This week in 2001 was alive with political gossip, as Ned O’Keeffe TD was forced to resign as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, Paul Bradford of Mourneabbey was elevated to Chief Whip in Michael Noonan’s Fine Gael party. A ‘proven poll-topper’, on Mr O’Keeffe’s resignation The Avondhu reported that, “For his supporters, the spectacle of seeing one of their own publicly humiliated has been hard to stomach, for his political enemies, however, O’Keeffe’s misfortune is self-inflicted, and just reward for a man unable or unwilling to avoid controversy.”

‘Senseless vandalism’ at Fermoy Rowing Club by a group of teenagers led to the club forking out for CCTV, to combat graffiti and tyre-slashing at the club. At the time, there were no qualms about using CCTV to catch and persecute the guilty. It didn’t stop there, as Pearse Square saw its share of nonsense, whereby the windows of both Reilly’s Pharmacy and Hanley’s Newsagents were broken and a skip of rubbish was set on fire.

In 2001, The Avondhu continued a long-running ‘Garda Report’ column listing lost and found items for the week. Lost mobile phones were a common item and one week in February 2001 there were five listed. Perhaps people weren’t quite as stuck to the phone 21 years ago?

The Heritage Society in Mitchelstown were appealing to businesses there to donate towards a new ‘Timepiece’ sculpture for New Square, while up in King’s Square, the £12,000 restoration of the Georgian Fountain was nearing completion, and water would flow once again. The same society had also been granted £8,000 for a study of the 340 acre woodland beside King Square.

Meanwhile, The Avondhu received a ‘great response’ to an article on disabled parking spaces  in Mitchelstown – or, more specifically, the abuse of them by motorists not entitled to park there.

An in-house chess championship in St Fanahan’s, Mitchelstown was won by John Hickey with Michael Bermingham runner-up. Trophies were presented to the boys by enthusiast and AROMA chair, Paddy Kiely, who had “nothing against computers” but they were taking over more and more, discouraging “chess, draughts and bridge” amongst youngsters.

The Munster House in Fermoy advertised a mini television/radio for sale. As well as a 5 1/2 inch screen, it boasted a car cigarette lighter too. Elsewhere in the town, after 28 years in charge, Ann Mason closed the door to her sweet and tobacco shop on MacCurtain Street.

In Mitchelstown, Willie Andies pub won, for the fourth year running, a place in the Irish Pubs of Distinction guide, one of only 12 pubs in the country to receive such an honour.

The pages of The Avondhu 21 years ago were packed with pictures of locals meeting TV star Jim Bartley, aka Fair City’s Bela Doyle. He was in Cork for the Future Homes and Building Exhibition in the Silver Springs Moran Hotel.

In Mitchelstown, Margaret and David Myers prepared to officially open the Maxol Filling Station.

Champion jockey Charlie Swan was returning to Auntie Mae’s, Mitchelstown for the well-established Cheltenham preview night. Over in Coolagown, a packed Final Furlong was the setting for the final competition of the Voice of North Cork, won by Dungarvan’s Paddy O’Leary, who sang ‘Meet me at the Pillar’ and ‘Wind Beneath my Wings.’

Adair National School marked the retirement of principal Hazel Baylor, who served the pupils for 45 unbroken years. Meanwhile in Ballylanders, the community celebrated the life of ‘a great lady’, 92-year old Lucy Crawford. Born in 1909, she travelled in Europe and in the Indian sub-continent before settling into marriage back home.

Fermoy CYMS was the spot for the Grandons Snooker Invitational in February 2001. Locals would be joined by World U21 champion, Luke Fisher, and a Fiat Punto was on offer for anyone attaining a magical 147 break.

The letters pages of The Avondhu accused the Fermoy UDC of ‘fiddling while Rome burns’, as the early days of the recession saw 29 shops in Fermoy either for sale or derelict. The writer (seemingly more in tune with world economics than politicians) stated that, ‘Ireland, despite what Charlie McCreevy says, is in recession’. Referencing Michael Flatley, he said ‘Our elected leaders are arguing about whether to give a civic welcome to a man who bought a house near the town. Don’t they realise what fools they look and how embarrassing it is for Fermoy?’

Finally, at Bride Rovers’ annual dinner dance, the club honoured their 1975 Junior B Hurling champions at Midleton Park Hotel.