Participants in the Community Games at Páirc na nGael on Sunday last

Community Games Sports Day

Athea Community Games wishes to thank all the children who took part in the Sport Day last Sunday.  It was a very enjoyable afternoon with children competing in running races as well as numerous novelty events.  Many thanks to all who helped out on the day and on Saturday evening with marking out the field .  Thank you also to the GAA for the use of their field and to Paul Collins and Rose’s  shop for sponsoring all the treats for the children.  The children who qualified for the county finals in Mungret – June 24th &25th – will be notified in the coming weeks.

Jim and Peg Prendeville inspect an old steam train in Pine Creek NT Australia

Ladies Monthly Night Out

The Ladies monthly night out will now take place on Friday, May 26th at Brown Joe’s. This will be our final night before the summer break. Jules will be performing a Neil Diamond tribute on the night and food will be served at 9pm sharp.

We will be back again in September.

Joe Aherne, Athea

Walking for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin

Combining 3 walks

First walk on May 20th, a 50mile challenge in Sneem, Co. Kerry.

Second walk on June 10th, a 50 mile challenge in Moylagh, Co. Meath.

Third walk, a 23 mile walk from Ardagh to Listowel on August 5th to include a 3 mile loop in Athea. More information on this walk nearer the time.

Joe can be contacted on 086-8155614. Donations gratefully accepted for this worthy cause as Joe’s grandson is being treated there at the moment.

Athea N.S. Annual Collection Athea National School annual church gate collection takes place this weekend May 27th/28th at both masses. Your support would be very much appreciated.

Fair Play and Politics

Domhnall de Barra

A split has occurred between rural and urban Dáil deputies about the proposed changes to the existing drink driving laws. Well, there is no change proposed in the legal limit but  anyone found with more than that in their system will be treated the same as somebody who is falling down drunk. They will be disqualified for years and face a hefty fine as well. At the moment there is a sliding scale and anyone who is just above the limit will receive a fine and penalty points or maybe a short suspension for the first offence. I think this is fair. Let me state straight away that I am opposed totally to anybody driving who has drink taken but common sense must come into platy as well. A friend of mine went to a dinner party recently and had a  glass of wine with her meal. She had no intention of having any more drink that evening as she was driving and was well aware of the law. She got a phone call from her baby sitter that her little girl was in some distress and so she left the party and drove for home. There was a Garda check point on the road and she was asked to take a breathaliser test. She blew into it with confidence and was most surprised when the Garda told her it was positive and she had to take a blood test. This showed that she had  2 milligrams over the legal limit of 50. This is as borderline as you get but she was prosecuted and received a fine of €400 and 5 penalty points with six months disqualification. This is harsh but under the proposed changes she would have been in court and disqualified for at least two years. Does the punishment fit the crime? Those who favour the changes say that it is a matter of saving lives and that there must be a suitable deterrent. If we follow that logic then anyone caught doing 61 mph in a 60 limit area should face the same fate or to take it to the ridiculous should cars be banned altogether since they are the cause of so many deaths. People with a milligram or two over the limit are no danger to the public, It is not that long ago  since it was deemed safe for a person to drive after having three pints and the equivalent. The biggest problem on the road is speed, not drink driving. That is not to minimise it. Anyone who deliberately drinks and drives should be taken off the road. What I am arguing for is a little common sense in dealing with people who are on the limit but posing no danger. The law should be fair and deal with offenders according to the severity of their actions.

The race for the Fine Gael leadership is off and may be over as soon as it started. Leo Varadkar has stolen a march on his rival Simon Coveney by getting a number of high profile people to back him straight away. Many others who might have supported Simon held their powder until they saw which way the race was going and when they saw the momentum was with Leo they jumped on the band wagon for fear of being left out when the jobs are being doled out after the election. This is politics –  look after number one !  The race is not over yet because the councillors and party members around the country still have to vote. They don’t have the same fears about being left out of the cabinet so they may vote in a different way. They would need to go for Simon Coveney in a big way to change the tide and as it stands Leo Varadkar looks almost certain to win. Whoever gets the captaincy is facing a tough task. There are huge problems facing the country and Fianna Fáil are waiting in the long grass for the right moment to pounce. In the meantime there are thousands  without suitable accommodation and thousands more on waiting lists to see consultants and get into hospitals. The leader will change but will anything else?