Neilus and Linda Hunt, Gortnagross with their family celebrating Athea’s success in the West Intermediate final in Rathkeale on Saturday evening last

Neilus and Linda Hunt, Gortnagross with their family celebrating Athea’s success in the West
Intermediate final in Rathkeale on Saturday evening last
















The Athea team who were crowned West Intermediate Champions in Rathkeale on Saturday evening last

The Athea team who were crowned West Intermediate Champions in Rathkeale on Saturday evening last







The Athea Management team, Colm Hassett, Eddie Barrett and Pat Higgins

The Athea Management team, Colm Hassett, Eddie Barrett and Pat Higgins

Athea Horse & Pony Races 

Its good to hear that the Athea Horse & Pony races have been revived again after a break of 5 years and will take place on Sunday, October 11th. with the first race starting at 12.30pm on the lands of Michael and Helen O’Keeffe in Glenagore. This promises to be a great family day out with loads of entertainment promised for the children

Farm Safety Seminar

A Farm Safety Seminar will take place at the Devon Inn Hotel, Templeglantine on Thursday, October 15th at 7pm. Admission Free. Speakers: Maura Canning, National Chairperson of IFA Social & Family Affairs, Diarmuid Cronin, Community Alert Development Officer with Muinter na Tire for South Region – Cork, Kerry & Limerick and James Clarke, farm accident survivor, from Adare. Chairperson will be Marian Harnett, co-ordinator of The Farmers Market. Question and Answer session, various exhibitions on the night and refreshments will be served.

Athea Parish Journal 

It’s that time of the year again to start preparing the Journal. We ask that material be sent in as soon as possible, whether it be articles or photos. Where at all possible the articles should be typed up and be sent via email or dropped in on a USB key.  Every year at this time we make the same request but for some reason  many of our contributors wait until the last minute. This makes the publication very late and puts extra pressure on us  at a very busy time of the year so, if you have an article, photos or any other material you would like published, please, please do get in contact with us straight away. We need to have all material in by Friday October 23rd at the latest so that will give us a chance to have the journal ready for the Christmas post.

Madness and Waste

One of the more depressing pieces of news this week was the story of the 90 year old woman from Dublin who was taken to court in Dublin for having a satellite dish on the front of her house. Apparently this contravenes the planning laws of Dublin Corporation and the woman was fined for not removing the dish in time –  yes it was taken down by the time it got to court. This is beaurocrasy gone mad. What idiot, sitting in his comfortable office, decided that a woman of such senior years should be dragged before the courts. Surely she deserved a personal call at least before the might of the law was called down on her. I know she was written to but people of advanced years don’t always fully understand official documents, even people in the prime of their lives sometimes have difficulty. So this great crime had to be taken to its ultimate conclusion at a time when bankers and developers who defrauded the nation of billions of Euros are still walking free. Is this what justice is all about. What makes it even worse is the fact that Dublin Corporation have said that they only act if there is a complaint so it is quite possible that this poor woman’s neighbours down the street may still have satellite dishes on the front of their houses. Who was the idiot who made the complaint in the first place. They should be ashamed of themselves.

On the subject of stupidity in office, what about the dreadful waste of our money by government officials? Millions of Euros have been flittered away by ill-conceived ideas such as the Irish Water fiasco, the site for the new jail to replace Mountjoy, the area code debacle etc, etc, etc.  There is nobody accountable for these cock-ups, on the contrary they will soon be looking for a raise or seeking re-election and there won’t be a word about it. This is not new –  remember the voting machines that were not fit for purpose and not only that they had to be paid for in storage for years.

We never seem to learn, do we. We go out and elect the same bunch of inept hypocrites who promise the sun, moon and stars until they are safely installed in their government offices and then proceed to make the same mistakes as those that went before them. The simple fact is that we elect people, teachers, publicans etc.,  who have no training in running a country and expect them to get it right. ‘Yes Minister’ wasn’t too far off the mark because if it wasn’t for the guidance of senior civil servants our politicians wouldn’t have a clue what to do. We recently lost  the very lucrative world web conference to Lisbon. It was moved from Dublin because Portugal has far better infrastructure than we have. They are a much poorer country than we are but they saw the necessity for motorways and good broadband reception. We are limping behind so this might only be the tip of the iceberg and we might lose the IT and financial jobs that have been such a success story over the past few years.

Planning is a huge problem when trying to build motorways and by-passes in this country. In this day and age primary roads should not have to go through towns with the delays that traffic jams cause. It takes roughly two hours to get from Dublin to Limerick but it could take half that time to get a further forty miles on the main route to the south west. Adare, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale are a nightmare, especially on a Friday evening, but attempts to have a proper roadway built to by-pass these towns  have fallen foul of the planning authorities time after time. Each time there is a rejection the costs are enormous and it is back to the drawing board for another attempt. We need to have a good look at the planning laws and amend them if they are holding up progress in our country. There are those amongst us who think the countryside should be left unspoiled to be enjoyed by the wildlife but human beings have to live too and sometimes it is necessary to build houses and roads. A balance has to be struck and it can be done to everybody’s satisfaction.

Help will soon be at hand though. With the election looming we will be promised better roads, faster broadband, less taxes, more social houses, more schools, more doctors and nurses, higher pensions and whatever you are having yourself!. Believe them if you like but I long for the day when a politician will tell the truth and put the good of the country before the feathering of his own and his party’s nests. I don’t think I will live to see it in the few years I have left but I dare to dream!

 Domhnall de Barra