‘A drastic mistake’ was how Fermoy businessman, Michael Caplice, described the introduction of parking bye-laws in the town in June 1998.

According to the proprietor of The Munster House, the introduction of a traffic warden was an ill-timed move, considering the fact that sufficient off-street parking spaces were not first made available.

The ‘extension of yellow lines’ would mean less car parking spaces and he was critical of the fact that three or four spaces were lost in Terence McSwiney Street, located just around the corner from his Patrick Street premises.

‘By all means, have double yellow lines on the corner to allow a clear exit for the fire brigade, but the ruling out of parking on the western side is uncalled for’, he stated to The Avondhu.

Cigar capital of Ireland

Exporting over 40 millions cigars annually and employing over 100 people, the Cadena Ireland plant in Tallow had turned the West Waterford town into ‘the cigar capital of Ireland’.

From ‘simple humble beginnings’ in 1978 when Theo Van Delft commenced his cigar making operation in Conna, with just three machines, a worldwide cigar boom had swept the company ‘upward and onward’. Expansion led to the development of a 3,000sq metre facility in Tallow, with Jerry Curtin as ‘the boss’.

A 3-page Avondhu feature in June 1998 highlighted the continued expansion of the business, with Tom O’Connor (production manager), Kathy Fennessy (financial controller), Kieran Duggan and Margaret Walsh, amongst the staff.

4* rating for Glanworth Mill

After just 14 weeks in operation, Glanworth Country Mill was granted a 4-star rating by Bord Fáilte. Regarding the village ‘as being one of the oldest historical villages in the country’, proprietors Emelyn Heaps and Lynne Glasscoe welcomed the news, describing it as ‘simply wonderful’.

Much praise went to David Mulcahy of Concepts Architects, who had designed the complex in accordance with the ‘stringent criteria laid down’ to specifically achieve such a goal.

The Courtyard Garden had also just opened at the Glanworth facility, with a series of theme evenings being planned, commencing in June 1998 with an ‘Italian evening’.

Off to Aras an Uachtarain

Six lucky pupils from Scoil Iosef Naofa, Fermoy were preparing for a visit to Aras an Uachtarain. Set to meet with other children from around the country, Sean Murphy, Dean Daly, Martin Dingivan, David Clancy, Trevor Maguire and Declan Cahill would be special guests at a Primary Schools Encounter organised ‘to encourage and develop the president’s theme of bridge building’.

All hope not lost …

Due to falling numbers, Ballyhooly National School was set to lose a third teaching post at the end of the 1998 school term. The message was confirmed to Fine Gael TD, Paul Bradford by Minister for Education and Science, Micheal Martin.

A minimum enrolment of 87 pupils was required to retain the third teaching post, with the school projecting an enrolment of 91 pupils in September 1998.

However all hope was not lost, with the minister stating if ‘enrolment increased substantially in September, the school management authority should contact his officials with a view to reviewing the situation’.

Dunlea elected

Fianna Fail councillor, John Dunlea was elected chairman of Fermoy UDC in June 1998, taking over from the outgoing Cllr Michael O’Dwyer. He ‘beat off’ a challenge from his party colleague, Cllr John Murphy by 5 votes to 3, with Cllr Aileen Pyne abstaining from the voting. Cllr Mary O’Connor was elected vice chairperson.

A summer of headline acts

Top musical entertainment was on its way to the area in summer 1998 – Brian Kennedy was the headline act set to appear at the Mitchelstown Music Festival, which also included Bogus Brothers, Picture House, Bagatelle and Joe Dolan. While at Conna Castle, Picture House would top the bill, supported by Kaydee, The Pale and Whipping Boy.

Opposed to car park development

Continuing their fight against the proposed development of a car park at Duntahane Road, Fermoy, a group of residents from Liam MacGearailt Place and surrounding areas ‘put forward their side of the argument’ at the June monthly meeting of Cork County Council in 1998, held at Fermoy Courthouse.

The delegation was introduced by Cllr Joe Sherlock, with David Stanford and Leonie Barry outlining the case of the residents, who were opposed to the development. Their views were set to be ‘seriously considered’. Residents, intent on maintaining pressure on the council, would be seeking support from other areas of the town via a petition.

In sport

Watergrasshill NS boys, captained by J Dorgan, won the Roinn 2 final at Sciath na Scoil, defeating Ballinlough 1-3 to 0-0 at Pairc Ui Rinn. Bride Rovers junior hurlers claimed the Muintir na Tire Cup at Ballynoe, when overcoming St Catherines on a scoreline 1-22 to 1-10 – Donal Ryan was captain.