The other side of the Celtic Tiger was visible in September 2000, as the front page of The Avondhu covered the story of a family that had been ‘snubbed’ by the economic success of the country. A Rathcormac family had found themselves homeless, after their rented accommodation was sold, and the council had failed to provide the family with a home. They were offered hostel accommodation by the council in Cork City, meaning the family would be split up if they accepted the accommodation.
In Fermoy, the River Blackwater was described by an angler as ‘an open sewer’ and a ‘soup’, with effluent and pollution making salmon fishing impossible. Another angler descried the river conditions as ‘strange’, and both reported seeing multiple dead fish. Articles were appearing in international salmon magazines, reporting unfavourable fishing conditions in the river.
Two lucky families from The Avondhu area appeared on Winning Streak in the first week of September 2000. Native Kerryman JJ Bunyan of Duntaheen, Fermoy was one fortunate player, coming home with £7,000 and a Nissan Almera, while John Morrison of Kildinan, playing for his daughter Emma, won £11,000. Over in Mitchelstown, for just £5 of those winnings, one could get entry to the ‘American 3 Ring Circus’.
In Clogheen, Fr Nugent and his pedigree boxer dog Jake, took fist prize in the pet show at Clogheen Festival, while in Ballyporeen the award-winning Kenneally’s Centra was up for sale.
There were questions being asked of the Southern Health Board, as it was revealed that 12 of the 30 beds at Fermoy Hospital remained empty, while elderly people were being directed to use private nursing homes.
At the annual Liam Lynch Commemoration in 2000, Minister for Foreign Affairs David Andrews predicted an end to the two party system of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. He predicted that the next generation would ‘completely reshape Irish politics’.
Meanwhile, in Conna, the annual Flower, Horticulture, Cookery and Craft show was due to take place. Competitions included photography (£10 for the winner!), flower arranging, and the best egg. The real prize, however, was to be found in the rich fruit cake competition – first prize, an attractive £70.
In Kilworth, the Gallery Crafts Studio & Classroom opened up. Well-known artist Fiona Turley, and her husband, Kilworth native Noel O’Brien, were behind the venture, stocking pottery, jewellery and other Irish crafts, as well as holding painting and drawing classes.
In Kildorrery, council engineer Jacqueline Twomey denied that a car park was needed in the village, but did endorse extending the yellow lines in the village.
Blackwater Sub Aqua Club dived the historic wreck of the ‘Aud’ in September 2000, remembering Roger Casement and the German gunrunning ship that was scuttled on its way to Ireland in 1916, loaded with arms for Irish republicans.
Ballyduff had a tidy win in the County Inter Village Litter competition, while over in Tallow, the annual horse fair was ‘thronged’. The report in 2000 noted that some horse riders were in ‘complete control of their animals, while others were from a more liberal school of riding, where the style is bareback’.
In Killavullen, the National History Museum was coming to pay a visit to analyse the caves and the carvings of human faces found inside, after being contacted by caretaker Donal Doyle. Locals said that the carvings were in a part of the caves used in penal times, where priests sought refuge to say mass.
The Avondhu ‘small ads’ had some interesting animals for sale, including cock canaries, “long-haired, pretty” kittens, and hens from £3 each.
The big sporting event on everyone’s minds in early September 2000 was the North Cork Junior B Hurling Championship final between neighbours Glanworth (Harbour Rovers) and Kildorrery. The Avondhu featured a multi-page feature previewing both camps prior to the final. The Kildorrery team, captained by Austin Walsh, included brothers John and David Finn, while the Glanworth side, captained by James Condon, featured brothers Pat, Morgan and John O’Brien.
Araglin Celtic FC celebrated winning The Avondhu Cup. Captained by Johnny Browne, the lads put three past Castlebridge without reply to win the cup.
Castletownroche GAA junior hurlers celebrated victory over Brian Dillons. Their top scorers included Joseph O’Neill, Mike Browne and Jonathan O’Callaghan.
In Castlelyons Pitch and Putt Club, Mary O’Keeffe won the lady’s captain’s prize, while at Fermoy GAA Pitch and Putt Club, Tommy O’Flynn took the overall nett prize in the Joan Hogan Memorial Competition.
There was local success at the Mosney Games, where the U14 girls relay team of Mitchelstown’s Elaine Hennessy, Aisling O’Regan, Karen Considine, alongside Kilworth’s Eleanor O’Gorman and Aoife McCarthy, came home with gold.
Mitchelstown Tennis Club held their open day, where the section A final was won by Mitchelstown’s Catherine Boland and Galvin Hanley, while the section B final was won by the Liam Sheehy, along with Deirdre O’Connell from Hospital.