This week 21 years ago the Celtic Tiger was out of sight – on the other side of the horizon, but for the community of Watergrasshill the urban sprawl of development was appearing.

Cork County Council’s move to zone substantial tracts of land in the area for housing could be seen as the first signs of the impending financial boom. The Avondhu reported: “it is becoming apparent that ‘The Hill’ is being groomed for its role as a satellite town of Cork City.”

There were also plans to upgrade sewerage and water services in the area. The ambitious plan would see Watergrasshill join Fermoy and Mallow as ‘towns’ targeted to cope with substantial increases in population. 

Local activist Liz Fenton, made the front page as she was nominated to stand in the Urban District Council elections by the Fermoy Branch of Fine Gael. She had taken a step back previously from political life due to a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis which saw her become an advocate for MS Ireland. 

The Story of Glanworth was a project being prepared by the local ICA to mark the turn of the Millennium. The committee were looking to compile a book that would tell the story of the local community down through the years. Any funds raised by the project would go back into the village and its people as it would be donated to a sheltered housing scheme in the area. 

People in the Glenduff area of Mitchelstown were deeply concerned about ongoing road works as some locals declared that there was a plan to build a ‘super highway’ through their community. They were concerned about the volume of large trucks carrying slurry to the unregulated Greenfields Environmental depot at Ballard in Araglin.

Darren Dennigan, a young Glanworth man, was making headlines as he was named the country’s top apprentice. He had taken top prize in the Department of Education National Apprentice Competition. He was competing in the carpentry final and captured the prestigious title. Darren was employed with Edmond Rice in Fermoy and was one year ahead of receiving his full qualifications. 

Meanwhile ‘persistent ball playing’ was causing great distress to Fermoy’s Town Gardener Jack Fitzgerald, who asked then Fianna Fail councillor John Murphy to deal with the problem. Cllr Murphy issued a plea to the public to end the kickabouts in the park during the launch of a clean-up initiative by An Taisce. “With the longer evenings and improvement in the weather, we are seeing increasing numbers of people using the Town Park as a football field. The Town gardener has requested that this activity cease immediately, as it is resulting in damage to the Park,” he declared. 

There were sheep kills in the Anglesboro area with farmers concerned about roving packs of dogs attacking their animals. Gardai in Ballylanders had started an investigation and farmers said they would shoot on sight, any dogs that were found to be worrying sheep. 

Travellers moved into the Doneraile Halting Site but were not happy with the facilities at the location – there was no electricity. The group had forced their way on to the site ahead of a formal decision on who was to be housed there. A reporter from The Avondhu was met with rage from the squatters when the newspaper called on them to discuss the situation. 

One resident explained why he forced the gates: “I wanted to get my children in off the main road – one of them was going to be killed if I didn’t get them off it.”

Repairs were underway at well-known car showroom Grandsons in Glanmire after a massive fire ripped through the complex. Fifteen cars and the building were damaged by the blaze. Such was the commitment of the owners to reopening that they expected to be fully operational just a month after the inferno. 

There was a civic reception for a delegation of French visitors from the Ploemeur Twinning Committee in Fermoy. It was 15 years since the two towns came together.

The water scheme works in Fermoy were underway with large trenches dug on the town’s streets. There were extensive efforts made to minimise disruption to the public with local gardai, contractors and residents working to keep things moving. 

In sport, the people of Araglin were celebrating as the local U21 GAA footballers won the ‘C’ 12 a-side title in a match against Shanballymore. Captain of the team Michael Hoye, accepted the cup. 

The Fermoy Swimming Club were also celebrating as Joanne O’Connor and her colleague Mairead Groarke, took home a number of gold medals during a swimming gala in Churchfield Pool.

Efforts by the Galtee Gaels GAA club to begin women’s football were hindered by a recent spate of appalling weather conditions striking the general South Limerick/North Cork area.