John Mandeville’s statue in New Square, Mitchelstown was set for a major facelift to pay tribute to the great man. Jimmy Ryan, chairman of the New Square Residents Association had approached Micheál Ó hAonghusa, manager of Mitchelstown Credit Union to secure funding for the project. The credit union agreed to provide a ‘substantial’ amount of money towards the cost of the restoration work which was organised by Mitchelstown Heritage Society.

Two Fermoy men were heading for Cork Prison to serve ten months for drug offences following a garda crack down. The sentences handed down were hailed as sending a strong message to anyone involved in the drug trade in the area. The convictions came about following a garda operation which found the men in possession of drugs for sale or supply in a search of the two men in the town. A third man was fined £100 for possession during a hearing at the courthouse. Sergeant Tim Kelleher told The Avondhu “Strong surveillance” of drug dealers was under way and they expected to have more convictions. 

Michael Hanley, chairman of Fermoy Enterprise Board, announced that he had received a letter from the National Roads Authority which he described as ‘positive’ correspondence. The NRA said they had appointed a design specialist and that designers would be working on bridges for the scheme. Constructions would begin in 2001 which would ultimately solve the town’s traffic woes. 

The Castlelyons Pipe Band opened a new premises with a visit from Canon Seamus Corkery, who in 1957, helped to establish the group. The Avondhu described it as an emotional visit for the canon after 42 years and to see that it was still making music. 

John Mahon, from Fermoy was elected president of Munster with an unanimous 40-0 vote count at the Munster convention of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association. It was John’s second year getting the position – in his acceptance speech he said that he was not happy with the standard of boxing in the region. He said is was unacceptable that Munster had only four titles at juvenile level in 1998. “I would like to change the whole outlook by boxers and coaches to boxing, otherwise we will not be able to keep up with Dublin or Belfast,” he said. 

There were calls from Mitchelstown Development Company for a major plan to develop an industrial site in the town. The MDC was set up by locals to attract investment in the town. They had received the green light to set up a £1m factory in the area but they did not have a suitable location to do so. “There is an urgency with the problem insofar as the project must be under way before April of 2000, otherwise it will be lost to the town,” a spokesman said. The MDC said they had been liaising between prospective entrepreneurs and the county council for sites which the council had been developing at Cahir Hill. The group were requesting local landowners to sell them a plot near the town so that they could develop and grow the economy of Mitchelstown. 

Two pubs in the Avondhu region were winning prizes with the prestigious James Joyce Award. The Spinning Wheel in Castletownroche and Charlie Browne’s in Fermoy were celebrating success. They were honoured for being ‘outstanding examples of Irish pubs’ by overseas visitors who visited the bars and made written recommendations.

The closure of the bank in Ballylanders was a ‘stab in the back to Ireland’s most progressive small town’, according to Independent councillor, John Gallahue. Cllr Gallahue claimed that Allied Irish Banks were abandoning rural Ireland and said that a banking service in the town was badly needed. He complimented the local credit union but said that a bank was badly needed to help the town grow. 

In sport …

In sport Castlelyons man Timmy McCarthy was celebrating with his Cork hurling colleagues as they won All-Ireland glory.

Also there was involvement from the people of Kilworth and Conna as their local heroes also were applauded for their part in the Rebels triumph.

McCarthy scored three points during the battle in Croke Park against Kilkenny. To celebrate he returned to Castlelyons where the locals gathered to celebrate in a local pub.

Two men from St Catherines Johnny Sheehan and Kieran Morrison were among the subs. While in the backroom section Fred Sheedy from Kilworth arrived home to find his home turned into a shrine. He said that the selection of fit players was critical to their victory.