Clodagh Prendeville with Aidan O’Mahony in Loughill last Sunday

Athea Tidy Towns

Team Limerick Clean up will go ahead Friday the 14th of April from 9.30am, all material needed to carry out the clean up will be available from the community centre, all people are asked to register at the community centre that morning.  Any rubbish collected must be dropped to the hall car park before 5pm on Friday.  For more information contact 087 9042477

Athea Parent & Toddler Group

Athea Baby and Toddler Group has recently relaunched their group in an effort to encourage more mother and toddlers to join. The group meet at Con Colbert Hall, Athea on Friday Mornings from 12.00-2pm, an ideal place to meet other local mums/carers of young children.  There are lots of toys to play with and various activities for the children in a relaxed informal atmosphere. The cost is €3 per family. For further details please contact Ciara Scanlon on 085 1342568

Church Gate Collection

A sincere thank you to all who so generously contributed to the recent Church gate collection for Crumlin Hospital. The amount raised was €1,100. Thank you all for your support.

Athea Children’s Drama

Will perform their Easter Show, Annie and The Nursery Rhyme Land on Thursday, April 20th in the Colbert Hall at 7.30pm. Admission €4 Children, €8 Adults. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

St. Vincent de Paul Ballybunion Holiday

The St. Vincent de Paul society are organising a one week stay in Ballybunion from June 15th to 23rd this year. For more details on this please contact 087-6216255

Common Sense

As time goes on I become more frustrated with all the new laws and the growth of “political correctness”. We can’t have any gender reference in any title anymore so things like “manhole” covers offend certain people. “Chairman” is definitely out as is “postman” and others like that. People are not black anymore, even though some are evidently so, just as others are white and all the colours in between. One would hope that the use of common sense would prevail in determining how far this new thinking goes but I’m afraid common sense is in short supply.

I thought it had got lost completely until a recent court case where a claim for damages was made on behalf of a child who fell while playing in a school playground. The judge, sensibly determined that children must be allowed to run around and play and that it was just an accident and nobody’s fault. I felt like cheering when I heard it because the courts have not always been so wise. Take the case of a woman who banged her knee off the leg of a hotel dining room table when she was pulling in her chair. She claimed the leg was concealed by a table cloth and therefore the hotel management were negligent. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have dismissed the case out of hand. All tables have at least three legs and most of them have four. I have yet to discover a floating table that does not have legs. When sitting to a table is it not reasonable to assume that there are four legs, one on each corner?. The judge, in his wisdom (or lack of same), awarded the woman €20,000. Nice work if you can get it and now the floodgates are open for more claims.

There was a man from Cork, a few years ago, who made a living from falling over loose pavement stones and down open holes throughout Cork city. He successfully sued the city council on 17 occasions. With some of his ill-gotten  gains he went on a holiday to Europe. Berlin was on the tour and as he walked down the street one day he came upon an open trap door that was being used to deliver beer to a pub. He couldn’t resist the temptation and promptly “fell” down into the cellar. He was an expert at falling and feigning injury and after a spell in hospital with a back injury that was difficult to disprove, he put the wheels in motion to sue for damages. Some months later he travelled back to Germany for the case. The judge listened as the  solicitor outlined the happenings to him and after hearing both sides of the argument he said to the man from Cork “why are you not wearing your glasses”? To which he replied “I don’t wear glasses”.  “Why not”? Asked the judge. “Because my sight is perfect” came the answer. “In that case”, said the judge, “you should have been more than able to see such a big opening and have walked around it. Case dismissed”. We could do with a few judges like that over here.

Common sense is in short supply in the Dáil at the moment. The row over water charges has reached ridiculous proportions. Does anybody know how to tell the truth anymore?  Maybe Paul Murphy and his group of communists do. At least they believe in what they say even though they are totally misguided and following a type of politics that has failed all over the world. Sinn Féin are after the popular vote and can afford to say whatever they like because there is little prospect of them having to back up any promises in government. Fine Gael would like to do the right thing but are hampered by lack of numbers and their dependency on Fianna Fáil support to stay in office. Fianna Fáil are the real culprits here. They are putting the party before the country with an eye on the next election. At heart they are in favour of water charges. It was their idea in the first place but, having seen how much of a boost Sinn Féin got by opposing water charges, they have changed their minds and now want to curry favour with the other objectors. This is purely political. What happened at the committee meeting is a farce. We have an Attorney General that advises the government on matters of law yet some parties do not accept her ruling and bring forward “alternative” advice. Water will have to be paid for. There is no magic money tree in Leinster House so the tax payer, yes you and me, will have to pick up the bill as usual. What was wrong with the idea of giving a generous allowance to each household and only charging those who went above that allowance?  The “polluter pays” principle should apply and it is not right that I can now leave my tap running for 24 hours a day with impunity. Fine Gael made a proper botch of introducing the charges in the first place due mainly to the arrogance and bullying tactics of  Phil Hogan who should have been banished to obscurity, not rewarded with a plum job in Europe.

The sooner we realise that services have to be paid for the better. Let us have one household tax that includes the water charges, sewage and bin collections as they have in the North of Ireland and maybe we will finish up with some decent services and a cleaner and better country.

In the meantime, if any of you out there can find any examples of good common sense, let me know.

Domhnall de Barra