The 1st Cavalry Squadron based in Fitzgerald Camp, Fermoy proved themselves to be some of the best shots in the country in May 1998, defeating 1st Battalion, Galway to claim the Falling Plates title.
The demanding competition involved participants sprinting 50 yards, loading and aiming a weapon and then shooting a series of metal plates, measuring 12”x12”, from a distance of 200 yards. The winning team consisted of squadron members Sgt T Hughes, Cpt J O’Connor, Tpr D Cody, Tpr J Hanley, Tpr P Murphy, Tpr C Prendergast, Tpr D Higgins and Tpr P Fitzgerald.
Private Mossy Gould came out on top in the individual rifle competition; Tpr Robbie O’Donovan came 3rd in the individual GPMG competition, ably assisted by Tpr Mulcahy. Tpr D Cody, in his first year in the Defence Forces, finished runner-up in the individual Falling Plates competition.
Scoring 3,500 points apiece, Joe ‘Dodo’ Crowley and Billy Roche shared the title of King of the Galtees in 1998, the first time in the history of the competition that a dead heat decided who would hold the crown of king or queen at the annual Mitchelstown festival. Other contestants who ran were Josie Ahern and Carole Bradley. Outgoing Queen of the Galtees was Nellie Fitzgerald.
Both the ESB and Telecom Eireann were asked to ‘face up to their responsibilities’ and to install all overhead cables underground, before phase 3 of the Fermoy Water Scheme was completed. The call came from Cllr John Dunlea, who placed a notice of motion before a full meeting of Fermoy UDC in 1998.
Criticism was levelled at the ESB, who were ‘making millions’, but were ‘unwilling to meet the cost of placing their cables underground’. It was unanimously agreed that placing the ‘unsightly’ cables underground would greatly benefit the town’s landscape. The opportunity presented by the phase 3 works, would eliminate any future need to again ‘dig up the streets’.
Making life hell
‘Uncaring’ and ‘greedy’ builders, engaged in renovation contracts for Cork County Council, were making life hell for some families looking to have repair and renovation works undertaken to their properties. One such family’s nightmare highlighted by The Avondhu, saw them left without ‘water, electricity and heat for nearly three months because the builder had taken on too much other work.’
Leaving their home in February 1998 and moving into rented accommodation for 4 weeks to allow the contractor maximum opportunity to complete internal works to their property, the family discovered – to their ‘horror’ – on their return, that they neither had water or electricity, with the builder still involved in the major internal renovations.
Enduring living in such ‘nightmare’ conditions and unable to cook, it was reported the family ‘had to resort to buying pizzas, chips and other take-away and convenience foods’. Toilet facilities ‘consisted of a bucket, the contents of which needed to be buried each day in the garden’. Washing had to be ferried to the launderette, while having a shower or bath involved a trip to a relative’s house.
Almost 3 months into works, ‘a limited supply of water was made available’, along with a ‘partial electric supply’. When contacted by The Avondhu, the builder concerned stated he had ‘a 20 week contract to complete the job’, which would be finished on time.
Fine Gael councillor and solicitor Conor O’Callaghan, who was due to raise the matter before the June 1998 Northern meeting of Cork County Council, stated that ‘we were suffering from the affects of the ‘Celtic Tiger’’, with builders stretching their contract time to the wire, doing more better-paying ‘private’ work.
In his first major senior competition, Fermoy oarsman Gearoid Towey took bronze at the World Cup Regatta in Munich in May 1998.
Led by captain John McGrath, Mitchelstown footballers regained the Noel Wiley Cup, following a convincing victory over near neighbours Glanworth. Played before an excellent attendance at the Limerick Road grounds, the half-time margin was only four points in favour of ‘Town (1-6 to 0-5), the goal scored by the ‘youthful’ Carey Griffin. However, a dominant second half performance, including a goal from the boot of K McGrath, saw ‘Town limit their opponents to a single point and emerged victorious 2-13 to 0-6.
No double for ‘Hill
Hill Celtic fell at the final hurdle in their attempt to secure a double in 1998, losing 2-1 away to Corinthians Athletic; requiring a win to claim the championship or a draw to go into a three-way playoff, this loss thwarted their hopes, having already secured the County Cup.