Construction on the 23,000 sq foot factory at Coolnanave Hill in Mitchelstown was well underway in February 2002. ‘Six prominent businessmen’ were promoting the project, as directors of Mitchelstown Community Employment Ltd. Up to 500 brochures were to be distributed, targeting the IDA and worldwide markets to promote the factory.

A ‘spate of crime’ hit Castletownroche, as thieves made off with a large supply of cigarettes from a shop, having removing the videotapes from the instore security camera to cover their tracks. It was one of three incidents in the area, as homes in both Bridgetown and Ballyadeen were ransacked earlier the same day. Meanwhile, electrical goods were recovered in Kildorrery after being stolen from a shop in Fermoy. Gardaí apprehended and charged the perpetrators.

One front page in February 2002 carried a picture of Fermoy native and centenarian Bride O’Neill with Fr Tony O’Brien and Fr Brian Boyle. She was pictured receiving a cheque for €2,000, which had come from President Mary McAleese.

Fermoy man William Hughes was nominated for the ‘Spirit of Ireland Awards’ with coverage in a two-page spread in the ‘News of the World’. However, the newspaper report put an extra few years onto William, stating he was 65, rather than his true age of 55, as he had “the cert to prove it”.

The Bottlehill Environmental Alliance called on Cork County Council to withdraw its public tender for an engineer, as the proposed landfill hadn’t yet been granted an EPA licence. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors had supported the landfill, described by locals as “an unholy alliance intent on sacrificing the people of Bottlehill”.

Meanwhile, a half-page advert featured a stern picture of then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern alongside TD Michael Collins and Senator John Cregan with the call to join the party: “We’ve made a difference, you can too… join Fianna Fáil”.

On the subject of litter, Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) published results that showed fewer than 33 litter fines were issued in Cork each week, and only half were being paid.

Work was progressing on the chalets at Castle Gardens, Mitchelstown. The holiday village was expected to be ready for that summer. In Castletownroche, it was announced that following a successful indoor and outdoor car boot sale, that the event would now take place every three weeks.

Two large handpainted murals were unveiled in Presentation Secondary School Mitchelstown, the result of six months work by the third and sixth year students.

Meanwhile, an article covered the skills of Araglin father and son hurley makers Mike and Kevin Fitzgerald, who had gone into business together. There was no shortage of local skills at the time, as the great writer, William Trevor, who was born in Mitchelstown, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Maeve Binchy at a ceremony in Dublin, joining the likes of John B Keane, Edna O’Brien and Seamus Heaney.

Glanworth scouts held a double celebration as to mark 10 years in existence, as well as their member Bernadette Barry receiving the coveted Chief Scout’s Award; she was the first lady in the Cloyne North Cork region to do so.

In Fermoy, Miss Ireland Catrina Supple was pictured in Toss Bryan’s at the launch of the ‘Win a Punto’ promotion.

Elsewhere, Castlelyons trad musician and Uileann piper Jimmy Morrison released his first solo CD at The Fisherman’s Rest in Conna. In other entertainment news, The Big Tree in Aghern were to hold a Friday night Happy Hour with Vinnie Mac as Cilla Black. Willie Andies had ‘Black Rose’ performing, and The Village Arts Centre had The Fureys visiting.

A residents’ meeting in Mitchelstown discussed the new parking arrangements on Thomas Street. Residents were concerned about parking outside their own doors and “yellow lines would not be accepted”. A proposal was made to make a carpark of the Town Hall grounds.

There was a full page of letters in The Avondhu 21 years ago, covering abortion (‘Why does Wiliam J Fitzgerald of Tallow keep going on and on about abortion?’ asked James Hyde of Lismore), East Timor, the cost to run four TDs (apparently less than €5 per constituent), and alleged preferential treatment of flood victims in Dublin versus those outside The Pale.

Fermoy mourned the loss of playwright and Avondhu columnist Bill Hammond, while Lismore Golf Club remembered their member Michael Pyne who had passed away.

Ballygown scored a double win at the Scór na bPáistí finals, in the Novelty Act and in Set Dancing, while Watergrasshill won the best overall club. Finally, at the Kilworth/Glanworth Trout Angling Club, Jerry Keating got a special presentation for his many years of service, as was secretary Neil Slattery.