By Pat Brosnan


Halloween Madness


While, by all accounts, things were comparatively quiet in Athea on this Halloween in comparison to previous years, there were however many disturbing reports from around the country of an awful lot of anti-social behaviour some of quite a serious nature. It is only much more recently that the full account of these incidents is being fully revealed. But in all the reports there is one common factor running through it all, these lawless incidents are instigated and carried out by teenage youths wearing hoodies.  But first let me state that there is nothing wrong with young lads wearing hoodies particularly in the winter time so as to keep warm and comfortable in cold weather. They are often worn by well behaved teenage boys and girls as well as younger children when they go out to play football, hurling and soccer. It is only when they are worn as a symbol of mischief making by roving teenage gangs who are out to deliberately cause trouble and who are now to be seen in most small towns, villages and bigger towns all over the country. They can often be a serious menace to ordinary law abiding citizens going about their lawful everyday life particularly if there are drinking sessions or drugs involved.  How this kind of sub-culture developed in these built-up areas around the country is difficult to tell, but there seems little doubt that parents must share at least some of the responsibility for the behaviour of their teenage sons and indeed sometimes their daughters as well. In most cases these young lads are living at home with some of their parents perhaps unemployed and the young people in many cases having opted out of secondary school at an early age. They have no job or no notion or intention of looking for a job or even of emigrating and so in living this featureless day to day life without any goal or ambition they get bored, turn to drink and drugs and fall in with a local gang of other youths in a similar situation and so find an outlet in carrying out all kinds of vandalism.  What went on around the country on this Halloween was uncalled for. By all accounts in Askeaton the Gardaí came under a barrage of stones and missiles from hooded and masked youths so much so that they had to withdraw for their own safety.  They believe, according to reports, that it was all planned ahead. In Newcastle West it was only by the prompt action of the local Fire Brigade that a tyre shop was saved from being destroyed by fire. The Fire Brigade was also called out to Carrigkerry and in other areas of the country various types of vandalism was carried out. Cars and bins were set on fire, tyres were burned on public roads making driving conditions hazardous. Drivers are often pelted with eggs and even stones which are often likely to cause an accident. When the Gardaí arrive in a squad car the gangs are often alerted by their mates on mobile phones and have disappeared. The alternative of course if there is any real hope of catching those guys is for the Gardaí to come in an unmarked car and in plain clothes and the same applies to catch them in possession of drugs.  All this type of anti-social behaviour has to be tackled and put down and the sooner the better before it gets completely out of hand. If the Gardai cannot handle it then they should call in the Civil Defense to help them, or even maybe the Army if needed. A few rifle shots fired into the air would surely work wonders in scattering the gangs when they are causing trouble. The boy racer menace and the wheelie gangs at the crossroads revving up cars now seems to have mostly gone away, perhaps due to their shortage of money since the recession came in. Not many will regret their departure and most people would not look forward to their return.  It is a sad state of affairs that a certain minority of the youth of our country are so misguided and conditioned that they cannot consider doing anything useful and constructive and  that there is nothing better for them to do apart from taking part in wanton acts of senseless vandalism and anti-social behaviour. Parents who are anyway concerned about the future of these groups of youths who are out of control at present might well reflect on how they might turn out in future and if they carry their delinquent ways into adulthood because if they do it is as certain as day follows night that society will not continue to tolerate their behaviour. So it remains up to these people themselves if they want to change their attitudes and instead of being engaged in pointless anti-social activities to become a useful part of the local communities.


Book of Limericks


Well known North Kerry poet, reciter and storyteller Dan Keane of Coilagorteen, Moyvane will launch his recently published book of Limericks at the Seanchaí Centre, Listowel on this Friday, November 18th at 8pm.



Sympathy is extended to the Lane family on the death of their mother Mary (Mai) (nee Woulfe), Kilmorna, Duagh who died during the past week. She had been ill for time prior to her passing and had spent some weeks in hospital but was back home again before she died. Mai was originally a native of Cratloe West, Athea and a member of a well-known and highly regarded local family. She was a sister of Timmy Woulfe, Gortnagross, Athea and of the late Phillip Woulfe (senior), Cratloe West. Mai was in her late 80’s and had been pre-deceased by her husband Michael some years ago. The Requiem Mass was celebrated at St Bridgid’s Church, Duagh and was followed by the funeral on Friday afternoon to Ahavoher Cemetery, Gale Bridge, both of which were well attended by people from near and far.  Mai is also survived by her younger sister Nora Broderick whose husband Sean died just a few weeks ago. Again our condolences to all her family members and other relatives. ‘May her soul rest in peace’.


Athea U-16 Team Defeated

Commiserations to Athea U-16 footballers who were defeated by Naomh Brid in the County final at Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale on Wednesday evening of  last week. Athea, who were the outgoing title-holders, led at the interval and were still leading late into the second half. However at that stage a number of opportunist scores by Naomh Brid’s forwards left them in arrears and ended their hopes of retaining the title. However, well done to them in getting that far and no doubt they will be there again next year.


Home Are The Heroes

At the time of writing over the weekend it is believed that all the crew of the humanitarian supply ship the “Saoirse”, which was hi-jacked by the Israeli Navy in international waters and its occupants taken by force into captivity for over a week, are now safely home after being released from their illegal ordeal. In spite of the fact that some of the activists were democratically elected public representatives including an MEP the low profile approach by our own Government in demanding the immediate release of our Irish Citizens who were being unlawfully held captive and also demanding full compensation from the Israeli Authorities for the wanton damage to an Irish Ship. The softly, softly methods by the Government and Department of Foreign Affairs to bring immediate diplomatic pressure on the Israelis was an absolute disgrace and clearly sent the wrong message to people around the world who are trying hard to attain political aims by peaceful, non-violent means such as the activists on the “Saoirse” were attempting to do. When our Irish Citizens were not released immediately the Irish Government should have promptly considered other options such as the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador and the breaking off of diplomatic relations with the Government of that terrorist State.  If the Israelis are allowed to get away with these illegal and violent activities, such as the recent attack on our citizens, without having to answer to anybody for their misdeeds then they will continue to do so which would be a bad thing for the Middle East and bad for the world. Finally, in all fair play it must be stated that the European Parliament did far more for our Irish citizens who were detained than did our own Government. Will they ever learn that our people above all are the top priority?