“Anyone wishing to see a real gate should visit Anglesboro” – the advice of local Pad Lane, speaking to The Avondhu in February 1998, extolling the craftsmanship of the hand crafted gate standing at the entrance to his premises in the village. Made in 1894 at the nearby village forge, then owned by David and Maurice Cleary, the gate was originally made for a Master Kiely, headmaster of the local national school, at a cost of £1. Hand crafted and riveted together, Pad stated the gate was definitely not for sale, in spite of having attracted the attention of several antique dealers.
40 years of unbroken voluntary service by two individuals within The Avondhu catchment was recognised at community level. Kildorrery GAA Club chairman Eddie O’Connor made a presentation at the club’s annual dinner dance to club stalwart, Nicholas Hickey who had served the club as an officer for 40 years; in Pat & Mary’s Pub in Bridesbridge, Jack Murray was honoured by Castlelyons Pipe Band for his significant contribution to the band over a 40 year period.
Gardai were investigating following complaints of ‘speeding vehicles, mainly vans and 4 wheel drive vehicles’ on the back road to Kilworth from Glocca Maura via Kilally. One gentleman informed The Avondhu that he was ‘put in a ditch’ by a van which didn’t bother to stop. The road, which was described as ‘very narrow, uneven and not recommended for anything other than light cars driven at reasonable speeds’, was a popular spot for walkers. One lady, who walked her dogs regularly in the area, described the situation as ‘quite terrifying’, stating that vehicle owners didn’t seem to care if they did damage to their vehicles.
Gardai from the National Drugs Unit and detectives from the divisional drugs squad in Cork, stopped and searched a van in Fermoy in February 1998, found to be carrying over £1million worth of cannabis resin. An individual ‘well-known’ to gardai was arrested and the seizure followed on from the arrest of 3 men on the outskirts of Cahir on the same day, when another large consignment of the drug was found.
Conna Post Office went hi-tech in early 1998, going ‘online’ after having their own computer system officially commissioned. The new system would deal with ‘such things as pensions, dole, telephone bills, passports, savings bank payments, etc’. Describing the transition as having ‘gone to plan’, postmistress Margaret Mellerick told The Avondhu that although being a little nervous when the computer arrived, she was ‘a firm believer in the new technology’ which would eliminate most of her paperwork.
Various interest groups stressed the importance of a bypass for Fermoy at a meeting organised by the local enterprise board, with speakers ‘attacking the lack of commitment shown by the National Roads Authority’ (NRA) to the project. The meeting heard Deputy Paul Bradford ‘concede that the NRA were a body beyond the influence of any political representative’, something he explained as a ‘safeguard against politicians exerting undue influence on the decision-making process’. Described as a ‘frightening development’ by Michael Hanley, who chaired the meeting, Mr Hanley sought an explanation from county engineer, Brendan Devlin, as to why the project had ‘stopped stone dead’. Mr Devlin said the Fermoy bypass was being ‘squeezed out of contention by other preferred projects’ and was ‘reasonably hopeful’ it could be included in the 1999 Roads Programme. Sandy Blackley, representing business interests in the town, stated that there was an ever increasing fear that the town was becoming a ‘bogey town’ in relation to traffic jams, something which was ‘slipping into the national psyche’ and a ‘dangerous development’.
“I can’t express how disappointed I am, it’s a disaster” – the reaction of director Brian O’Reilly, when unofficial industrial action taken by a small number of employees at Cork Opera House caused the last minute cancellation of the Fermoy man’s ‘homecoming show’, Buskin’. With at least 1,000 members in the audience and the cast with their make-up on and ready to go, the unforeseen cancellation was last minute and a massive financial blow to organisers. Thankfully, the following night’s performance was staged without a hitch.
A ‘well tuned’ Park United side made their exit from the FAI Junior Cup in Dublin at the last 64 stage, losing by a single goal to a much fancied St Kevins Boys outfit. Castle Celtic, Castletownroche lost out after extra time to Bansha FC 4-3 on penalties in a Munster Junior Cup replay, 1-1 after normal time.