Front page of The Avondhu 21 years ago in December 2000, was coverage of the ongoing discussion on the best route for the M8 around Mitchelstown. The local community council, chaired by Joan O’Sullivan, urged people not to be “hasty” in their decisions. The weekly editorial, too, called on the ‘not-in-my-back-yarders’ to make their submissions on their preferred route.
A survey in Fermoy, carried out by students of Coláiste an Chraoibhín, found the town to be severely lacking in consideration for wheelchair users, and particularly highlighted the Courthouse and Garda station as being inaccessible. The door into the Courthouse was too narrow, and the ramp to the Garda station was both too steep, and the door opened outwards, “which would push the wheelchair user back down the ramp”!
An open letter appeared in The Avondhu from an unnamed “poor honest pensioner” who was driven demented by the requests made of them for money. Church door collections, plate collections, SVP boxes and GAA collections – “one of the wealthiest groups in the country” – were taking their toll.
Kilworth’s Liam Walsh eyeballed Gay Bryne on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, arriving home with a fine total of £16,000. Also in the village, singer-songwriter Ger Walshe released her debut album, ‘Song Collection’, and the Beavers got a new member in their ranks with Darren Howard.
Party season was in full swing, with the pages of The Avondhu filled with pictures of senior citizens’ parties around the regions. In Ballyhooly, the honour of cutting the cake went to the village’s most senior residents, Denis Condon and Catherine Ahern. At the seniors’ party in Kilworth, the retired Fr Matt Kelleher received a new armchair to celebrate the occasion, and in Watergrasshill, the party was held in Father Prout’s, with chairperson Sheila Hurley one of those to cut the cake.
While partying at a somewhat different pace, saw the official opening of SG1 in Fermoy well-received by “clubbers from all over Munster”. With six acts playing, two dance floors, and an “intimate Abbey Room for the over 25’s”, the 2,500 capacity club featured “countless TV screens plus podium dancers”.
In Glanworth, a toy sale in aid of Chernobyl was in the throes of organisation. The drive was in conjunction with a visit by Patricia Messenger to the region, where she reported back on the heartbreaking conditions she witnessed of children who urgently required morphine.
St Patrick’s Church in Fermoy was floodlit for the first time, an initiative of the Fermoy Lions Club who undertook the venture as their Millennium project. PP Fr Anthony O’Brien paid tribute to the group, including President Roy Buttimer.
Mitchelstown Garda Station were calling for the owners of, respectively, a golf club, a spare wheel of a truck, and three bicycles, to come and collect their belongings from the station. While ‘For Sale’ in The Avondhu’s weekly classifieds, were offers of Christmas trees, cut at the roadside, for just £3. Also for sale was the offer of a fur coat and a fur jacket. To complete the look, £850 would get you a 1.8 1988 BMW 316!
One Ger Slattery in Fermoy posted a request for people’s old postage stamps, used to help purchase guide dogs for the blind. Over in Castlelyons, the national school bade farewell to Mrs Patricia Fouhy-Barry and Mrs Maeve Gildea.
‘A Millennium Mass of Thanksgiving’ was launched in The Firgrove Hotel, Mitchelstown. The tape and CD, a recording of a Mass, was sung by members of the Ballyorgan/Glenroe Choir, and composed by Michael Dennehy, Mitchelstown. Meanwhile in Fermoy, a huge crowd gathered to witness the launch of Loreto’s musical offering, ‘A Time For Remembering’ in the Fermoy Resource Centre.
In brief – Fire station officer in Fermoy, Pat O’Brien, was presented with a Gold Flame Award for his years of service. Local Avon ladies were winners at a social function in The Hibernian Hotel in Mallow – Fermoy’s Colette Moore won for her sales in 2000, as did Margaret Kenny from Rathcormac; Glanworth’s Marie O’Neill was recognised too, for her five year’s service with the company. While Gary Mahon, a resident of Fermoy town who was originally from Donegal, released a copy of his poem, ‘Omagh 98’.
In Killavullen, members of the Killura Gun Club celebrated 25 years of activity. The original committee from 1975 were in attendance: Tim Galvin, Jim O’Connor, Ted Griffin, Laurence Linehan and John Murphy.
St Colma’s College were the winners of the Dean Ryan Cup – captained by Paul Kearney, the boys beat St Flannan’s from Ennis in Buttevant.
And to great acclaim, Fermoy Tug of War Club celebrated their third national title of 2000, and collected their sponsored jerseys from Noel McCarthy of Mac’s Bar. It was the first time the club had won three such titles in one year.