October 1996 saw the announcement of the Fermoy Chamber of Commerce sponsored Business Premises awards, where Mellerick’s Chemist on Patrick Street walking off with the overall award. O’Sullivan’s Pub on Patrick Street won the award category Business Premises New and Recently Altered, while The Old Railway Station (Neligan’s) took the award for Larger Commercial and Industrial Premises. Traders at Fitzgerald Place were adjudged to have the most attractive street/area in the town. Overall, judges were impressed ‘by some excellent lettering, bright harmonising colour schemes and recently freshened up premises with gleaming new paint work’. Main sponsors were Dairygold and Bank of Ireland.

Cork County Council were set to increase rates and service charges from Jamuary 1997, following the adoption of the county manager’s report at the budget estimates meeting of the Northern Division. Domestice water charges throughout the division would increase by £5 (£85 to £90), while business premises could expect to see a £10 increase in their annual bill (up to £130). ‘Premises with a water system’, being metered, would pay £1.85 per 1,000 gallons, an increase of 10 pence. Due to the increased costs involved in waste management and disposal, the domestic tag charge would rise by 15 pence to 90p.

The second annual Kildorrery Community Dinner Dance was declared ‘a major success’ with over 200 people in attendance at The Firgrove Hotel, Mitchelstown. The local ladies football and camogie club, represented by Ina Lillis, were presented with a set of jerseys on the night by Deirdre Walsh, secretary of the association, bearing the name Kildorrery Development Limited. David Myers, association chairperson, thanked the people of the area for their support, paticularly of the local lotto which financed the association. With ‘many party games and spot prizes’, revellers danced the night away to Oliver & Anthony.

A new proprietor had taken over the reigns of the Castle Tavern in Ballyhooly – Castlelyons man Jimmy Morrison, well known in traditiona music circles, with hopes of making the Tavern a traditional music haven.

International Credit Union Day in October 1996 saw the official opening of ‘ a substantial extension to its main office’ by the Mitchelstown branch. President of the board of directors, Maura Corbett cut the tape, stating that the extension had ‘given almost 40% in extra counter space’ to their premises – a necessity due to the additional services brought on stream.

As part of a small delegation of members of the Oireachtas, who attended the beatification ceremony of Brother Edmund Rice in Rome in October 1996, Senator Joe Sherlock was personally introduced to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. Describing the week’s visit as “a memorable experience”, Senator Sherlock wished the Holy Father well in Irish. He also spent time in the company of Brother Donal Blake, a native of Doneraile, who was a member of the research team which completed the Positio, the detailed documentation on the life of Edmund Rice.

The first production from Mitchelstown Theatre Group, Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ under director Tim Dunne, was set to take to the stage in The Firgrove Hotel. Elizabeth Doody would play the lead role, Maire Ahern and Joe Mullins as Mr and Mrs Lyons, with the ‘brothers’ played by Mickey Dunne and Martin O’Doherty. Narration was by Michael Dennehy, while musical direction was provided by Deirdre Foley. Tickets were £5.

Sporting briefs – Glenville clinched promotion to play division 2 football, following a 2-11 to 1-7 victory over Russell Rovers in their final junior league game in October 1996. A late late goal denied Watergrasshill junior ladies football team county glory, Mourneabbey’s late score bringing the final decider to a replay, set for November 1996. Ballylanders comprehensively defeated Athea in the Limerick county U21 football championship final, on a scoreline 3-9 to 1-5 – Danny Murphy captained the side. A single point victory over Doneraile, saw Glanworth U16s claim the B football championship title in October 1996, 1-5 to 0-7 – Harry Barry was the Harbour goalscorer.

St Catherines were crowned Cork county minor B hurling champions in October 1996, emphatically overcoming Buttevant on a well prepard Ballyhooly pitch. Comfortably ahead at the interval, 3-7 to 0-5, Buttevant were no match for a hard working Catherines outfit, winning on a final scoreline of 7-13 to 0-8. ‘Amid tremendous scenes of enjoyment’, captain Bill O’Keeffe accepted the AIB Perpetual Cup from Tom Dorgan, chairman Cork county minor GAA board.