Missing from team picture are Erica Fealy, Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Gina Browne, Patrice Cleary, Niamh Kilkenny, Aoife Curtin, Melissa McEnery and Aine Leahy. Thanks to Scanlon Construction for sponsoring the girls shorts and Kostal for sponsoring their socks for the final.

Missing from team picture are Erica Fealy, Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Gina Browne, Patrice Cleary, Niamh Kilkenny, Aoife Curtin, Melissa McEnery and Aine Leahy.
Thanks to Scanlon Construction for sponsoring the girls shorts and Kostal for sponsoring their socks for the final.

Athea Ladies County Intermediate Final 

Best of luck to Athea Ladies v Dromcolloger Broadford in the County Intermediate Final this Saturday  17th September at 3pm in the Gaelic Grounds.

Athea Children’s Drama 

Will resume this Wednesday, September 14th in the Con Colbert Hall. Classes: 5-8 yrs from 4.30  to 5.309 yrs and over from 5.30 to 6.30. Phone 087-1513565 for further information.

Coffee Morning

The annual Coffee Morning in aid of Milford Hospice and organized, as always, by Anne O’Keeffe and her group of “dedicated helpers” will take place on Thursday next September 15th in the hall from about 9.30am onwards.

Requiem/memorial Mass

For the late Sean O’ Sullivan (New York and Athea) in St. Bartholomew’s Church Friday 16th September 2016 at 7.30pm.

A Betrayal of Trust

The latest scandal involving the underhand practices  in the NAMA sales, is just one more in a long line of episodes of betrayal by those in whom we, the public, put our trust. We were told, as youngsters, to respect our elders, our Teachers, Priests, Gardaí and all those in authority. We did so and looked up to those people who were supposed to be looking out for our interests. We thought that we Irish were somehow special and above the kind of sharp practices we saw portrayed in films and books. Alas, how mistaken we were.

Lets take a look at a few of  those we put up on pedestals.  Some of the religious orders brought shame on themselves by the way in which they abused the trust placed on them to look after the young and vulnerable.  There was more than one bad apple in the barrel and the stories kept coming and coming. The Church’s answer was to try and cover the whole thing up and defend its reputation at all costs. How many innocent lives were destroyed by their inaction?  Did they deserve our respect? I don’t think so. We have heard many tales of abuse in care homes for the elderly and the TV programme on Áras Attracta had the nation appalled. Unfortunately this is not an isolated case and the authorities are trying to weed out the worst offenders. Elderly people have a right to be treated with respect and dignity at the end of their days. If it wasn’t for the sacrifices they made we would not be where we are today.

Then we had the charities scandals where most of the money collected was spent on exorbitant salaries and financing junkets to foreign hot spots. We even had a director posing as a priest for God’s sake. The result is that contributions to charities has fallen off and the genuine ones are suffering all because of the greed of a few. Those who were well paid will argue that their big salaries were in line with other industries. I would pose the question; does it take as much knowhow to run a charity as to manage a big multi-national organisation?   Of course not so the comparison made does not stand up.

Our politicians have also let us down badly. Through their hunger for power and money they succeeded in bankrupting this country by colluding with bankers and crooked developers.  They talk to us as if we were stupid and will tell us anything to get themselves re-elected. You cannot believe one word that comes out of their mouths.

The Apple controversy shows  us up in a very bad light and we will do well to come out of it with an unsullied reputation. The good ones, and there are a few, need to stand up and be counted.

Even our sporting leaders have let us down badly. Family members of athletes competing in the Olympics were unable to get tickets for the various events while the people who should have provided them were flogging them on the black market. Hard to believe but unfortunately true. Thank God for the Argentinean police who promptly locked up the offenders and are taking them to court. It would never happen here where there is great reluctance to face up to white collar crime. Our way of dealing with it is to mount an enquiry that will make millionaires out of the legal eagles and last for several years after which a huge report will be published and no one will  ever be arrested or sent to jail. No wonder we have crooks at the top when they know they can get away with it.  Even the Gardaí are not immune from scandals  but I think they are trying to clean up the force and we may never again see whistle blowers mistreated like they were in the past.  So, who can we trust?  Hard to answer that but  they aren’t all bad and we have to try and weed out the rotten ones so that those who are trying to do a good job can regain the respect they need  to carry out their duties. We have to pursue offenders relentlessly and lock them up if necessary. Only by making a few examples will we make it clear that those who have our trust need to respect that. The Church, under Pope Francis, is trying to regain the ground lost but it is going to be a big struggle and may be too late for some people.

We need honesty and integrity at the top in every walk of life. We are no longer the island of saints and scholars and we need to protect the good reputation we have throughout the world. We must never tolerate injustice or abuse in any form and should bring any incident to light as soon as possible. There are enough good people there to make a difference.

Domhnall de Barra