The May 2002 General Election results dominated the front page of The Avondhu 21 years ago, as in the Cork region Fianna Fáil’s Ned O’Keeffe topped the polls, and Labour’s Joe Sherlock was also elected. Fianna Fáil’s Ollie Wilkinson became the first TD for Waterford in nearly 50 years to come from west of Dungarvan. Fine Gael had taken a hit in the election as a whole, and one news report noted that David Stanton had been elected, but “you wouldn’t know it, judging by his demeanour”.

In the farming pages, the ICMSA were pushing for the government to embrace wind energy, and another article noted that there was a decline in ‘doorstep sales’ of milk, with supermarkets dominating the market. Furthermore, while the sale of milk was generally down, Glanbia said that Ireland needed to keep up with their European neighbours, including Switzerland, where they already had milk ‘enriched with vitamins’.

The national school in Bartlemy was soon to be given the go-ahead to seek a contractor for an extension including a new library and classrooms, while in Ballyporeen, the national school was approved to find a developer for their new six-classroom school.

A page and a half was given over to the story of the Hennessy family of Kilclooney, who were, according to the writer, falsely accused of liaising with the British powers in the death of Fenian Peter O’Neill Crowley.

In Glanworth, Scout leader Michael John Shinnick was presented with the Order of the Silver Wolfhound, a discretionary honour only bestowed after “service to the association on an exemplary manner over a long period of time”. He was also elected to the National Executive Board of the Scout Association.

Meanwhile, Fermoy lady Siobhán Wall (née Daly) was honoured in London with the ‘Unsung Woman’s Award’, for her work in helping to improve life in North London through the local Irish centre and the over 60s club.

Fermoy’s pharmacies were ensuring the population was ready for the summer, as a full-page ad for Mellerick’s promoted anti-cellulite products and all-important fake tan, as well as the ‘Slendertone’ toning system. Bermingham’s Pharmacy meanwhile were promoting fake tan too, with a special mention for the ‘St Tropez tanning system’.

In the same month, from Blackwater Motors, a year-old 1.6 VW Golf with 14,000 miles on the clock would set you back €18,600. A year-old 1.0 Yaris with 5,000 miles on the clock was priced at €14,000.

At Fitzgerald Camp, members of the Mullins family from Kilbehenny gathered for the rededication of a memorial stone to Trooper Patrick Mullins. 

In Fermoy, a group of ladies were members of an 80-strong group of young people headed to the Novinki Orphanage in Minsk, Belarus. They would be spending time with the 202 children there, as well as helping to construct a playground.

A ‘spate of vandalism and destruction’ in Ballyduff caused alarm, as telegraph poles were sawn down so that they fell across the road. A gate was stolen as well as a life buoy being cut; both were thrown in the river, and bags of fertiliser outside the creamery were slashed open. Furthermore, obscene graffiti was sprayed across some road signs. “Who takes a can of red spray paint and a knife out with them on a night out?” asked one local. The report suggested that ‘perhaps some local mother, wife or girlfriend has the answer to this’.

Thanks to the efforts of Glanworth man Conor O’Neill, a fully-autographed ‘Gunners’ football was up for auction on C103. In Mitchelstown, the James Fitzgerald Brass Band had plans for a major fundraiser to develop their namesake’s birthplace on Robert Street, next to their band hall.

The Cuisle Avondhu group returned from the County Fleadh Cheoil in Dunmanway with six firsts and two seconds. The group were made up of Séan McCarthy, Eabha and Ciara O’Leary-Fitzpatrick, Ian O’Gorman, Máiread Fitzgibbon, Amanda O’Gorman and John Coakley.

In Fermoy, St Colman’s students Patrick Burke, Cillian O’Brien, Carthage Moran and Seamus Kelleher were winners of the Radio na Gaeltachta All-Ireland Trath na gCeist final, winning €6,000 worth of computer equipment.

As ‘King’ TO Flynn’s reign ended, he was to throw a free party at T.O. Park, which would also herald the reopening of the Park. There was music, dancing and punch on offer, as well as an egg-and-spoon race and a bouncy castle for the kids.

In the Red House League, Cappoquin defeated Valley Rangers 1-0 to claim the Liam Fitzgerald Cup, Tony O’Donnell the goalscorer.

In Fermoy Pitch and Putt Club, John O’Mahony took the George O’Keefe Memorial prize, and the boys of St Fanahan’s in Mitchelstown enjoyed an ‘easy win’ (6-20 to 2-4) over Schull Community School in the Cork County Vocational Schools Junior Hurling final