In December 2001, one front page of The Avondhu carried the news that Gardaí were on high-alert in the locality after raids on financial institutions had taken place throughout the country, including in Abbeyleix. Uniformed and plain-clothes Gardaí were on patrol. At the same time, retailers were warned about fake £20 and £50 notes being in circulation. 

Gardaí warned the public to be conscious when posting letters; a pile were robbed from a mailbox in Mitchelstown that was full to the brim. The letters had since been returned and “three youths were helping Gardaí with their enquiries”. Elsewhere in the town, a £1,000 powerwasher was stolen from the Mart. The culprit was thought to have made their way through the fields to Kildorrery.

Meanwhile, the euro currency changeover loomed and Centra in Fermoy were opening a Cash Bureau in the shop in January 2002. It was punts only at the bureau, and euro only at the tills.

Christmas lights were switched on in both Fermoy and Mitchelstown, with the honours being done by Danielle Donegan in the former, and T.O. Flynn in the latter. In Fermoy though, the free seasonal parking was causing confusion as the one-hour and two-hour restrictions were still in place, and being enforced and “had caused quite a stir”. Meanwhile, double yellow lines were to be removed from outside The Treasure Chest in Mitchelstown to facilitate more parking, while the Fermoy anti-tolling group were continuing their separate campaign.

Sacristans in Bartlemy and Killacluig were honoured for their years of service. In Bartlemy, Tom Barry presented a Waterford Crystal vase to Mary Anne Cotter for her 28 years of service, while in Killacluig Peggy Fitzgerald received the Bene Merenti medal and a scroll for her 41 years of service from Bishop John Magee.

There was anger at the continued abuse of the GAA facilities in Fermoy, as empty cans and litter from heavy drinking sessions blighted the stands at Pairc MacGearailt. Speaking of litter, the new Mitchelstown litter warden was due to be put to work shortly.

A €12 million deal signalled the end of the sugar beet dispute with Greencore; the deal would last for four years.

In Castlelyons, George Leetch was crowned ‘King of the Bachelors’ in a contest organised by Chris Hegarty of The Pedlar’s Rock. His win came, it was reported, as a result of his “rugged good looks, natural charm, and easy going style”. Meanwhile, Mitchelstown man John Condon was parting with his hair for the third time in a sponsored head shave for charity.

In St Patrick’s Hospital Fermoy, the long service of employees Teresa Collins and Eily Whelan was celebrated. Teresa had worked at the facility for 20 years, and Eily for 40. Elsewhere, the Rathcormac unit of the Order of Malta took possession of two ambulances, and both were blessed by Fr Neilus O’Donnell.

In Waterford, a video was available for purchase that covered the visit of St Therese’s relics to Tallow earlier in 2001.

Over in Glanworth the fire hydrant, yards from the national school, was dry. The safety hazard was discovered when council workers tried to draw water for it for road resurfacing.

In Kilworth, the sheltered housing got the thumbs up after a recent tour, and one of those who recently moved in, Lily Buttimer, told The Avondhu how she was delighted with her new home with its garden, and looked forward to making use of the communal centre once everyone was settled.

In Christmas preparations, the Fermoy Fish Market advertised that it was open until midnight on December 23rd, while Loreto Secondary School celebrated a very successful performance of their nativity, ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ in Fermoy Youth Centre.

Castlelyons’ schoolboy Jim Mackessy was in the Irish rugby squad for an upcoming Schoolboy International game against Australia. The eighteen year old was six foot tall, 15 stone, and a student at Rockwell College. Elsewhere in sport, Glanworth Celtic were the 2001/02 North Cork Shield champions following a 2-1 victory over Mitchelstown Celtic, while Fermoy’s Mick Dolan was announced as the new vice-president of the Cork County GAA Board.

The Glenroe GAA U16s, who had captured the South Limerick and county titles in 2001, were presented with their medals in Croke Park in December 2001.

At the North Cork GAA annual social, Mitchelstown’s Anthony O’Brien was presented with his ‘Man of the Match’ football award, with his dad Michael accepting the award on his behalf. The ‘Hall of Fame’ award went to Killavullen’s Denis Dorgan.

Finally, in the Classifieds section, there were four separate ads selling a PlayStation 1, and one ad for a Nintendo 64. Santa bringing new toys perhaps?