A Ballyporeen parent of a 13 and a half year old secondary school student attending Presentation Convent, Mitchelstown, contacted The Avondhu office to express her concern ‘that the extreme weight of schoolbags could cause damage to pupils’. Stating her daughter was finding it extremely difficult to carry her bag full of books ‘up the hill from New Square’, having been dropped off by her school bus, the woman claimed she weighed her daughter’s schoolbag and found it to be ‘just two pound off two stone in weight’. Conceding her daughter could leave her books in the school, she said there was the ‘fear’ that they would be taken, with no place to lock them away. She was calling for parents to ‘push to have their children dropped off alongside the school’.

Four young girls from Donna’s Dance Studio in Fermoy were set to appear on Network 2’s new children’s programme, Disney Club in September 1997. Performing a dance described as ‘a great visual spectacle’ which was a challenge for all those involved, Audrey Heskin, Hilary Smith, Tara Hennessy and Clionadh O’Connell were looking forward to their Network 2 debut.

Some fine catches on the local rivers: Martin Quish landed both a 17lb and 8lb salmon on the same day from the river Funcheon; John McGuire from Beechfield in Fermoy caught a 17lb 4oz salmon on the Blackwater; while using ‘a ball of worms and his fish hook’, Patrick Sullivan took half an hour to land a 15lb specimen. Martin’s 17lb salmon ‘went to Corbett Court’ – some nice fillets from that one… All three proudly displayed their weighty catches in The Avondhu in September 1997.

The addition of eight new computers at Mitchelstown’s Bunscoil na Toirbhirte saw the primary school advance into the technological age. Thanks to a very generous benefactor who anonymously contributed £3,000 towards the cost, along with the sponsorship of one computer by Bank of Ireland and additional funds from the parents of pupils, the school had already trained its staff in their use who were set to impart their knowledge to the young pupils.

The book of condolence opened in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales, by the Rangers section of Mitchelstown Girl Guides was signed by over 3,000 people. The book would be handed to the British Ambassador in Dublin in September 1997.

With the race currently hotting up for the presidential election, September 1997 saw a number of well-known names enter the ring with their sights set on the prestigious position. Adi Roche, renowned for her work with children from Chernobyl and a lady with links to Doneraile, was the Labour party nominee; while Dana was receiving the ‘unqualified support’ of the local Christian Solidarity Party, with a spokesperson saying she shared the party’s views ‘on the importance of promoting Christian values’.

Good news for the Glocca Maura Residents’ Association, who received written confirmation from Cork County Council in September 1997 that problems being experienced at the dangerous junction on the N8, would be addressed. Residents had lobbied ‘long and hard for a positive result’, complaining that when they were exiting off or driving on to the main road (the days before the bypass remember), they were ‘literally taking their lives in their hands’. Improvement works would include additional signage to highlight the presence of the junction, narrowing the lines on the carriageway to reduce the length of roadway being crossed by emerging vehicles; the construction of a full hard shoulder on the south bound carriageway; and the ‘easing’ of the bend to the junction on the Mitchelstown side to facilitate a quicker exit for vehicles from the main road.

A late late show saw the U21 hurlers from Ballyhooly overcome Araglin in the semi-final of the championship, accumulating a final score of 3-10, versus 1-12 for the opposition. Played on a well prepared Glanworth pitch in September 1997, the Bally’ boys looked to be sailing to victory, when 1-9 to 0-2 ahead by the 17th minute, the goal from Kieran McCarthy. However, the boys in green rallied somewhat to reduce the deficit at the break to seven points – 1-9 to 0-5. Looking a transformed team in the second half, Araglin took the lead for the first time in the 21st minute. However, late goals from Tommy Roche and Liam O’Connell clinched victory for Ballyhooly.