Archive for October, 2012

Knockdown News-24/10/12

The Clounleharde School Reunion committee will meet on this Wednesday night at 9pm in the clubhouse in Killeaney. Sympathies to the Reidy family, Glenagower, on the death of Mick this week. Mick was one of the oldest surviving students of Clounleharde school.

The clocks will change this coming weekend so the Masses in Loughill/Ballyhahill will revert to the Sunday Mass in Ballyhahill at 10 am and Saturday evening Mass in Loughill at 8pm. However, please note that though the clocks change this coming weekend the Mass changes will not take effect until the 1st weekend in November.

Glin library will be closed on this Thursday morning but will be open as usual on Thursday night not like the AIB which will close on Friday BUT will not open anymore as it is the last day for the Glin branch. All further banking will be done through the mobile bank on Mondays or through the post office. It is true for Fr Crawford who said at Mass on Sunday that the days of offering a service to the community are gone as the AIB hierarchy is only interested in making profit and not giving a service. More changes in our small country.

Congratulations to Meghan O’Shaughnessy, Ballyhahill who won Young Poet of the Year in the Cuisle International Poetry Festival 2012 in Limerick last weekend. This is not the first time that Meghan has won for her poetry. She won 1st prize in 2011 in  a competition run by the Tarbert Education Centre. It is great to see that poets continue to be born and thrive in our parish.  Meghan, grand-daughter of Joe O’Shaughnessy, The Village, is in 6th class in Ballyhahill National School.





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Pat’s Corner-24/10/12

Negation of Local Democracy

Last week’s announcement by the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan concerning the Amalgamation of Local Authorities in some instances and the demolition of other Statuary Bodies such as certain Urban Councils is not alone a short sighted and negative proposal which would be a measure with far reaching consequences for the system of local Government we have had since the foundation of the State and to a limited degree at any rate and even before the country became independent in the early 1920’s. These new proposals if carried through will have a damaging and harmful effect on local democracy at a time when it was never more needed. Any commitment of local democracy at the grass roots such as contained in these negative new proposals cannot be for the better in whatever shape or form these may be presented. While we are all aware and must acknowledge that there have been abuses of the system regarding expenses by certain councillors at various times but this does not mean that the whole system of local Government needs to be torn apart considering that this, the present system, has had a long tradition and has served this country well. Any change in these basic structures of Local Government will have a devastating and demoralising effect on those who have served their local constituents and the country so well and who, even if they were again re-elected, would have to service a much wider area to the extent that they could no longer provide the same individual attention to the people who elected them. Apart from the saving of a few million Euro, which in the present financial climate are mere peanuts in the overall context, when the billions that have been spent in shoring up the banks and paying out the shareholders are taken into consideration.  The disruption that will be caused if those proposals are implemented cannot be overestimated at a time when what is really needed is more local democracy not less that is being proposed.  People who are standing up and objecting to this dimunition of local Councils and grass roots democratic representation are perfectly right and this will be proved in future years when such a blunder will become evident and it has become too late to restore local democracy.  So if we the ordinary people of this State do not resist this needless and pointless imposition on our democratic representation at this juncture, next year or the following years might be too late to restore the situation.  We need only look to England for a good example of local democracy. There they have the City Councils, the Shire or County Councils, the Rural District Councils and in every community in the country there are the Local Parish Councils, all statutory bodies elected by the people and financed by the State. At least that’s the way that things were in England at the time that some of us lived and worked there, democracy right down to the grassroots in every corner of the land. Whether or not this has changed in the intervening years since the time that we lived there one is not sure about, but this is unlikely. We do know, of course, that in towns and villages throughout the country there are many elected community or Parish councils doing some great work on a voluntary basis sometimes with the help of State Schemes such as FAS. While these do not have a statutory basis unlike their counterparts in England they deserve much more recognition from the State than they have been getting, for only the self-funding efforts of these local voluntary councils a great deal of work and improvements that have been carried out at local level would have been left undone. No doubt the Minister and the Government will make every effort to have the proposals passed without any reference to the people by way of a referendum of any kind and whether or not the majority are in favour of the changes.  It will be interesting to see the reaction of some of these councillors of all parties who are at present holding on to office by the skin of their teeth and who would be very likely to lose their seats if the new set up becomes a reality. Perhaps all these changes will have come into force by the time the next local elections are held in 2014.  These elections will be a good yardstick of how this Government’s dilution of local democracy among many other sensitive blunders will be going down with the electors. We shall have to wait and see.

