The one hundredth birthday of a local woman led the news 21 years ago as locals celebrated the life of Ellen McGrath. The Ballyellis, Doneraile woman had her party in Nazareth House, Mallow where she was living, along with family and friends. The mother of six received a cheque of £300 from the President’s office and even got a message of congratulations from Pope John Paul II. During the celebrations, she recalled her upbringing on a farm and working from a young age. She said she preferred ‘nice soft days’ to blazing sunshine. 

Reports of a shocking attack on two men in Ballyduff told of the ‘vicious assault’ on two local men that happened in the early hours of the previous Sunday morning, an incident that had left residents of the area in shock. One man was released from hospital, but a second man remained in a critical condition and there were fears for his life as he was treated in the Intensive Care Unit at Cork Regional Hospital. The two victims were treated for their injuries and two men were arrested by gardaí as investigators appealed to witnesses to come forward.

Meanwhile, the crackdown on the scourge of illegal parking saw seven people appear before court in Fermoy. The court appearances came after the town’s traffic warden issued tickets to motorists who subsequently did not pay the original fine. The judge at the District Court fined the motorists £100 and costs of £50 each.

Ballyhooly was suffering a spate of vandalism that culminated in the attempted arson on the local GAA club’s viewing stand. Local priest Fr William Winter made an impassioned plea for an end to the incidents and addressed the problem from the pulpit. The priest identified the problems caused by a number of local youths using the GAA pitch and stand as a meeting place. Six of the wooden seats were broken and worryingly, two attempts were made to set the stand alight. Local gardaí stepped up patrols and said they would find those involved. 

One constant down through the years is the issue around water supply. Activists contacted The Avondhu in July 1999 to raise awareness of their concerns around possible contamination of drinking water by a plan to build a recycling centre at Acres Cross, Fermoy. Local residents met three planners from Cork County Council at the site, where they pointed out the close proximity to the River Blackwater. They claimed that limestone bedrock caused a greater risk of seepage through the porous rock into the river.

Environmental concerns informed much of the opposition to various developments. There was a similar protest by locals to a waste compost plant in the Ballinvoher area. There was a well attended meting in Castletownroche which sent a strong message to the local authority of the area’s opposition over the proposed plan. 

The town of Fermoy bid farewell to Michael Cremin, who spent 14 years as town clerk. In an interview with The Avondhu, he said that the success of the area was down to community initiatives, hard work and the decision by Cork County Council to improve the local area infrastructure. He also said that the problem of public cynicism and apathy was clouding the good work being done by councillors. 

Local gardening enthusiasts John and Teresa Griffin of Wallstown, Castletownroche were winning big at the Norwich Union Mallow International Garden Festival. This was the latest in a series of victories for the couple, who took the award for Best Display of Roses in 1991.   

The community of Kingston College, Mitchelstown were welcoming a new rector, as Reverend John Fenning arrived in town. He had come to the area following his retirement from his ministry at Aherla.

In sport – Fermoy Pitch and Putt were involved in a ‘major coup’ as they held the national pitch and putt event at their club. It was the first time the prestigious event came to the club in their 20 year history. “This is a big honour for the club and for the town as a whole,” Nell Richards, PRO, told The Avondhu. A massive amount of work was carried out by club members and FAS scheme workers, including Michael Kearney, John O’Hara and club captain and groundsman, Noel Neligan. 

Bride Rovers recorded a 2-7 to 1-11 victory over Milford in their Intermediate championship hurling match, with John O’Dowd declared man of the match. The match report said that they overcame the opposition with ‘sheer heart, spirit, guts’ and a ‘never say die attitude’. The club’s match report headline read ‘When hot grew that fight those hearts grew more eager’.