Winner of the Glamorous Granny Competition, held as part of the Shanballymore GAA Festival in 1997, was Glanworth lady, Mary Mahon, who was presented with her trophy by Robert Walshe of 103FM County Sound radio.
With US President Donald Trump recently downplaying North Korea's human rights abuses, following the historic meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, June 1997 saw Mitchelstown’s veteran charity fundraiser, Josephine O’Connor appealing for help to ‘alleviate the suffering of thousands of children’ in the country. With a Trocaire missionary bringing back reports of thousands dying in appalling conditions, with ‘children being fed a concoction of grass and pulp from the bark of trees in an effort to keep them alive’, Ms O’Connor was urging support of the charity’s work.
‘Deep differences divide locals’ – a front page headline in June 1997 indicating the level of disagreement as to the best plan to move forward with for the proposed refurbishment of the Town Square in Mitchelstown. With £300k earmarked for the project by Cork County Council, the June meeting of the Mallow Area Roads Committee heard that ‘much disagreement and argument’ had locals at loggerheads – the ‘main bone of contention… the Council’s (and some of the main community groups’) insistence on the closure of the centre road in New Market Square’, a move which the residents’ association in the Square were ‘diametrically opposed to’. Chairman of this group, Jimmy Ryan, felt closure of the road was ‘a poor exchange’ and would lead to more traffic congestion, stating that ‘a petition of 250 householders from these streets confirmed this’. While Bill Power, co-ordinating chairman of the four main community groups (community council, business association, heritage society and development company) who were in favour of the closure, stated the development ‘was a once in a lifetime opportunity to enhance the town’s focal point’. He also referred to a May 1997 traffic survey by Cork County Council, which concluded that ‘the closure of the road would not adversely effect the town’s traffic management’. Members of the committee at the meeting eventually decided that in order to progress the issue, a revised plan, incorporating the road’s closure, should progress to the next stage of the planning process, which would then be advertised in local media and made available for public inspection.
The same June meeting of the Mallow Area Roads Committee saw an incredible 175 motions on the agenda for discussion. One experienced Council official stated that it was the biggest agenda he had ever seen (on average up to 60 motions may be on an agenda), wondering “Would it make it into the Guinness Book of Records?” While ‘another wag wondered how many trees had to be sacrificed in order to get all the motions down on paper’. No less than 129 of the motions were in the name of Cork East poll topper, Ned O’Keeffe. Surprisingly, the agenda was completed within two hours.
The official re-opening of the community hall in Ballindangan took place in June 1997, following a 12 month refurbishment project at a cost of £40,000. The ‘modern multi-purpose’ facility’s commemorative plaque was unveiled by Deputy Ned O’Keeffe.
The power to impose £25 on-the-spot fines for litter offences, which was set to come into law on July 1st, 1997 was hailed as a ‘progressive step’ in the fight against litter in Fermoy, which would give both gardai and the newly appointed litter warden ‘real bite’.
With a large bonfire burning brightly in the local ball alley, large crowds descended on the village of Glenville to celebrate the annual St John’s Eve Festival. The special mid-summer festival continued to receive much support in the village, with ‘the visiting of the Rounds’ as the centre piece. In addition, step dancing, a fancy dress, a famine exhibition in the community hall, along with traditional music and entertainment by Castlelyons Pipe Band, brought a hugely successful event to a close.
Fred Sheedy from Kilworth, Cork senior hurling selector for the 1996/97 season, was reappointed to the position for a further two years along with Jimmy Barry-Murphy and Tom Cashman, at a meeting of the Cork County GAA Board in June 1997. Their reappointment was seen as a vote of confidence – they would be joined by a representative from the senior county champions in 1997 and another member to be selected by the county board.