by Kathleen Mullane

‘Great Racing’

Well, after a year’s absence of the Athea Road Races, everyone was eager to see how the return of this year’s racing would go, especially in these recessionary times – one wondered would the weekend be well supported. Well, during the week there was “a bit of a stir” around the place as the road signs were erected, the ditches were cut, the large bales put in place all in readiness for the weekend.

It was great to see the trucks delivering extra loads to the shops and pubs and food outlets in the village. The bike-races are a great spin-off to many other things. Saturday the trials day and Sunday the main day’s racing would hopefully be a success, we all hoped, and of course the weather would be a major factor. Well, campers and vans of all descriptions and sizes started to converge on Athea from Thursday onwards. Some picking out a “good spot” others heading up to the paddock at the top of the hill which was like a “small village”.

The roads closed early on Saturday morning with the trials starting at 1pm. This would be the quieter day everyone realised, but it was the start of “what was yet to come” and it started ‘The Buzz’ around the place. Good crowds in the village on Friday and Sunday would be a great asset to every business.

People started to converge on Athea early on Sunday morning armed with rain-gear, picnics and drinks for the day. Unfortunately the heavy mist was a bit of a damper on the day – however, it didn’t lessen the spirit of the spectators. The roar of the bikes started and the vantage positions were all taken up by the onlookers. Thankfully all the races were run off without a hitch and accident free. It was a sight to see the throngs of people converge on the village after the races and the droves of riders on their bikes leaving for their various destinations.

In all a great weekend– here’s to next year – well done to all.


The bike race was also a great asset to our fundraising for the Hall. And where would Athea be without the hall on an occasion like this where people could use the toilet facilities and have teas and coffees served up by Mary Kelly and her team of dedicated helpers. Also the bucket collection for the hall which took place during the weekend. A total of approximately €2,000 was raised from the teas and the buckets.

Apologies for my sympathies re: Mary Dalton in last week’s newsletter. It should have read sister-in-law of Peggy Dalton not sister. Also sympathy to Nancy Hanrahan, Clash and the Brouder family of Knocknagorna.