on Mitchelstown, containing much previously unpublished material and which ‘chronicled the development of the town from the 9th century to the present day’, was officially launched by MEP Brian Crowley in the Castle Park Hotel. Penned by well-known local historian Bill Power, the 160 page publication ‘From The Danes To Dairygold’ primarily concentrated on the period from the early 1700s onwards.

The board of management and parents’ association of Glenville National School honoured two national school teachers, who between them, gave ‘over eighty years service to the country’s education system’. Batt Dunlea, who retired as principal at the school earlier in 1996, had commenced his teaching career in 1957 in St Joseph’s National School, Fermoy. While Pat Moynihan, who had served a total of 41 years as national school teacher, originally taught in Chimneyfield NS (which amalgamated with Glenville NS in 1968). Both men told The Avondhu they were thankful for the kind gesture and were ‘having no problems adjusting to retired life’.

Triona O’Flynn from Duntaheen, Fermoy received a ‘Best Achiever Award’, while classmate Aileen Conran from Clonduane, was runner-up in the ‘Personnel Manager’ section of the 1995/96 Young Enterprise Irish Manager of the Year Awards. Both students at Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy, their established mini-company ‘Teen Scene’ was recognised as part of the Young Enterprise Schools Programme.

Two girls from Ballyhooly were selected for the Munster U21 hockey team for the 1996 interprovincial championships. Karen McCarthy from Rahard Road was handed the number 1 goalkeeping position. Having started her hockey education in Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy, she was playing senior hockey with UCC. Jennifer Hales from Renny, a senior squad member with Church of Ireland, had been selected at midfield.

The first head of the river at Killorglin in November 1996 brought success for Fermoy Rowing Club. Represented on the day by nine crews in total, the women’s junior eighteen quad of M O’Connor, J Duggan, L Bermingham, C Cliffe and A Bermingham (cox) were section winners, while Paul Hickey tasted success in the men’s junior eighteen sculls. Captain Ray Morrison and the various coaches were ‘quite pleased with the performance of the crews’.

‘Big men, small car, what a combination!!’ read the headline, with news of the Banna Beach Rally in 1996 where North Cork rally duo, Killavullen’s John Shanahan and Buttevant’s Ger Fahy, claimed a creditable 2nd place in their class. Although relatively inexperienced and earning a starting position of 19th, the lads drove their beautifully prepared 1600 Starlet hard to achieve 9th overall after stage one, and finishing the rally in 6th overall, pipped by only 3 seconds for first place in their class.

Ballygiblin captured the O’Leary Cup in November 1996, earning a well-merited 14 point victory over Charleville at the home venue. Dave Moher was reported to be producing ‘magic’ on the day, something which the Charleville defence could only ‘look on and admire’, scoring all his side’s tally of 1-6 in the opening period, his side leading at the interval by 6 points. Further second half goals by Dave Moher, Denis Dillane and Seamus Fox made for a comfortable victory, 4-11 to 1-6.