A rather curious tale of indiscriminate dumping in March 1997, with the perpetrator returning to the scene of the crime to reclaim his dumped items. Described as ‘a new advanced species’ who had taken ‘the whole art (of dumping) to a higher plane’, the dumping in the vicinity of Kilshannig Stud was stumbled upon by two men working in the area.
The discovery of ‘a large heap of lottery tickets which had been dumped over a ditch into private property’, was ‘a piece of loutishness’ which came as no great surprise, as the spot in question had seen its fair share of illegal dumping previously. As the men pondered over the finding, estimating that ‘a couple of hundred pounds worth of numbers were in the heap’ – some 50 or 60 tickets for the next draw – a large white van pulled up on the main road, with a gentleman estimated in his 50s, emerging from the vehicle claiming the tickets as his own. ‘As brazen as you like and without blinking an eye’ he asked for the tickets back, which he duly received, however when questioned as to why he had dumped the tickets over the ditch, the ‘unrepentant dumper’ replied, ‘Ah sure, I didn’t want to dump them on the public road.’ Fact is certainly stranger than fiction!

Ireland’s largest cheese importer and distributor, Horgan’s Delicatessen Supplies, secured its first contract to supply Irish cheeses to Marks & Spencer, both in Ireland and the UK. The initial shipment had an ‘annualised potential value of £0.25 million’.

“A complete lack of interest” from businesses saw the late cancellation of the 1997 Mitchelstown Rose competition in March 1997, an event organised by the Mitchelstown Music Festival committee. Despite circulating 70 businesses in the area, a sufficient number of entrants could not be found, with a disappointed festival PRO, Conor O’Callaghan, informing The Avondhu that by the time the deadline for return of entry forms had expired, only one entrant had been confirmed. The organising committee had secured the services of RTE personality, Marty Whelan for the event. The response from the businesses canvessed was termed ‘disastrous’, with only five or six ultimately showing an interest in putting forward contestants. The competition winner would have went forward to contest the Cork Rose, a qualifier for the prestigious Rose of Tralee Festival.

The saga relating to a ruling made at the ‘now famous February meeting of the local authority’ in Fermoy continued, with the ‘expected fireworks’ at the March 1997 meeting failing to materialise, as one of the councillors at the heart of the dispute, Cllr John Hussey, failed to appear. ‘Hamlet without the prince’ was how one ‘wag’ described the anticipated meeting, which had been ‘a source of much speculation and gossip’ locally. Party colleague, chairman Richie O’Leary was expecting an apology from Cllr Hussey for remarks directed at him at the February meeting that year, relating to the chairman’s refusal to consider a motion put forward by Cllr Hussey due to its negative tone. A Supreme Court hearing being taken by Cllr Hussey in an attempt to overturn the ruling, was only ‘a few short weeks away’.

A guidance councsellor at St Colman’s Community College in Midleton, David Stanton, emerged victorious from a Fine Gael constituency selection convention held in Mitchelstown in March 1997, to partner sitting TD Paul Bradford on the party ticket for the ‘imminent general election’. Mr Stanton beat off the challenge of five of his party colleagues, namely Mort Murphy, Harry Bollard, Nuala Murphy, George Jeffrey and Michael Hegarty. With no candidate thought to be ‘outstanding’ and favourite, much emphasis was placed on the 5-minute speech given by each hopeful prior to the election, at which 850 party members were believed to have voted.

It was officially announced that Fermoy Show, a showcase for all things agricultural, would not be held in the summer of 1997 – it was hoped the 52nd running of the event would be held in 1998, ‘perhaps with some changes in the format of the show’.

For the fifth year in succession, Ballygown NS were recipients of awards at the annual Cork County INTO/EBS Handwriting Competition. Pupils Thomas Sheehan of Kilcanway (category II overall winner) and Gavin Lenihan of Ballydaheen (2nd place category IV), were carrying on a proud tradition of achievement, enhancing the school’s reputation of producing top class handwriters.

Mick Dolan, stalwart of Fermoy GAA Club, was chosen to lead the St Patrick’s Day parade in the town in 1997.