Strange what some thieves find attractive – it was reported in October 1997 that a Casio calculator (value £50), digital clock radio and, wait for it, ‘container of hand wash fluid’, had been stolen from the water pump house on the Annesgrove Road, Castletownroche. Local involvement was suspected, with entry gained through the rear window. Guess those responsible were looking to clean up – that sums it up really!

Having fought for the closure of the Ballyguyroe North landfill site for many years, on the grounds that it was ‘a danger to health through water pollution and air borne infections’, a Kildorrery residents’ group reached “a written accommodation” with Cork County Council at the High Court in Dublin. Under the terms of the agreement, which were not disclosed in court in October 1997, Cork County Council would submit a revised application to the Environment Protection Agency, referring to works to be carried out on certain parts of the site, along with other conditions pertaining to the ultimate closure of the site.

The ongoing saga of a coach park being developed in Fermoy Town Park was declared a ‘dead duck’ at the October 1997 meeting of Fermoy UDC. This followed the receipt of a letter from the successor of the park’s donor, which made it very clear that the provision of a coach park ‘went against the provision of the agreement’ (for the transfer of the park) and that as a ‘green belt area’, this was how the park should remain.

A full page advertisement was published in October 1997 titled ‘Tribunal Of Inquiry (Payments to Messrs Charles Haughey and Michael Lowry)’, noting that the Tribunal would sit on Friday, October 31st, 1997 in George’s Hall, Dublin Castle ‘to hear applications from any person seeking to be represented before the Tribunal pursuant to Section 2(b) of the Tribunal of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921.

Young Mitchelstown debutantes were literally left in the dark, when what should have been the social highlight of the year, resulted in their debs event being cancelled due to a power cut. 161 students from Presentation Convent and CBS Mitchelstown had made the journey to Jury’s Hotel, Cork, however on assembling in the lobby the lights went out and all were evacuated ‘in an orderly fashion’. After ‘half an hour standing outside in the rain’, a back-up generator was set in motion however optimism was short-lived, as news broke that the meal could not be served as the generator didn’t have enough power to supply the kitchen. Having been offered soup and sandwiches, it was then decided to cancel the event.

‘Anger and disappointment’ from Fermoy based Labour party general council member, Tadhg O’Donovan at the ‘ambiguous response of Minister for Health & Children, Brian Cowen’, when questioned about the proposed new unit at St Patrick’s Hospital, Fermoy. Mr O’Donovan told The Avondhu that, ‘to massive sighs of relief’, the previous Minister for Health had given the go-ahead for the 30-bed unit earlier in 1997 ‘after almost 20 years of waiting’. However, Mr Cowen, in response to a quection seeking to determine when he would be in receipt of tenders for the new unit, suggested he would consider the project for invitation of tenders, ‘only when the overall capital funding available to his Department in 1998 was finalised’. The minister’s indifference would lead to ‘widespread anger and outrage’ according to Mr O’Donovan.

A ‘Drink Can Collection' competition run by Cork County Council, saw an impressive 868,000 cans collected for recycling, totalling 16 tonnes of waste. Top of the pile was Adair Primary School, Fermoy whose enthusiastic pupils gathered a total of 156,000 receptacles, securing top prize of £350.

Watergrasshill junior B hurlers bridged a gap of 29 years when claiming the East Cork championship in October 1997, convincingly defeating Youghal 0-16 to 1-5. Despite striking 9 wides in the opening period, the Hill led 0-7 to 0-4 at the interval. Conceding only two scores in the second period, Watergrasshill had ‘a number of heroes’ on the day – these included team captain and goalkeeper Eamon Fitzgerald, Paul O’Neill, Ger Dowling, Richie Cahill (top scorer with 0-7), Shane Barry and Sean Hegarty.

Fermoy minor hurlers lost the Cork county minor A hurling championship final to Blarney in Buttevant, 1-10 to 0-10, with a last minute goal for Fermoy being controversially disallowed.

Meanwhile, Tallow were county Waterford minor A hurling champions, defeating Mount Sion 3-8 to 1-10 in an exciting final played in Walsh Park, Dungarvan.