Athea Drama Group
Due to high demand and people turned away from the door due to crowds, it has been decided that Athea Drama Group will stage the hilarious comedy ‘Anyone Could Rob a Bank’ for one final night on Sunday March 5th at 8pm at Con Colbert Hall, Athea.
Check out our facebook page @atheadramagroup for a chance to win two tickets!
Athea Bingo Committee
Bingo will be cancelled on this Friday night, February 24th. as a mark of respect to the Ahern family Garrygloss on the passing of little Ella. Sincere sympathy to all her family. May the light of heaven be hers and may she rest in peace.
Community First Responders (CFRs)
The Community First Responders (CFRs) will hold their annual Church gate collection this weekend. All funds raised are used to train new volunteers and maintain equipment. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.
A collection for sacristans Ann and Carol will take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th February. Envelopes can be got in the church.
I thought that after Brexit and the election of Donald Trump that we had reached a kind of plateau of insanity and that things couldn’t get any worse but I was wrong. Trump continues to lower the bar with his outrageous press conferences and growing list of appointees who either don’t want or are not capable of doing the job. The reality of a hard border is beginning to set in after the Brexit vote. There is no point in talking about arrangements between Britain and Ireland for an “invisible” border, the simple fact is that, if Britain goes ahead with its plans to depart the union., a border with custom posts will have to be created whether we like it or not. Northern Ireland is still part of the UK and will not be allowed to also remain in the EU, no matter how much we or they want to. There is one answer to the problem which will not be palatable with many people but may work. Make Northern Ireland an independent state with the right to remain within Europe as the voters voted in the election. Britain could support them financially in the same way as they are at the moment but to all intents and purposes they would have total control over their own destiny. Unionists would be up in arms but I have a feeling that the British Parliament would only be secretly delighted to be rid of Northern Ireland once and for all. There is no logical reason why they should hold on to jurisdiction over the top corner of a neighbouring country. Ideally, a united Ireland is the best solution all round but that is a bridge too far at the moment and anyway we are not capable of looking after our own affairs never mind adding another six counties. We are, as Joxer said, “in a state of chasis” down here at the moment. The people who are supposed to be running the country are busy jockeying for the leadership of Fine Gael and staggering from one blunder into another. Nobody seems to be capable of telling the truth with ministers and the Taoiseach contradicting each other about who said what and when and where. We even had an account of a meeting from the Taoiseach that never actually happened. He admitted as much a couple of days later. Why has nobody taken the honourable route and resigned? In any mother country they would have gone long ago. The Maurice McCabe affair has sickened every decent minded person in the country. To attack a man’s family in the way it was done, to protect a corrupt police force is unforgivable and the perpetrators deserve to be exposed and punished. It is inconceivable that high-ranking officers knew nothing of this. If they didn’t then they were not doing their jobs properly and deserve to be removed for that alone. Will justice prevail. I have my doubts. The history of tribunals in this country is not good. The first big one, the beef tribunal, went on for years and the only ones prosecuted were two workers who were only doing what they were told. In another tribunal a former Taoiseach and minister for finance said under oath that he had no bank account and that monies that couldn’t be accounted for were the proceeds of “dig outs” and the odd flutter on the horses. Nobody believed that except the tribunal. We are back again to the truth and I’m afraid it will be in short supply at this tribunal. The legal boys are rubbing their hands and smacking their lips at the prospect of another windfall from the state. They are the only winners. Why couldn’t an outside police force be brought in to investigate the whole affair and charge the guilty parties?. We don’t do things like that here just as we don’t jail people for white collar crime but we do throw people into jail for not having a TV licence. The leadership of Fine Gael has taken precedence over the state of the nation at the moment. Enda Kenny has only himself to blame. Why did he state that he wouldn’t lead the party into the next election? That was opening the door for the “wannabe” leaders to start plotting. He is a decent man who brought Fine Gael from a very low point to winning successive elections. He oversaw the difficult time we went through and though we all suffered, the country is getting back on its feet again. Where would we be now if the bond holders had been burned? I dread to think, but eaten bread is soon forgotten and the knives are out for Enda at the moment. Fianna Fáil is playing a waiting game. They don’t want an election just yet but they are the strongest of the parties at the moment. What the country really needs is the amalgamation of the two parties that would give stable, middle of the road government. Forget about a 100 years old civil war, the reality is that there is no difference between the policies of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and the prospect of any of the two getting an overall majority on their own is long gone.
While I am at it, isn’t time Sinn Fein’s past is not brought into question every time there is a debate in the Dáil? Yes, they came from an armed struggle that wasn’t pretty and yes, bad things happened but they have gone down the correct road and deserve to be taken seriously. After all, the two main parties are the products of armed struggle as well, a civil war that was brutal in the extreme. It is time to put the country first. Enda, please go and let us get on with it.
Domhnall de Barra
A Bit of Polish History continued….
By Fr. Brendan Duggan
My next trip back to Poland was in August 10th-15th, 1991 to attend the World Youth Day in Czestochowa, at Jasna Gora, the shrine to the Black Madonna. I travelled with a group from Ireland and we linked up with the Scottish, Welsh and English group at London. We travelled by coach together for the 28 hour trip to Czestochowa.
I was with my Polish friends, we camped out overnight in the Castle of Czestochowa Monastery on August 14/15. The Mass began at 7.30 am and did not finish until about 3.30pm, in the presence of the Pope and 3,500 Priests and Bishops from all over the world. I was privileged to concelebrate and my Polish friends were also close by. I made some wonderful friends there from Germany, Hungary, Russia, Lithuania and other countries.
Let me tell you one great story. During our stay in Czestochowa we were billeted in a High School with about 4 to 5 hundred other young people. We had all the Irish group and my Polish friends. A group of young Russian students from the University of Moscow arrived on the Sunday afternoon and I happened to meet them. They had come from the School of Architecture at Moscow University by coach – some 30 hours travelling, and we entertained them with the stew provided for us at the school. The Poles were highly organised as some 1.5 to 2 million people were in Czestochowa. Anyway we exchanged addresses and we decided to keep in contact.
After the big Mass our group left Czestochowa on the evening of August 15th to return to Ireland and the Russian group left and got back to Moscow and arrived back on the 17/18th August. I had a letter from one of the Russian students about 2 weeks later. He told me that on their return to Moscow he and his group were part of the 3,000students from Moscow University who sat down on the cobbled pavement around the Kremlin (a prison) and prevented the Russian Army from taking over Moscow, in order to re-establish Communism in Russia. Gorbachev was overthrown and Yeltsin became the new President. You will remember President Yeltsin was the guy who was rather fond of Vodka and he had an interesting adventure in Shannon Airport, but I can’t remember the full details.
So until next week God Bless you all.