The Christmas edition of The Avondhu 21 years ago led with the headline that there was an average of two arrests per week locally for drink driving. Inspector Pat McCarthy confirmed that there were up to 12 checkpoints operating daily, and “just because we’ve done it (a location) once, doesn’t mean we won’t do it again”, referencing a recent checkpoint on the bridge in Fermoy.
The Christmas Supplement in 2000 carried the story of former merchant navy man, Jim Bartley from Fermoy, and the tale of Irish half-mile champion Bill Phibbs from Kildinan. The forgotten Fenian of Fermoy, John Curtin Kent had a place in the supplement, as did Fermoy’s Maggie Egerton on a fundraising trek to Ethiopia with the charity Self Help.
Fermoy bridge was under scrutiny, as repair work was scheduled for a pier on the weir. The pier was being eroded by water seepage, and “serious structural damage” was imminent if repairs weren’t carried out quickly.
The news was received that Mosney may no longer be a venue for the Community Games national finals, as the government was in need of accommodation for asylum seekers. The report, which fell under ‘Mitchelstown Community Games’ updates, was scathing of the £15 million lease of the development by the government, when many “Government owned military barracks remain to decay around the countryside”. The reporter had nothing but “sheer disgust” at the decision, especially at the fact that no alternative venue had been proposed for the annual national games.
Baby Tiernan Patrick Ryan of Cullenagh, Fermoy, was honoured with a Millennium presentation for being the first baby born in Erinville Hospital in 2000. He received a Millennium coin, a silver service plate and a certificate for his timely arrival: “a newly minted coin for a newly minted baby.”
In Mitchelstown, an act of vandalism saw a tree “literally ripped from the ground”. The semi-mature tree had been growing for a number of years and business people were understandably annoyed. On the same morning, the windows of the temporary cabin by the new Credit Union, which was under construction, were smashed.
This week in 2000 saw the blessing of the permanent crib in Glenbrohane by Fr Ryan. The four members of the Parish Tidy Towns committee, Mike and Joan Tobin, John Fenton and Bríd Shine, were delighted with the end result, and hoped it would attract visitors from near and far.
The preference of the proposed route of the motorway around Mitchelstown was dividing opinion. The MBA were strong defenders of the Orange route, but dissenters in the ranks were edging towards Blue. Some callers to The Avondhu felt the MBA’s decision was “made too hastily”. At a community council meeting, the floor of the public meeting called for a show of hands on the preferred route, but those at the top table declined to allow it.
The senior citizens’ Christmas parties continued, and in Castletownroche, the oldest members of the community Hannah O’Shea and Jack Creed cut the cake. At the same event in Castlelyons, the honour went to Nellie Ronayne and John Hurley. Meanwhile, the Celtic Tiger was roaring loud, with seven pages in The Avondhu advertising bands, DJs and Christmas dancing in local villages and towns.
A plea from Christine Crowley was made for the return of her daughter Deirdre, who had been abducted by Loreto teacher, Christopher Crowley. The child had been missing for 12 months in December 2000.
21 years ago, councillors called, again, for a bus shelter to be installed in Rathcormac.
In Cappoquin, there was an unveiling of a Millennium seat at the National Boys’ School – to a background track of ‘I Have a Dream’, the seat was blessed by Fr Arthure.
The annual auction of a goose at Spratt’s Bar made £650 for charity. The goose had been donated by Joe and Kathleen Fitzgerald.
This month 21 years ago, an archaeological survey of north Cork was published in book form, listing over 5,000 sites in the region that merited archaeological recognition.
In Anglesboro, the Community Centre was to celebrate 21 years in existence, and were calling on everyone in the parish to come after Mass on New Year’s Eve for a parish photograph.
Meanwhile, across the water, Sr Veronica Duggan, formerly of Coolnakilla, Fermoy, celebrated her 65th jubliee in America, with her niece Catherine Dorgan and grandnieces Mary and Arlene Kenny.
Fermoy Soccer Club got a ‘perfect Christmas present’ with a 3-0 win over Killarney Celtic, while the Fermoy Handball challenge was won by Fermoy’s Colm Jordan and Tony Healy, Ballydesmond.
The Fermoy Tug-of-War men took gold in the National Indoor Championships in the 750kg class. White City FC put nine goals past Forge Celtic – man of the match was Kieran Luddy, who scored a hat-trick. That match meant Kilbehenny went to the top of League Division 1 after a tough win over Ballyporeen FC, with goals from Ger Fox, Thomas Noonan and Darren Nugent.