Local fishermen came to the rescue of five kittens, ‘no more than a few days old’, who were observed floating down the river Blackwater in a plastic bag in July 1997. Dan Fleming was out fishing on the Promenade, Fermoy with his son when, on hearing the cries of several kittens from a bag floating downriver, Dan, along with a fellow fisherman from Clogheen, rescued the small floating bundle. Expressing his disbelief to The Avondhu that such acts of cruelty continued to be visited upon small, defenceless animals, Dan and his family took to bottle feeding three of ‘the little mites’ while they looked to rehome the kittens, his fellow angler homing the other two lucky souls.

‘It could do nothing but good for the area’ – the comment from Fine Gael councillor, Mitchelstown’s Conor O’Callaghan, reacting to the appointment of Deputy Ned O’Keeffe as Junior Agriculture Minister in July 1997. Seen as a boost for Cork North East, Minister O’Keeffe’s priorities would be to ‘improve the image of the food industry and boost consumer confidence in Irish produce’. As to the suggestion that his appointment to the Department of Agriculture might result in a conflict of interest – Mr O’Keeffe being ‘strongly involved in the agri business’ – this was denied, with Ned pointing out that he was involved in the production side of the business, stressing his brief as minister ‘would deal with the consumer and processing side’.

It was branded ‘Fermoy’s road to nowhere’. An ‘irate resident’ of Barry’s Boreen contacted The Avondhu in July 1997 to highlight what they termed as a ‘debacle’ – namely, a road network which had been constructed at a new housing development in the town and claimed to have been located ‘in the wrong place’. The resident told The Avondhu that Cork County Council had acquired 5 acres of land from the developers to install water and sewerage services, as well as a road network, which had never been built, and in fact, ‘could not be completed’ as it was, they stated, in the wrong place and if continued, would ‘cut through the garden of a private residence in the vicinity’. An enquiry was being sought to determine who was responsible for the debacle. The allegations were backed up by managing director of North Gate Investments, Dan O’Keeffe, whose company owned ‘approximately 70 acres of zoned development land in the area’, and who were ‘very anxious to begin the development of the green field site at Duntahane,’ something he stated could not be done without a road network. Due to the lack of maintenance at the site, there was also annoyance by locals who claimed the area was ‘little more than a blot on the landscape’.

A special surprise was organised for ace accordion player and well known music teacher, Bobby Gardiner in July 1997 at The Village Arts Centre in Kilworth. The event was organised by Tom Hyland and his friends in the Ballyduff/Ballinvella/Ballysaggart Comhaltas group, the tribute night marking Bobby’s 15 years of teaching music in Ballyduff. Bobby was under the impression that he was set to perform in ‘just another session’ on the night in question, and much to his surprise was the centre of attraction as family and friends turned out in his honour. Following many guest performances, Tom Hyland presented Bobby with a lovely piece of crystal in recognition of his Trojan work.

40 years and still going strong for Araglin Carnival. The famous marquee dancing in July 1997 saw groups, such as Stockton’s Wing, Lightning Strikes, Big Generator along with Paul Ellis & Check It Out (Off the Record) entertain loyal patrons.

Young athletes from the West Waterford village of Ballyduff Upper had an impressive haul of 14 medals following the Waterford Community Games finals, held at the Waterford Regional Sports Centre. This included four gold medalists, who would progress to the national finals of the Community Games in Mosney in September 1997, namely Shane Kearney (U8 60m), Olive Hogan (U10 100m), Patrick Kearney (U10 100m) and Sharon Lawless (U13 900m walking).

Kildorrery U12 hurlers were victorious against Doneraile in the North Cork ‘C’ Shield, at a beautifully prepared Castletownroche venue, in 1997. With just a point between the sides at the interval and Doneraile leading, goalscorers for the Hill were Michael Walsh and William Hanley. A ‘peach of a goal’ from Liam Kelly in the second period gave Kildorrery the lead for the first time and proved decisive, as Kildorrery won on a final scoreline of 3-2 to 2-2.  Team captain was Damien O’Flynn.