A dog with three legs and answering to the name ‘Ranger’ was causing ‘severe distress’ to factory workers in St Joseph’s Square, Fermoy. Workers on the night shift at the SCI plant, were being kept awake during the day by Ranger’s howling. Visiting the square by day, where it was believed he was being fed, the three-legged nuisance evaded capture and his daytime antics were threatening to sour the relationship with locals. One resident, who had been deprived of two days sleep, told The Avondhu it was time to ‘silence the dog permanently’, commenting ‘We are all a bit sick of Ranger’s repertoire, his constant howling is desperately annoying. Anyone who wants him is welcome to him, he has out-stayed his welcome around here’.
It was reported that Baron of Ballyduff, Pat Kenny, was preparing to marry his ‘oriental gem’ at a ceremony to be held in St Michael's Hall in early April 1998. Princess Yenolom Eneri, born on the South Pacific island of Boru, was apparently smuggled from the country in the early 1970s during a civil war, in which her parents were killed. The story goes, that ‘after a few traumatic years, she was fostered out to parents in South Tipperary'. Those curious as to how the baron crossed her path, could hear all at the wedding. However, tickets were like ‘gold dust' and were reportedly ‘making much more on the black market’ than the retail price of £14! Musical duo Stefan & Pierce would provide the nuptial harmonies.
Fermoy was honoured by the visit of President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin in March 1998. Firstly, attending a civic reception given by Fermoy UDC, President Robinson called for an end to the ‘culture of cynicism’, as a ‘fear of politics’ was depriving the country of a wealth of talent. Instead, she urged those present in the council chambers, to ‘concentrate instead on utilising the rich treasury of talent, currently available in Ireland’. Visiting St Patrick’s Hospital, the president, having completed her official duties indoors, made her way across town, being afforded ‘an assortment of patriotic tunes’ by the Thomas Kent Pipe Band, en route to the Town Park. There, she shovelled soil around a slender oak tree, as a permanent reminder of her visit to Fermoy. Addressing those who had waited patiently to see her, President Robinson told them ‘the greatest contribution they could make to society was to live their lives well’.
Lismore’s historical spout came under the spotlight at the March meeting of the town commissioners. The practice of people washing their cars, potentially damaging the 150 year old landmark, was discussed, with a suggestion that a protective chain be erected around the spout to prevent further damage. However, county secretary, Peter Carey argued against this, saying it would be ‘of little use’, instead suggesting people should be encouraged to be careful when making use of the spout.
A state-of-the-art retractable seating system was installed in St Michael’s Hall, Ballyduff just in time for the opening of the 18th annual West Waterford Drama Festival. Part of a major refurbishment programme carried out on the hall, locals were loud in their praise of the works. Blessed by Fr K Mulcahy PP, the tape was officially cut by Bill Canning in March 1998 to ‘declare the seats in use’.
Described as ‘North Cork's finest new estate’, phase one of an eventual 50 home development at Duntahane Road, Fermoy had sold out well before completion. ‘The Ashford’, a 3 bed semi-detached home could be purchased for £73,000, whereas ‘The Lismore', a 4 bed offering in both detached and semi-detached options, was priced at £94,000 and £85,000 respectively. McInerney Construction were reported as being ‘very happy with sales.
In brief – Grand marshal for the 1998 St Patrick’s Day parade in Fermoy was announced as the town’s Mr Music, Brian O’Reilly. The £30 ‘chimney fire fee' went up in smoke, being abolished in March 1998. Up until then, anyone calling out the fire brigade had to pay the fee whether the fire was serious or not.
A turnout of 40 players participated in the Big Jim Moher Memorial Cup competition held at the grounds of Ballygiblin GAA Club on March 1998. Four teams, contesting 2 semi-finals, saw some excellent hurling played in bad underfoot conditions. Galtee Rovers and Dairygold Babes contested a close fought final, defeating The Biteoges (1-5 to 0-4) and Croughevoe Slashers (4-4 to 2-8) respectively. Rovers under the captaincy of Maurice Kenneally, emerged victorious in the final, 3-5 to 3-2.