It was President Bill Clinton’s representative in Ireland who led the way in news this week in 1999 as he dropped into the region for a visit. The visit of US Ambassador Michael J Sullivan to the Moorepark facility near Fermoy where he thanked the local workforce for the visit. He was treated to lunch and then given a video box set on the 150 year commemoration of the Great Famine. 

Anger was expressed as Araglin residents reacted against proposals to place a liquid waste storage facility at Ballard. A meeting regarding the placing of a recycling facility descended into rage when a councillor, speaking at the event, declared that Araglin had lost its battle against the sewerage project. Local protester Bill Carey declared: “we are far from finished.”

The Mitchelstown leisure centre project was fast approaching realisation as council officials gave a commitment to purchasing the canon’s field. It came as the campaign group also made an application for National Lottery funding to add to the already £20,000 raised for the project locally. 

There was a strong call for public lighting in Mitchelstown as local councillor, Conor O’Callaghan, said that the main street was ‘the blackest part of town’. He complained that there were more street lights in Kilbehenny than in the larger town and said that the positioning of the lights was ‘very haphazard’.   

The housing crisis was just as much a hot topic two decades ago as it is now. Cllr Aileen Pyne declared that people were ‘screaming for houses’ and demanded to know when the housing list was being given out. Councillors also blamed the fact that the housing officer was not based in North Cork to deal with the problems. 

The calls may have been somewhat premature though because there was an announcement that 15 new houses in Fermoy would be made available in the coming summer. These 15 houses had been completed and a further ten were nearing completion. But councillors were not happy with the news – Cllr Michael Hanley complained that this was not nearly enough houses as there were 500 people on the waiting list. 

Joe Sherlock had also complained that a repair fund should include senior citizen’s windows and doors. The assistant county manager Theresa White dismissed the complaint and said that the refusal rate was very low. 

A revamped credit union in Ballylanders was hailed as a massive success. The village had appealed for an upgraded, computerised office with longer opening hours. 

Lismore was well on its way to organise their upcoming Millennium events as a meeting was held in the town to decide on the plans for the turn of the century. A fundraising campaign was started as Mary Fenton-Morrissey said that the plan was to give locals ‘a night to remember’ for generations to come. 

The controversial recycling plant plan for Fermoy was in the spotlight of public protest as a large scale meeting took place to campaign against the facility. Dozens of speakers raised concerns about the environmental impact on local farms. Frank Shinnick, the local chairman of Fermoy Environmental Group, declared: “Fermoy is deliberately chosen as a waste centre – we are getting the country’s dirty smelly bits.”

In the days before digital satellite services, South Coast TV was used by many to watch international channels. They were struggling to obtain a TV broadcast licence – a project they were engaged in for the previous 14 years. There was uncertainty for the group as they waited to see if new legal challenges would arrive in the coming months.

The Cork North Enterprise Board announced they had helped 136 new businesses begin trading since their foundation six years before. They believed there was the potential of 452 new jobs for the area with 290 jobs already realised. 

Canon Joseph John Perrott was remembered at his funeral Mass after his sudden death spread shock in the Mitchelstown area. His history was a diverse one, he had worked as a telegraphist in the Post Office and an assistant postmaster in Roscrea. He then, late in life, decided to become a priest and worked in the Dublin slums following his ordination. 

In sport, Accrington Celtic continued their dominance in Division One soccer as they beat Kilbehenny FC 2-1, while Mitchelstown Celtic scored four goals as Curraghagalla United finished their game scoreless. 

In  a different twist, there were efforts to introduce cricket to Mitchelstown as interested onlookers watched and took part in the display.