As noted last week, there was always drama associated with Fermoy Urban District Council (UDC) and its members either side of the turn of the century. At the time it probably was not as entertaining as it is looking back, but there were weekly stories of fights and scraps associated with the elected body. 

21 years ago this week, saw the latest war of words in the local Fianna Fáil party, with a senior party official contacting The Avondhu to declare that Cllr John Hussey had not been welcomed back into the fold, despite reports to the contrary the week before. Cllr Hussey had fallen out with the party the year before after a dispute, but a party meeting in Rathcormac was arranged and he was brought back into the fold of the ruling political organisation. Sean Sherwin, national organiser, however was said to have rubbished the earlier reports of a successful reintroduction into the FF family. In a statement, he claimed that Cllr Hussey had expelled himself from the Fianna Fáil organisation ‘when he stood as a candidate in the 1999 local elections against Fianna Fáil’.

A meeting on the horror wrath by the drugs trade was told that parents play a critical role in preventing Lismore being a haven for narcotics. A drugs awareness meeting in Lismore was organised by the local Fine Gael party and a large crowd welcomed speakers. The Avondhu reported that the meeting heard, in no uncertain terms, that alcohol remained the most abused drug of all in Ireland, largely due to the fact it was a socially acceptable part of our culture. Speakers slammed the view taken by many parents, that it is better for their children to be drinking rather than taking drugs at an early age.

One speaker, Sergeant John Molloy, said he had a large amount of experience of dealing with the fall out, which included teenagers getting the gift of money for completing their Junior Cert and spending it on drink: “At last year’s celebration disco in Dungarvan our day room was full of drunken school children who we had to arrest because of their behaviour following alcohol consumption. However, the worst part of all this was that when we notified the parents, some of them didn’t seem to care and were annoyed at being disturbed in the early hours of the morning,” he said. Pa O’Neill of the Dungarvan Outreach Services said that there is no small town or village immune from cannabis. He said the prevalence of ecstasy, LSD and amphetamines was a serious problem and that it was ‘really frightening’ that children as young as 15-years were using drugs.

Breda Ryan, a Presentation student was awarded a North Cork Garda Merit Award. From Garryleigh, Mitchelstown, Breda was very active in various charities and fundraising events.

The issue of substandard water supplies was also a hot topic in 2000, with Minister Ned O’Keeffe announcing a radical revamp of the subsidy system which assists the group water scheme sector.

Tragically, there was a fatal road incident on the N8 between Rathcormac and Watergrasshill at the townland of Curraghprevin. A woman who was crossing the road on foot having parked her car, was struck by a truck. The so-called truck-train was Dutch registered and was reported as being driven by an English national.

A proposal by Cllr John Murphy would see a tree planted in Fermoy Town Park to celebrate the new Millennium. “Other councils have done something and so should we. I think it would be nice to have an appropriate tree in the Town Park and an official planting ceremony, because it will be something that will last,” he said

In sport – Claire Leddy was the first lady home in the pony section of the Araglin Drag Hunt and was presented with the Pickering Perpetual Cup. Doneraile AFC were crowned Division Three Cork AUL league champions. The last tie of the season was against Castle Celtic, which they won in a dominant 5-1 display. The Doneraile scorers were Jerry O’Connell who scored two, Hugh Nolan, David Ryall and John McAuliffe. Captain Dave Donlon received the cup to the delight of his team mates and they could look forward to Division 2 football in the coming season.