Tensions were high in Clogheen as a lengthy and heated debate took place in St Paul’s Community Hall, following a revelation that up to 40 refugees were being housed in the Vee Valley Hotel. With as many as 700 people in attendance, a picket had also been placed outside the Vee Valley Hotel, while a fire had taken hold of the upper part of the building in the early hours one morning that week in April 2000.

Disputes broke out in Fermoy regarding the introduction of pay parking, with the Fermoy Business Association vowing to fight the UDC ‘every inch of the way’ if compromise could not be reached. A public meeting was called in The Grand Hotel by the Business Association, at which six members of Fermoy UDC were present. Money shortages were highlighted by the UDC, however some business owners at the time stressed that until the Fermoy bypass was complete, pay parking would deter customers. A public exhibition on the preferred route option for the N8 Fermoy bypass was set to open the following week.

In a similar vein, there was consensus at a meeting in Mitchelstown in which two and three-hour parking restrictions were introduced under a new Traffic Management Plan. This saw two-hour parking introduced to the core area of the town.

A new 40-space car park opened on West Street in Tallow and was reported to be making a ‘huge difference’ to traffic flow in the West Waterford town.

Meanwhile, Gardai were preparing to enforce the National Road Safety Initiative for 2000. Sgt John Kelly of the Crime Prevention Unit spoke to The Avondhu, pointing out that rear seat passengers were now obliged to wear seat belts when travelling in a car. A serious crackdown on young male drivers was also to ensue.

The weekly Garda Report noted 11 cattle, Friesian and Hereford, were missing for over a week from Mellifontstown, Bartlemy, all animals being one and a half years old. The Garda Report also noted the loss of two mobile phones – a navy Motorola phone was lost at Wimpy in Fermoy, while a Nokia 6110 was also lost in the town. An orange Alcatel phone was found in the Fermoy area.

New releases at the cinema in Fermoy Community Youth Centre in April 2000 included ‘Pokémon’, admission £2, and ‘Hurricane’ starring Denzel Washington, admission £3.50.

A range of acts were set to perform locally for the bank holiday weekend as Louise Morrissey, Jimmy Buckley and Brendan Shine were set to play the Kilcoran Lodge Hotel. The Bellybutton Club were set for Willie Andies in Mitchelstown on the bank holiday Sunday, while Tone Deaf would perform at the Shamrock Inn in Fermoy. Tickets were also on sale for Brendan Grace and special guest, Johnny McEvoy and band, in The Firgrove Hotel, Mitchelstown.

Glanworth Heritage Centre was seven weeks into construction and reported to be ‘well on the way to completion’. The premises, formerly known as Glanworth Tyres, located in the centre of the village was undergoing extensive reconstruction and the second floor of the development was earmarked for a heritage centre, expected to open that June.

Kilworth soccer club members’ plans to develop a community field were being held up due to difficulties in securing access to the proposed facility. Negotiations were ongoing, however of a more pressing nature, the club were seeking a pitch for the following season.

In sport, Aintree Grand National hero, Papillon and the Walsh entourage hit Kildorrery where they received a reception befitting winners of the world’s greatest steeplechase. Papillon had achieved victory in the Martell sponsored National by running a splendid race, expertly ridden by Ruby Walsh. People from the village and beyond showed up in their droves to catch a glimpse of the winner. Papillon was paraded from the church to outside The Corner House Bar, and then taken to the GAA grounds for an official reception!

Valley Rangers beat Brideview United in the U13 Cup final in Castlelyons. Valley started as the favourites for the cup and opened the scoring through Adrian Carr. Brideview levelled with a goal from Kieran Casey, but Adrian Carr scored his second on the stroke of half-time. In the end, Valley were triumphant 4-2.

Ballygiblin defeated Ballyhooly by one point (1-7 to 0-9) in the Millennium Hurling Competition final at Ballyhooly. Both teams were evenly matched in the first 30 minutes, but a goal from a 20-metre free by Diarmuid Lynch put Ballygiblin ahead. Ballygiblin scorers included Diarmuid Lynch, Keith McGrath, Adrian Walsh and Declan Power.