The cast (pictured right) features Nora Hunt and Angeline O'Donnell (back row), Ria Browne, Annette O'Donnell and Louise Ahern in the front.

The cast features Nora Hunt and Angeline O’Donnell (back row), Ria Browne, Annette O’Donnell and Louise Ahern in the front.


Athea Drama Group

Rehearsals are progressing very well for our upcoming production of ‘The Hen Night Epiphany’ which will be staged in Athea in late February. Directed by Oliver McGrath, this is a heart lifting tale that tells the story of five women who meet up for a night of fun and laughter that ultimately leaves their lives turned upside down.

The cast (pictured right)  features Nora Hunt and Angeline O’Donnell (back row),  Ria Browne, Annette O’Donnell and Louise Ahern in the front.

Athea Community First Responders AGM

The AGM of the Community First Responders (CFRs) will be held in the Hall on Monday 18th January at 8:30pm.  Everyone is most welcome.  It is a great opportunity for the public to hear of the group’s activities over the past year, new developments, and to ask about learning emergency life saving skills.

Price Rise

We are sorry to have to rise the price of the newsletter to €1.50 from today. Over the past few years the cost of paper and ink has risen by over 30%. We have borne the cost for as long as we could but a recent hike of 8% made it impossible to continue as we would be losing more money every week. So, we have to follow all the rest of the papers and make a small increase.

The Age of Entitlement

While listening to the radio the other day, I heard a man who was about to deliver a talk to business people being interviewed. The theme was keeping business a success. He made a very interesting point that it is usually during the reign of the third generation that things start to go wrong. Somebody starts a business and works really hard to get it off the ground. Many sacrifice are made along the way and the whole family suffers for a while. Eventually the business takes off and becomes a success. In due course it is passed on to the next generation who, though well off, remember the hard times at the beginning. They usually improve turnover and hand over to their children a big business and lots of cash. This next generation have known nothing but affluence and had an easy life. They tend to let things as they are and are not motivated to develop the business further. Unfortunately there is no such thing as standing still in this age of rapid change and new technology so their competitors take some of their market from them and they begin to go down hill.

I got to thinking how this could be applied to ordinary life. Our parents, grew up in a time of abject poverty in this country. In the early part of the last century there were two world wars, the war of independence and a civil war. When Ireland eventually became a free nation it was broke so times really were hard. No electricity, no running water, very bad roads and damp houses that accommodated big families were the order of the day. Any work available was hard labour and very poorly paid at that. But they did not give in; somehow or other they got through and created a better start for their children. By the time they took over things had improved a lot and education was now available. This opened doors for many people who went on to good jobs and relative prosperity but they remembered their beginnings and knew the sacrifices their parents made for them. Now we are down to the next generation who are born into a very different world full of mod cons and devices that make life more comfortable. They have never seen a “poor day” and have always got what they wanted. Corporal punishment has long gone as well. Many of this generation grow up with a sense of entitlement. I am entitled to an education. I am entitled to a good job, near home, I am entitled to a house, near my parents. I am entitled to free health care. I am entitled to three holidays in the year, etc., etc. However I do not want to pay a household charge, I do not want to pay a water charge, I do not want to pay a health levy and as little tax as possible. I also need things instantly. Broadband has to be lightning fast or it is no good. My phone has to have all the bells and whistles and my TV has to be “smart” and cover half the wall. My car has to be the latest model and my house must be bigger than my neighbours or family members.  I want all these but I want them now so the idea of saving up for something is old hat. I can borrow the money from my bank or credit union. The only problem is that they want their money back with interest and when things go wrong, as they sometimes do, I am in trouble.

I feel so sorry for people who are in trouble trying to pay off a mortgage when they have lost a job through no fault of their own. They should get every assistance but there are others who borrowed far too much money to build or buy mansions of houses that are too expensive to run who would be in difficulty if they never lost their jobs. It is time for common sense to prevail and people should “cut according to their cloth” Working class people, i.e. people who work for a weekly wage should not live in mansions of houses. Leave them to the people who can afford them.


I am not suggesting we go back to the small cabins but do a family of two adults and two children really need a house with six or seven bedrooms? There is more to life than working day and night to pay back a bank or building society. We are not entitled to everything. Somebody has to pay, and if we want services we have to pay for them ourselves. It is our own responsibility to get a job and improve our own situation. Maybe that means leaving home for a while but this is nothing new. Thousands of people have had to emigrate over the years and when things improve they tend to come back. We may have to wait a while for our own house. It does not have to be done all at once. I remember building my own house back in the mid-seventies. When the builder had finished we got the sitting room done up and one bedroom. It took years to furnish the rest of the house. It was done bit by bit as and when we could afford it. There was great satisfaction in coming home with a new piece of furniture or a carpet knowing it was bought and paid for. In this way we really appreciated every improvement we made and, though it was sometimes a struggle to make ends meet, we eventually got it all done. So let us forget about “entitlements”. The world owes us nothing; it is up to ourselves to create our own lives and make the best of our God-given talents while ensuring that those who aren’t so lucky are catered for.

Domhnall de Barra