Rumours that the sliced cooked meats processing section at Galtee Foods in Mitchelstown was being transferred to Mallow, were firmly denied by a spokesperson for the local plant in February 1998. John Cunningham, who was ‘in charge of meats at Dairygold in Mitchelstown’, confirmed to The Avondhu that he was aware of the rumours, however emphasised that there was ‘no truth whatsoever in them’. The local plant was exceptionally busy and the ‘only problem’ was with capacity, which, according to Mr Cunningham, was ‘common knowledge’. Secretary for Mitchelstown Branch SIPTU, Jerry Ryan, stated that they would ‘have to vigorously oppose any such move’ in the interest of their members, if such a situation came to pass.

An encouraging development at Fitzgerald Army Camp in Fermoy, with the opening of a newly built NCO’s Mess, replacing an old structure that had fallen into a very poor state of repair. Reported as a ‘comfortable location in which to meet and relax’, the Mess contained a bar and a spacious area capable of hosting socials and ceremonial events. The structure, approximately 70 feet in length, came in several parts from Collins Barracks in Dublin. Captain Gerry Murphy had been appointed Mess manager, with Trooper Gerry Mahon as bar manager.

World renowned author and composer, M Richard Myers III, from America, was ‘drawing up plans to leave behind the wide open spaces of Texas and settle amongst us’. He had visited residences in both Kilworth and Lismore, in his quest for a ‘suitable address’ to allow his ‘creative juices’ flow, to further his writing career.

Environmental news was very much to the fore in February 1998. An environmental plan for Fermoy was officially launched at The Grand Hotel, consisting of a ‘gathering of forces’ as a strategy was drawn up mapping out the town’s environmental needs for the millennium. Stressing the importance of partnership and consultation, Asst County Manager, Teresa White said that to make the plan happen would mean all the groups involved and the people of Fermoy having to work together.

Maintaining their ongoing high profile campaign against the granting of planning for a sludge/slurry dump in the Araglin area by Cork County Council, protesters from the Araglin Valley Residents’ Association took the opportunity to use the launch of the Fermoy Environmental Plan, to highlight what they saw as ‘the double standards being practised’ by the council on environmental matters. Gathering an hour in advance of the meeting, they were ‘equipped with an assortment of graphic placards’ and all those who attended were circulated with a leaflet outlining the residents’ grievances. Association chairman, Bill Carey stated the dump would ‘continue to meet with ‘complete and relentless opposition’’.

While a half page Avondhu advertisement highlighting the ‘Cork Region Waste Management Strategy’, outlined areas of interest to the council for ‘preliminary landfill site selection’. Interested landowners, with suitable land available for the purpose of providing a location for a new modern landfill site, were invited to write in confidence to County Hall, Cork.

Akin to the present day sewerage plant capacity issues facing Mitchelstown, there was a double blow for two rural communities in February 1998. It was reported that the Killavullen sewerage system was ‘in trouble due to over capacity’, with a number of applications for planning permission being turned down due to the ‘inadequacy’ of the system there. The news was no better for those residing in Bartlemy, when it was announced that a much hoped for sewerage scheme for the village was ‘not part of the council’s 5 year programme’. A ‘community leader’ in Bartlemy who spoke to The Avondhu, described the announcement as ‘extremely frustrating’, with their case for a scheme not being taken seriously.

The final of the Agricultural Colleges Football League was played in early 1998, with Rockwell emerging victorious 0-8 to 0-6 over favourites Warrenstown. Captained by Carrignavar student Shane Horgan, Rockwell led 0-3 to 0-2 at half-time, in what was reported to be a ‘ding-dong battle from start to finish’. Four points without reply sealed the title for the Tipperary College. Team: Cathal Moloney, Sean Noonan (Kildorrery), Thomas O Cadhla, Paudie Burke (Ballyhooly), Ed Beresford, Peader Lacey, Ian Coughlan, Shane Horgan (Carrignavar), Michael Hoyne, Sean McCarthy, Padraig Verling, Jason Barrett, Denis Asple, Liam Dorgan (Killavullen), Pat Whitty. Subs used: David Howard (Lismore) for Pat Whitty.