It was reported that the people of Glanworth ‘were enthralled’ with the sight of a beautiful peacock which had chosen the local shrine, at the southern end of the village, as its place of rest by night. No joke – the proud bird, whose owner would take the bird home, insisted on returning when feeling like a snooze! Settling itself down over the head of the statue of Our Lady at the highest point of the shrine, even the ‘extreme weather’ (wet by all accounts) being experienced at the time, failed to deter the bird from settling at its lofty perch.

Angry remarks were directed towards Cork County Council in August 1997, during the middle of the Tidy Towns judging period, with litter bins reported as overflowing in Kilworth village. Two callers to The Avondhu ‘lambasted’ both the Council, for their neglect in providing a better service, as well as people who, on seeing the bins full, ‘still chose to throw their rubbish on the ground’.

There was reassurance given to the residents of Ballyduff in August 1997, by Superintendent Eamonn Carey of Fermoy Garda Station, that the West Waterford station was ‘in no way’ being ‘overlooked or ignored’. This followed the temporary transfer of one of the two Gardai based at the station to serve at Kilworth barracks, which only reinforced the concern of locals ‘over difficulty in contacting members of the Ballyduff force’. Some locals suggested to The Avondhu that the station ‘seemed to be permanently unmanned’, with one individual stating that no notice or timetable was posted at the station to indicate when a garda might be present. Concerned about rural crime and “small places” being forgotten about, the Superintendent stated there were no plans to scale down the Ballyduff service, which “was sufficiently staffed, with the added backup of Fermoy Gardai if required”.

Newly-wed Killavullen couple Tom and Kathy Barry were left counting the cost in the aftermath of a burglary on their house at Monanimy Upper, where they were residing ‘with the intention of moving into a new house at a later date’. Thieves, who scaled a drainpipe at the rear of the house and gained entry via a bathroom window, stole items that were ‘mainly wedding presents that were to be used to furnish their new house’. Investigating Gardai were appealing for witnesses, with a distinctive old-style bright orange jeep seen leaving the scene, along with a green car which was reported in the area at the time of the robbery.

A look at some grocery pricing in August 1997 at Riordan’s SuperValu, Fermoy showed plenty value – Club Orange cans, 3 for 89p; 3 x 2 litre TK minerals £1.89; White sliced pan, 2 for 99p; Washington red apples, 10 for 99p; Net of 10 oranges 99p; 2 dozen tray of eggs £1.49; Weetabix 24s £1.16; Robertson’s red win from South Africa £3.99 – the days when £20 seemed to go a long way, unlike €20 these days!

A 22 month old Brindle dog out of ‘Ridgedale Gold’ and ‘Queen Ella’, owned by the Walsh family from Kilworth, created its own piece of history when breaking the track record at Youghal in the 525 yard course in a lightning 28.80 seconds. According to owner Nell Walsh, ‘Golden Spitfire’ was running well and they knew they had a good dog on their hands.

August 1997 saw the official opening of T.O. Park in Knockadea. Local PP Canon Twomey was on hand to bless the facilities and following gala day celebrations, the Clongibbon House in Mitchelstown played host to Thady’s Remedy, for those wishing to dance the night away.

The inclement weather experienced during August 1997 continued towards the end of that month – plenty rain in addition to high winds and thunder and lightning, caused much disruption to electricity supplies in the area. The worst incident noted locally, was the death, ‘most likely through electrocution’, of three cows at Acres, Fermoy, when an early morning storm caused a tree to fall on overhead ESB lines, which then fell on to the stricken animals.

Ballyhooly athlete Tom Leahy won his second Jury’s Sports Star of the Month award, for July 1997, following his outstanding medal haul at the World Cerebral Palsy Games in Nottingham. His first such award was back in 1984.

Patrick Ryan, hailing from Kilbarry, Fermoy and a member of the East Cork Hot Rod Club, won the 1997 All-Ireland Class III finals at Ballybunion, Co Kerry, driving his Triace sponsored Toyota Starlet.