So who presently holds the title of Ballyhooly’s ‘Mr Butterballs’? A number of competitions to coincide with the launch of ‘A Taste Of Ballyhooly – The First Great Blackwater Cookbook’ by Blackwater Resource Development in December 1996, would include the search for Mr Butterballs – the competitor adjudged most competent at butter ball making. No doubt the Castle Tavern was packed to the rafters, where the winner undoubtedly would ‘be the envy of the parish’.

47 year old Patrick Burke, a native of Clondulane and living in America, was awarded a medal of valour by the San Francisco Police Department for a commendable show of bravery in the line of duty. A member of the police department in the States since 1982, Pat showed bravery ‘when a drug-crazed gunman went on the rampage, killing a police officer before finally being overcome by the police in a shootout’. His part in the events which unfolded, were described by Captain Richard Cairns as ‘outstanding’, resulting in the saving of countless lives.

The newly elected chairperson of Mitchelstown Community Council was intent on ensuring that each and every area in the town would be properly represented on the association. Carole Bradley, who had served a four year term as secretary, was voted to replace outgoing chairperson, Jim Moloney at the AGM, held in the Castle Park Hotel. Stating ‘the community council was there to represent the views of the residents of the town’, Ms Bradley outlined to The Avondhu a number of issues which the council needed to concentrate on in the year ahead. These included the resurrection of the Tidy Towns committee for entry in the 1997 competition, as the town had received some ‘adverse publicity’ on its appearance – the town having no entry in 1996, primarily due to works on the sewerage scheme. Also, the re-election of some of the sub-committees of the council, foremost among these being one to formulate the Community Council’s submission on proposed developments at New Square.

Seastar Whole Crab, a firm in Curraglass run by Raymond and Billy Carr, were announced as one of four winners in the Irish Food Writers Guild Good Food Awards in December 1996.

The increase in commercial rates in Fermoy to 6.8% for 1997 ‘could not be tolerated and should not be simply accepted’, according to chairperson of Fermoy Business Association, David Ryan in December 1996. Giving his personal opinion and stating that the town’s traders were ‘an easy target for the UDC’ and that traders should refuse to pay the new rate, and instead pay the 1996 rate in protest, Mr Ryan was ‘highly critical’ of elected members of Fermoy UDC who had passed the rates ‘almost without question’. However, Town Clerk, Michael Cremin rejected that commercial ratepayers were ‘an easy target’, stating that the Council were restricted financially and that expenditure levels would rise by 11% in 1997, primarily due to the employment of a full-time gardener and an extra traffic warden.

The dumping of large amounts of refuse into public bins in Lismore, was condemned by members of the town council as ‘indefensible and unwarranted’.

Some varied entertainment across December 1996 in the area – The Belly Button Club were set for The Willie Andies at New Square, Mitchelstown; Reynold’s Lounge Bar, Castletownroche would host Flash Cowboys; Microwave cookery demonstration with Ann Ward at The Village Arts Centre, Kilworth; Hobnails were back by popular demand at The Three Counties, Kilbehenny; while Star Above The Garter were lined up to entertain patrons at Winnie Murphy’s Traditional Bar, Fermoy.

‘A step well worth taking’ – the opinion of Pat Hurley, manager at Fermoy Community Youth Centre, on a major facelift for the facility situated on the banks of the Blackwater, anticipated to cost in the region of £300,000. The ambitious project, with an 18 month timescale, would see the demolition of much of the existing edifice, including Ivy Cottage, to be replaced by a two-storey multi-purpose facility to consist of meeting room, snooker room, store room and lobby, toilets and large central area.

Kildorrery Ladies Camogie & Football Club’s U16 side suffered a single point defeat in the Cork county B final, going down to Beara in a nail-biting encounter at Togher, on a scoreline of 4-3 to 2-10. While Shanballymore junior A hurlers overcame the challenge of Liscarroll, following a ‘very tough hour’s hurling’, to capture the Autumn League final in December 1996; Brian Barry, vice captain, accepted the cup – final scoreline 1-11 to 1-5.