Saturday 25 May 2019

Future of the weir a major talking point

THE past year in Fermoy was marked by much discussion on the future of the town's weir as plans were being made at EU level to remove part of it and replace it with a rock ramp structure.

The idea was to ensure that in future the salmon would have a safe passage upstream to their spawning grounds. It's a sentiment that we all agree with, but does it have to be done at an enormous cost to the local environment and ultimately to the extinction of one of the town's oldest organisations – the rowing club?.

The rowing club claimed that if the weir was lowered or interfered with it would lower their racing stretch at Barnane and could eventually finish the club.

However, better news was to follow soon afterwards, when it was learned that more talks would take place and the minister would visit and see the position for himself. The minister did come, talks did take place, an alternative plan was submitted to the EU but so far nothing seems set in stone as to the future of our weir. One thing is certain and that is that the salmon did not have any trouble in Fermoy these past few months in travelling way back towards Ballydesmond in the North Cork/Duhallow area.

Meanwhile 2009 saw another battle being vigorously fought against those people who constantly dump their litter bags on the roadsides without any care or regard for others or the environment, Cork Co Council litter wardens and their environmental officer waged war on offenders and were successful in catching and prosecuting some with the result that the situation is not as bad, at least in our area.

On the sporting front, the Cork Co Convention saw the Fermoy Intermediate footballers handed a tough draw in the first round when they were paired with Castletownbere.

Fermoy performed as consistently as ever in the Irish Business Against Litter National campaign, but eventually the winner was not Fermoy but Howth in Co Dublin. Nevertheless it was a great result for the town and especially for all who had worked all through the year to achieve such a high rating nationally.

The Fermoy GAA Pitch and Putt club's search for a new captain ended when former Cork Rd publican Noel McCarthy accepted the post left vacant by Damien Burke.

Fermoy hurlers Eoin Clancy and Brian O'Sullivan were called to join the Cork SH team for the National League.

St Patrick's Church renovation fund was the benefactor of a concert at the Youth Centre involving all local artistes. John Murphy and friends did the work for this venture.

Cinderella was played at the local youth centre and the gym reopened at the Fermoy Leisure Centre.

St Colman's continued with their celebrations in connection with 150 years of teaching in Fermoy. Bob Jennings and Geoff Gould, with Gus Kelleher put on a night of music, chat, and interviews in conjunction with the Radio show 103fm. St Colman's were knocked out of the Harty Cup.

Fermoy Neighbourhood Watch issued 'social monitoring alarms' to members of the community. We also heard a lot about revisiting the area of allotments.

In February, as the official start to spring dawned, the town had another near miss from flooding as the Blackwater just managed to contain itself with the town on flood alert.

The Fermoy Concert Band reviewed another great year with Philip Dunphy continuing in the chair and Trish Collins and Kieran Jordan retaining their positions as Sec and Treasurer respectively.

The Fermoy junior hurlers were drawn to meet Mallow in the North Cork championship, while Colaiste hurlers Jack Hutchings, Tomas Clancy (both Fermoy) and Robert Feeney and Aidan O'Sullivan (both Castlelyons) were members of the Cork Vocational Schools team that won All-Ireland honours.

The local GAA club held their annual Cheltenham review night, sponsored by Boylesports, at a packed Kerin's Bar.

March saw the local Intermediate football team began their year with a win over their championship opponents Castletownbere.

With Lent beginning, so the Corrin Lenten stations began also in March.

At the AGM of the Fermoy Trout Anglers, an appeal was made to encourage young members to take up the sport. Noel Neligan is President and the other officers are –Chairman Michael Byrnes, Hon Sec Luke Heffernan, Treas John Barry and PRO Jimmy Lysaght.

Fermoy man Colin Carroll, tackled the RTE Dragons in their Den as he tried to convince some of them to invest in his project called 'The Paddy Games'. Though not successful that night, the brave Colin is still out there battling his way to ultimate stardom.

The Loreto senior girl's football team scored a thrilling win over St Leo's of Carlow in the All-Ireland semi-final. Noel O'Callaghan won his 18th Irish senior racquetball title in 19 years, at Kingscourt in Cavan, and Sean Keane won the B title while U12 player Tiernan O'Brien won a bronze medal.

In football the local U21 side defeated Mallow, while in the final of the Forge Bar league, Denny Fanning's team scored a very narrow win over Mick Cahill's team.

