A national litter awareness campaign was initiated by the newly formed Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) organisation, chaired by Fermoy businessman Tom Cavanagh and launched by Minister for the Environment, Brendan Howlin TD. Twenty-four leading companies, drawn from all sections of the Irish business community, lent their support to the organisation, among them Dairygold. IBAL, formed ‘out of a combination of experiences and events’ in his native Fermoy, were intent on playing ‘a long term role in the creation of an improved litter awareness in Ireland’. The initial thrust of their campaign was to co-ordinate a nationwide ‘attitudinal survey’ to establish the reasons why people litter in the first place. The survey results would be presented to Government.

Eight year old Marian Murphy, a pupil of Glenville National School, told The Avondhu of her predictions for the year 2020, part of the ‘20-20 Vision’ project taking place ‘throughout the British Isles’. “When I grow up I think our village will be bigger than it is now. I think I’ll be 33 and I’ll be wearing a mini-skirt and a mini-top. I think I’ll be married with some children. I might have a car like a Nissan Almera. I think the school will be painted”. Will her forecast come true?

It was reported that a new ambulance service was to be launched in the Mitchelstown area. The Fermoy and Mitchelstown areas were being served by one ambulance and two crews, covering a population of 24,000, in addition to having responsibility for the main Cork-Dublin Road. It was understood the Southern Health Board were recommending that an ambulance with a crew of two, be based in Mitchelstown during the day, in addition to the existing service in Fermoy. By night, both ambulances would be based in Fermoy.

Drama fever was in the air in early 1996 – Conna Drama Group were preparing to stage ‘The Country Boy’, directed by Michael Riordan; it was ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ for Lismore Dramatic Society who were looking forward to an eight-night run in February at the Courthouse Theatre; ‘The Black Stranger’, set during Famine times, was The Palace Players’ offering, to be staged in Fermoy Community Youth Centre; while it was John B Keane’s ‘Big Maggie’ for Kilworth Dramatic Society, direction was by Bill Hammond.

A fire tragedy in January 1996 claimed the life of the person thought to be the oldest citizen in the parish of Araglin and Kilworth, 93 year old Mary O’Donnell from Propogue. The alarm was raised by a family member and it was believed that Mrs O’Donnell was in bed upstairs at the time the fire. Units of the fire brigade from Mitchelstown, Fermoy and Mallow attended the scene, however the fire swept through the building at such speed, causing extensive damage to the property, that Mrs O’Donnell sadly perished in the blaze.

Hill Celtic, Watergrasshill hit Dunbar Celtic, Midleton for 6 goals, following a six-week winter break. 2-0 to the good at half-time with strikes from Moss O’Keeffe and Terry Broderick, the home side had no answer to a rampant Celtic. ‘Tex’ in goal dealt with any threat from the home side, with Pat Walsh and Denis O’Leary providing ‘the speed on the flanks’. Second half goals from Pat Walsh (2), Terry Broderick and an o.g., sealed a comfortable win. Team: D O’Leary, A O’Flynn, M O’Leary, D O’Shea, J Sheehan, D O’Leary, T Broderick, J O’Keeffe, P Walsh, M O’Keeffe, L Hedderman. Subs: J Barton and B Galvin.

In brief – The gruesome discovery by a member of the public of a partly burned body of a cat was reported to gardai in Mitchelstown – the animal’s remains were discovered in the vicinity of the Town Hall on the remnants of an outdoor fire. AIB Bank, Fermoy had a new manager appointed, with Pat Hegarty transferring from the Midleton branch, replacing Michael Carr who was transferred to Limerick on promotion. An appeal against the extension of opening hours at a Castletownroche take-away was made to Cork County Council, with claims that customers were being served as late as 2am, with 12 midnight closing set by planning regulations. Gardai in Mitchelstown were concerned by a number of stone throwing incidents in and around the town, which had the potential for damage, ‘both bodily and to property’.