Jubilation in Conna and Castletownroche as the Jimmy Mangan trained Stroll Home won the famous Galway Plate at Ballybrit in July 1997. Part owners of the horse, Castletownroche publicans Siobhan and Mike Reynolds, were on hand to savour the moment as Paul Carbery brought home the charge, seeing off a very strong challenge from Idiot’s Venture. Scenes reminiscent of Cheltenham glory were reported, welcoming horse and jockey back to the winner’s enclosure, with a large crowd from the North East Cork area ‘having backed the winner from an opening price of 11/1 into 11/2’. Trainer Jimmy Mangan was carried shoulder high around the parade ring, commenting to RTE “I don’t know where I’m going to get all the champagne for my supporters” – no doubt the champagne and porter flowed long into the night in Conna and Castletownroche.

A milestone in the parish of Bartlemy in July 1997, as family, friends and well-wishers gathered to fete the 100th birthday of one of their own, Hannah O'Shea from Ballinure. Parish records ‘would appear to indicate’ that this was the first such occasion that a parishioner had reached the golden age of 100 and along with her two daughters, Mary O’Sullivan and Betty Neylon, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, rightly celebrated the occasion. One of thirteen children born to Patrick Burke and Mary O’Brien on a small farm at Ballinure, she attended Monanig National School for a short while before its closure in 1905, then completing her education at the new school at Hightown, Bartlemy. She married William O’Shea from Midleton in the 1930s. Fr Ben O’Connor dedicated Mass in the O’Sullivan home, while Hannah also received a cheque from President Mary Robinson.

A busy ‘Garda Report’ in July 1997 showed little was safe: A green wheelie bin was stolen from the back of a house in Kilworth; 2 pairs of runners were stolen from outside Fermoy Youth Centre; A handbag was stolen from a factory office at the Showgrounds, Fermoy while the owner was on a break; A cash box containing cash and cheques was stolen from a business premises at Oliver Plunkett Hill, Fermoy; A head collar of a horse was stolen from a truck in the Showgrounds, Fermoy; while Castletownroche Mill was unlawfully entered, with a claw hammer, lump hammer, nail bar, stencil wrench and grip wrench reported stolen.

The ‘appalling behaviour of a small number of people’ who reportedly ‘spat on windscreens and threw stones at cars’ making their way through Glenbrohane during the annual festival in 1997, was condemned. Several phone calls of complaint were made to Bruff Gardai concerning ‘the loud noise of the music and that some of the crowd which had over-spilled onto the road was making it impossible for cars to pass’. The festival committee asked the DJ to lower the music, which he did, however the ‘Beat On The Street’ had to finish an hour earlier than scheduled as some of the crowd ‘would not co-operate’. Otherwise, the festival was adjudged a success.

Following a meeting between members of Mitchelstown New Square’s Residents’ Association and acting county manager, Teresa White, it was reported that a compromise solution of how best to deal with the development of New Market Square looked ‘closer to being reached’. Residents reiterated their ‘opposition to the council’s plans for closure of the centre road in the square’ and put forward a proposed new plan, which ‘had the backing of the local business association’. Meanwhile, submissions on the amended county council plan would continue to be accepted until Friday, August 8th at the town’s court house, which would move the project forward to the Mallow Area Roads committee in September 1997 for further consideration.

Kevin O’Keeffe ‘finally secured his father’s Cork County Council seat’ at a meeting of the local authority in 1997. Earmarking housing, roads and sanitation as the areas deserving of his particular attention, he promised to deal with all local issues seriously, stating “I hope to serve your needs and I know how to deal with your problems”.

Mitchelstown Golf Club members Tony Lewis, Michael Nevin, Peter Murphy, John McCarthy, Jim Flynn and John Finn were crowned ‘Mail-On-Sunday’ men’s inter club matchplay tournament champions following a thrilling sudden death win over Northern Ireland representatives Enniskillen at the K Club. They would go forward to represent Ireland as one of eight remaining teams for the international title.