Presidential candidate Mary Banotti, ‘buoyed up by an early morning opinion poll’ conducted by MRBI, which placed her in second place behind Mary McAleese in the 1997 presidential election race, saw her hit the streets of Mitchelstown to canvass for support. In upbeat mood as she mingled with locals on Lower Cork Street, she conducted an interview with C103FM County Sound in O’Callaghan’s Delicatessen, before catching up with her cousins from the town, the Potters. The ‘whistle stop’ tour brought out ‘a posse of local Fine Gael activists’, who declared their satisfaction at the way the campaign was being conducted. Placing a £20 bet in Power’s Bookmakers on Galway Plate winner Stroll Home – winnings went to charity – she was afforded a warm welcome by young and old, before heading to Charleville to continue her canvass.

It was reported that people came from as far away as London to be with locals to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ballygiblin church in October 1997. A capacity crowd attended a Mass, concelebrated by clergy ‘who had past or present’ association with the church and included Canon Sheehan, Canon Terry, Fr Crotty, Fr O’Donovan, Fr O’Leary, Fr Wickham and Fr Vaughan, along with Deacon Vincent O’Grady. Afterwards, a large crowd gathered at The Firgrove Hotel where young and old mixed, recalling their own memories of the church. A framed photo of the church was presented to families who had ‘given their service over the years’, including the Barrys, O’Briens, O’Donnells and Tobins. It was noted that Margaret O’Doherty was in the process of compiling a book, outlining the history of the church.

Stating that Fermoy’s town park was ‘under developed’ and with its proper management being in everyone’s interest, Cllr Michael Hanley outlined to The Avondhu his views on the ‘proposed parking facility’ for the park, to help ease the town’s parking crisis. The ultimate solution to resolving the parking issue in Fermoy didn’t lie with the businesses, according to Mr Hanley, but was something which the local authority had to take responsibility for. Claiming that he was ‘not a Philistine’, Cllr Hanley stated “Fermoy Town Park has never been developed to its full potential. The public have to be aware that this requires investment in development and maintenance and Fermoy UDC are fully committed to that”.

A group of students from St Fanahan’s College, Mitchelstown managed to ‘put the tick back’ in a 200 year old clock situated in the chapel at Kingston College. Originally installed in 1786, the clock had lain idle for a good number of years. However, under engineering teacher Dominic O’Sullivan, four students – Kevin Walsh, David Fitzgerald, Michael Lane and Patrick Barry – took on the ‘mammoth task’, which involved replacing and reboring the bearings, aligning the shafts and rebuilding the old gears. Following refurbishment, the clock only needed to be wound every 10 days or so – we understand the clock continues to function perfectly 21 years later.

After 42 years of dedicated and loyal service, Declan Casey retired from the staff of CBS Mitchelstown. Monday, October 6th marked Mr Casey’s last day at the school, where it was reported ‘he had a present for everybody’. A special ceremony in the school hall, with teacher Bernadette O’Sullivan as MC, saw Mr Casey presented with ‘a most beautiful bronze reading lamp depicting a man sitting on an armchair with a faithful dog looking up at him’, along with a wallet of notes in sterling, as ‘he was leaving for London immediately after school’. Fr Wickham celebrated Mass to mark the occasion.

The hooting of horns in Castlelyons, following the success of the local club in claiming the East Cork junior A hurling championship trophy at the hands of neighbours Bride Rovers, ‘was the signal to start the bonfires that burned brightly in the East Cork village’ in October 1997. According to match analysis from correspondent Billy Cody, 17 year old Eoin Fitzgerald and Padraig O’Brien were ‘in sharpshooting form’ for the victors and although there was ‘just a puck of the sliotar’ between the sides at the interval (0-8 to 0-6), the Abbeyside team emerged convincing champions 1-16 to 0-9. Captain was Willie O’Riordan.

While Glenville’s junior B footballers turned in a ‘sparkling performance’ in their demolition of Dungourney in the East Cork final played in Midleton as a curtain-raiser to the above match. Enda Moloney and Paudie Cahill, top scorers with 1-4 apiece, led the black and amber side to a 3-12 to 0-4 victory. Captain was Dave Sheehan.