The St Patrick's Day Parade took place as usual and once again it was an unqualified success, it was proudly led by the Grand Marshall, Denis Rice, who was an Olympic Oarsman in Moscow in 1980.

Tom Daly won the Donie Keohane Memorial Trophy at Fermoy Pitch and Putt, while Fermoy I F team were going down to Cill na Martra in the Kelleher Shield, the U21 team qualified for the North Cork final by defeating Mitchelstown at Shanballymore.

The hurlers got underway in Div One with a win over Castletownroche.

There was another first for Clondulane NS when they achieved Green Flag status for their School.

St Colman's College continued their 150 years of celebrations with a packed house for their memorable concert night which included a reunion of that great group Na Fili which saw Tomas O Canainn (Uileann Pipes), Matt Cranitch (Fiddle) who was returning to his roots, and retired Colman's teacher Tom Barry (Tin Whistle), reunite for a really wonderful night.

In the month of April, we saw Fermoy retain the North Cork U21 FC with a 1-15 to 1-9 win over Kilshannig. Meanwhile the club's IFC team lost in the first round to Castletownbere at Ballineen and so it was back to the losers group for them.

April also saw the speed limit extended on the Hospital Road, a fact that was welcomed by Cllr Tadg O'Donovan. Cope foundation was 10 years old in Fermoy and an open day was held to mark the occasion. The Fermoy Pitch and Putt club held a week long competition in support of Cope in Fermoy and Eamonn Joyce was the overall winner of the McCarthy Cup.

Once again, the re-enactment of Christ's Passion was a high point of Holy Week in St Patrick's Church, Fr Eugene Baker was the star of the show which was directed by Sr Nuala.

The Rowing club, celebrating their 125th Anniversary with a gala night and a wonderful photographic exhibition in their own Hall.

Fermoy Soccer team won the Munster Senior League title beating Casement 3-1 to finish undefeated in the section, the club's attention to its youth section is starting to pay off.

Corrin Marts is starting to become an events centre and the annual Tractor World 09 Show, organised by the Cork branch of Ford and Fordson Ass, was held there in April, the first time it was held outside Cork City.

In May Fr Aquin Casey Adm led a pilgrimage to Knock Shrine to mark 20 years of Perpetual Adoration in St Patrick's Church.

The minor hurlers won the first round of the county c/ship with a 3-7 to 1-9 win over Eire Og. Former President of St Colman's College Rev Wm Canon Twohig, who was retired in Ballyvourney, passed away.

Fermoy Regatta had the highest number of entries on record, so much so that Jim Hackett had to reduce the numbers in order to ensure that the programme could be completed on time.

New Club member Kieran Dunscombe, won the George O'Keefe Memorial Trophy, Noel O'Callaghan won the Leinster Open Racquetball c/ship while handballers Colm Jordan and Alan O'Dwyer won the Cork Co S doubles title to add further lustre to their already brilliant careers.

The Pitch and Putt club hosted the Munster Ladies Stroke Play c/ship, local players Norma Buckley and Sharon Bowes won Junior and senior medals respectively on the day. Fermoy defeated Mallow in their first round JHC game by 1-17 to 1-9.

The writings of noted Fermoy Historian the late Niall Brunicardi, have been transcribed and formatted to disc by David and Lillian Fleming, with the blessing of the author's son Daire, who presented them as a gift to the people of Fermoy, via the officers of Cork Co Library Fermoy.

In June the local elections took place and we had something like 19 candidates for the nine positions on the local Town Council and results marked a time of change with nearly half of the council members taking a seat for the first time. The County Council and the European Elections took place at the same time.

How times have changed? Cork and Tipp in the Munster c/ship and little or no match traffic in Fermoy thanks to the new bypass.

In local Boxing, the big story during the year was the success of young Ciara Noonan in winning a gold medal at the National Youth Boxing Championships.

Fermoy faced Ballyclough in a vital game in the IFC and after a great contest the match ended level with Cork Senior and U21 star Colm O'Neill slotting over a late free to level the match. Fermoy won the replay by just a point.

The Polish twinning visitors from Nowa Deba arrived in Fermoy for a one week visit and the localcCommittee laid on a heavy week of entertainment and some travel for them.

The annual Corpus Christi procession took place to the Town Park in summer sunshine and the usual large crowds attended.