Fantastic news on 29th June 2000 as The Avondhu carried the story that the proposed ‘Superdump’ would not be sited in Watergrasshill, as long feared, but located instead in Bottlehill. The environmental importance of the site at Moanbaun had been a decisive factor in the decision, and the announcement brought relief to all in the surrounding areas.
However, Watergrasshill had a new enemy on its doorstep – the proposed M8 motorway route was planned to be ‘just six metres’ from the tranquil primary school location. Planners had proposed a palisade fence along with a ‘huge mound of earth’ to keep the children in!
The proposed M8 toll at Fermoy was a dread and a headache for everyone it seems, with councillors and the Irish Automobile Association calling it ‘unjustified’, ’completely daft’ and ‘viewed with hostility’.
The Fermoy Business Association had a full page advert to point out that they were ‘totally opposed’ to the introduction of a 40p per hour charge on parking in Fermoy ‘at this time’. Elsewhere, the group were annoyed at the tendering process for the Fermoy Community Hospital, as they felt that materials and works should be sourced locally. They were told, however, to remember that it was ‘the consumers who are giving them the money’ by Cllr Tadhg O’Donovan – a comment that would cause consternation.
While trouble brewed on land, local hotelier Emelyn Heaps sought refuge on the water, as he applied for planning for a ‘Mississippi style riverboat’ restaurant on the River Blackwater at Ashe Quay, Fermoy. His previous application had been denied. His new plans would allow for riverboat cruises, as well as a dining experience.
History repeats itself, as there were calls for parents to vaccinate their children for measles, mumps and rubella. The Southern Health Board reported an increase in the cases of measles in Munster from 5 in all of 1999 to 55 by June of 2000.
A possible review of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) agreement was on the cards, but would be keenly fought by Gerard Collins, Fianna Fáil Munster MEP. The CAP funding debate ‘must not be reopened’ he noted.
2000 was a lucky year for anyone turning 100, as Know Your Rights explained that the ‘Centenarian’s Bounty’ was a special Millennium payment of £2,000 (up from the regular acknowledgement of £300).
Women’s role in the home was ‘undervalued’, according to a sample of the 69% of married women who described their status as ‘full-time housewife’. Despite working an average of 81 hours per week, to the value of £18,533 (at the minimum wage of £4.40/hour), 49% of this group did not have life insurance. Married women who worked outside the home spent 62 hours a week on household tasks.
The mental health of men was the feature of Fr David Gaffney’s weekly column, as he called out for men to ask for help if they needed it. The figures at the time were that four times as many young men kill themselves than young women.
Conna Castle Concert Committee were forced to have a rethink of the event, after their concert in 2000 failed to have the impact of previous years. The committee did not feel that the ban on alcohol in the castle grounds had been a factor: “Alcohol at any rock event is forbidden, so we don’t think that is the reason for the poor turnout”. Elsewhere in entertainment news, the Village Arts Centre, Kilworth welcomed a host of renowned thespians for ‘One for the Road’. The cast included members of Glenroe, Fair City and Ros na Rún.
In the world of sport, there were celebrations for Fanahan McSweeney AC, as 11 local athletes qualified to represent Cork in the National Community Games in Mosney.
Kilworth Celtic FC were proud of their player, Tommy Seymour, who went on trial with Waterford United.
In GAA, Ballylanders footballers won the U16A South title, while Ballygiblin were crowned the U12B champions after defeating Ballyhea. Castletownroche Junior A hurlers had an emphatic win over Newtownshandrum, winning 5-17 to 2-5. Bride Rovers U21s took on Castlemartyr in the first round of the championship, triumphant by 1-15 to 1-7, with the goal from Philip Hazelwood.
Mitchelstown Golf Club hosted the Spratt Cup, where Francis McCarthy won the gents competition and Monica McCarthy (who had only been playing for one year) won the ladies competition.
In the world of equestrian sports, two teams from the Avondhu Pony Club team travelled to the Waterford Crystal Complex for a two-day triathlon, in which the Araglin branch team of Anthony McHugh, Mairead Allen and Michelle Allen placed third.