Recent Wedding

The marriage took place recently of Patrick Mulcahy, son of Bridget and the late Ted Mulcahy, Abbeyfeale and Ellen O’Connor, daughter of Jim and Josephine O’Connor, Gortnagross. The reception was held at The Devon Inn Hotel where an enjoyable time was had by all the guests. Best wishes to the young couple for every happiness in their married life.

Death of Donal O’Siocháin

The death of Donal O’Siocháin, the famed Sliabh Luachra poet and book publisher, occurred within the past couple of weeks. After his marriage to his long time girlfriend Patricia in Templeglantine Church and reception in the Devon Inn some weeks ago he was admitted to Milford House Hospice and although his early demise was generally expected it was nevertheless widely regretted by his family, relatives, neighbours, his friends in the world of poetry, culture and entertainment as well as in Republican circles from which he never deviated.  He had been in failing health for a number of past years but kept on attending his usual activities for as long as he was able to do so.  After his wake in his Ballydesmond home the removal took place to Kiskeam Church where a huge congregation attended the Requiem Mass and offered their condolences to his wife and family members. His funeral to the local cemetery in Kiskeam was also attended by a large gathering. Music on the day was provided by Peader O’Riada and Ceoiltóirí Coolea and one of the singers was our own Jimmy Lyons of Ballingarry, former member of Athea Comhaltas Branch. To Donal we will convey our wishes, rest easy under the sod of your native Kiskeam in the heart of your beloved Sliabh Luachra. Slán agus Beannacht mo sean cara agus ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis.


Congratulations to the following young couples who recently announced their engagements. Emma Mullane, daughter of Paddy and Kathleen Mullane, Glin Road, Templeathea and Dave Mulvihill Barragoogeen, Moyvane. Tomás Mullane, son of Conor and Mary B Mullane, Knocknagorna and Eleanor Stackpoole, Glin. Declan O’Carroll, Park, Upper Athea, son of Brendan and Lillian and Mairead Aherne, daughter of Pat and Julie, Knocknaglough, Lyreacrompane. Best wishes to all these newly engaged couples for every happiness and success in the future.

Local Newspaper Week 2012

Local Newspaper Week was recently celebrated to acknowledge the outstanding and unique service that local newspapers have provided for the various communities in their circulation areas throughout the country.  In spite of all the technology and modern means of communication which within minutes can now reach out to the ends of the earth there has been nothing yet invented that can ever replace the special relationship that the local newspaper has with its readers. While of course we are all aware of the role that television, radio and even more advanced forms of technology occupies in people’s lives there is still no equal for the printed word particularly as it applies to local newspapers. Neither can the big volumes of the Sunday newspapers both native and foreign ever command the same interest even in these modern times as the homely local newspaper has for its readers.  It has been my privilege to write for many of these local newspapers since way back in 1949. First The Kerryman for some years, next the Limerick Weekly Echo, The Limerick Leader from 1971 up to the present, Kerry’s Eye for a short time before it ceased publishing district notes, The Weekly Observer occasionally and other papers such as The Limerick People and The Limerick Times which have long since, like the Limerick Weekly Echo and The Taxpayers News in Kerry, gone out of circulation. And of course being a weekly columnist for our highly interesting and successful paper Athea and District News since its foundation. Never indeed a dull moment when writing for all these local newspapers.




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Athea Community Council Ltd.-24/10/12

 Lucky Numbers Draw

 20/ 10/ ’12 No’s Drawn: 1, 14, 17, 23.

No Winner

Lucky Dips         

€50         Nicole Fitzgerald, Hillside Drive

€30         Billy McKenna, Upper Athea

€20         Lillian Fitzgerald, Park

Tom O’Connor, Turrarree, Glin

Liam Larkin, Clash

Hannah Culhane, Glin

Sellers Prizes:    Betty Murphy & John O’Connell

Next Draw:  27/10/’12   Jackpot: €7,600  Venue: Batt’s



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