The increased presence of pigeons congregating on rooftops in the Lower Cork Street area of Mitchelstown had, for the residents concerned, become ‘the bane of their lives’. Reportedly attracted by the ‘nearby grain store’, the pigeons had taken to roosting on the rooftops and while initially the numbers were small, the pigeon population increased significantly.
The main problem was the bird droppings, which were ‘becoming a health hazard’; added to this was ‘an unbearable smell’ and the area being ‘showered by feathers’. Various measures to combat the presence of the birds included the application of cresote, Jeyes Fluid, tar and weedkiller to the rooftops – which worked ‘for a time until the pigeons got used to them’. A cat ‘with a big reputation for disposing of feathered creatures’ was also employed, however this measure ended in failure due to the pigeons having an excellent vantage point. The weight of the birds had also ‘caused the collapse of two gutters’.
Hurling in Imokilly was on the crest of a wave, with the divisional side capturing the Cork senior title at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in October 1997 for the first time in the division’s history. Defeating Sarsfields in a close fought encounter, 1-18 to 2-12, prominent in securing the Sean Og Murphy Cup for Imokilly were Castlelyons stars William O’Riordan in defence and Timmy McCarthy in attack. Captained by Brian O’Driscoll, the panel also included other players from The Avondhu circulation area, namely brothers Barry and Eoin Fitzgerald of Castlelyons and Barry Murphy of Bride Rovers. Anthony O’Regan from Castlelyons was one of the selectors in the historic win, while an outstanding display earned Timmy McCarthy the TSB sponsored ‘Man of the Match’ award, scoring 1-2 on the day.
An attempted abduction in Castlelyons, ‘where a teenager was confronted by a man who exposed himself and attempted to force the person into a van’ was being investigated by gardai in Fermoy. Thankfully the female schoolgoer managed to escape.
Sharon McGrath, a pupil at Knockadea National School, was announced national winner of a farm safety colouring competition. Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Labour Affairs, Mr Tom Kitt TD, was set to visit the school in October 1997 to present Sharon with her award. Over 7,000 entries were recorded.
Church Lane, at the rear of Lower Cork Street in Mitchelstown, had undergone quite a transformation in the mid 1990s – an area which ‘at one period of time about 1995’ regularly hosted fights between ‘warring school goers’, saw the laneway host an ‘activity’ of another sort in 1997. Loved up schoolgoing couples could regularly be seen ‘locked in a variety of embraces and positions’ and while reported as ‘not quite at ‘Kama Sutra’ levels’, the youngsters involved appeared to have ‘no inhibitions about getting into quite intimate ‘clinches’ in broad daylight’. The situation ‘came to a head’ for one local lady, who, having walked up the lane, counted five ‘young lovers’ in action – of more concern to her was the fact that ‘several young children from local houses were standing watching the antics of the participants’.
An ‘increasing threat from well organised, mobile shoplifters’ to traders in Fermoy brought about the launch of Business Watch in 1997 and with Christmas fast approaching, the threat ‘of being hit’ increased even more. The launch happened to coincide with the arrest of three people in the town on shoplifting charges, with a spokesperson for the traders informing The Avondhu that shoplifting was cosing traders thousands of pounds each year – ‘This isn’t someone simply swiping a Mars Bar, these people are professional thieves’. With the introduction of increased surveillance being employed by city centre shops, thieves were being forced to try their hand elsewhere, with rural towns such as Fermoy and Mitchelstown being seen as ‘relatively soft targets’, according to crime prevention officer, Sergeant Tim Kelleher.
Fermoy angler, Paddy Fitzgerald, while fishing in Fermoy Trout Anglers’ Pennyfeather Cup competition on Lough Corrib, landed a specimen catch – his 10.5lb brown trout would be entered in the record books as the heaviest brown lake trout caught on rod and line in Ireland during the 1997 season.
A missed penalty by Rockchapel in the closing stages of the replayed Cork county A ladies football championship final proved decisive, as Kildorrery emerged victorious on a scoreline of 2-9 to 3-5. The club had taken three county titles in a six week period.