The Castletownroche Mill Restoration Committee had shown ‘Fanahan McSweeney’s courage, heart and commitment in seeing the Mill project through thus far’ – the opinion of Cork County manager, Noel Dillon at the unveiling of a commemorative plaque to the outstanding athlete in 1996. Fanahan had been involved in the initial planning stages, as well as a great supporter of the Mill restoration project, prior to his untimely death in 1995. The plaque in his honour was located on the outer wall of the Mill premises.

The presbytery in Glenville, home to Fr Jim Davern, fell victim to a burglary in 1996 when perpetrators gained access by kicking in the back door and smashing other interior doors, before absconding with ‘a sum of money believed to be in excess of £100’. What made the burglary ‘particularly interesting’ was that ‘it continued a sequence of burglaries at the presbytery going back over 40 years’, with The Avondhu learning that almost every occupant of the building since the early 1950s had been burgled. With ‘one, perhaps two, notable exceptions to this sequence’, in effect all priests serving in Glenville in the 40 years prior to 1996, had fallen victim to burglars during their time in the area.

Three senior cycle students from CBS Mitchelstown, along with their teacher Mr W Duggan, were set to travel to Rome to attend the beautification of Brother Edmund Rice, founder of the order. Liam Roche, James Seymour and Eoin Barry would form part of a large contingent from the town, as well ‘as many thousands from all parts of Ireland’, to witness the momentous occasion. A contingent of seven from Lismore were reported to also make their way to the Italian capital. Hundreds of schools worldwide had been set up in the name of Edmund Rice (who died in August 1844) and the Christian Brothers. Following beatification, he would be referred to as Blessed Edmund Rice.

An urban planner from Coventry, England with vast experience of town planning, was set to visit Fermoy to ‘lay the groundwork for a strategy…. to enhance post bypass Fermoy’. The visit would allow for the presentation of suggestions and ideas on the development of the town, with special emphasis placed on the need for environmental refurbishment of the town.

Dean Cecil Weekes, who retired from all official duties in Lismore in September 1996 following six years service to the West Waterford town, was back to attend two separate receptions held in his honour. Firstly, the Town Commissioners held their reception in the county council offices, where a number of presentations took place. Following on from this, Lismore Castle was venue for a reception held by the Lismore group of parishes.

Glory for the Watergrasshill ladies football team, capturing the East Cork title with a merited victory over Carrigtwohill, ‘following a tough uncompromising encounter at Lisgoold’. The local side were forced to ‘pull out all the stops’ in the opening period to lead 1-4 to 0-05 at the break, with the referee reported to have awarded little to the Hill ladies. Pulling away from their opponents in the second half, in spite of having Mairead O’Callaghan sent to the line within four minutes of her introduction, the ladies in red were worthy winners on a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-05. Team: Liz Gardiner (capt), S O’Keeffe, L O’Neill, S Curtin, K Desmond, M Buckley, J Aherne, M Cronin, M Buckley, O Carey, M Finn, O Creedon, M Lynch, O Butler, A Sheehan. Subs used: M O’Reilly, M O’Callaghan. Other panel members: V O’Callaghan, T O’Regan, J O’Riordan, M O’Reilly, M O’Callaghan, J Ryan, N O’Riordan, L Fitzpatrick, A O’Donoghue, L O’Sullivan.

Sporting snippets – Ballyhooly minor B hurlers, following a top class display, comprehensively defeated Ballyclough 5-13 to 3-8 in the league final, played at a well prepared Castletownroche venue; the side was captained by Paul O’Connell. Grange Fermoy AC athlete, Mary Sheehan, finished 3rd in the Cork City Mini Marathon. Meanwhile, Conna man Paul Hayes became one of a select group to win masters titles in both 40/20 and 60/30 handball courts – he claimed the All-Ireland 60/30 masters B singles title defeating Vinnie Farrelly from Dublin 21-17 21-11.