Over two decades ago the people of The Avondhu region were looking on with horror at an unfolding humanitarian crisis on the continent of Europe. As war ravaged the tiny country of Kosovo a local priest was running a campaign to save lives from the quiet village of Ballindangan. Fr John Keane was leading the charge and making a desperate plea for generous Irish people to fundraise for the people of the conflict ravaged country. 

People were delivering great quantities of non-perishable food to Fr Keane’s house as well as to Eileen Hyland at Hyland’s Educational Bookshop, Mitchelstown. They were raising money that would go directly to a truck that was leaving the area on a mercy mission to the Balkans. 

The Final Furlong in Coolagown was host to ‘The Voice of North Cork’ competition, a mammoth fundraising drive for St Patrick’s Hospital, Fermoy. Margaret Scannell and her team had raised thousands for the cause and it was expected that even more money would be raised. 

The tape was officially cut at the opening of a new £1.5 million Fermoy Cope Foundation facility at Barry’s Boreen. The centre was opened by Tom Cavanagh, who unveiled a plaque, which was then blessed by local clergy. The centre was designed to benefit those with physical and mental disabilities in the community.

The spectre of corrupt politicians was a hot topic 21 years ago as the Fermoy Fianna Fáil Cumann PRO Sean Ó Murchú lashed out at political activists who ‘lined their pockets and brought discredit to their party and country’. The comments were made at the annual Easter commemoration at Kilcrumper when Mr Ó Murchú stated: “This was not why brave men and women fought and died for independence.” He also paid tribute to those who were involved in the efforts to bring about the momentous Good Friday Agreement the previous year in 1998.

Cllr Joe Sherlock also had strong words for politicians who ‘betrayed’ the people who fought for Irish freedom. At a commemoration ceremony on Mallow Bridge, he lashed out at politicians who had ‘gained power in this country using it for their own benefit and that of their relatives and friends’. “It makes one think of how the ideals of the 1916 leaders have been betrayed,” he said.

The Avondhu debunked the latest rumour about the sale or new use for the Fermoy Aerodrome as the Department of Defence said they had no plans to place Kosovan refugees on the site. The site was at the centre of a whirlpool of speculation as it was due to be sold. In the weeks before, there was hope that Tesco would move in on the site but that was also dispelled. 

People were greatly concerned about the problem of double parking, with reckless abandoning of cars during Masses. 

Cllr Carey Joyce was complaining about problems associated with residents along main routes not being able to turn right. Cllr Joyce complained that people living on the N8 Cork to Dublin road were unable to go about ‘their agricultural business and earn their livelihood without danger’. He said that the lack of turning points on the road was causing significant issues for residents. In a poetic flurry, he said: “You may feel that you are a bit of debris being tossed about by the current.” 

The Fermoy Bypass group were in deep dismay as there was no movement on the project. The association’s chairman Donal Ó Lochlainn, complained that the proposed scheme was moving at a ‘snail’s pace’. In the years before the motorway was built, much column inches were given over to Fermoy’s traffic problems. Mr Ó Lochlainn explained: “It seems incredible that the existing gridlock and tailbacks in Fermoy should be tolerated.”

As calls were being made for a bypass of Fermoy, the roads of Castletownroche were of much concern in the village. The potholed routes around the village were causing problems for local shopkeepers, with one shop owner at John’s Shop complaining that an effort to repair a gaping hole outside his store had failed. John Maxwell said that money was being wasted on a mill project and should be spent instead on maintaining the local roads. 

In sport, the U12 competitions were under way with a monstrous Ballyhooly victory over Churchtown, 10-12 to 1-2, with forwards Paul Walsh, Jason Hennessy, Patrick Leahy and James Roche destroying their opposition and scoring almost at will. 

Kilworth Celtic U17s won the cup with a resounding victory over Ardmore that went to penalties after extra time.Eoin Walshe secured the sudden death winner.