‘Arrogant and lackadaisical’ was how council officials were described by some residents of the Ard Mhuilinn Estate in Mitchelstown, who were called out to remedy a blocked sewerage system, which had caused ‘a river of raw sewage’ to spill onto the estate road. Residents had noticed sewage seeping through a manhole cover and as the situation got worse, a team of work men were sent to the estate to deal with the problem. Initial attempts to free the blockage with rods failed and a suction tank was called in to assist. Residents insisted that the council wash the road afterwards, fearing that children would ‘catch disease’. However, there was anger with the ‘slipshod’ way council officials were claimed to have dealt with residents, with one local stating that a council official replied, ‘Well, you all have medical cards, don’t you’ – something that was ‘completely out of order and uncalled for’ the resident told The Avondhu.
The issue of the introduction of the euro currency and its affects was the topic of discussion at a meeting in The Grand Hotel, Fermoy where MEP Brian Crowley was guest speaker. Organised by the local business association, questions on the cost of changeover to cash registers and computers, staff training, etc were answered by Pat Hegarty of AIB and Noel O’Brien from FBA Accountants. January 1st 1999 was the date set for the euro to become ‘a reality’ and all traders in the town were ‘strongly urged’ to attend. January 1st, 2002 would see the Irish currency (punt) cease to be legal tender.
A bit of a stir in Glenville, with the arrival of ‘strangers’ Gerry and Noeleen Costello from Balbriggan, Co Dublin into the community as new owners of O’Herlihy’s Shop in the village. Taking on the goodwill and trade built up by Gerard and Julia O’Herlihy, the Costellos gave ‘serious consideration’ to the move south to start a new life in rural Ireland, with the ‘quality of life’ on offer being a major factor in their decision. Confident of the shop’s ability to survive and thrive, Gerry told The Avondhu that there was room for the corner shop, offering a ‘personal touch’.
Preparations were being finalised for the rededication of Glenbrohane church in March 1998, with Archbishop Dermot Clifford of Cashel and Emly set to officiate, following a restoration project which was several years in the making. The church, built in 1819 and which had been ‘condemned’ due to its deteriorating state, was lovingly restored to its former glory by ‘a group of idealistic parishioners’. Working under the guidance of the National Heritage Council of Ireland, building contractors Fox and O’Rourke were putting the final touches to a fully restored church when The Avondhu visited, prior to the big day. Work on the roof was one of the biggest undertakings of the project, with 7,000 new slates being sourced from all over the country; doors and windows were replaced and extensive pointing to walls and steps completed. Weekly collections in the community formed the main source of funding for the works. Mitchelstown man and ‘well known bugler’, Charlie Sweeney, was tasked with landscaping the area around the church.
An Post could expect ‘one hell of a fight from the local people’ in Glenroe, as the future of their post office lay in the balance. This followed the passing in September 1997 of Mrs Hennessy, who had operated the facility for 44 years. However, a tender process advertised to find a suitable replacement was termed ‘a cynical exercise’ by Glenroe native and public representative, Cllr Matt O’Callaghan, as the one applicant received was twice refused, deemed by An Post to be ‘unsuitable’, though the councillor argued the applicant would have been ‘extremely suitable’. Independent councillor, John Gallahue from Anglesboro, termed the policy of post office closures as ‘short-sighted and stupid’.
An elderly lady living on her own in Araglin escaped unhurt when an electric blanket she was using caught fire. Fire brigade units from Fermoy and Mitchelstown responded to the emergency, preventing major damage to the house – the lady was said to be ‘shaken, but unhurt’ following the ordeal.
Fermoy’s bid to take its littering problem seriously saw the launch of the ‘Fermoy Becoming A Tidier Town’ flag high over the town courthouse in March 1998, a signal to members of the public that the first of three clean up days had begun. Under the stewardship of Cllr John Murphy, the newly formed committee had ‘earned the respect of all interest groups in the town’ and by all accounts, progress was already visible throughout the town.