This week 21 years ago it seems the battle was lost, as locals in Fermoy were faced with the fact that the government had “every intention of tolling the Fermoy bypass”, despite opposition. Concern was expressed by businesses in Mitchelstown as the proposed routes for the motorway were exhibited. One of the routes bypassed the town to the east by five or six miles, and if it went ahead, it was suggested that the town would find itself “well off the beaten track.”
Battles continued elsewhere too, as secondary school students in Fermoy and Lismore spoke out against ongoing ASTI action, which meant students had already missed out on six school days since term began.
A dispute arose in Cloonlough, Mitchelstown, as residents prevented Cork County Council from repairing a damaged road. Drainage works promised in 1997 had still failed to materialise, and action was needed.
A positive outcome in Mitchelstown, as the Department of Education sanctioned a bus parking facility near St Fanahan’s College. In the secondary school itself, student Claire Lane of Ballylanders was presented with the ‘Senior Student of the Year’ award from Bank of Ireland.
In Watergrasshill, a picnic area and nature trail was opened in Moanbaun Wood. “Influential community leader” Michael O’Riordan described the assembled crowd as “the real heroes” for safeguarding the wood.
Fermoy tattoo artist, Pete Clough was awarded with a bronze plaque for his Celtic design that was inked on the lower back of a customer. Meanwhile, below the waterline in the town, eagle-eyed treasure hunter Tim Carey of the Blackwater Sub Aqua Club unearthed a beautiful gold-coloured holy water font from the murky depths of the River Blackwater.
Rehearsals were underway in Tallow for ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’, with Johnny Ryan in the title role. Over in Ballynoe, the Ogham Players were ready for their production of ‘Marriage is a Lottery’.

St Fanahan’s Day in November 2000 proved to be a washout, with an atrociously wet and windy day, with winds up to 80mph. The funfair in town couldn’t open, but, as they say, that was the luck of the game.
Glenville Macra qualified to represent the Seandún Region in the national semi-final of Macra Capers with 14 of their members. Over in talented Coolagown, the song contest at The Final Furlong was entering the final furlong, with Christy Murphy from Conna amongst the finalists.
Meanwhile, Johnny Delaney from Fermoy sang on behalf of the Fermoy Pioneer Total Abstinence Society in another competition, and won with his rendition of ‘My Son’. He also won the over-60s competition in Ballinacurra, coming home with £50 and a crystal trophy.
In Mitchelstown, the heritage society were gifted with a lecture on ‘The Galtee Boy’. Amongst the attendees were Rev. Martha Gray-Stack, Margaret Boxall and Richard Janman.
In the run up to Christmas, food was mentioned on almost every page of the newspaper 21 years ago. Fat geese were for sale in the Classifieds, ‘oven-ready’ if you wished. Centra had a fine selection of wine for £5.99 a bottle, and a free bottle with every 12. SuperValu asked customers to talk to butcher Mike Mangan about the turkey and ham, and to Trudy Roche if they wanted it cooked. Eating out, The Firgrove would give you their daily special for less than a fiver.
In brief – In 2000, requests were made for bus shelters in Castlelyons, Rathcormac and Ballynoe by local councillors – one wonders if they ever got them! Tallow’s burial ground caretaker, Paddy Kenneally was awarded by Waterford County Council for the ‘Tidiest Burial Ground’. In Knockadea, a super quiz in aid of Chernobyl was won by two teams, after a tie-breaker failed to separate them – the two teams donated all their prize money to the charitable cause.
Galbally ladies were crowned the U18 Limerick County camogie champions. Captained by Mairead Kelly, they emerged victorious over Crecora despite nine members of the team not yet being sixteen years old.
In North Cork GAA, the Man of the Match football award was won by James O’Mahony of Killavullen.
The East Cork Hot Rod Club had amongst their members the very successful Browne family from Araglin – Mark, Declan, Jimmy, Jim and Ann Browne, who all posed with their winning crystal at the social.
Mitchelstown’s Miriam O’Rahilly was fighting fit at the Mitchelstown Open Karate championships, where she came first in the ladies senior freestyle fighting; and Grange/Fermoy AC celebrated the retirement of Bob Burke, making a presentation of a lamp.
Glanworth GAA men’s team drew with Barryroe, despite “colossus” Brian O’Rourke at the back, while Killavullen footballers were looking forward to their place in the Cork County Junior A Championship final against Kiskeam.