The discovery of the bodies of two well known sisters shocked the townspeople of Mitchelstown, with gardai making the tragic find on entering their house on Upper Cork Street in May 1997, following a request by a concerned relative of the sisters.
Mary Gertrude O’Brien and her sister Nellie were found ‘up to three weeks after passing away’, however the results of a post mortem were awaited to confirm the precise details of the deaths, the sisters’ bodies being discovered in different rooms of their house. Described as ‘wonderful characters who contributed much to the community’, both ladies ran a small sweet shop up to the mid 1980s from their home which was mostly frequented by school children. Considerable media attention had focussed on the town following the discovery, much negative and painting the town in a very bad light, suggesting that the community was ‘an uncaring one’ and questioning how the deaths could go undetected for such a long period of time. Local councillor Conor O’Callaghan described such coverage as ‘grossly unfair’. Stating the sisters were ‘virtual recluses who did not want any outside help’, he paid tribute to the two ladies who provided a great service to the town.
Gardai were reported to be ‘keen to gather information’ about a rave party believed to have been held on Coillte property on the Cork/Limerick border at Glenanaar, Doneraile in early May 1997.
The people of Castlelyons turned out in their numbers to pay tribute to the All-Ireland colleges’ hurling champions, St Colman’s Fermoy, in particular acknowledging the large local representation on the panel. With the team ‘riding on open-back truck’ through the village, bonfires were lit as mentors Denis Ring and Dermot Coakley were given a warm welcome in the community hall. The five locals from the parish on the panel were Paul Cotter, Peter Murphy, Shane Murphy, Eoin Fitzgerald and Barry O’Connell.
A positive progress report was issued to members of Fermoy UDC, less than a month after the appointment of a litter warden in the town. Town clerk, Michael Cremin stated that as well as helping to heighten awareness of the town’s litter problem, the new council official had brought the ‘unforeseen benefit’ of indirectly helping to ‘clean up the town’s often chronic parking situation’. Apparently, many motorists ‘had mistaken him for a traffic warden’. The warden’s uniform however came in for some criticism, with Cllr Michael Hanley stating that he was ‘almost indistinguishable from members of An Garda Siochana’, however others felt that this was not necessarily a minus factor ‘if he helped to clean up the town’s streets’.
Fermoy, Mitchelstown, Mallow and Kildorrery were visited by Minister for Enterprise and Employment, Richard Bruton TD in May 1997. The Minister was given a civic reception in Fermoy, following a number of engagements in the town. His one day tour to some of the towns in the Cork East constituency saw a brief, ‘yet action packed stopover’ in Mitchelstown. While in Kildorrery, he met with members of the local community association.
Rory O’Brien Pig Enterprises and Killickane Feeds were the first integrated pig producers and manufacturers of animal feedstuffs to become registered to the ISO 9002 standard system for quality management, with Minister Bruton presenting certificates to Mr O’Brien during his visit to the area.
Details were announced in May 1997 of the first Ballyduff International Salmon Festival, a 3-day event scheduled to take place in August that year, as a fundraiser for the redevelopment of St Michael’s Hall. With many sideline events planned, centre piece of the festival would be a salmon fishing competition held over the three days, with organisers confident of attracting anglers from throughout the British Isles. A fee of £120 was being sought for participation.
A ‘very convincing victory’ was how the Fermoy GAA PRO described the feat of the town’s U21 footballers, when overcoming the challenge of Mallow in the North Cork A final in Castletownroche in May 1997. An early goal by Noel Crowley settled the team, while 0-6 from placed balls from the boot of Philip Lonergan contributed to a 1-13 to 1-6 victory. Captained by Brian O’Callaghan, team management included Willie O’Keeffe, Denis Twomey, John Fenton and Mick Brennan.
St Fanahan’s camogie team were crowned county junior B league champions when defeating St Finbarrs, captain was Kay Nolan; while Tallow National School won the Waterford county final of the INTO Mini Sevens hurling competition defeating Clonea NS, captain was Aidan Kearney.