Rows and disputes at Fermoy Urban District Council (UDC) meetings were a regular occurrence, but this time 21 years ago it was between the UDC and the local business association, who were not happy about the pressure on parking created by a number of new development projects. 

There was a wide ranging discussion at the AGM of the business group in the Castlehyde Hotel. The theme of discussions were centred around the granting of planning permission by the UDC to develop properties without ‘adequate consideration being taken of the number of car parking spaces actually required’. While the meeting welcomed all new businesses to the town, it was stressed by the group that developments should not happen ‘at any cost’. There were suggestions of a new multi storey car park facility at the Library Car Park to increase its capacity from 100 to 300 vehicles. There was also calls for the group to acquire derelict properties in the Connolly Street area, so that they could be converted into parking spaces.

Mitchelstown Community Council (MCC) were on the hunt for a local beauty to act as Miss FBD Milk Ras 2000. The huge cycling event was due to arrive in the town in May 2000 and Joan O’Sullivan, chairperson of the MCC, said the group were devising a way to appoint their regal representative. The need for a ‘Queen’ was part of the agreement entered into with the race organisers.

The criteria for selection was that the ‘young lady’ would be aged between 16 and 20-years-old. She would have the job of making the presentation to the stage winner. “This is a very prestigious title and great honour for the person to be chosen in this, the year 2000,” Mrs O’Sullivan said.

A special meeting was held to discuss how to grow tourism interest in Fermoy. The event, held at the Castlehyde Hotel, was described as an ‘exploratory open house’ meeting to develop possibilities to attract people to the area. The Avondhu reported that there were many successes and disappointments of past efforts, expressed by business interests, as well as community and sporting groups. The meeting proved very useful in hearing of the very many hopes and ambitions of those groups represented.

Gardai issued a warning as two women were victims of handbag thefts in Fermoy. The thefts occurred as the women were shopping at a store in the town. It was suspected that the thefts were carried out by a two person team.

“We are urging shoppers to be careful and watch their handbags at all times,” a Garda spokesman said. “Too often they discard their purses and other belongings in the front part of the trolley, which they leave unattended while looking for a particular product. The message is simple – keep handbags on your person when out shopping,” the spokesperson said.

The problems of water supply are an omnipresent issue in this region over the decades. The people of Conna and Kilworth were suffering with, what councillors claimed in 2000, were inadequate supplies. Cllr Frank O’Flynn said he was told that the supply in Conna was adequate for a proposed 43 new houses, day care centre and 18 houses for the elderly. There were concerns from the same councillor, as he tabled a motion for a new water scheme for Conna, as locals had been experiencing low water pressure.

Cllr Kevin O’Keeffe requested that the residences of Pound Lane, Kilworth should be connected to the new water supply in the village. The council responded by saying that there were two water schemes in the area, noting that they were increasing the water supply to one of them. “We will consider connecting residents at Pound Lane to the new supply if we have enough water,” a council official confirmed.

The Fermoy Enterprise Board (FEB) were campaigning for the decentralisation of a Government department to their town. The move came after Ministers Charlie McCreevy and Mary Harney announced that 10,000 civil servants would be transferred out of Dublin. Michael Hanley, the chairman of the FEB and also a UDC councillor, said he was making the case for a department to be located in the town.

In sport, Araglin GAA got off to a winning start as they beat Doneraile 2-8 to 0-7 in the junior B football league. Goal scorers were Tom Browne and Tom Lyons and the club welcomed back Paul Mulhern to their ranks.

In motorsport, the ambitious hopes of the North Cork Motorsport Club were heard at the club’s AGM, who were planning on building a racing track in the area.