Pat is on a well deserved rest this week so we wish him all the best and look forward to his column again next week. Pat has left his beloved Knocknagorna and is now living in the village. He is nearer to all the necessary facilities and the new accommodation is more suitable for access etc.

Athea Drama Group

Athea Drama Group are staging “Many Young Men of Twenty” at the moment. This was the first play performed by the newly formed group back in 1992 so it is a celebration of 21 years of acting. Little did we think when we approached Oliver McGrath, the only one in the parish with the necessary experience, to reform Athea Drama Group that it would last this long and that so much local talent would be unearthed over the years.  Three of the original group have passed to their eternal reward, actors John Joe O’Connor and Jimmy Dee and Jimmy’s wife Mary who was responsible for make-up. The group have made many donations to charitable organisations over the years and continue to do so. Next Saturday night’s takings go to Cystic Fibrosis and The Butterfly Club so a good attendance is expected.

One thing that amazes me is the amount of people in the parish who don’t actually go to see any of the plays. This is not the case in other parishes where all the locals come out, even if it is to see the actors make fools of themselves!!. I would encourage anyone to  see a live production. There is a great atmosphere in the hall and the entertainment is second to none so if you are one of those people who up to now has not seen one of the Athea group’s performances, give it a try this year. You won’t be disappointed.

Tidy Towns

Athea Tidy Towns Committee have hit the ground running this year and have already started cleaning the place up. The vibrant and enthusiastic members have outlined a huge programme and if only some of it is achieved we will see great changes in the  look of the village, all for the better. They have also been very active in raising funds and are putting them to good use. They are to be commended for their dedication and hard work but it should not all be left to them. An improvement in our village is of benefit to all of us and behoves us to help out however and whenever we can. From time to time they will look for volunteers to help in some project and they should be accommodated.

Athea Golf Society

The society are starting their new season with a trip to Adare on Saturday next. New members are especially welcome, even if they are complete novices. There is great camaraderie amongst the golfers and it is a sport that can be played at any age. It is especially good for young people as it gets them away from the X-Boxes etc and out in the fresh air for a few hours.  If you are in any way interested get in touch with any of the members or call me at 087 6758762.

The books are open on this year’s golfer of the year with Ned Mahony a hot favourite. Rumour has it Lal won’t take any more bets on him!


The season is fast approaching when the machines will be heard in the bogs cutting turf for next winter. Rumour has it that there is turf cut already in Rooska. If it is true the men in white coats are needed as anyone who cuts turf in frosty weather does need the head examined. Last year was a disaster and some of last year’s turf is still on the banks. Here’s hoping that this year will bring an improvement.

We are lucky around here as cutting our bogs is not prohibited. Not so in parts of North Kerry where turf men are preparing to defy the government  and continue a practice handed down through the generations. If more care was taken all the bother could be avoided.  Before the advent of the turf machine, the stripping sod was carefully laid in the bog hole thereby preserving the native fauna. And when all the bank was cut away the surface was left as it had been found. If the machines could find a way of doing the same thing there would be no need for legislation to appease the EU.

Domhnall de Barra