Conor Hunt, James O’Connor & Neddie Hunt enjoying the Fancy Dress Parade at the Athea Parish Festival on Sunday

Conor Hunt, James O’Connor & Neddie Hunt enjoying the Fancy Dress Parade at the Athea Parish Festival on Sunday

Thank You

The committee of the Afternoon Tea Party would like to thank the Harvest Festival committee for sponsoring the event and entertainment, also those who attended and those who gave spot prizes. Thanks also to Johnny & Betty for the venue and to Blue Rhythm for the music. A great day was enjoyed by everyone.

Church Gate Collection

In aid of Sudan Relief at all Masses this weekend, Sat., August 8th & Sun. 9th Your support would be appreciated. 

Athea GAA “Gone To The Dogs”

At the moment there is still an opportunity to sponsor a race at our race night on August 15th in Tralee Greyhound Stadium.

  • Sponsor a Race on the night – €500 (includes a full page ad in Programme)
  • Joint Sponsor a Race – €250  (includes a half page ad in Programme)
  • Place a full page advert in the Race Programme – €100
  • Place a half page advert in the Race Programme – €50

Please contact either Jacqueline O’Connor on 086-0670091, Paul Curry on 087-6501673 or Liz O’Sullivan on 087-6699783 or any member of the committee Paul Collins, Leo Geoghegan, MaryIta Casey, Eilish Geoghegan, Roger Ryan, Neddie Hunt or Mairead Donovan.

Housing Problems

We have all become experts in the state of the economy since the bubble burst and the Celtic Tiger left without even saying goodbye. We have had to learn about the housing crisis, the banking collapse, the government’s attempts to get us out of the mess they had a big hand in creating. And the day to day state of the economy. Up to now most people couldn’t be bothered with all that preferring to leave it to the “experts”. We now know where that has got us so it is a good thing that we are more aware of what’s going on. Housing is one of the biggest problems at the moment.

We went from building too many houses during the boom to building no houses at all for the past few years. That leaves us with a scarcity of housing both in the public and private sector. Local councils are to blame for not building sufficient social houses over the past few years. There are now away too many people on housing lists with no hope of being housed in the foreseeable future.  What are they supposed to do?

Not so long ago a person could get a site in the countryside and the council would build a cottage for them on that site. This is how most of us in rural Ireland were housed. I was born and reared in a cottage myself and it wasn’t a bad experience at all. However, the powers that be, in their wisdom, decided that “one off” dwellings in the countryside were not the way to go and stopped building them. Now all social housing is located in towns and villages because it is easier for the authorities to service them. In doing so they have created many “ghettos” that have huge social problems and are often built with no amenities in the immediate areas.

During the good years they were very happy to see people, who hadn’t a hope of hell in making repayments, borrow huge mortgages from banks who were only too willing to hand over the cash. We know what the end result to that folly was. Now we have to approach the problem with a bit more sense. Firstly people have to basically cop themselves on. Why does a married couple with two children need a house with six bedrooms en-suite and all the modern conveniences?  Possibly to show off and be a step above the neighbours or other members of the family. Cut according to your cloth I say. By building or buying a smaller, more suitable house you will save money and be quite comfortable at the same time. Leave the mansions to those that can really afford them.

When building social housing, local authorities should also build according to the needs of those on the waiting lists. There is no point in having a three bedroom townhouse for everyone. These days there are lots of single parent families with just the one child who would be quite happy in a two bedroom house or flat. They are also more economical to run and cheaper to build.

In the meantime there is the rental problem. Landlords are in a seller’s market because of the scarcity of suitable accommodation so they are in a position to demand extortionate rents. This is one area where the government should step in and put a cap on what can be charged to tenants. It won’t be popular with landlords but if the limit is fair, everybody will be happy and those renting while waiting to buy will have a chance to save a few Euro.

Let us learn from the mistakes of the past and never go down the same road again. As the economy improves we have a real opportunity to “fix” things but, with an election in the offing, I won’t be holding my breath.

 Domhnall de Barra