Memories from the Archives – January 2001

Finbarr O'Connell (second left) winner of the Paddy Duggan, Glenafanna Perpetual Cup at the Rings Tournament held in Grindel's Bar in January 2001, pictured with l-r: Jim Goggins (winner of the runners-up competition)m Frank O'Driscoll (event organiser), Jim Hogan (Cup runner-up) and Mike Dineen (runner-up to Jim Goggins).

21 years ago, a civic welcome was on the cards to officially welcome new homeowner Michael Flatley to Fermoy. The intention was to extend to the dancing star the ‘hand of friendship’, who had obviously ‘invested a lot of money’ in Castlehyde. The only dissenter was Cllr Arthur Dowling, who said there were far more honourable men in Fermoy who deserved recognition, and branded the plans ‘an absolute disgrace’.

In Kildorrery, Tom and Nora Walsh were riding high after Function Dream romped home to victory at Ascot. The reporter at the time pre-empted criticism by explaining how ‘Funcheon’ (the river) morphed into ‘Function’ on the race card – so today we will do the same!

A case of animal cruelty was with Gardaí after a flock of sheep were found to be ‘starving’ on the Tallow to Fermoy Road. The owner was facing prosecution.

In a scene now reminiscent of Groundhog Day, bus shelters (or the absence of) in Castlelyons and Rathcormac were, yet again, on the agenda of a council meeting, as was a bus service for Ballynoe.

In Rathcormac, there was anger at ‘repeated’ power cuts in the village, which business owners claimed were driving customers away. Catherine O’Doherty of O’Doherty’s Bar was ‘enraged’ at the situation, which saw the village lose power on New Year’s Day.

Staying in Rathcormac, a couple had a lucky escape when their car hit a wall on the Fermoy side of the village. When the two got out to inspect the damage, the car burst into flames and was ‘a shell’ by the time the blaze was extinguished.

St Fanahan’s College in Mitchelstown were leading the way with the creation of the school’s website, which now featured the contact details of past pupils who had their own businesses, encouraging entrepreneurship amongst students. Young entrepreneurship was certainly celebrated in the town in January 2001, as the Craic Pots Mini Company held an EGM in The Firgrove Hotel to formally wrap up operation, and reward its shareholders with a ‘sizeable dividend’.

This week 31 years ago, the public campaign to save Bartlemy’s Post Office kicked off, and Britway National School was officially opened by Bishop John Magee after the previous school was destroyed by fire.

On the subject of anniversaries, in 2001 Anglesboro community celebrated 21 years since their Community Hall opened, while Fermoy Toastmasters celebrated 30 years with their annual demonstration meeting in The Grand Hotel.

Lismore was the subject of a snub by The Irish Independent, as the national paper failed to include the town in its tourism supplement. However, Waterford Tourism hit back, claiming the town’s absence was because Lismore businesses had failed to take out any advertising for the supplement.

A statistic published in 2001 reported 943 suicides over the previous two years in Ireland, with over 80% of these being male. Ireland, at that time, had the highest figure for 15-24 years olds taking their own lives.

A young Kieran Caplice, from Skeheenarinky, reported on ‘His Big Adventure’ riding in the cab of the Fastrac with Pat O’Connor to collect the Christmas tree for Mitchelstown from Glengarra Wood.

An ad for The Mills in Ballyvourney advertised an unbelievable offer of ‘Superior room with jacuzzi, including breakfast’, for £21.50. Pubs seemed to see no slacking of trade in January, with Winnie Murphy’s in Fermoy holding ‘Mad Mick’s Cocktail Drinks Fest’; The Final Furlong, Coolagown had a Great House Quiz, and pubs in Castlelyons, The Abbey and Master McGrath’s, featuring the Killeagh Point-to-Points via video.

In Ballylanders and the surrounding area, the death of Brother John Fitzgerald, formerly of Ballyduff, was lamented. Nearby in Anglesboro, similar sentiments were expressed on the passing of Tom Slattery, ‘one of life’s characters’.

The Christian Solidarity Party questioned the ‘madness’ of tolling and made a call to arms for all groups to organise against the move. Meanwhile, a report in The Avondhu’s Motoring Special 21 years ago was disparaging of the NCT’s effect on the older, trustier and slower cars. ‘The NCT could be viewed as a “marriage-wrecker”, a scheming vamp who undermines devotion.’

For the new car/romantic partner, Bank of Ireland offered car loans with an APR of ‘only’ 9.9%.

Ballyhooly saw a great tussle between Jim Hogan and eventual ‘King of the Rings’ Finbarr O’Connell, in a tension-filled Grindels’s Bar, for a ring-throwing competition.

Mitchelstown was to be the host town of the Sean Conlon Rally, while Bride Rovers U16 footballers beat Lisgoold for the juvenile title.