by Pat Brosnan

Stone Attack by Thugs

 According to recent media reports a resident of Shannon who, in the company of a friend, went to visit his brother’s grave in Mount St Lawrence Cemetery in Limerick is alleged to have been attacked by a gang of teenage thugs who pelted them with stones. This happened at around 7pm in the evening when one would expect to be a quiet time to visit a cemetery. By all accounts the Cemeteries City Council Superintendent stated that he had no doubt that the two people concerned had a frightening experience and that it was the first time that anything such as this had occurred in that cemetery.

It goes to prove, if proof was needed, that there are certain elements in the country that are completely devoid of ordinary regard for the rights of others and who have no idea of what civilized behaviour is about. Such elements in our society need to be confronted and brought into line for the sake of decent law abiding people. This latest incident in Limerick was perhaps a new departure from the usual kind of thuggery by the fact that it was people rather than property that was targeted in this mindless way.

Perhaps the culprits were high on drugs or alcohol, who knows, or maybe it was done out of sheer blackguardism but whatever it was it should not have happened. We all know of course that far more serious things have happened in Limerick City in recent times but that would have more to do with notorious criminal gangs rather than teenage vandals. Again however we do not have to pretend that such things are happening only in the city or larger towns throughout the country.  The sad fact is that there are groups of teenagers and sometimes older trouble makers to be found in the smallest villages and even rural areas in County Limerick and indeed in many places around the country as well.

Even a few years ago in mainly quiet and peaceful Carrigkerry, where some of the nicest people in the country live, there was the deplorable incident of the statue in the local grotto being smashed and around the same time the tank containing the school heating oil was punctured which caused an oil spillage that was difficult enough to deal with. It is hard to understand the minds of teenagers who carry out such acts of pointless destruction and what kind of perverse satisfaction they get out of it. But what we do know is that it needs to be stopped before it gets out of hand completely before decent people are forced to take the law into their own hands and deal with the problem in their own way.  We recently read about some vigilantes targeting suspected drug dealers in a North Kerry village and ordering them out of the area. The question we would like to see answered is who should we have the most sympathy for, the suspected drug dealers or the vigilantes who are trying to put a stop to such activities.

Apart from one serious incident some years ago Athea has been comparatively free from the more severe types of vandalism, but occasionally anti-social happenings do occur. But the boy racing culture that had been causing some concern to ordinary drivers some years ago as well as the cross roads wheelie or doughnut capers appear to have mostly faded out since the recession came in and there is less money to spend on such activities. Not many will be too sorry to see these dangerous practices coming to an end.

While most of us took part in pranks during our younger days these were of an entirely different type of teenage frolics and were never meant to cause harm or distress to those on whom the pranks were played, or any damage to people’s homes or property. It was all done for a laugh in those times and with no intention of causing any real trouble.  How different things are today with stones being thrown at people visiting a relatives grave or cars being pelted on Halloween or indeed at other times of the year.  We might well ask what is it all in aid of? Thank God however there are many fine young people in the country who are a credit to their parents and relatives and who are no doubt in the vast majority. It is only the insignificant minority who are causing the trouble and that is something that needs to be tackled.


Lartigue Céilí Band 

A new Céilí Band has recently been formed in North Kerry and will be based in the Listowel area. It is being named The Lartigue Céilí Band in memory of the famous Monorail train that at one time carried passengers from Listowel to Ballybunion and back.  There are musicians from various areas of North Kerry and West Limerick who have joined up with it and the band leader is Gearoid Keating from Abbeyfeale whose mother Eileen (nee Dalton) is a native of Toureendonnell. Gearoid’s near relatives who once lived in Knocknagorna had a great traditional musical talent which Gearoid and his sister Roisin inherited. Gearoid’s grandfather Micheál Dalton and his granduncle Sean Dalton both played Senior Football with Limerick. His father David Keating has been very much involved with the GAA as a player and official. Gearoid has won a number of All Ireland Comhaltas titles on the Banjo.  The other members of the new Céilí Band are :- Sean Guerin- Accordion, James Duggan-Fiddle, James Dillon- Concert Flute, John McElligott-Drums, Mairead Curran-Piano, Rosin Ryan- Fiddle, Katie Lucey-Fiddle, Gretta Curtin- Concertina and Colleen O’Shea- Concert Flute.

We wish the new band every luck in the future and there is no doubt that with a combination of such experienced and talented musicians they are very likely to have many successful outings before long.


Disappointed Supporters 

For the many Irish supporters who went to support the Grimes twins “Jedward” in the European so-called song contest, which is in reality a show or gymnastics contest they must have been very disappointed that even the Russian Grannies were far ahead of the Irish representatives who were sent out there to compete unsuccessfully for the second time.

Was it not also very disappointing for the Irish followers who went out to Poland to support the 26 County soccer team in the past weeks. Both these events were hyped up to the last in the Irish media but the fact is that both were far behind current International standards.