July 2000 kicked off to a great start, as Cork hurlers celebrated a double victory in Thurles, winning both the minor and the senior Munster championship encounters over Limerick and Tipperary respectively. The minor team included Bride Rovers’ Brian Murphy, and as selector Denis Ring from Fermoy. The senior team included Castlelyons’ own Timmy McCarthy.

Away from sport (for the moment), Hillcrest, a 5 unit social housing project in Ballylanders, was opened to great aplomb, with politicians, the council, and the clergy all commending the good work of the Ballylanders community in looking after its people. The houses were blessed, and afterwards a celebratory meal and live music was held in Gallahue’s Bar.

The major entertainment event lined up was in Kildorrery at The Thrill on the Hill Festival. The announcement of the line-up included the one and only Joe Dolan, with The Wolfe Tones scheduled for the Friday night. Sports fans were not to be disappointed with the Guinness Munster Senior Hurling Sevens Tournament attracting the cream of hurling talent to the hilltop village.

The Fermoy Confraternity Band enjoyed a large gathering at their first AGM after a long break, planning to secure a music teacher/conductor that summer, in the hopes of getting the ‘brass and reed’ off the ground.

Smokers were about to be more informed of what they were inhaling into their lungs, as a new EU law was on the way for cigarettes meaning warnings were to be printed on each packet, and tobacco companies were under a directive to disclose fully all chemicals contained within.

A Psychic Fayre was foreseen for The Firgrove in Mitchelstown where tarot cards, rune stones, palmistry and crystal balls were all available for attendees. Clairvoyant Claire Crystal promised no witchery, cloaks or spells. In Fermoy, Madame Lisa Clairvoyant was visiting The Grand Hotel on Saturday, 8th July – “no appointment necessary”. Presumably she’d see you coming!

Fermoy Tourist Office, then operating from a ‘Wanderly Wagon’ style caravan, was calling out for more staff to cope with the ‘huge number’ of tourists making enquiries. Caravans elsewhere in the town were not as welcome however, as ‘large numbers’ of Traveller families had based themselves at Pike Road in Fermoy. Local residents expressed concerns of feeling ‘intimidated’ and ‘nervous’. Members of the Travelling community told The Avondhu that they were ‘passing through’, while others stated they were working in the area.

Jack Charlton’s visit to opening of The Forge, Fermoy was a resounding success, where the great fisherman ‘didn’t need to be asked twice’ to take the honour of officially opening the restaurant, thanking the people of Fermoy for their hospitality. “You’ve bestowed on me so many things despite the fact that I’m a Geordie and a Protestant to boot”. A fundraising barbecue was also held on the night in aid of Fermoy Hospital, where matron Sr Patricia was the second worthy guest of honour.

A full page advert in The Avondhu in July 2000, invited evidence to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, from those who had experienced abuse in an institution or foster care in Ireland.Meanwhile, in the Uplands Estate of Fermoy, residents were at their wits’ end with ‘brazen young pups’ congregating and drinking regularly in an alley nearby.

On the field of play, the Fermoy U12s were celebrating victory after a 10 year wait to capture the North Cork U12A Hurling Championship trophy, when defeating Sean Clarach 7-6 to 4-3.

For Fanahan McSweeney AC there was plenty of success at the Munster AAI Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Karen Considine came first in both the 100m and the 200m events, while the U15 relay team also came 1st in their track event.

In Fermoy Golf Club, 60 ‘insomniacs’ teed off at 5am to take part in a three ball scramble, followed by a champagne breakfast at 9am – how bad! Meanwhile, Kilworth Pitch and Putt Club held a farewell night for their treasurer, Nora Hamilton in Cotter’s Arch Bar, while they also celebrated their chairman, Sean Howard’s participation in the Irish Junior Championships.

The Galtee Gaels U12 footballers had great success as they won the South Tipperary C title – their first since 1979. They credited their success to more matches being played, and the inclusion of girls on the panel who made a ‘significant contribution’ to the team’s success.

Fermoy Tug-of-War team brought home gold in the 720kg National Championship, despite only weighing in at a light 700kg, and over in Castletownroche, 9 year old Edward Shanahan was delighted with his catch of a one pound trout in the River Blackwater.