The front page of The Avondhu this week 21 years ago carried a photo of the Galtee Meat Plant in Mitchelstown sealed off by Gardaí after a pig was discovered with mouth lesions. Vets from the Department of Agriculture confirmed that it was not Foot and Mouth disease after several tense hours of waiting.
In Watergrasshill the Kepak boning and packing plant was completely destroyed following a fire over one weekend in May 2001. The fire, fuelled by fat, beef carcasses, and gas from the large freezers, led to 50 foot flames. The 120 employees were taking a ‘wait and see’ approach regarding the continuation of their jobs.
There were multiple calls to The Avondhu to report noise, fighting, vandalism and public nuisance over what seemed a destructive weekend in May 2001. One group left broken glass and beer bottles in flowerbeds in New Square, while another caller deplored the vodka-lovers on Church Lane who left small empty bottles behind them. Separately, but on the same night, 30 people were involved in a fracas in the same area after celebrating a Communion. In Kingston College, fighting had brought down a wall and railings, with residents ‘fed up’ of removing used condoms after the area had become a popular spot for courting on weekend nights.
Doneraile was another place that fell victim to vandalism, after thieves stripped down and removed the stonework of two entrance piers to the town, as well as a five foot section of a wall. The unique steel gate that once hung at the location, the entrance to an old hunting lodge, had been stolen some years previous.
The removal of phone boxes from rural areas was deplored by Councillor Kevin O’Keeffe, who highlighted the effect on those with no phones in their home who relied on the phoneboxes in case of an emergency.