Katie Byrne, Silver medallist in the Gymnastics Competition at the National Community Games finals in Athlone last weekend.

Katie Byrne, Silver medallist in the Gymnastics Competition at the National Community Games finals in Athlone
last weekend.

Aoibhinn Morrissey U 13's Gymnastics and Katie Byrne U11's Gymnastics, silver medallist in Athlone last weekend.

Aoibhinn Morrissey U 13’s Gymnastics and Katie Byrne U11’s Gymnastics, silver medallist in Athlone
last weekend.

Emily and Anne-Marie Pierse who helped Team Limerick win the 7k fourth place medal.

Emily and Anne-Marie Pierse who helped Team Limerick win the 7k fourth place medal.

Athea Community Games

Athea and Limerick were well represented once again in the National Community Games Festival in Athlone, over the last 2 week-ends. Tomás Ahern put in a gallant effort to reach the semi-finals of the U 12’s breaststroke, a fantastic achievement on his trip to the finals. Moving on to last week-end, in Gymnastics, on Saturday Katie Byrne took part in the U11’s and Aoibhinn Morrisey in the U 13’s,  both put in excellent performances with Katie taking the Silver medal in the U11’s competition.

On the athletics track, Emily Pierse came 5th in the 7K running it in an impressive 27 minutes, having ran the 1500 metres the previous day. Anne-Marie Pierse also ran in the 7K, and together the girls helped Team Limerick to come in fourth place overall and win a medal.

Athea can once again hold it’s head high, a fantastic effort from all who travelled to Athlone and we would like to thank all their families and coaches for the support in getting them there. Well done to all involved.


My attention was drawn lately to a letter, published in the Limerick Leader, by a man called Richard McDonagh from Athea. In the letter he makes the claim that the Athea/Carrigkerry road is arguably the most dangerous road on the planet !. Quite a claim and he goes on to give reasons and examples of what to expect. The article is completely OTT but is really well written and very humorous which I think was his primary aim rather than the dangerous road. To be fair to Limerick County Council a great deal of work has been done on this stretch of road in the past few years. The road surface has vastly improved, indeed the section from Knockfinisk to Carrig is second to none. Small fences have also been erected where there were sudden drops on either side of the road. This was a hazard, especially at night facing the headlights of oncoming cars but now, at least, the fence will give some protection. As it goes I would contend that the road from Athea to Listowel, especially as far as Gortagleanna, is far more dangerous. Trying to walk or cycle on these roads is dangerous in the extreme yet people do it all the time. Drivers on these roads have to be very vigilant. Anyway, I really enjoyed the article and I hope we see more from Richard McDonagh’s pen, or should that be keyboard?

The recent vandalism in the fairy mountain, down by the hall, is to be deplored. Athea Tidy Town’s committee have worked extremely hard over the past few years to make Athea a better place in which to live for all, including children who take a great interest in the fairy mountain. That some mindless young people see fit to undo  the good work is beyond comprehension. Apparently the culprits are known to the committee who do not want to bring the Gardaí into it at this stage . If not, it is time for their parents to take action and ensure their offspring have an appreciation of the damage they are doing to the whole community. If this is not nipped in the bud who knows where it will stop. It has to be noted, however, that the people who carry out this type of vandalism are a small minority and the vast majority of our youngsters are very well behaved and a credit to their teachers and parents. Maybe they should bring their influence to bear on those who, by their anti-social behaviour are giving them all a bad name.

Wasn’t it sickening to see our boxers being blackguarded by corrupt judges and referees in the Olympics. I am a fan of boxing all my life and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when first, Katie Taylor and then Michael Conlon, were not give the victories they had obviously won. I have watched the fights again and though Katie was not at her best, she was so much better than her opponent who had just one method of attack. That was bad enough but then Michael Conlon gave his opponent a boxing lesson for three rounds and outfought him toe to toe in the second round. After seeing the points awarded in the first round I knew it was fixed. I said to the others watching with me that the judges would give Michael the second round but that he would lose the final decision. Sorry to say I was right. It is no coincidence that the fighter involved was a Russian. The previous night, another Russian fighter was awarded a fight that he could barely finish, he was so well beaten. There is no proof that the judges were bought but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck!  Some judges have since been removed from the panel. This is an admission by the ruling body that  the decisions were wrong but, the results stand. Why should the results stand? If the fight was unjustly awarded then the decision should be overturned. After all, these boxers have been preparing for this for the past four years. They have put in hours of gym training, running, dieting and thousands of sparring bouts to be at their best. It is no shame to be beaten by a better opponent. Once you have done your best you can hold your head high, you can’t win them all but, when you are robbed, as Katie and Michael clearly were, by unscrupulous  judges who are only concerned with lining their own pockets, it hurts! There should be a thorough investigation into allegations that some of the gold medal winners had been decided before the competitions began to ensure that amateur boxing is not completely destroyed.  Otherwise how can any boxer prepare for the next four years in the knowledge that he/she is not going to get a fair crack of the whip.

Domhnall de Barra