Rehearsing a scene from “It’s The Real McCoy”

Rehearsing a scene from “It’s The Real McCoy”

Athea Drama Group Presents the hilarious comedy ‘It’s The Real McCoy’

Continuing the rich tradition of drama in this West Limerick Village, Athea Drama Group are ready to tread the boards with their 2015 production of the side-splitting comedy ‘It’s The Real McCoy’ by Tommy Marren. Set in rural Ireland in the 1960s, lady of the house Madge Molloy welcomes us into the Molloy household to share in the hilarious mishaps and surprising events that centre around Madge and her life over a two day period. With glimpses of John B. Keane and the characterisations of the Fr. Ted and Mrs Doyle genre, it will have the audiences in tears of laughter. The cast of seven features both seasoned and new comers to the stage under the direction of Annette O’ Donnell.

A huge amount of work has gone into the staging of this production but fortunately Athea Drama Group boasts a fantastic background team. The skilled duo of Tony Halpin and Lorcan McAuliffe have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks on the construction of an impressive set design and the group are also delighted to have enlisted the help of talented local artist James Dunn.

The play will be staged at 8pm nightly at Con Colbert Memorial Hall, Athea on February 5th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 14th & 15th with doors open at 7.30pm. A combination of high drama and amazing Irish wit – ‘It’s The Real McCoy’ is not to be missed!

Athea Coiste na nÓg AGM

Our AGM will take place on Saturday January 31st at 8.30pm in the Clubhouse. All are welcome to attend.

Community Alert Meeting

A public meeting will be held in the Community Hall (Kitchen) on Wednesday Feb. 4th at 7pm re: Community Alert Texting. It will be chaired by Diarmuid Cronin from  Muintir na Tíre. It is hoped that a good crowd will attend.

Athea Tidy Towns

We held our first meeting of 2015 last week in front of an open fire in the old library. Ongoing work at the Goold Monument was discussed and it is hoped to re-launch this historic area once enhancement work is complete. General maintenance work and possible  areas of improvement were identified. Thanks to Athea Community Council and to the FAS Scheme who cut back the shrubs at the giant’s garden. Thanks also to our gateway workers John Fealy and Tony Brady who continue to carry out improvement works on our behalf. The date for our fundraising fashion show was set for Thursday, February 26th at 8pm at the Con Colbert Hall. Tickets will be on sale shortly. Anyone wishing to take part or donate spot prizes etc are asked to contact any member of the committee. Thanks to Margaret Carroll, Joanne Kelly and Yvonne Roche for their assistance in organising this.

As we approach the start of spring we realise that it won’t be long before we will be sending away our application for the 2015 Tidy Towns Competition.  If you would like to get involved and help in improving your local environment contact any member of the committee.

We would like to wish the best of luck to Athea Drama Group, especially those involved from our own committee, who are getting ready to stage their production of ‘It’s the Real McCoy’ on February 5th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 14th & 15th at the Con Colbert Memorial Hall at 8pm.  Break a leg!!

What a Mess

The latest news on Irish Water is not good. It may not now qualify to borrow the money needed to survive because there will not be enough revenue in the coming years due to the changes the government made to the billing process. If this happens it will mean that more millions will have been thrown down the drain (pardon the pun) and we will be left with a water system that is not fit for purpose and no money to fix it.

Sometimes in government it is necessary to make tough decisions and have the courage to hold your ground in the face of opposition. In this case the government having decided to put in water meters and charge for overuse of water, backed down in the face of opposition from the other side of the house and the huge demonstrations by disgruntled members of the public which were held throughout the country. Instead of sticking to their guns or else abandoning the project altogether they opted for a compromise fudge which will mean that little or no revenue will be collected in the next few years.

This revenue was vital for Irish Water’s plans to borrow money as an independent organisation. How did we reach this sorry state of affairs. The whole thing was handled badly from the start. Minister Phil Hogan was less than diplomatic in announcing the scheme with threats that the flow of water would be turned down to a trickle for those who wouldn’t or couldn’t pay. There was also little provision for those who might not be in a position to pay through no fault of their own.

The matter of allowances for the number of people in a dwelling was not properly thought out. In other words it was never “sold” to the public who are rightly fed up with the austerity measures over the past years.  Those who oppose the water charges say we are already paying through the normal taxation for this service. That may be true but the problem remains that there simply is no money in the kitty to do the vital repairs and modernisation of a system that should have been done in the boom years when the country, in the words of Mary Harney, was “awash with money”.  If the household charge was properly constructed to cover all local authority charges; water, property, sewage, bin collection etc. as they have in other jurisdictions, I don’t think the public would be so against it. After all, if you live in the country, all these services are being paid for already.

The government will not rock the boat from now on because of the general election coming down the road, sooner rather than later. The first priority of politics is to get elected so expect a few “giveaways” as vote buyers in the near future. That’s the way the system works and no doubt some people will fall for it. It wouldn’t be so bad if there was a credible alternative but the prospect of a Dáil made up mainly of a group of diverse independents scares me.                                                                                                                                                                                         Domhnall de Barra

Bernie Flaherty, Toureen Donnell, Athea who graduated from the University of Limerick with a first class  honours degree in Bachelor of Science in Intellectual Disability Nursing

Bernie Flaherty, Toureen Donnell, Athea who graduated from the University of Limerick with a first class honours degree in Bachelor of Science in Intellectual Disability Nursing