The case of a duck bringing traffic in Fermoy to a standstill, having been ‘chased down O’Neill Crowley Quay by a terrier’, caused somewhat of a stir in September 1997. Upon finding refuge under a car that was stopped in traffic, the feathered one ‘would not budge’ with the car’s driver, on realising the bird’s predicament, attempting ‘to coax it out’. Before long however, frustrated drivers were ‘shouting abuse’ and ‘blowing their horns’. A caller to The Avondhu’s office, was ‘shocked’ that ‘people wanted the driver of the car to roll over the duck’. Thankfully, the duck was ‘lured out from its haven’ with the help of more considerate motorists and returned, unharmed to the river Quackwater…
Austin Walsh (Kildorrery), Brian O’Driscoll (Killavullen) and Timmy McCarthy (Castlelyons), lining out at numbers 9, 10 and 11 respectively for the Cork U21 hurlers, played key roles in bringing the 100th All-Ireland GAA title back to the Rebel county, when defeating defending champions Galway 3-11 to 0-13 at Semple Stadium, Thurles.
Christ Church, Fermoy was packed to capacity in September 1997, as An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern officially opened Fermoy Flower Festival. The inclement weather that prevailed, failed to dampen spirits as the building was packed to capacity for the special occasion. Mr Ahern, in recognising the ‘exciting and complex history’ of Fermoy, stated that ‘a whole hinterland of support’, from every section of the community, radiated out of Christ Church and the town itself. In referring to the ongoing Peace Process in the North, stating ‘we stand on the threshold of a golden era of prosperity and peace’, he wished the festival every success in its fundraising efforts for the church and the Hospice movement.
Community spirit was positively to the fore as a project which involved ‘about eleven households’, saw great improvements to the Gurtnapeeka-Ballinlovane road, eliminating several very twisty and nasty bends, as well as widening the road. In total, about 3 miles of the Ballyduff to Araglin road received attention from an enthusiastic group who gave of their labour free of charge for what was, at times, backbreaking work. Waterford County Council provided concrete stakes, panels and wire and had committed to providing 8” of hardcore and a tarmacadam surface, once the project was complete.
After some debate, a motion by Cllr John Hussey was passed to allow Fermoy UDC meetings to be opened to the public. Some reservations had been voiced – firstly in relation to the limited space; and secondly, Cllr O’Leary stating ‘unruly behaviour’ in the past by members of the public – ‘under the influence’ and ‘ranting and raving’ – made the business of the council very difficult to conduct. Following assurances by the chairman, the motion was passed – the main provision being that anyone wishing to attend would require a visitors card.
The passing of Tommy Delaney, better known to many as ‘Johnny Gallons’, was noted in September 1997 by contributor Jim Lysaght. His nickname sprung from the fact that Tommy had the trade of many travelling people, namely a tinsmith. Travelling the highways and byways for many a year, sleeping out under the stars, or if he was lucky, in the haybarn of a friendly farmer. He was believed to have been born in County Tipperary. A familiar sight to many people, always wearing an old army coat and a postman’s cap, he was interred in Kilcrumper New Cemetery.
Plenty sporting success in September 1997. Mary Sheehan from Killemera, Glanworth, a member of Grange Fermoy AC, was crowned winner of The Evening Echo/Knorr Foods Ladies Mini Marathon, her third success in the event, having previously claimed the title in 1993 and 1997.
The junior B2 footballers from Mitchelstown triumphed over Clyda Rovers in the North Cork championship final 4-7 to 2-7; played at Shanballymore – Seamie Walsh was captain. While the U16 hurlers of Ballygiblin, captained by Danny Duggan, were crowned North Cork league champions following a ‘full blooded and fair battle’ against rivals Ballyclough, emerging victorious 3-6 to 1-3.
The Coolnakilla Harriers Club, Rathcormac won the All-Ireland final of the inter hunt chase at Limerick Show in Adare – Tom O’Connor was chef d’Equipe, with team members Peter Cahill, John Dorgan, Alice Fitzgerald and Joe Barry.
The U12 hurlers from Watergrasshill won the Cork county championship for the first time, defeating Eire Og by a single point, 0-5 to 1-1. Sean O’Callaghan was captain.
While a goal in injury time by captain Kieran McCarthy secured the North Cork minor C football championship for Ballyhooly over Liscarroll, 3-10 to 2-8.