New GAA Pitch

Athea Club Draw 2016 has got Underway

At the launch of the Draw Athea Club Chairman Paul Curry said “This draw is a major source of funding for us and this year we are hoping you can continue to support us as the club has undertaken a significant pitch redevelopment project which is currently at an advanced stage. In Autumn 2015, the existing pitch was re-profiled with extensive drainage works added to create a sand carpet pitch which is now very close to being playable. We are all looking forward to being able to use the new pitch which is looking very well at the moment. The club has constructed a 700m perimeter walking/ jogging track which has become very popular with the locals who can now exercise without being exposed to traffic on the public road. The works were carried out by Allman Contracting who are experts in pitch construction. We hope this year’s draw will be a big success.”

This year more prizes have been added including an opportunity to buy tickets by direct debit. There will be a direct debit prize of €200. There are eight draws again this year, with an increased prize fund of €12,000 to be won. All support would be greatly appreciated as all monies raised will help fund the ongoing development of at Páirc na nGael.

Please contact Mairead Donovan on 087-7703673 if you have any queries. Our prizes this year are as follows:

€1000 fully paid up member’s prize. €200 Direct Debit member’s prize. Monthly Prize Money: 1st €500, 2nd €150, 3rd €150, 4th €100, 5th €100, 6th €100, 7th €100, 8th €100.  Sellers Prize €50

Great Southern Trail Walk

There will be a short loop walk on the Great Southern Trail on Monday 6th June at 2:30pm. The walk will start from Hall Inse Bhán, over by Tullig Wood and return through Tullig Wood. Hi vis jackets required as there is some walking on a quiet road.

Afternoon Tea Dance

The wonderful Mike Condon will be providing the music on June 12th in Fr. Casey’s Clubhouse, Abbeyfeale for an afternoon Tea Dance in aid of Recovery Haven.  Everybody welcome to come along.

Open Afternoon Tea Party

There will be an Afternoon Tea Party on Thursday 30th June at the Top of the Town Bar, Athea from 3 to 6pm. Music by Ger Conaghan. Hot and cold food and spot prizes. Everyone welcome.

However, we will need names and numbers for the catering before Sunday 26th June. Names can be given to Brouder’s Shop or Peggy Casey (068-42134) before 26th June. If transport is required please let us know at time of booking.

The Tea Party is sponsored by Athea Parish Festival Committee.

Wishing the Festival every success from the Tea Party Organisers.

Murphy’s Law

“If things can go wrong, they will”. That is Murphy’s law and though it is a very pessimistic view what may happen it is occasionally correct. I was reminded of this the other day when I came across an old edition of Treoir, the Comhaltas magazine, that contained an article on a Tour of America I was involved in way back in 1973. I think this was only our second visit to the North American continent and for the first time we were to visit venues in Canada. Our first hiccup occurred at the Canadian border. It was the custom at the time to bring records and tapes of the artists for sale at the interval. This was a good money-spinner and we had no problem with customs in New York because one of the Comhaltas members  worked there and, as long as we declared them as presents for the families who would act as hosts to the travelling musicians, singers and dancers, they were allowed through. Not so at the Canadian customs.  The big trolley of goods was halted and  our leader, Diarmuid O Catháin, was trying to explain the situation here. He told the official that they were presents for the host families as each case was taken off and opened. In fairness we would need to have been staying for six months to get rid of all the goods!  Eventually the official put his hands in the air and shouted to his fellow officials who were nearby: “Hey guys, come on over; we got Santa Claus here”  the place erupted in laughter and after we all had  time to recover we were allowed through on payment of a small fine. Our next clanger was that afternoon in Montreal. We had a matinee performance in Leo’s Boy’s Club, a club set up to cater for underprivileged youths. We always began our concerts with the Irish and American anthems and, not realising the fact that we were in a different country and a city that is anti-American, we played the Soldier’s Song followed by the “Star Spangled Banner”. We were greeted by silence at first, closely followed by boos. Talk about egg on your face!. Eventually, after profuse apologies, we continued with the concert and won the crowd over before the interval by promising free gifts to all. As musical director, it was my job to get things right for the main concert that night. I went down town and found a music shop. They supplied me with the score of “O Canada”, one of the nicest anthems. A few quick rehearsals and we opened that night as if we had been playing it all our lives.

On that same tour we had two lady singers who could pass anything except a sweet shop. We had been through Canada and were at the airport in Ottawa ready to go back to Montreal for the final appearance in the country. Our flight was called and we made our way to the gate. All were accounted for except the two ladies. No mobile phones in those days so we couldn’t contact them. They didn’t make the flight. I had to make arrangements to fly them out on the next available flight and of course I had to stay with them to ensure they got on ok. I found the two of them filling their faces in a café, oblivious to the time. Eventually our flight took off. It was bound for Paris but was touching down in Montreal. The girls did not know this and  when the captain announced, soon after we were airborne,  that we were on board the flight to Paris, they panicked. One of them stood up and shouted “stop the plane, I can’t go to Paris, I have to be at a concert in Montreal tonight”. Needless to say this provided light entertainment for the flight attendants and the other passengers. I managed to calm them down and we eventually arrived, just in time to go on stage. That was our first visit to Canada, one I certainly will never forget, for all the wrong reasons.

Domhnall de Barra