In August 2000, Fermoy shoppers were getting to grips with the new pay parking – and it seems things weren’t as bad as people feared it would be. The pay parking now meant there was more availability for parking, something people with mobility issues were grateful for.

Tempers were rising with the painting of The Grand Hotel ballroom in Fermoy, as the outside walls were emblazoned with building-high flames. While a councillor questioned whether the work ‘sits well with the tranquil Blackwater’, he did commend the ‘first class’ plastering.

Meanwhile, up on Pike Road, ‘relief’ was expressed in the town as the Travellers, numbering approximately 100, left the location after a number of weeks of tension between the community and local residents. Council staff swept in to heap tonnes of soil on top of boulders, to prevent entry by any other members of the Travelling community.

The Corrin Cross committee were delighted with the response to their appeal for funds, and now the cross “belonged to the people and not to the bank.” Plans included the replacement of the lightning conductor, as well as the plaque commemorating the opening – both of which had ‘disappeared’.

In Clogheen, the Eco Booley house was opened, a passive house, self-sufficient and powered by electricity generated from a nearby running stream. At the time, the technology used throughout was innovative to the area and the article was, to say the least, a little dismissive of the project. The house was described as ‘the world’s most environmentally friendly structure’.

Castletownroche made the county final of the Inter-Town Litter Challenge, despite being judged during the Welcome Home Festival. Volunteers went out of their way to ensure every piece of litter was picked up during the festival – no small feat!

Over in County Waterford, in Tallow, there were renewed appeals by the Tallow Urban Concern Association (TUCA) to remove planters, that were judged to be dangerous as local youngsters used them for ‘gymnastics’, and an urgent appeal was made to return to diagonal parking ASAP.

In Ballyduff Upper, the 4th annual Salmon Festival was due to take place, a valuable fundraiser for for the development of St Michael’s Hall. The winner would receive a Waterford Crystal trophy, a free weekend of fishing on the Blackwater, and a hand-crafted rod by Mark Johnson. At the launch, a 2.5lb salmon caught by Ivor Pengelley, was raffled off, and won by Araglin’s Julie Russell.

Shanballymore held a ‘unique’ Jubilee Mass in August 2000, where Fr Michael Corkery had spearheaded an effort to salvage the foundation stone of the altar of the old church, originally laid in 1811, to incorporate it into the new altar.

Mitchelstown Skittles Club celebrated 25 years, and were due to host Ireland’s best players for the Millennium All-Ireland Championships. Over in Castlelyons, Billy Buckley, newly elected ‘Chieftain of Castlelyons’, would host a victory dance at Master McGrath’s Bar in Bridesbridge, music provided by Rat-a-Tat-Tat.

In the motoring special in August 2000, the writer wondered, in this midst of the Celtic Tiger, ‘Would we ever see a poor day again?’. Buyers were being sold the idea of shiny new wheels, to take them to ‘00 Heaven’. The supplement also reminded people that using a mobile phone while driving wasn’t an offence (at that time!) – but drivers were open to conviction if they were found to be ‘without due care and attention’.

In sporting news, Watergrasshill GAA were marching on to their first East Cork final since 1995, after beating a ‘disappointing and wasteful’ Dungourney side. Galtee Gaels minors, meanwhile, had a three point win over Blackrock to make the South Limerick final. However, the win was marred by a ‘very brief incident’ involving both teams after the match, reported to have resulted in injuries to two opposing players.

The Bride Rovers U14 footballers qualified for the semi-finals of their championship, while in Ballyhooly, the men’s minor footballers made their championship final, where they would face Churchtown.

In Castlelyons Pitch and Putt, Margaret Martin walked away with the Kearney Cup, while Gavin O’Flynn won the Green Cup after their annual Open weekend.

At the Ballylanders Pattern Festival, Kildorrery Ladies, captained by Marguerite Collins, beat the locals to take the cup. While the hilltop village’s minor A footballers, though victorious, were apparently ‘not very impressive’. Best for the winners were Tadhg Lane, William Lillis and Denis O’Keeffe.

There was glory for the Coolnakilla Harriers at the RDS, with Ronan Dorgan, John Dorgan, Valerie Quirke and Peter Cahill, winning the Kerrygold International Inter-Hunt Chase. Meanwhile, the Fermoy Tug-of-War panel were the only team in Munster intending to travel to the World Championships in Blackpool, England.