In common with the national trend, secondary schools in The Avondhu area expressed ‘great satisfaction’ at the improvement in results across the board in the 1997 Leaving Certificate results. It was very much a landmark year in Colaiste an Chraoibhin, Fermoy with the secondary school being only one of seventy nationwide to have students sitting the Applied Leaving Cert exam, 20 in total. Mary Stokes, daughter Simon and Eileen Stokes, vice-principal and teacher at Nagle Rice Secondary School respectively, scored top points at the Doneraile school, achieving 6 A1 grades at higher level. A sound follow-up to her great results from her Junior Certificate in 1995, where she received 9 As.

Shorts, sunglasses and cool drinks were the order of the day, as the Feile Fhearmui concert in Fermoy was reported on as ‘a resounding success’ in August 1997. In only its third year, the festival, celebrating all things traditional, brought a wealth of talent to the banks of the Blackwater with foreign tourists from Britain, Slovakia, France and Australia reported to be frequenting the town’s pubs. The open air concert on the Sunday of the festival, held at Ashe Quay, along with the old time threshing at Fitzgerald Place were ‘more than well attended’.

Ballindangan’s Tony Buckley, after ‘much persuasion and coaxing by his many friends’, had finally released a four-track tape of his favourite songs. The Shanballymore native, who ran his own fruit and veg business, was no stranger to performing and for many years he fronted two very popular bands, ‘The Lightning Express’ and ‘Country Glitter’. The tape, entitled ‘Tony Buckely Sings – The Last Farewell’, was launched on C103FM County Sound by popular DJ Sean Donnellan. Title track was ‘The Last Farewell’, along with ‘Eileen O’Grady’, ‘Ten Guitars’ and the old ballad, ‘Eileen McManus’.

Those with ‘a weak bladder or very high blood pressure’ were asked to please stay away from a production at the Village Arts Centre, Kilworth in August 1997, titled ‘The Spice Of Life’. Comprising a mixture of songs, hilarious sketches and a slightly more sombre piece on the Famine, the show was devised by Michael Dennehy, who would co-produce in conjunction with Liam Howard.

Members of the Hyland and Casey families turned out in strength in Lismore in August 1997, to celebrate the golden wedding anniversary of Mossie and Cassie Hyland of Chapel Street. The celebrations were organised ‘in real ‘this is your life’ fashion’ by their sons Thomas and Eugene and three daughters, Sally, Marian and Theresa. The evening got under way with Mass in St Carthage’s Church celebrated by Fr Michael Walsh CC, assisted by Canon T Nugent PP and Fr Bernard Fox. Celebrations then continued until the early hours of the morning at Lismore Hotel, with music by The Bowry Boys.

Residents from Redmond Street and Mary Potter Crescent in Fermoy had become ‘increasingly angry’ regarding the indiscriminate dumping of rubble and rubbish, which it was understood, had begun on Redmond Street. While warning bollards had been placed around the perimeter of the rubble, it had restricted the movement of traffic in the area and caused upset to those living in the vicinity. Residents were calling on the council to remove the contents, which included items such as a toilet bowl.

The retirement of post mistress Margaret Regan in Castlelyons following 37 years service, was met with ‘a great degree of sadness’ in the local community. A ‘massive turnout’ at a specially organised function in her honour, held in the community centre, was proof indeed of the high esteem in which she was held locally. The occasion saw various presentations made on behalf of An Post and the community, with James Ronayne acting as MC.

The official opening of a new extension to the Curraglass factory of William Carr & Sons took place in August 1997. Part of a planned £100,000 expansion programme commissioned to cope with the increase in demand for the company’s high quality fish products, marketed under the Seastar brand, a further six jobs would be created as a result. Junior Minister for Agriculture and Food, Ned O’Keeffe cut the ribbon.

Following a see-saw contest, a game Kildorrery side was defeated by Ballygiblin in the final of the U13 North Cork hurling championship at Glanworth in August 1997, on a scoreline 5-1 to 2-3. The winners were captained by Johnny O’Gorman.