The noisy siren emenating from the fire brigade station located at James Street in Mitchelstown, was, according to Cllr Conor O’Callaghan, causing ‘much disturbance and annoyance to residents living in the vicinity’ of the station.
He was calling on Cork County Council to replace the system, which was used in conjunction with individual bleepers and was causing ‘an unnecessary intrusion,’ with more up to date technology. The councillor claimed that visitors to the town ‘were known to have mistaken the loud blast as an emergency call to vacate buildings’, which was known to shake windows and doors.

Suffering from depopulation, the villages of Curraglass and Clondulane would benefit from the provision of more local authority housing, according to Deputy Ned O’Keeffe at a meeting of Cork County Council’s Northern Committee, in March 1997.

‘The biggest and best ever (St Patrick’s Day) parade’ to have taken place in Ballyporeen, attracting a crowd estimated ‘near on two thousand’, saw Jim Smith lead the way as grand marshal in 1997, in the company of the James Fitzgerald Brass and Reed Band from Mitchelstown. Knockadea Community Sports and Soccer Club were awarded ‘Best Float’, while Ballyporeen ICA took the honours for ‘Best Walking Group’. Paddy Macken, as Ronald Reagan, won the prize for ‘Best Individual’.

A very special night of farewell and celebration was held in Lynch Camp, Kilworth in March 1997, with a large party gathering to bid adieu and good luck to 12 members of the local Defence Force, who retired in 1996. Squadron Sergeant James Ronan, senior NCO in Fermoy, performed the presentations. The 12 retiring members included SQMS Ted O’Keeffe, SQMS Gerry Tuher, CQMS Barry Doyle, Sgt Paddy Butler, Sgt John Clifford, Sgt Tadhg Hogan, Sgt Kevin Cronin, Sgt William Cody, Sgt Jackie Howard, Cpl Michael Coughlan and Cpl Tommy Donovan. A presentation was also made to Sgt Danny Howard, who had been transferred to Collins Barracks on promotion.

‘Astonished at the interest shown’, was how one of the organisers of the Fermoy St Patrick’s Day parade described the outcome of the 1997 event. Grand marshal, Michael Dolan, led the way from the traditional starting point at Cork Road, ‘even managing a quick drink of the black stuff at Albert’s Bar on Cork Road’. Grange National School with their entry ‘Blackwater Magic’ were overall winners – their environmental themed entry attempting to tell the story of the River Blackwater and its importance to the whole area. Other winner included Fermoy and Mitchelstown Credit Unions; the Presentation Convent, Fermoy Pre-School; Fermoy Choral Society and Fermoy GAA Club.

Mitchelstown’s St Patrick’s Day parade in 1997 was simply ‘a wonderful sight to behold’. It was led by 1996-97 Queen of the Galtees Ann McGrath and grand marshal Jim Smith.

Co-Op SuperStores, Mitchelstown were advertising their Easter offers in March 1997, including Cans of Coke for 28p, 1 litre Del Monte Orange Juice for 59p, 200g Pringles £1.12, 1 litre Kiora Orange 79p, Cans of Murphy’s Irish Stout 83p, beef mince 99p/lb and bottles of Leibfraumilch wine £3.49.

‘Returning to their roots’ was how Sr Patrice described the homecoming of the 11 Carmelite Sisters to again take up residency in the new £400,000 St Joseph’s Monastery in Tallow in March 1997. The sisters relocated for 2 years to Lismore, in accommodation provided by the Presentation Sisters, as the old monastery which had served the community for 150 years, was deemed unsafe and structurally unsound. Following demolition and a substantial rebuild, the blessing of the building saw Bishop William Lee as chief celebrant.

Tallow’s Brideview Players captured five major awards at the 17th West Waterford Drama Festival staged in Ballyduff in March 1997. Winners in the confined section with their production of John B Keane’s ‘Sive’, David Murphy was awarded ‘best producer’ in that section, with Fiona McDonnell claiming ‘best actress’. John Ryan took ‘best supporting actor’, while the group also captured the Donie Feeney Perpetual Trophy for ‘best presentation’. Kilmeen Drama Group were winners of the open section with Bernard Farrell’s ‘I Do Not Like Thee Dr Fell’.

A sixth Harty Cup title for St Colman’s College, Fermoy in March 1997, defeating Nenagh CBS by an impressive 12 point margin. A ‘tough and very physical’ final saw a player from either side dismissed, with Colman’s holding an unflattering 4 point half-time lead. However, with the Tipperary side only registering 3 second half scores, Ballyhea’s Niall Ronan helped Colman’s to a comfortable victory, with a personal tally of 1-10.