Fermoy Urban District Council always provided drama back in the early 2000s, with walk-outs and rows between councillors a regular occurrence. Such was the case once again this time 21 years ago, when the latest walk-out occurred at the UDC meeting. Declared ‘High Jinks’ in The Avondhu front page headline, it saw just four councillors remaining in the chamber, because of a dispute centred around the attendance of a delegation.
It all centred around one councillor’s disquiet at not being informed of a deputation from Uplands, prior to the scheduled meeting. Cllr O’Leary had arrived at the chamber to find members of the UDC and Cork County Council, as well as a Dáil representative in a meeting, which he knew nothing about. Expressing his annoyance, Cllr Michael Hanley said it was ‘the most calculated in a series of stunts’ and he considered it ‘an insult to him and the position he holds as a councillor’.
A proposed traffic plan was raising the ire of residents on town centre streets in Mitchelstown. People living on George’s Street, Church Street, Barrack Street, Baldwin Street and King’s Square, said that the proposed traffic plan would have a detrimental effect on their lives. At a meeting held in the Town Hall, the residents agreed to seek a meeting with the local Community Council to ask for their support. The group had met with local councillors and the Mitchelstown Business Association to discuss the issue.
There was news of a major increase in development charges by Fermoy Urban District Council. The charges for sewerage and treatment works increased from £200 to £500, with the car parking levy doubling from £400 to £800. The move was welcomed by councillors Tadhg O’Donovan and John Murphy.
“It shows a certain level of vision on the part of the manager who came along and made a decision. We should support these schemes and any criticism of it, I attribute to ignorance,” said Cllr O’Donovan. “It is not a charge but a means of raising additional monies, which will be spent on improving infrastructure. Desirable infrastructure can only be done through this”.
The housing crisis in the early 2000s was as pertinent as it is today and there were calls for more sites to be made available in Fermoy to meet demand. Fine Gael TD, Paul Bradford, welcomed the allocation of private housing sites in Fermoy by the County Council, but asked that more sites be provided as a matter of urgency.
He said that the huge level of interest in private housing sites was very clear proof that Cork County Council must make extra sites available at the earliest available opportunity. Deputy Bradford added that proper housing should be a right, not a luxury and he asked the Government to ‘wake up to the crisis’.
The Fine Gael cumann in Lismore announced they were to hold a drugs awareness meeting to highlight the damaging and destructive effect of narcotics. The event organised by Cllr Willie McDonnell would see six speakers, with direct experience of the damaging effect of the drug trade on society.
Ballylanders played its part in the Peace Process during St Patrick’s week celebrations, as a group of Loyalists and Apprentice Boys from the Shankill Road in Belfast and from the city of Derry, were invited to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. A real international flavour was brought to the entertainment when a group of Polish musicians, Irish traditional dancers and talented exponents of the concert flute from the North of Ireland, came together to celebrate. The newspaper reported: ‘Ballylanders parish can be justifiably proud to have extended the hand of friendship to our Loyalist brethren from across the border’.
Fermoy councillor John Hussey was welcomed back into the Fianna Fáil fold at a party AGM in the Rathcormac Community Hall. He attended the meeting and met with Michael Ahern TD, who congratulated him on his success at the elections the previous June. It was reported that most cumann members welcomed the reappointment, but Junior Minister Ned O’Keeffe, who had crossed swords on more than one occasion with Cllr Hussey, reportedly rushed out of the meeting uttering disparaging remarks as Cllr Hussey and Deputy Ahern arrived.
In sport, there was a double triumph for Glanworth GAA, with both Junior As and Junior Bs successful. The A team were home to Ballyhooly, while the B team made the long journey to Ballyclough to play their first team. Glanworth beat Ballyhooly 2-16 to 0-6, during which Brendan O’Sullivan’s play was declared as one of the highlights of the match.
Meanwhile, White City lost to Ballyporeen 2-1 in the Brian McCarthy Memorial League Cup. Man of the match was Pappi Howard and Mick Roche, Jimmy McCarthy and Michael McCarthy all played well.