Before the days of the M8 motorway, Mitchelstown’s roads were a quagmire of blocked streets. Such was the problem, that the town set up a Traffic Management Committee. They called on Cork County Council to adopt a Traffic Management Study which, they said, was urgently needed to deal with the lack of parking and congestion. 

The issue was raised at the Fermoy and Mallow Area Committee meeting, where representatives of the Mitchelstown group aired their grievances. Group spokesman, Conor O’Callaghan, told councillors that the committee, which was set up two years previous, had been looking at the different problems being experienced in Mitchelstown and they had identified inadequate parking spaces and congestion as the biggest problems.

“The first thing to be done is to introduce more car parking in the Square, but the traffic management plan is taking a long time to be introduced. We thought two-hour restrictions in parking would have been introduced by now,” he said.

A number of councillors backed the committee’s calls for action.

The concerns of communities regarding the proposed ‘super dump’ for North Cork was filling the pages of The Avondhu 21 years ago. A public meeting was due to be held in Watergrasshill to discuss further action to prevent the facility being constructed in woodland near the village. The decision on the final location of the waste disposal plant was due shortly. The meeting was scheduled to discuss the final push to get the message across that siting the structure in Watergrasshill would be an environmental, ecological, agricultural and social disaster.

In the previous months members of the Watergrasshill and District Environmental Alliance (WADEA) had been canvassing more than 10,000 houses in the greater East Cork area. All the households, WADEA claim, would be adversely effected if the Moanbawn site was selected.

In other environmental news, the village of Ballyhooly was enraged by the spillage of slurry twice in the area. The latest incident was a leak that struck outside a shop in the area, prompting the owner of the business, Denis Hickey, to call for a ban on the transportation of effluent through the area.

“It’s absolutely disgraceful. I’ve spent a lot of money doing up this shop and it’s not very appealing to customers when they stop and get the whiff. If it can happen once outside my premises, then it can happen again. Slurry should not be transported through a built-up area,” he said.

Plans were underway to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, as thousands were expected to throng the streets of towns and villages to celebrate our national day. The people of Mitchelstown were looking forward to their event as Minister Ned O’Keeffe, local personality Jim Smith and Queen of the Galtees, Joan Sweeney were leading the way. Fermoy were set to see Ballyhooly athlete, Tom Leahy as grand marshal.

There was a lot of chatter in Rathcormac as plans were unveiled for the bypass, set to be constructed around the village. The Avondhu reported that there was a ‘sense of purpose’ to the strategy of building a motorway through the area, linking Dublin and Cork. A meeting was held where local people could examine the Rathcormac portion of the plan and were given an opportunity to air their opinions on the best possible route. It was believed that an extensive period of consultation with all interested parties would allow the plan to be expedited and the way would then be cleared for the roadworks to begin.

Gardai in Fermoy and Glanworth were hunting bogus traders operating in the area. A group of men were selling fireplaces under the pretence of representing a well-known Mallow business. A Garda spokesman advised locals not to make any purchases from the men and to report their activities.

There were reports that dumped cars were becoming a major problem in The Avondhu region, as the new National Car Test (NCT) regime came into effect. This newspaper reported that there was a dramatic rise in the number of complaints about the problem. Enquiries established that such cars which were disposed of, were old and would not pass the stringent NCT tests.

There was a fire at Kilworth Camp when a blaze broke out on the ranges. The fire broke out when a stray flare set fire to furze and gorse in the area.

In sport – Rathcormac man Noel Hegarty had transferred to one of England’s leading rugby squads as he took up a post at Sale. Hegarty had been playing with Shannon Rugby Club in Limerick, but was recruited for the British job.