An ‘angry and concerned resident, claiming to speak on behalf of a number of people from the (Boherash) area’, contacted The Avondhu criticising Cork County Council for allowing the demolition of part of an old stone wall leading from the Dairy Cross, in Glanworth, with over 20 metres of wall having already been removed in May 1997. Other segments of the wall had been ‘more than halved in size and topped with concrete’ at the location owned by Cork County Council, who were constructing local authority housing on the site. Those objecting to the destruction claimed they were in favour of further housing, ‘be it local authority or private’, however they felt it was not necessary to pull down large segments of the wall to accommodate such development. They also cited the fact that Glanworth was designated as a heritage village by Cork County Council.
“Football matters. It matters a lot” – so said 12 year old Kevin O’Donovan from Croughevoe, Mitchelstown who was the subject of a documentary titled ‘Kevin’, which aired over the June bank holiday weekend on Network Two in 1997. Having lost his right arm in a farm machinery accident at just 6 years old, the youngster had used sport ‘since the day he left hospital’ to prove that, with only one arm, he could be just as good as anyone else. A fanatical Aston Villa supporter, the documentary was described as ‘a glimpse of this boy’s life, his family and friends, his dreams for the future’.
Fears regarding the future of Castlelyons Post Office were ‘far from allayed’ in May 1997, despite assurances given by An Post that the East Cork village was ‘not about to lose its own postal service’. Postmistress for the past 37 years, Margaret Regan, had given the mandatory 3-month notice period to An Post and was set to retire at the end of May 1997, however, in order for a suitable replacement to be found, Ms Regan had agreed to extend her notice period by an extra month, until the end of June. Community Council activist James Ronayne, told The Avondhu there was a real fear that the position may remain unfilled, if nobody was in ‘a position to take over by the beginning of July’. He stated, ‘An Post has been given the last three months to get its house in order. Now it must do it in three weeks”.
The presence of a brand new camper van outside Donovan’s Shop on main street, Ballyporeen was ‘the cause of much interest from locals and passers-by alike’ in May 1997, as native John Donovan was coming home to show to his parents the magnificent prize he had just won on the Kenny Live show. Valued at £39,000, the 2.8 litre turbo diesel vehicle was top prize on the show and the son of well known local county councillor, Con Donovan, who lived with his wife Audrey and family in Dungarvan, received a great welcome from family, friends and passers-by.
Another important milestone in the overall plan to provide state-of-the-art facilities for Mitchelstown was reached in May 1997, with the signing of the contract for the Canon’s Field. The deal, costing £145,000, was subject to a number of conditions and meant that the Leisure Centre Complex committee had now secured all the land stretching from Convent Hill to Mulberry for the proposed project.
Glowing tributes were paid to retired GP, Dr TA O’Donovan of Ballyduff, during the reopening of the newly transformed health centre in the West Waterford village. Cllr Michael Deering, chairman of the South Eastern Health Board, who performed the official opening in May 1997, noted Dr O’Donovan’s association with the area, which went back to the early 1960s, in his capacity as medical officer in the district hospital in Lismore.
Coaches Noel Sheehan and Michael Bermingham were celebrating the success of the St Fanahan’s College Mitchelstown U14 hurlers, who comprehensively claimed the colleges’ county final in May 1997, following a 9-9 to 0-1 defeat of Schull Community College. Full forward Daniel Harrington top scored with 3-4, as the side captained by Ballygiblin’s Michael Feeney (1-1) claimed the college’s third such title at this age group.
Meanwhile, Tallow National School boys’ made it five-in-a-row of titles when easily taking the final of the Primary Schools’ Hurling Leagues in May 1997, overcoming An Rinn 7-5 to 1-1. The side was captained by Aidan Kearney.