Workmen were ‘back on the job’ at Doneraile Garda Station, with the official opening of the long overdue project deferred. Following completion of the original restoration works with contractors moving off site, it was reported that the ‘Garda top brass’ viewed the finished product and were ‘unhappy at the scale of the premises’, with a new contractor moving back in to complete ‘some internal reorganisation’.

A ‘fine crowd’ gathered at Carey’s Lodge, Coolmohan, Araglin to witness the official unveiling of a limestone monument by chairman of Cork County Council, John Mulvihill, to commemorate those who lost their lives in an incident there 200 years previous, in 1798. Araglin was one of a number of sites around the country chosen to mark the occasion of the 1798 rebellion, and although no organised uprising took place there, the killing of two prominent members of ‘the establishment’, namely Colonel St George Mansergh and his associate Jasper Uniacke, was seen as a catalyst for the rebellion that took place. Three local men, John Hickey, John Hoye and Patrick Hynes, were subsequently hanged. Speakers included Bill Carey, chairman of the local community council; Mr Mulvihill; Martin Mansergh, special adviser to the Taoiseach and a descendant of Colonel Mansergh; and Cork county manager Noel Dillon. Mr Mansergh spoke of the ‘need to get over the bitter legacy of history and build on a spirit of peace and reconciliation’. Compliments were paid to landowners Pat and Maggie O’Donoghue, on whose land the monument was erected and Willie and Mary White, for improving the area in the vicinity of Caist Bridge, which had become neglected and overgrown. A tree was planted close to the site of the monument to mark the occasion.

Coinciding with the 1798 commemoration event, Araglin residents opposed to the granting of planning for a sludge/slurry dump in the area staged a silent protest which proved a major publicity coup for the group. The ‘top three officials in Cork County Council’ were brought face to face ‘with a problem that had brought all the residents of the valley together in united opposition’. A ‘strongly worded press statement’ was circulated to all present at the commemoration, with chairman of the residents’ association, Bill Carey stating that ‘Cork County Council should realise that they are dealing with intelligent and sophisticated people and not a bunch of idiots’. Further protests appeared inevitable and ‘all avenues’ were being kept open, according to Mr Carey.

The Avondhu paid a visit to three ‘minor celebrities’ in Glanworth, triplets Caroline, Denis and Amy-May Flynn who were celebrating their 1st birthday in February 1998. Described by their mother Bernadette as ‘a pleasant handful’ who were ‘very good most of the time’, our reporter eventually got his photo opportunity ‘after a couple of false starts’.

Many residents in Fermoy were unhappy, having received a letter from RTE, informing them that their VHF aerials would no longer be able to receive RTE 1 or Network 2 channels. This followed the installation of a UHF transmitter in the Fermoy area, which the national broadcaster claimed would ‘dramatically improve television reception for viewers’. The future use of a group B aerial ‘vertically polarised’ (sounds sore!) as and from February 19th 1998 was being recommended, available from television dealers at a cost of £40. One town resident who contacted The Avondhu, claimed to already have a perfect reception and questioned the need for a new aerial – ‘Maybe some parts of the town are experiencing difficulties, but that is no reason to start charging everyone. I have paid for the (TV) set, paid my licence and am now being asked for more’.

Efficient and popular charity fundraiser, Mitchelstown lady Josie O’Connor, passed to her eternal reward in February 1998. A recipient of the Pope’s Bene Merenti Medal, she had been collecting for those in the Third World since 1969.

At least 12 contractors were understood to have placed tenders for stage 3 of the Fermoy Water Scheme, a project estimated to cost in the region of £4M. It was agreed that works would commence close to the BERG electronic factory, continuing across town to finish at O’Toole’s Cross. It was proposed to lay services for ‘additional telephone and ESB facilities’ as part of the scheme, which would offer long term advantages for the town.