Raiders attempting to enter Reynold’s Shop, Castletownroche in January 1997 by forcing the front door, left the village empty-handed after being disturbed by the owner of the shop. The would-be raiders had also attempted to gain entry to the owner’s vehicle, outside the premises, causing some damage to the steering mechanism in the process. Gardai were following a definite line of enquiry.

Elsewhere, sheds owned by Fermoy Golf Club were broken into by means of a bolt cutters – having been ransacked, ‘only a few small items’ were taken. Flynn’s Shop on Main Street, Kilworth received some unwanted early morning intruders in January 1997, who gained access to the premises when forcing open the back door – they then proceeded to ‘steal a large quantity of cigarettes’ before being disturbed, escaping the scene in a red BMW.

Three youths were being questioned following an early morning raid on the Shell petrol station at Fermoy Road, Mitchelstown. The 7am foil saw the single employee receive ‘abusive threats’ from the raiders, who stole a quantity of money from the till, along with ‘other shop items’, including lottery tickets. Gardai estimate the trio departed the scene with goods and money to the value of £400. Following ‘a round of enquiries’, three youths, not from the area, were questioned.

Emergency repairs to the boiler heating system in Presentation Primary School, Mitchelstown brought an unexpected bonus for all 320 pupils – the premises remained closed for a week. It’s likely the 13 teachers weren’t too upset either!

The January meeting of Lismore Town Commissioners, heard that ‘the likelihood of a new company creating between 40 and 50 new jobs in the Lismore area in the not-too-distant-future’, was ‘very possible’. John Heneghan stated that the proposed industry ‘fitted Lismore’s heritage status like a glove’, being ‘incredibly clean and environmentally friendly’. However, the biggest task that lay ahead for the town to ‘copper fasten’ the firm’s arrival, was to convince them there was a sufficient supply of labour in the area.

Several ‘irate residents’ from Fermoy town and outlying areas contacted The Avondhu in mid-January 1997, ‘angered by the (Urban District) Council’s refusal to collect refuse’ which had been incorrectly tagged. Some residents were ‘shocked’ and ‘left seething’ to find that any bins and bags left for collection, displaying the old 75p tags, were not collected by Council employees. An increased ‘tag-a-bag’ fee of 90c had been in place since January 1st 1997, something many householders claimed they were not given notice of. However, Fermoy Town Clerk, Michael Cremin confirmed to The Avondhu that a 2-week period of grace allowing for the use of the old tags, bought in 1996, was already implemented and that a line had to be drawn somewhere, issuing a directive to Council employees not to collect refuse incorrectly tagged. The perceived ‘heavy-handed tactics by the Council’ were criticised by both Deputy Ned O’Keeffe and Cllr John Murphy, who called for a more flexible approach. Residents with old tags were assured they could receive ‘up-to-date tags’ by returning to the retail outlet where the tag was purchased, returning the old tag and ‘agreeing to pay an extra 15p’. This paper’s editor awarded the local authority in question ‘the Scrooge Award for Penny Pinching’.

A busy January in 1997 for local drama enthusiasts – Barrymore Players, Castlelyons staged John Power’s ‘As Some Tall Cliff’ under the direction of Donal Howard; Willy Russell’s musical, ‘Blood Brothers’ was on stage in Fermoy Youth Centre courtesy of newly formed Mitchelstown Theatre Group, with direction by Tim Dunne and Deirdre Foley in charge of music; ‘Anyone Could Rob A Bank’ staged in Bartlemy courtesy of the local drama group; while the award-winning one-act plays by Glanworth Macra, namely ‘Lovers Winners’ and ‘In The Shadow Of The Glen’, staged in the Village Arts Centre, Kilworth.

Following 36 years in the service of An Garda Siochana, Fermoy-based Sergeant Michael Cloney retired from duty in January 1997. The New Ross native was based in Fermoy since 1973, serving the last 13 years of his career as Crime Prevention Officer for the Fermoy district.

Offering services for business, social, sporting and personal matters, Plunkett Print opened for business on January 15th, 1997 at No 1 McDermott Place, Oliver Plunkett Hill, Fermoy. Formerly known as Arch Print, the business was being taken on by husband and wife, Robert and Gretta Buckley.