Simmering tensions remained after a spectacular walkout from Fermoy Urban District Council. Scrapping councillors and disputes amid accusations of bias and favouritism, had sparked a major meltdown in relations in the council chambers the previous week.
The Avondhu sought to find out what happened and what were the motivations of those involved. It all began when Cllr Aileen Pyne allegedly refused to allow debate of the allocation of £13,500 to a local group. Cllr Michael Hanley and two other colleagues walked out of the meeting in a rage.
Cllr Hanley issued a statement to this newspaper which said that he had staged the walkout over what he described ‘a carefully crafted arrangement to ensure the safe passage of an estimate containing goodies for certain people’.
He was also unhappy that ‘no one seemed to be hearing what was being said’.
“This fact was borne out by the almost breathless speed in which the chair sought a proposer and seconder to deny any debate in the context of the estimates meeting,” he claimed.
There was more joyous news when it was revealed that Mitchelstown woman Nellie Fitzgerald was declared Ireland’s Milleni-mum by The Irish Sun newspaper which carried a prize of £2,000.
Nellie, a mother of eleven, was overjoyed at the news and was given the VIP treatment at the Sun’s offices in Dublin.
She was taken to the capital by her daughter Tina under the pretence that Tina was in need of medical treatment for a mystery ailment but then was diverted to the newspaper offices where she was presented with the prize.
“There’s little wonder that when it came to the voting there was huge support for Nellie. We all think that our own Mum is the best in the world but we were looking for someone with special qualities, someone who stood out from the rest, and Nellie is that person,” the newspaper representative said.
Nellie had been a former Queen of the Galtees, and was well known for her charity work. She had raised thousands of punts for charities such as St Vincent de Paul, Irish Heart Foundation and the ISPCC along with many others. In recent years Nellie was working in the local garda station and helped set up a local youth group.
There was also good news in Ballylanders where the local Macra na Feirme was declared ‘All-Ireland Club of the Year’.
They reported that there were ‘honours, joy and celebrations’ as the 20 strong group attended the National Rally in Waterford. In addition, further national honours, were claimed by Sean O’Donnell and Bridget Fitzgerald, as they won the Best Treasurer and Best PRO awards for their tireless efforts.
There was news from Ballyporeen where the Ronald Reagan Centre had become redundant.
The visitor facility was opened in 1986 following the visit of the the US president to the village. It saw 10,000 visitors use the centre but by the late 1990s it had become completely under utilised.
There were no plans to sell off the building or change its use, but former councillor Con Donovan, said that although the centre was used by local groups to hold meetings, there was no one else interested in visiting.
He suggested that a marketing campaign be carried out to re-establish interest in the historic links to the US president.
The annual St Fanahan’s Day Pattern was held in Mitchelstown. The fun fair reported that weather was mixed for the weekend but they were satisfied with the support.
A special service was held for the new Lismore dean, the Reverend William Beare who took up his post. There was a big turnout from the community with representatives of all faiths in the area.
In sport, Saint Colman’s were celebrating their victory in the Dean Ryan Cup after seeing off opposition from Our Lady’s, Templemore in the final held at Clonmel. Captain Maurice O’Brien collected the trophy as the school recorded its ninth title win.
The Galtee Harriers Hunt Club held a victory celebration night for their All-Ireland and National League winning team.
The Glenhill Tug of War club were crowned silver medalists at the national championships. They competed in the 640kg and 720kg indoor championships. They were beaten by a team from Cloontagh from County Donegal in what was described as ‘a gruelling encounter’.