A war of words had broken out between French hunters and locals in Fermoy, who sought to block the European shooters arriving to kill ducks on the Blackwater. The protesters, under the banner ‘Save our Ducks’, were collecting signatures for a petition to prevent the arrival of the touring group who were expected in Fermoy the following November. “We believe that it is illegal, unsafe from a public safety point of view and also barbaric in that the ducks are tame, having been hand fed by locals in Fermoy over the years,” the group said in a statement. 

There was a lot of disquiet in Mitchelstown as worried locals contacted The Avondhu looking for an explanation why the Chapel Hill gates had vanished. A car crash in 1996 had seen the metal work being removed for safe keeping. They had not been reinstalled because the council workers were too busy, according to Deputy Ned O’Keeffe, but that the work would be undertaken in the following months. 

A local inventor led the news 21 years ago, as he used his genius to create the world’s first Spider Catcher. Tony Allen’s invention was a uniquely eco-friendly device for catching the eight legged creatures, designed to never hurt the arachnoids. The invention was chosen by Price Waterhouse Cooper’s Global as one of the top twelve ideas in the work and was officially launched in the RDS at the Household/DIY Fair in 1999. The clever device was like a litter collection tool with a long arm and a trigger that deployed plastic arms that gently collected spiders, to be then taken out of the house and placed in the garden. Tony, from Clondulane, told The Avondhu that he had always been ‘tricking around’ with inventions. Such was the interest in his safe spider catcher that he finished his job of installing shopfronts to concentrate fully on bringing his clever tool to a global audience. “It’s been a long haul, but I’m delighted that I’ve succeeded in securing a worldwide patent on my Spider Catcher. This alone cost in the region of £150,000 but I am confident that the invention will be a success when it’s launched,” he told this paper. 

The Mitchelstown Leisure Centre was seeking the rezoning of land, known locally as Harrington’s Field, for commercial purposes. Ben Lynch, the chairman of the facility’s management committee, said that the group was aware of a need for more retail locations in the town following multiple enquiries from developers. “We want to make Mitchelstown a more attractive option for these people to invest in and having the land rezoned will be a major plus, both for the would-be developer and ourselves. If we are to achieve our stated aim of building a leisure centre in Mitchelstown, we will ultimately need every penny we can get from any future sale. Undoubtably we have a more valuable property on our hands if the zoning is right,” he said. 

A strike by nurses impacted local hospitals, including St Patrick’s Community Hospital in Fermoy. The protest saw groups of nurses holding a picket at the facility – the nurses launched their strike in a grievance with Government over their conditions of employment. There were also protests at Mallow General Hospital and staff from St Francis Welfare Home joined their colleagues on the picket line. Nurses at Mallow were providing night cover only, while the dispute also impacted St Theresa’s in Clogheen, Heatherside in Doneraile and St Stephen’s in Glanmire. There were reports of supporting honks of horns of passing motorists and a declaration by the nurses that they were left with no other option but to carry out industrial action to force Government to act. 

A couple from Mitchelstown were set to represent Ireland in Malta for the Ballroom Dancing Championships. Sean and Kathleen Dennehy from Kilglass had been dancing for 15 years and were picked as finalists the previous June at the All-Ireland Senior Ballroom Dancing Championships. It was the first time that a couple from Munster were selected to represent Ireland. “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen to represent Ireland, it’s a real honour,” Kathleen said. 

The cost of graves was hitting the news in North Cork as the Council increased the price of a plot from £220 to £250. Authorities said the rise in cost was made to assist in the maintenance of old cemeteries, although there was no explanation of how a one off payment would help to maintain the facilities for eternity. 

In sport, the St Catherine’s minor hurlers were eliminated by Mill Rovers in the Cork County Minor B Hurling Championship semi-final, 7-6 to 0-6. Ballylanders U14 footballers were crowned county champions, defeating South Liberties 2-9 to 2-5 in Bruff – Pa Fox and Sean Tobin the goalscorers.

Poor weather was effecting many games across the region, with cancellations in Glenroe and other venues.