A campaign was started by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS) to save Fermoy’s ducks from hunters. The ICABS were complaining about a ‘shooting spree’ of the tame ducks which was done by ‘Continentals’ which had become an annual event. The group said they were investigating it and would protest at the event. They believed the shoot was illegal because it was taking place on or near a public path and they appealed to the wildlife officer and gardai to investigate. The group were collecting signatures for their ‘Save the Ducks’ petition. “We aim to show these visiting merchants of destruction that they are not welcome in Fermoy,” a spokesman told The Avondhu.
Gardai were investigating the theft of ‘valuable gates’ from Doneraile which guarded the entrance to Georgian houses for centuries. Thieves were also active in Doneraile targeting fans of the GAA double, as they stole 50 celebratory flags from houses.
Mitchelstown man, Garda Bart Howard, was honoured for his selfless community work in the village of Littleton in County Tipperary. The garda, who hailed from Ballyarthur, had received a Tipperary Divisional Merit Award for his work and was considered for a national merit award.
The problem of housing was as live an issue back in 1999 as it is today, as 500 people languished on Fermoy’s housing list. Despite the huge demand, there was just one house on the council’s stock available for a family. The surge in demand for public housing in the town was fuelled by a lack of affordable housing, councillors were told at a local UDC meeting. Town manager, Maurice Manning revealed that a great majority of applicants lived outside of Fermoy and that there were usually at least three people per application.
The spectre of rising house prices was also on the agenda at the same meeting, with Cllr Aileen Pyne revealing that one householder paid £72,000 for what she termed ‘a hovel’.
Preparations for the arrival of the National Ploughing Championships in Castletownroche were at an advanced stage in September 1999, with gardai pleading with motorists to have ‘patience’ as they released details of their traffic plan. Inspector Liam Hayes was leading the operation and he advised that Mitchelstown was likely to face the biggest problem resulting from the influx of visitors.
Preparations were also under way for sports fans throughout the county, as Cork GAA supporters prepared for the second match in the county’s pursuit of the double, with the senior hurlers having secured the Liam MacCarthy, when defeating Kilkenny. Publicans and eating houses were looking forward to a major spin off as the revellers made their way back from Croke Park from the football final. There were many good luck wishes for Mallow man, Paddy Sheehan who was a team selector.
Commemorations took place in Mitchelstown for the 200 year anniversary of the rebuilding of Mitchelstown as a planned Georgian village. A plaque was unveiled at Baldwin Street to commemorate the rebuilding of the town between the years of 1775 and 1823. The fascinating chunk of history focused on the death of the 23rd Earl of Kingston in the 1700s that began the rebuilding. They demolished the old 13th century village and put in its place one of the best planned towns in Ireland, according to historian Bill Power. The plaque was unveiled by Col AL King Harman, who was the heir to the Mitchelstown estate. At the unveiling, he said he was delighted to receive a welcome from the people of the town. There were descendants of the residents of those who lived in Mitchelstown Castle at the time when it was burned in 1922.
A chartered consulting engineer launched a scathing attack on a proposed traffic management plan for Mitchelstown. Kevin Finn said that the plan ignored the traffic needs of the town and instead focused on managing traffic on the N8 road. He compared the plan to ‘Nero fiddling while the city burns’. “Everyone knows it will not work and will ultimately be the destruction of the Square as a residential amenity,” he said.
In sport, world class rower Gearoid Towey from Kilworth was honoured with a civic reception in Fermoy. Gearoid, along with Noel Monahan, Neal Byrne and James Lindsey-Flynn, took bronze at the World Championships in Canada in August, 1999. Cllr Aileen Pyne, chairwoman of Fermoy UDC, said that the men brought considerable honour to their country.
Fermoy junior A hurling team captain Barry Hazlewood celebrated with his team-mates as he collected the North Cork JAHC title, beating Dromina 1-13 to 0-12. Fermoy scorers were: Conor O’Kane (0-7/4f), Brian Kearney (1-0), Shane Killee (0-2), James Aherne (0-1), Tom Dillon (0-1), Brendan O’Callaghan (0-1) and Barry Hazelwood (0-1f).