21 years ago, in February 2002, one front page of The Avondhu told the news that planning was sought for a new €1.3 million psychiatric care centre for Fermoy. Also, a six-year development plan for Lismore town was revealed, while more good news for the heritage town, as the contract was signed for a new West Waterford Community School in Lismore.

Ongoing confusion for motorists in Mitchelstown, as even though Robert Street was now designated as one-way, drivers were still treating it as a two-way system. Furthermore, while two-hour parking had been introduced (with some success), a traffic warden had not been appointed at the same time. In James Street, residents pleaded for discretion with regards to residents’ parking permits, while Cllr Frank O’Flynn called for unrestricted parking for those living there.

T.O. Park in Knockadea was temporarily closed due to the “illegal, unauthorised removal of much of the infrastructure”. Owner Tom O’Flynn was devastated, particularly by the “tribal and heavy-handed manner” in which it was carried out, and called a public meeting to answer the “torrents of misinformation”.

Flooding hit Fermoy and meant BUPA employees could not get to work; local businessman Michael Bartley questioned the granting of planning permission to large developments on the hospital road which he believed were contributing to the problem. An advert appeared from Angela in The Avondhu Bar thanking her family, and the fire brigade for helping out ‘during yet another flood’.

Councillors supported a planning application from Tesco in Mitchelstown, while plans and models for a new Fermoy Civic Centre were revealed to the public and a contract signed for the new fire station. On the Fermoy tolling issue, Fianna Fáil councillors announced they would toe the party line and support a toll on the motorway, while other members of the council chamber as well as private individuals continued to campaign against it. Elsewhere, a letter to the editor begged The Avondhu to cease featuring so many photos of councillors, as they preferred to see the ‘oldie goldie’ photos!

Ollie’s Bar in Kildorrery advertised their upcoming Valentine’s Day menu including ‘cos salad boats’, ’stuffed breaded chicken pascale’ followed by ‘sweet heart puffs’. A three-course meal with tea and coffee would set you back €20.

The Fermoy Young Mothers Group celebrated 10 years in existence; the group began as a discussion group alongside a newly-opened crèche a decade previously, and now featured skills and personal development training, and two full-time community employees.

There was pushback in Lismore Town Council against the adoption of the term ‘Mayor’ to replace ‘Cathaoirleach’. The word ‘mayor’ was compared to the title ‘Il Duce’ and “would be tantamount to referring to the Taoiseach as Prime Minister”.

Meanwhile, the euro changeover period was coming to an end. Introduced on January 1st, it would end on February 9th. The Credit Union said it would accept Irish currency for another couple of weeks, but only by prior arrangement. The government estimated there was still tens of millions of punts still unaccounted for.

Chief Scout Peter Dixon arrived in Glanworth to present local lady, Bernadette Barry with the Chief Scout’s Award. She was the first girl scout to get the recognition in the Cloyne North Region.

A two-page special covered the official opening of Roche’s Londis and Top Shop forecourt in Doneraile. Fr Pat Scanlon performed the official blessing, while TD Paul Bradford cut the ribbon. Local Imelda Donlon won the 28” Philips TV in a competition held on the day. 96FM and 103FM were on hand to supply the music.

In the Classifieds pages, for sale were ‘two geese and one gander (unrelated)’.

Fermoy Boxing Club had three champions out of the Cork County Championships in John and Brian McDonagh, who retained their titles and Blondy John, who won the light middleweight title. The club’s notes also included a tribute to the late Busty Keefe, and his “great fights” he had in the old army gym in Fermoy. Meanwhile, Mitchelstown Golf Club remembered former captain, the late Brother PC Treaty (‘The Brud’).

Recalling the Kildorrery over-30s football blitz, the second time the annual event was held, Farahy, captained by Tom Harding, were the victors for the second year in a row. Grange/Fermoy AC’s Roisín Howard featured on the Cork team at the All-Ireland A Cross Country U11 relay where the girls captured gold, while the Loreto Fermoy junior camogie team were vying for the Munster title.

Finally, at the Fermoy Juvenile GAA Social, the special guest was Fergal Ryan, Blackrock and Cork hurling star.