A phone call to a member of staff at Bank of Ireland in Fermoy, informing them of ‘the presence of a bomb on the premises’ in April 1997, was reported to have ‘caused considerable panic’ at the local branch.
With the 150th running of the Aintree Grand National suffering the same fate only days previous (organisers there receiving a bomb threat from the IRA), the incident closer to home saw 20 members of staff and a small number of customers immediately vacate the premises. The caller to the branch, who was said to have spoken with a Northern accent, stated that ‘a device was planted on the premises’, with local gardai, under Inspector Liam Hayes promptly arriving on the scene.
Once given the all clear and declared as a hoax, the decision was made to close the bank for the remainder of the day in question, a move manager Patsy Myers described as following ‘internal procedure’, thus allowing everyone sufficient time to recover from the ordeal.

‘Stripping the Model’, the entry by the Watergrasshill Novelty Act group in the Munster Scor final of 1997, brought glory back to the ‘Hill following a ‘fabulous witty performance’. Members John O’Connell, Lizzie O’Leary, Timmy Healy, Dan Kearney, Delia O’Riordan and Eleanor Collins, were looking forward to the All-Ireland finals scheduled for April 19th 1997 in The Two Mile Inn, Co Monaghan.

The plight of a man living in sub-standard conditions in Fermoy town, over a 16 month period, was highlighted in The Avondhu in April 1997. Our reporter, on the invitation of concerned friends of the man, visited the 12ftx8ft room, which comprised his living quarters, where he eat, slept and watched TV, had an adjoining bathroom described as ‘extremely unhygenic’, with condensation ‘a 24-hour-a-day problem’. The man was awaiting an offer of ‘more suitable living quarters’ since taking up residence in late 1995 and his health was a serious concern, as he had suffered two heart attacks within a 6 month period, as well as suffering from a bleeding ulcer and angina. Paying £30 weekly in rent, Town Clerk Michael Cremin said he would be offered accommodation ‘at the first available opportunity’.

The ongoing saga of the illegal encampment of Travellers situated at Ballinrush, Kilworth, in the vicinity of the newly opened Corbett Court Restaurant, looked no nearer to being resolved. With Cork County Council appearing to be doing little to progress the situation, a deputation of residents from the area addressed officers of Kilworth Community Council, with a view to bringing ‘pressure to bear’ on the local authority. Claiming the area was like an ‘open sewer’, with no provision for sanitation and deeming the site a ‘health hazard’, local residents also claimed the Travellers had ‘taken no heed’ when approached about their animals grazing on locals’ land, even describing them as ‘very intimidatory’. Something that was denied by members of the encampment when approached by The Avondhu’s reporter, in the presence of Cllr Conor O’Callaghan, who confirmed they would not be moving on, ‘until another location, which would allow them to carry on their business, came on line’.

It was looking like an important part of Fermoy’s past would be saved, following the removal of the town bell, situated above the town clock in Pearse Square. ‘Out of action for over thirty years’, there had been safety concerns about leaving the bell in situ following high winds. It was planned to have the bell professionally cleaned and restored in Dublin and once re-homed, the bell would operate electronically.

The concern over underage drinking in Lismore was brought to the attention of the local Town Commissioners, with Peter Dowd stating that groups of young people, many of them underage, were gathering in various locations in the town for the purposes of drinking. Gardai were aware of the matter.

Featuring a cast of over 50, Fermoy Choral Society were ready to bring their production of ‘Hello Dolly’ to stage in the Community Youth Centre in April 1997. The Society’s 74th production, direction was by David Gordon.

Despite an early goal by Fr Sheehys, Ballyporeen U21 footballers prevailed in an ‘exciting and tense’ South Tipperary B final at Ballybacon/Grange, to be crowned champions on a scoreline of 4-8 to 3-7. A goal in the last minute by Willie Cahill finally sealed the tie, with the Bally’ boys progressing to meet Clonoulty/Rossmore in the county semi-final. Noel O’Gorman was named man of the match.