Rain clouds did not deter the thousands of people who flocked to the National Ploughing Championships in Castletownroche this week in 1999. The opening day saw a massive 50,000 people visit the area and all were kitted out for the inclement weather. Such was the scale of the festival of agriculture, that The Avondhu’s reporter found it impossible to visit the whole event. He said people were mostly attracted to the trade stands with the competitive ploughing attracting only a few diehard fans.
Castlelyons was set to give a big welcome home to their Cork hurling hero, Timmy McCarthy and his team-mates, to celebrate their All-Ireland SHC victory. There were plans for an open top bus tour of the village. Organisers said that Timmy had brought national prominence to Castlelyons and his local club and they organised the event to pay tribute to him.
Pat Kenny had just secured the job of presenting the Late Late Show and made his way to Fermoy where he opened Dairygold's Co-Op SuperStores' newly extended store on Patrick Street and their Dublin Road outlet – a real coup for the hardware chain. It was estimated 1,000 people flocked to the event in the town centre and the TV personality got a massive cheer as he arrived, from the gathered masses. It was reported that a mainly female audience were 'charmed and beguiled'. Mr Kenny spent an hour meeting and greeting his adoring fans, who had formed a queue that snaked through the store and out onto Patrick Street. He repeated his efforts at the second store on the Dublin Road and then was driven to a nearby location to a waiting helicopter, to fly back to Dublin.
Dairygold was moving with the times, as Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Joe Walsh officially launched the company’s new website. The minister described it as a ‘state of the art interactive site, one of the most comprehensive developments of its kind in Europe which will help bring Irish farmers and farming into the new Millennium.'
In Fermoy, there was a council debate on the location of a new Garda station. The urban district council meeting heard that the existing facility was too small and antiquated for the divisional headquarters. Cllr John Murphy suggested that the gardai take up residence at the Eircom building on the Pike Road, which was set to become vacant. It was generally agreed by the councillors that the current garda station was inappropriate. There was disquiet at the debate from other councillors stating that it was a sensitive issue. Cllr Michael Hanley had raised the issue that the garda station should remain in the town centre.
Coolagown were celebrating as they took top spot in the local litter challenge. The village had beat off strong competition from villages and towns in North Cork to emerge victorious in the Cork County Council sponsored event. John Fenney, Coolagown community activist, thanked the council for their initiative, adding that the competition had created a greater awareness of problems created by littler. “In Coolagown we have got a tremendous reaction from the whole community to what we are trying to do. Once people see a start being made, they have no hesitation in helping out,” he said.
A consultative forum was established to consider the location for Cork’s new landfill site. The new facility would replace the existing landfill facility. The large site would be placed in a location that was properly located, sheltered, landscaped and lined to ensure minimal environmental and visual impact.
There were also calls to make Fermoy a plastic bag free zone, as Cllr John Hussey called on the local UDC to introduce a ban. Cllr Hussey told his council colleagues of the importance of reducing the amount of plastics used by communities. He also encouraged the use of ecobags which can be reused. He explained that a similar proposal introduced in Donegal had great success in reducing litter in the area.
There were calls for greater supervision of students congregating in the Emmet Street area of Fermoy, by Cllr Tadhg O’Donovan. Cllr O’Donovan said this was to combat antisocial behaviour by youths.
In sport, there was a lively draw in Galbally as Boroeagle Celtic drew 1-1 with White City in the second game of the campaign for both teams. Both sides had aspirations to secure ultimate Division Two honours in the North Cork Soccer League. John Kiely and Stephen Slattery were the respective goal scorers.
Kilworth U21 hurlers overcame Ballyhea 1-16 to 1-15 in a thrilling match that sent them on their way to a semi-final encounter v Fermoy or Charleville, with Dion Cahill, Damien McNamara, Declan Tobin and John Hegarty to the fore.