‘Locals United in Efforts to Keep Out Foot and Mouth Disease’ was the front page headline of The Avondhu 21 years ago. All marts were cancelled, as were IFA and ICMSA meetings as the £5 billion Irish food export industry hung in the balance. Point-to-points in Kilworth, Araglin and Lismore were cancelled, but Kildorrery went ahead with disinfected straw mats in place. Glanbia drivers were instructed to spray their tyres after visiting every farm, and anglers were urged to desist from fishing to avoid the potential spread of the disease.

In Glenahulla, planning was granted for a new national school, while CBS Secondary School in Mitchelstown introduced a book rental scheme.

In Kilbehenny, icy conditions caused a truck to jackknife on the Mitchelstown side of the town. It was lifted by crane back to the roadway and was still driveable.

The West Waterford Drama Festival celebrated its 21st year. For the anniversary, the region played host to 10 nights of drama with the Conna Dramatic Society bringing ‘The Year of the Hiker’ and Ballyduff Drama Group performing ‘The Madness of George III’.

In other entertainment, a murder mystery night was planned for Kilcoran Lodge, while The Barrymore players would perform ‘Moll’ in Castlelyons. However, it might be a case of overfilling the bucket, as an article reported diluted crowds at many theatre events due to a clash of local presentations; one weekend saw five productions being staged locally. There wasn’t even time to change the scenery, as The Hothouse Flowers took to the stage and played amongst the paraphernalia of the set of ‘The Lonesome West’ in the Village Arts Centre, Kilworth.

Mitchelstown saw the grand reopening of the new-look Myers Maxol Filling Station, under the helm of David and Margaret Myers.

A letter from The Friends of St Colman’s Cathedral accused in strong terms Bishop John Magee of ‘going back on his word’. The Bishop had proposed big architectural changes to the altar and surrounds of the cathedral in Cobh and, despite over 24,000 signatories against the changes, had convened a third advisory committee on the matter. The ‘Friends’ questioned who was paying for these committees, as they claimed some members came from the USA and others were unqualified to offer a learned opinion.

An article appeared from one Phil Cleary in Australia, a member of the Real Republic party. He told the story of his great grand-uncle, Dinny Cleary from Anglesborough, who had a flintlock pistol from the time he fought against Garibaldi on the side of the pope in 1860.

In Castlelyons, the community council were the grateful recipients of five and a half acres at Stables Cross for a ‘nominal fee’. Meanwhile, in Castletownroche, Madge McSweeney proudly celebrated her 80th birthday.

In brief – Kilworth’s spire on the Village Arts Centre was nearly completed, and commendations were also made to Jim Nash for his gardening work in the cemetery. In Tallow, a visit of the relics of St Therese of Lisieux to the convent was announced. The Avondhu Bar, Fermoy was the scene of the retirement of John Fant from Cork County Council.

In Lismore and Cappoquin, locals mourned the passing of postmistress Pat Bransfield, who was the victim of a road traffic collision – she gave nearly 50 years of service in the community.

Tríona Cliffe of Cappoquin Macra was 2001’s ‘Miss Blue Jeans’, while Glanworth Macra won first place in the Macra County Drama final with ‘David’s Birthday’.

The letters page 21 years ago was a hotbed of dismay. Fermoy was likened to the Titanic, with one writer decrying the lack of ‘big shops’ (Dunnes or Quinnsworth), large pubs, or a festival for young people ‘like they have in Mitchelstown’. Another letter, coming from Ballyporeen, envisioned a motorway burying Skeheenarinky, Kilbehenny and Ballyporeen underground as the porous soil would collapse under the traffic. Galtymore’s peak would be all that was left visible, and that only via Noah’s Ark. Elsewhere, the UDC in Fermoy were admonished in two separate letters; they were under fire for allocating money behind closed doors, and other calls were made for its disbandment for having ‘too many chiefs and not enough Indians’.

Glanworth referee Joe Cummins was honoured after 22 years of service to the game, and Joe Meara from Co. Down took the prize in the Grandon’s Snooker Invitational in Fermoy. In Mitchelstown, Bunty Flynn took the Millennium Golfer of the Year Award, while Glenroe defeated Kerry side Abbeydorney in the first round of the Munster junior hurling tournament.

The Classifieds section held an ad for the paranoid parent: ‘Communion dress, worn once, in England’. Lambs and ‘well-bred’ sheepdogs were advertised for sale, but another sheepdog and a retriever were free to a good home. A cleaner advertised her services under the name ‘Angela’s Ashes’, while Stagpark in Mitchelstown had 7.8 acres for silage.