Community First Responders (CFRs)
The Community First Responders (CFRs) will hold their annual Church gate collection this weekend. Presently there are 23 active members who take it In turn to hold the CFR phone Monday to Friday 6pm to 8am and 24 hours Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays. Their phone number is 087 2737077 and they respond to 5 life threatening emergencies – Sudden un-responsiveness, stroke, heart attack, choking and cardiac arrest. All the members are trained in CPR, defibrillator use and administration of Oxygen and Aspirin.
The group are very privileged to have two qualified instructors, which means all members do 90 days refreshers and renew their 2-year certification free of charge. 11 members recently completed a 3 day First Aid Responder (FAR) course. Thanks to Rodge Byrne who sourced this course and to the Kerry Civil Defence who delivered the course free of charge. Since the group’s set up 6 years ago, they have responded to 10 call-outs and helped out at various charity walks / runs.
All funds raised are used to train new volunteers and maintain / purchase new equipment. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.
‘IT’S THE REAL McCOY CONTINUES’
Due to unprecedented numbers turning up each night to view Athea Drama Group’s latest production of the hilarious comedy ‘It’s the Real McCoy’ by Tommy Marren, it has been decided to perform the play for one final night on this coming Sunday Night March 1st at 8pm at the Memorial Hall Athea. Tickets available at the door and doors open at 7pm.
Athea Tidy Towns Fashion Show
The Fashion Show will take place at the Con Colbert Memorial Hall on this Thursday, February 26th at 8pm. Some of the top fashion outlets from West Limerick and North Kerry will showcase their Summer collections. Judges will also be on the lookout for the best dressed lady on the night, with some lovely prizes up for grabs.
Tickets are priced at €10 and can be booked in advance by phoning Margaret (087-1225701) or Eileen (087 9848247). Organisers will also hold a raffle throughout the night for some top class spot prizes, proceeds from which will also be going to the local tidy towns group for various projects in the months ahead.
Rights & Wrongs
A couple of weeks ago I commented on the water charges and the ham-fisted way the government went about introducing them. There is no doubt that they have touched a nerve in the community arousing anger amongst ordinary decent people. The protests throughout the country have been well attended and, apart from a small minority, well behaved. The right to protest is a fundamental one and has been used in the past by sectional interests to highlight their particular causes. Nurses, teachers, farmers etc. have all protested with various degrees of success. The bigger the protest the more the government of the day will take notice because, in the final analysis, votes are important. The water protest was doing well until a small minority decided to up the anti by employing unlawful tactics to attain their goals. There are boundaries that should not be crossed and I am afraid those boundaries have already been breached. Facts are facts.
- It is unlawful to stop workers from carrying out their duties.
- It is unlawful to abuse them physically or verbally.
- It is unlawful to prevent people from moving and imprison them in their vehicles for hours on end.
- It is unlawful to follow people to their homes and intimidate them.
What happened to President Higgins was appalling and offended the vast majority of the Irish people.
These tactics are doing the case of the water protesters no good at all., on the contrary they may prevent some people who would otherwise have done so from joining the protest. Now a new and dangerous situation has arisen. People have been jailed for breaking a court injunction and some have now gone on hunger strike. They have a number of demands that the want met before they come off it. Among those are that they be returned from Wheatfield to Mountjoy prison and that Enda Kenny and his government resign. The reason they are in Wheatfield is not political as they claim. There are no facilities in Mountjoy to deal with hunger strikers. The government will not and can not give in to the demand to stand down. What a precedent it would set. In the meantime these relatively young people are in danger of doing themselves serious damage by their actions.
It is time for their leaders, especially those elected to the Dáil like Paul Murphy, to stand up and give them the proper advice. They have not been jailed for protesting; they have been jailed for defying the orders of the court. There is a big difference and they should not be seen or encouraged to be martyrs for the cause. There was a television programme one time that opened with the lines; “democracy is a bad form of government, but the others are so much worse”. We cannot have an a-la-carte approach to the law picking and choosing which statutes we want to obey or not. We have the rule of law enacted by people who live amongst us and are elected by us. The opposite is anarchy and I have a suspicion that some people latch on to any cause to try and destabilise our democracy. I sincerely hope that these people are persuaded to come off the hunger strike and be returned to their families. They have done their bit to highlight their grievances.
I also hope it will not affect the water protesters who have every right to fight what they perceive as an unjust imposition of tax on the most vulnerable in our community.
Domhnall de Barra