An environmental nightmare developed in Ballyhooly when a tractor driver spilled slurry across the village, with some of the spillage pouring into the Blackwater. A collection valve was left open on the slurry tank as the driver transported the organic waste from a piggery in the area.
The incident was met with outrage from the local population. Locals were so alarmed, that they contacted both the gardai and Cork County Council. Workers from the piggery involved went to the village centre and attempted to clean up the spillage, but having brushed it into a surface water drain at the end of the village, some of the noxious fluid flowed into the nearby river.
Local man Jim McCarthy, told The Avondhu that it should not have happened. “We know it wasn’t deliberate and that the driver just didn’t tighten the back of the carrier properly, but accidents like this shouldn’t happen in the first place. We have never received so many complaints as we did today. My wife had a full line of clothes out to dry, as did the neighbours, which all had to be taken to the launderette and who is going to compensate us for that?” he said. Mr McCarthy said that the incident was the last straw. “It’s just not fair, it is desperate for people to have to put up with this sort of thing,” he added.
There was brighter news near Fermoy, as Corrin Cross was set to be illuminated to welcome the new millennium. The members of the committee charged with preserving the site had received so many requests to light up the cross that they would launch an event to mark the end of the century and the two thousand years since the birth of the man the monument honours. The plan was to welcome the dawn of January 1 in traditional Irish fashion by reciting the Rosary on top of the mountain. While much of the population would be enjoying the new year celebrations in the pubs and clubs, a group would be reciting the Rosary as they climbed the hill. The committee told The Avondhu that the event was not just for local people, but for anyone across the country who wished to join them.
News of 17 local women receiving certificates in farm management was marked. The course was held at the Teagasc Training Centre in Moorepark. The course included lectures and visits to two local farms and Ballyderown Research Centre. The topics included calf rearing, milk production costs, milking machine technology, farm accounts, taxation, pensions, area aid, EU schemes, as well as health & safety and alternative enterprises.
One local schoolboy was celebrating an early Christmas as he won a Nintendo and £100 for his school. Eoin Curtin, 10, from Knocknamuck, Mitchelstown took top honours in the AIB Junior Saver Quiz. The competition involved school children in each school answering a specific question about the introduction of the Euro. Eoin was the lucky pupil to have his name selected and his school in Ballygiblin also received a cheque.
The Avondhu was also running a competition as part of the newspaper’s 21st birthday celebrations. This time a reader would scoop a weekend in Paris.
The village of Glanworth was committed to becoming North Cork’s answer to Hollywood as they launched a brochure to attract the television and film industry to the area. The plan was to introduce the village to location scouts tasked with finding sites across the globe where filming could take place. The belief was that it would bring money into the community.
Local man Mick Hughes carried out the work on the brochure and said a production had already enjoyed the hospitality of the area. “The crew and cast of Felicia’s Journey, totalling more than 100, discovered for themselves what Glanworth and the area surrounding it has to offer and they were really knocked out by it all,” Mick said.
A man in Lismore was recovering following a knife attack during a dispute in the town when he was stabbed in the buttock. Gardai were following a definite line of enquiry.
In sport, the minors of St Catherines GAA continued their winning ways as they took victory against Kinsale in the County Minor B Hurling League semi-final on a scoreline of 0-11 to 2-3. Mitchelstown’s Park United FC were also in winning form, with a 2-1 victory over College Corinthians in the Munster Junior League.