A controversial parade entrant in the Fermoy Saint Patrick’s Day event this week in 1999 led the news agenda. The incident saw an anti-dump group, protesting against a proposed landfill, enter a spectacular toxic waste float to take part in the march through the town.

However, it was stopped in mid-stride by organisers and after much debate and negotiation, they were allowed to continue on their way – but only with a garda escort. Despite organisers’ concerns, the crowds appeared to view it differently, cheering as the display passed by their vantage points en route.

Across the region, the usual kaleidoscope of colour was splashed for the annual feast day, with children and adults participating in countless events. Local companies were congratulated on their ‘responsible energy consumption’. Dairygold recorded a 30% reduction in energy use, while Micro Bio reduced theirs by 15% – this was mentioned favourably in the Annual Self Audit and Statement of Energy Accounts Scheme report. 

Stinging attack

The ESB however were getting a battering from councillors for their contribution to the New Square works in Mitchelstown. Councillors at a meeting lashed out at the company because they charged an ‘outrageous’ figure of £66,000 for work carried out as part of the new project, which saw the town centre square completely revamped. Mitchelstown councillor Conor O’Callaghan was not happy and he launched a stinging attack on the company: ‘They make huge money from Mitchelstown and this is an unfair, if not grossly unfair, predicament’.

Despite the councillors negative reactions, there was no anger directed towards the company in one community. Recurring power shortages in Castletownroche would become a thing of the past as the ESB carried out works to upgrade the supply network in the area. The workers replaced an over-worked transformer with a greater capacity unit and also erected new wiring.

Talk was rife of a Tesco store on the Fermoy Aerodrome site, but that was rubbished by a company spokesman. The rumours circulated of the shopping centre being built at the site of the former army barracks, but the Department of Defence were still deciding on who would be allowed buy the land.

Thoughts were turning to an upcoming local election in 1999, as Pat Joe Walsh was nominated to represent  the Fine Gael party. He said that the election was an ‘honest one’ and he paid tribute to his opponents locally in Mitchelstown, Liam O’Doherty and Pat Brennan.

In the Fermoy council chambers, a delegation from Araglin was causing disquiet among councillors. Local representative Joe Sherlock was not happy with the time they were taking to make their point. The Mallow Area Committee had received a deputation who were complaining about the condition of roads in the area. The meeting descended into heated exchanges after Cllr Sherlock sought to quicken the pace. Other councillors reacted angrily to the intervention, with many agreeing with the locals’ declaration that the roads were in an unacceptable condition in the area.

Tom Rice, a well known expert angler, was set to represent Ireland at the 1999 European Championships which were to take place in Slovakia. Tom told The Avondhu that the team were ‘fairly confident’ of their chances in the competition and those selected were looking forward to competing in the event. 

A dangerous and inconvenient bus stop for secondary school students in Mitchelstown was also making the headlines. Problems arose because the bus stop was too far away from the schools for children and councillors called for an effort be made to reposition the set down area. 

While Mitchelstown may have just received a newly revamped square, the resultant reduction in car parking spaces had caused problems for the town. Then councillor Kevin O’Keeffe described the situation as “chronic”. In the hopes of correcting the problem, the local council were investigating to see if a solution could be found. 

Doneraile Court was set for a revamp as the building was to be re-roofed. The project would cost £450,000 and a further £31,000 would be given to the project.

Councillors and TDs were promising the town of Fermoy that their flooding woes were not being forgotten. Minister Ned O’Keeffe was reassuring people that he was hunting for funding for major flood relief works. 

In sport, Kilworth Celtic beat Brideview United 2-1 while Ballyhooly GAA’s Junior B side scored a 1-10 to 0-3 victory over Ballyclough – their third league win. Hill Celtic defeated Glanmire 4-1, sending them into the Country Cup final.