On one front page of The Avondhu in January 2002 was the news that the Grand Hotel in Fermoy was at ‘Sale Agreed’. However, the site of the Royal Hotel continued to be a ‘gaping blot’ on the Fermoy townscape. Also front page news was the announcement of the death of Joan O’Leary of Kilcummer, who died in a climbing accident on the MacGillacuddy Reeks.

Grange man, Squadron Sergeant James Ronan, retired from the Defence Forces after 43 years, while Millstreet native Tim Callaghan was appointed the new Chief Superintendent in Fermoy, replacing Ray McAndrew who was headed to Anglesea Street, Cork.

In the preceding month and covering the Christmas 2001 period, gardaí had arrested 8 people in the Fermoy and Mitchelstown areas on drink-driving charges, out of a total of 56 who were breathalised. A spokesman for the gardaí also reported that seatbelts were more likely to be used over Christmas, but bad habits would re-emerge in January despite the €25 fine. Meanwhile, pictures of 2001 Christmas parties showed people unashamedly indoors in pubs with cigarettes in their hands – roll on the smoking ban in 2004.

The Lismore Town Council members unanimously rejected a Cluid Housing Agency purchase of 14 houses in the ‘exclusive’ Tierside Development. Cllr Campion, who lived there, represented the residents in the rejection, but ultimately all councillors were against the social housing plan. Planning for the development had been granted before the new ‘20% social housing’ rule for housing developments had been introduced.

A letter 21 years ago wondered about the effect that emancipation of women was having on their drinking habits and sizes: ‘nowadays when you see a group of young women trundling their bloated carcasses down the sidewalk they look more like a herd of rhinoceros than fair maidens’.

For both people and rhinoceroses, the Clonmel Arms Hotel were holding a Wedding Fayre, with Today FM’s Ray D’Arcy in attendance. As ever for a new year, there was plenty of advice within on how to improve health and fitness, with  articles on squash in Kildorrery, swimming in Fermoy, keep-fit classes in Castlelyons and Ki Massage in Mitchelstown.

In Rathcormac, Patsy Hogan and Betty Boyce were invested as new Cub Scout leaders, while Mitchelstown Ladybird Rebecca Crowley won a national award for her ‘Good Food Collage’. In Fermoy Toastmasters, Orison Carlisle was the winner of the ‘Tall Tales’ competition, while Jimmy and Tessy Quirke in Glanworth celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and were pictured with their grandchildren.

Pantos in both Rathcormac and Fermoy were due to open; in Fermoy, it was ‘Sleeping Beauty’ with the princess played by Aisling O’Neill. Rathcormac would stage ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’.

In Lismore, a suggestion that councillors meet up with their contemporaries in their sister city of Lismore, Australia, was shot down by Town Councillor John Campion. ‘An appalling idea’, the councillor said, with his comrade Cllr Madden agreeing on foot of financial constraints.

Mitchelstown had got a loan of a mechanical street sweeper; however, while on tour in the town, it had been vandalised on three separate occasions and now the repair bill had to be paid by Cork County Council.

Bridie Fitzgerald of Araglin Community Council was photographed presenting a bouquet of flowers to Joan O’Mahony of The Fox and Hounds Bar wishing her luck on her new business venture.

Knockanevin’s Mary Corbett had travelled to war-torn Afghanistan in her role as a nutrition advisor with Concern, and called for support for the ravaged country. Elsewhere, a new ambulance to the value of £90,000 was stationed at St Patrick’s Community Hospital in Fermoy.

There was mild uproar as the promised Euro calculators did not arrive from some West Waterford people, and in the second week of January were still missing in action. Those at a loss were asked to contact the Euro Changeover Board, who were responsible for the roll-out. Mitchelstown Credit Union offered car loans at a variable APR of 9.4%, with free car tax with any loans over €8,000. Many shops advertised their Euro Sales offers, while The Firgrove Hotel in Mitchelstown asked punters to use their Irish pound vouchers before February 9th.

130 jobs were to be created at the Sanmina-SCI plant in Fermoy following the closure of its sister plant in Blanchardstown, Dublin and Martin’s Bakery celebrated 37 years in Castlelyons: at the time, they were producing over 2,000 loaves a week.

A link was provided from columnist and internet expert Karina Carroll to do an online quiz to see if you were ‘a mobile crackwhore’ i.e. someone addicted to their phone.

Finally, to welcome in 2002 Fr Eugene Baker had led a New Year’s Eve Mass on Corrin Hill.