by Pat Brosnan

Mass on RTE

Last Sunday’s Mass on RTE, which was broadcast from the Studio, was celebrated by our own Fr Denis Mullane from Templeathea who is Parish Priest of Coolcappa/Kilcolman. Many of the local people from that area were featured in the Mass including the Parish choir and some great individual singers. A whole lot of dedicated preparation at local level must have been put into the making of this beautiful production in which many familiar faces appeared.

All concerned including Fr Denis, the choir, the teachers and all others who were involved deserve to be congratulated on this super programme which was seen all over the country. It is really amazing the talent that exists in that part of the county and the way it has been developed there. There is no doubt that in many parts of Limerick and throughout the rest of the country there is a great deal of talent which is often undiscovered until they might be featured on television such as those people from Kilcolman and Coolcappa who made such a great impression on everybody who watched the Mass on RTE 1 on Sunday morning.

Late Maura Dalton

The death of Maura Dalton (nee O’Connor) of Lower Road, Athea and formerly Colbert Street and Knockdown was widely regretted not alone by her immediate family, relatives, friends and neighbours but also by the wider community where the family are held in high regard.  In her teenage years Maura was a skilful Table Tennis player who, together with Dympna Brouder, Helen Stapleton and Caroline Griffin, were members of that great Athea Table Tennis team that brought several Community Games medals to Athea in that particular sport.  Maura’s early death, she was only in her early ‘40’s, has evoked a lot of sadness throughout the locality and much sympathy to her relations. A large number of people from far and near called to Kelly’s Funeral Home to pay their respects. Sympathy is extended to her husband Michael, her son, daughter, mother, brothers, sisters, her in-laws and other relatives.


Sympathy is extended to the members of the Ahern family of Glensharrold on the sad death of their brother Dan which occurred during the week at a comparatively young age.   Dan is survived by his sisters, brothers, his in-laws and other relatives.


The Voting Machines

The news during the week that the E-voting machines which were originally purchased by the then Government at a cost of €55m Euro and were sold as scrap last week for the token sum of €70,000.267. The reaction of most ordinary people who have heard about this deal will be a feeling of relief and good riddance when they consider the outrageous initial cost of these useless pieces of metal and the further cost of storage all those years since these bits of scrap were proved to be a burden more than an asset to the State. It is hard to really understand why those machines were not disposed of earlier when they were found to be defective, but it just goes to show the incompetence of those who invested such a large sum of taxpayer’s money on such a doubtful project in the first place.

While we all know that the voting machines were only a small part of the reckless investments during the boom years they are nevertheless a striking example of how this country got into the bad financial deals that they all approved of in those days both Government and opposition. According to Minister Phil Hogan the Government was lucky to get any scrap dealers to pay €60,000 plus for them as otherwise the Government would have to pay to dispose of them.  Who could have predicted when these were introduced that we would soon be back to the paper and pencil again after such a short time when this old fashioned type of voting had been declared redundant. It is quite evident that the machines, if properly tested before being purchased, would have shown up the defects if a proper survey had been carried out by Irish Government appointed experts in the field of this form of technology. It is most unlikely that this or indeed any future Government will again attempt to re-introduce these voting machines considering that they have proved to be an utter failure so it certainly looks as if the paper and pencil will still remain the method of voting by the Irish electorate for a long time to come. There is a well known recitation of Australian origin in which a Parish Priest is bemoaning the loss of his former housekeeper who has died and complaining about his present housekeeper who constantly keeps moving things around in the house and he wants to know, when he asks “why can’t she let things as they are, the way they’ve always been” so in a way it has been much the same with those voting machines except that a lot of taxpayer’s money has been foolishly and needlessly spent.  This has been another lesson to be learned about the expense and chaos that Government mismanagement can cause when they plunge headlong into stupid deals with other countries. But unfortunately it is not the only instance in which costly mistakes were made.


Milford Hospice

The Annual Church Gate Collection in aid of Milford Hospice will be held before all Masses in Athea this weekend. People are asked to be as generous as possible in supporting this collection and helping a very worthy cause. Milford Hospice is doing a wonderful job in caring for terminally ill patients and treating them with dignity and respect.

Minister Hayes’ Comments

It had been my intention this week to comment on the cheap little remarks by Minister Brian Hayes concerning the recent handshake between the North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and the Queen. However there were some greater priorities to write about this week than giving a run down on the begrudging comments made by Minister Hayes and one of his Fine Gael colleagues as reported in the Sunday Independent of June 24th. Perhaps this begrudgery is best ignored.