The saga of the Castletownroche compost plant seemed at an end 21 years ago this week as permission was granted for the facility. 

There had been protests about the siting of the factory at Ballinvoher and the operation at the site as there were concerns of pollution to the local water supply. It was given the go ahead but with 32 conditions attached to the licence by council planners. 

Walter Ryan-Purcell, plant general manager, said that the measures should assuage the local concerns. “We were expecting that these conditions would be attached to any decision granted in our favour. McGill Environmental Systems actively welcomes such controls, the more stringent the better. 

“It will all go into developing the plant as a state of the art facility,” he said. 

But the local campaigners were not happy with the move and said that the building where the treatment would be taking place was ‘not suitable’.

Protest was rife across the region at the time – there was also a protest in Cappoquin, Co Waterford as more than 250 people attended a public meeting to organise opposition against a wind farm on the Knockmealdowns. 

Tracey Kearney, from Fermoy, had taken a step closer to becoming a full-time actress as she won a scholarship to London’s prestigious Academy Drama School.

She beat hundreds of hopefuls who had auctioned for the prize. The Avondhu reported that since her school days in Loreto Convent, Tracey had shown great promise as a dynamic and versatile performer. She had worked with Wooden Fish Theatre Company and Graffiti Theatre Company, as well as becoming a member of Cork Arts Theatre.

Bikers flocked to Ballinvoher, Kilworth from across Europe for a meeting and festival organised by the Chopper Club of Ireland. 

Local man and president of the club Jimmi Hanlon sought to ease locals concerns about the group. “There’s none of that biting the heads off chickens carry on. It’s all about people and bikes, a chance to get together and renew some old acquaintances, that’s the main thing,” he said. 

The bikers’ base at Ballinvoher drew huge crowds of onlookers over the weekend.

There were several fundraising campaigns under way. The Kilworth Caring Fund to help local man Donal Kenneally was launched. Donal had suffered an accident that left him with serious injuries. Locals were committed to helping him in his recovery and money was being raised.

There was a special appeal for help for four-year-old Killavullen girl Ann-Marie Kelleher who suffered from Retts syndrome. This fundraising drive was to help her to travel to the US where she would undergo specialist treatment for her condition. 

Her parents Bernie and Tom, were hoping to send her to the Dolphin Human Therapy Clinic in Miami which had achieved great success with people suffering from similar conditions. 

There was large scale disquiet around a debs ball in Fermoy, which locals claimed had seen attendees commit a spate of vandalism across the town. 

In a night of destruction, extensive damage was caused to many of the plants and flowers. Not alone did the town’s flower beds suffer but there was widespread littering of cans and bottles while revellers then attacked the park’s much prized roses. 

The re-roofing and refurbishment of St Catherine’s Church, Ballynoe had completed its first phase. This was to combat the problem of multiple leaks dripping on to worshipers. 

Canon Gould, PP, had thanked the people of the parish ‘for their very generous support – they were very anxious that the church be fully restored’.

As in 2020, 1999 also saw calls for repairs to be made to the Fermoy weir. Local councillor, Anthony Barry, had made the call after substantial damage was caused to the structure on the west side of the bridge. He warned that another flood would cause significant damage and the weir would deteriorate further unless action was taken. 

In sport, Ballylanders were preparing to take to the field 82 years after the local side won their first (and only at that time) Limerick county senior football title. 

The team and mentors were destined for the Gaelic Grounds where they were set to take on Hospital/Herbertstown. The Ballylanders side was coached by Ollie Coffey with a team of young players who had won the intermediate title the previous year. 

Araglin captain John O’Brien, received the North Cork Junior B hurling final trophy, following his side’s victory over Kildorrery, on a scoreline of 0-16 to 0-15. John secured victory, as he slotted over a last minute point.