The 1996 Cork County Senior Hurling Championship final, following a replay, was won by divisional side Avondhu. This was the first time the county showpiece had featured two divisional teams in the decider, with the Sean Og Murphy cup being welcomed back to North Cork, following the side’s 0-13 to 1-8 victory over Imokilly, as an estimated 2,000 people assembled at Newmarket Sq., Fermoy. The backroom team included Jack Russell (coach) and selectors Fred Sheedy, Tommy O’Brien, Patsy Morrissey and John Keane. The annual after match lunch, hosted by the TSB, saw Conor Hannon collect his man of the match award. Avondhu team: Sean Clifford, Niall O’Donnell, Conor Hannon, John McCarthy, John Walsh, Pat Mulcahy, Trevor Cooney, Diarmuid Lynch, Fergal McCormack, Aidan Kenny (capt), Brian O’Driscoll, Raymond O’Connell, Shane Killeen, Dave Moher, Ronan Sheehan. Subs: Will O’Donoghue, Jody Hayes.

When a request was turned down by Waterford County Council, asking that they suspend works on the development at the town’s square until such time as a local deputation (Tallow Urban Concern Association) would meet with them, ‘well known local activist, William J Fitzgerald drove his Ford Sierra Estate in the path of the Council digger’, causing the works to be disrupted for some time. The group were not willing to accept the narrowing of the main thoroughfare, ‘by even the smallest margin’, claiming it would turn Tallow into a ghost town. Having been approached on a number of occasions by Council employees and the gardai to remove his car – the front wheel which had become submerged in the trench being opened by a digger – Mr Fitzgerald stated he was ‘prepared to go to jail’, adding this was a case of ‘bureaucracy at its very worst’.

An aggravated burglary in the Ballyderown area of Kilworth in October 1996, led to a female occupant of a house being tied to a kitchen chair while a male intruder, thought to be in his late teens, ransacked her bedroom, before escaping via the back door and disappearing into a wooded area nearby. Garda were investigating.

Grave concern was expressed from many of those involved in the angling/tourism industry locally, over the future of salmon fishing on the Blackwater, fearing that fishing from Mallow to Youghal would be wiped out if the government’s ‘Salmon Management Task Force Report’ was implemented. Described as potentially calamitous and a nonsense, it was claimed it would put the rod angling industry into ‘an almost irreversible downward spiral’. Some measures in the report included: the proposal to legalise monofilament nets for drift netting fishermen (at a time when most European countries were in the process of banning them); extending the drift netting season to August 31st; allowing an increase in the depth of drift netting by 50%; and to cut the fishing distance off the coast from 12 miles down to 6. Condemning the report, Deputy Ned O’Keeffe said he would be tabling a parliamentary question in the Dail to Minister Eamon Gilmore, regarding the report’s consequences if implemented.

A major redevelopment of New Square, Mitchelstown was announced in October 1996, with Cork County Council allocating £140,000 from its roads budget to facilitate the plan. ‘Much consultation’ would take place involving various community groups, local businesses and members of the public, before a final design was drafted. The project would go ahead early in 1997.

Centenary celebrations at Ballindangan National School in October 1996 saw large crowds assemble to join a ‘fitting celebration’ of the school’s long history. Following Mass in the parish church, well over 400 people attended a special function in The Firgrove Hotel, amongst them, 92 year old Mick Bermingham, believed to have been the oldest surviving past pupil. Members of the parents’ association made a presentation to Joan Finn, staff member at the school, in recognition of her 26 years service.

Meanwhile, over in Castlelyons, parents, pupils and friends turned up for the official reopening of the national school building, to which extensive renovations had taken place that summer. Two of the youngest pupils, Susan Moran and Michael Spillane, planted a beech tree in the school grounds, following which local PP, Fr Madden blessed the building. School principal Cecil Roddy performed the cutting of the tape, after which a special Mass, celebrated by Fr Crowley, took place in the school. It was then onto Pat & Mary’s, Bridesbridge for refreshments and music.