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Reviewing The Avondhu from January 1994

Stranded goats near Killavullen were a cause for some concern over the Christmas period of 1993, while there was news that Fermoy Traders Association could be wound up, due to a lack of support. Meanwhile, Garda Joe Walsh was retiring from service after 27 years in Glenville. Some headline Avondhu news from early 1994 …

Wednesday, 14 January 2015
12:05 PM GMT

January 1994 brought the surprising news that Fermoy Traders Association may have to be wound up. Chairman, Tim Duggan confirmed to The Avondhu that he was ‘sad to say’ this was the case, with the AGM set to consider such a motion. This was primarily due to the “lack of support from traders in the town, both financially and otherwise”. New blood and new ideas were now necessary as officerships had been ‘left to the same few’. One association member was aghast at the reaction of some traders when approached for their annual subscription, stating there was ‘perennial abuse heaped upon them’. “One would think we were putting it (subscriptions) in our own pockets by the way they react,” the member commented.

The Christmas period of 1993 saw 5 goats become stranded on an island on the River Blackwater, about half a mile east of Killavullen village. Concern was expressed regarding the lack of vegetation available for the animals due to rising flood waters, on an area estimated to be less than half an acre in size. One caller to County Sound radio claimed they were ‘reduced to eating the bark from trees’, with ‘locals throwing over potatoes in an effort to stop them from starving’! However, gardai and Cork ISPCA were aware of the situation and were happy with the welfare of the animals. The goats were eventually safely reunited with their owner.

A farewell party was organised for retiring Garda Joe Walsh, who was set to hang up his baton following 27 years service in the village of Glenville. A native of Ring, Co Waterford, Joe first joined the force back in 1954, being first posted to Galway, before stints in Glenfarne, Co Leitrim; Cloyne, Shandon and Midleton, then finally arriving in Glenville in 1966. A noted handballer in his younger days, in latter years Joe turned his attention to bee-keeping, managing a dozen hives.

Casual traders operating on Ashe Quay in Fermoy were drawing the wrath of some business owners. Some ‘fast food on wheels’ traders, who were regularly taking up position during the festive season, were occupying spaces otherwise set aside for members of the public. Such traders were not paying any rates, with chairman of Fermoy town traders association, Michael Hanley, stating that ‘the present casual trading law was proving to be inadequate in terms of providing the local authority and gardai with the necessary legislation to deal with the problem”. Hotelier Sean Kavanagh and other permanent fast food businesses in the town were looking for action to be taken to rectify the situation.

The Avondhu reported that a Doneraile native had made a 12,000 round trip to be home with his family for Christmas 1993. Emigrant John O’Riordan travelled from San Francisco, where he worked as a teacher, to be back on ‘old turf’ at The Park Arms on Main Street. Born in Hazelwood, he was educated at Doneraile CBS, St Colman’s College, Fermoy and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Globe trotting since 1991, when teaching history and economics at St Gallen, Switzerland, he then moved to Washington where he took up a teaching post, while also working in an Irish bar, ‘Murphy’s Of DC’.

It was reported that a ‘considerable sum’ was paid for a North Cork farm. A 59 acre dairy farm, owned by John Deane of Knockboy, Carrignavar, saw the price per acre reach £3,525. The sale being handled by Fermoy auctioneers, Dick Barry & Son. Holding a milk quota of 19,470 gallons, the final price paid was £208,000, with ‘hugh interest’ shown in the sale.

In brief: Ballyhoura Failte Society launched their first in a series of newsletters at Kilfinane Education Centre, aimed at shareholders of the society, patrons and all the product providers. Two major comic personalities were set to appear in Fermoy in early 1994 - Finglas comedian Brendan O’Carroll (Mrs Brown’s Boys fame) was heading for his second appearance at The Grand Hotel; while Dermot Morgan was set for a February date in the town. Park Albion exited the County Cup at the second round stage, having accounted for 1st division outfit Waterloo in round 1; Killeady Celtic (Ballinhassig) scored a 4-3 victory over the Mitchelstown side, with Gerry O’Brien for Albion the man of the match (Albion scorers Richie O’Farrell, Jim O’Brien and Mossy Lane).

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