Traffic and development issues were leading the news agenda 21 years ago, as a meeting was held to decide on ways to solve the tailbacks in Mitchelstown. The continuous news coverage at the time showed life in the town was blighted by traffic on the main Cork to Dublin route, with traffic jams a daily reality for residents. The Mitchelstown Business Association (MBA) were calling for a two hour parking limit on Upper and Lower Cork Street and in New Square. The group were also demanding a free three hour parking limit on side streets. A central request by the MBA was for resident permits to be issued in busy parking spots.
There was also anticipation of a major development study for Fermoy with excitement building before its release. The document would form the basis of a blueprint for the economic and social development of the town into the 21st century. The detailed strategy would look at derelict buildings, socio-economic development strategies, traffic management and also how to interact economically with villages such as Kilworth, Castlelyons, Glanworth, Rathcormac and Ballyhooly.
Over in Tallow, people were not happy as a national newspaper claimed that the Horse Fair was a flop, casting doubt on the future of the annual West Waterford event. Local traders said that they had one of the best years in 1999, with sales well up on previous years. Shopkeepers and pubs alike confirmed that the good weather that year had brought out the crowds and they did a brisk trade. Horse traders were the most enraged by the article, claiming the report was completely inaccurate.
Cllr Michael Hanley was making waves at Fermoy Urban District Council as he launched a major attack on the local administration. In a strongly worded attack, he called for changes to the town management. “On a number of fronts, I am seriously disillusioned as to how the town is being run. The UDC was elected last June and since then has met only once for a full council meeting where they promptly decided to have holidays until September 19.” He said that this absence was impacting work on a major water scheme, the serious lack of car park spaces and poor workmanship on road surface repairs.
Despite those criticisms, there was major improvement works announced for Cork Road, Fermoy. The work would involve new surfacing, public lighting, installation of traffic islands, as well as footpaths and cycle lanes.
Meanwhile, Lismore Town Commissioners waded in behind their colleagues in Youghal over the UDC’s battle with the Duke of Devonshire over river bed rights in Youghal.
Final preparations were under way in Castletownroche for landowners Eddie and Margot Farrell, as they were readying to host tens of thousands for the 1999 Ploughing Championships. Eddie was executive secretary of the sugar beet and forestry section of the IFA and was well known in farming cricles.
In the days before digital television, the quality of the signal from booster stations on high points was critical. The people of Kildinan were pleading with RTE to carry out improvement work to improve the reception in the area. Tom McCarthy, head of reception investigation, said: “RTE accepts that the quality of the television reception in this area is marginal,” but added that it was unlikely that improvement works would take place for another year as RTE was focused on changing from analogue to digital.
Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy welcomed new principal Elma Hayes, as Sister Angela Power announced her retirement.
In sport, Ballylanders and Killavullen were celebrating sporting success, following victories in the Limerick SFC and the North Cork JAFC respectively.
Ballylanders captain Danny Murphy collected the cup, with the village and the surrounding area descending into a flood of joy and celebration. They had beaten Hospital/Herbertstown 1-15 to 0-9 in what was described as a dominant performance in the Limerick SFC, with Noel Frewen the goal scorer, in their first year competing at senior level.
The more seasoned Killavullen captain, Brian O’Driscoll collected their cup as they retained the North Cork JAFC, beating Fermoy by 1-18 to 0-7, following a dominant display. Alan O’Driscoll scored their goal. Killavullen almost didn’t make it in the early stages of the competition, as they were lucky to draw with Kilworth in the first round, however produced a commanding performance in the replay to progress.
There was also success for another GAA stalwart, Eamonn O’Neill, Ballylanders, who won the All-Ireland junior softball handball singles final at Kingscourt, Cavan.