Betty Murphy, Callum & Karina Buckley enjoying the recent Donkey Derby

Betty Murphy, Callum & Karina Buckley enjoying the recent Donkey Derby


Chairman Pat O’Sullivan presenting the O’Connor family with their prize after Knocknaboul Rocket won its race.

Chairman Pat O’Sullivan presenting the O’Connor family with their prize after Knocknaboul Rocket won its race.

Golden Jubilee Celebration

You are cordially invited to celebrate with Rev. Father Patrick Bowen PP on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee Anniversary this Saturday evening June 18th. Mass will be celebrated at St Bartholomew’s Church at 7.30 pm followed by reception at Con Colbert Memorial Hall afterwards. All welcome.









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.

The World Gone Mad

The latest mass killing by a lone gunman in America is just the latest in a long list of outrageous acts of  terrorism fuelled by misplaced loyalty to a particular idealism or simply hatred of people who are different. It again raises the question of gun control in the US and the ease with which people can obtain weapons. A more pertinent question is; how was somebody who was known to the authorities, and had been questioned on two occasions, able to legally obtain the firearms he used in the savage attack on the gay night club. There might be some reason for allowing a person to own a handgun (though I personally don’t see it) but what legitimate use can anyone have for an assault rifle?  American Presidents on the Democrats side have tried to introduce gun control but have always been defeated by  the Republican delegates who support the right to hold arms. This is not just some romantic notion going back to the times of the Wild West; no, it is a result of the way politics is run in America. Statesmen are elected by the people but they have to mount very expensive campaigns to do so. More often than not these campaigns are paid for by big business and they don’t come much bigger that the firearms manufacturing business.  The gun lobby is so powerful that it has resisted all efforts so far to do anything that would interfere with its profit-making enterprises. Politicians who owe their elections to the funding they received will not vote in favour of curtailing the sale of firearms.

In the meantime we have these ever more frequent outbreaks of mass shootings by people with a chip on their shoulder who are clearly not fit to be in control of destructive weapons.  The fact that the latest atrocity was perpetrated by a man claiming links to Isis will give more credence to the ravings of people like Donald Trump who wants to ban all Muslims from entering the country. It is frightening to think that this bigot may be the next president of his country. What kind of people would want someone like that as their leader? Unfortunately we have seen it all before. One man  got a country behind him by insisting that they were the superior race and that other races and particularly minorities were a threat and should be eliminated. His name was Adolf Hitler and he went on to plunge the world into war and murder millions of people. Now we hear the same rabble rousing from Trump and the problem is that he has a very large following who think he is their saviour. It is ironic that a white American wants to stop immigration to the country that was built by immigrants. The only native American was forced off his land into reservations by people who came from all over the world. Apart from the Red Indians, all other Americans are either immigrants or descended from immigrants. It is easy to stir up hatred against people from different backgrounds and religions by stating that they are a threat to our jobs, freedom, way of life and even our very lives but the vast majority are only trying to make a better life for themselves in a land that once welcomed all-comers with open arms.

I sometimes despair when I hear the same sentiments expressed by some people in our own country. Are they forgetting the fact that Irish people have emigrated to the four corners of the world to make better lives for themselves and their families. Where would we be now if all those countries they went to had shut their doors to them?  The simple fact is; if all the descendents of those who emigrated from Ireland came back in the morning, the island would sink!  Let us hope common sense prevails and those in power ensure that the senseless killing of innocent people will be tackled head on and that American voters do the right thing.

 Domhnall de Barra