Little changes in news down through the years, the same issues keep cropping up. Sometimes in the same communities as today.
Water treatment problems were in the headlines 21 years ago – this time for Castletownroche, as a sewage filtration system was failing, causing local residents to launch a campaign. The local community council had waded in behind its constituents and called for work to be carried out to improve the local sewage treatment plant. The problems were caused by extreme rainfall over the winter months with an accumulation of gravel, mud and stones clogging up the filtration systems. Such was the blockage that effluent was pouring into the river.
The residents of Tallow were organising to dispatch a delegation from their local twinning group to France, to visit their sister town Pont Saint Pierre.
While the people of Mitchelstown were getting a chance to have their say on the direction and management of their town. A meeting was set to be held by Ballyhoura Development, who were organising a forum to find ways for the town to advance into the new millennium. Once the meeting was complete, a five year plan would be drawn up that would be used to target specific projects. The plan was ‘completely community driven’, ‘ensuring no division’ according to organisers.
Rathcormac Community Council were rejoicing after they got a £5,000 grant for urban renewal works. The money was earmarked for the community’s millennium project.
Meanwhile, Bono was not the only one touring both the country and the world asking for the Third World debt to be forgiven, Fr Pat Raleigh was also part of the appeal. The member of the Jubilee 2000 Campaign to Cancel World Debt was set to speak at Masses to inspire parishioners. The priest would ask Mass goers to sign a petition to convince world leaders in the richest countries to write off the money owed by struggling states across the impoverished continent. Fr Pat was a Colombian Missionary who had worked in the Philippines and Pakistan, where he witnessed the trauma of Third World poverty.
The great Mitchelstown character Mick Meaney was in the news again. In a short piece in The Avondhu, he blasted an effort by Corkman Frank Collins who was about to launch an attempt to break Meaney’s 61 day record for being buried under ground. But the record had fallen with 147 days set, but Mick was not happy and castigated his challengers for the size of the box they were buried in. “These chancers are going down in a box like a small sitting- room, let them beat my record in a box the same size as I used in 1968,” he declared.
Tadhg O’Donovan, a county council candidate in the upcoming local election in 1999, launched a scathing attack on a Government who was campaigning for a bus stop to be built on Emmet Street, Fermoy. The local activist said that the Urban District Council should write to Bus Eireann and be ‘unequivocal in its condemnation’ of the proposal. His complaint centred around the fact that houses were too close to the edge of the footpath and this would cause problems for residents if a bus stop was placed by the row of houses.
Speaking of footpaths, there were complaints about the dirt of Mitchelstown’s footpaths, as a couple from Waterford city complained about the filth on the streets. They claimed the town had a ‘problem with pigeons’. The Avondhu pointed out that there were plans afoot, or at least a-wing, to manage the issue.
The problem of accommodation for the upcoming visit of the National Ploughing Championships to Castletownroche was a hot topic in April 1999. The event was due to be held on a local farm near the village – the grounds of Eddie and Margot Farrell. Staff at Ballyhoura Country Holidays were ploughing a lengthy furrow to organise rooms for visitors in the locality.
Efforts by Galtee Meats to launch a takeover bid for Dublin based sausage making firm Olhausen fell after a rival food consortium purchased the company. Workers at the plant were sure there would be a deal, but management confirmed that their efforts came to a sizzling end.
In sport, Forge Celtic took on Knockadea and in storm like conditions, with sheet rain and gales, they played out their league campaign with a draw. Fermoy boxer Shane O’Sullivan won his bout in a tournament held in the local rowing club.