Declan White with his daughterEmma at Captain Philip Woulfe’s Prizegiving in Castletroy on Saturday last.

Month’s Mind Mass

Month’s Mind Mass for the late Penny Woulfe R.I.P. will take place on Tuesday 27th of June at 7.30 pm in Athea Church.

Athea Tidy Towns

Thanks to the recent spell of fine weather, our flowers are now in full bloom. We are appealing to home owners in the village to water flowers regularly. We will be operating a rota system for watering for the summer period and would greatly welcome any assistance from anyone out there willing to give a hand!

The handball alley was recently weeded and the bank strimmed. As we are currently unsure as to when and what development works will take place when the sewerage system is upgraded, this is the only improvement work that will take place here for the moment. However, we are hoping to improvement accessibility here in the future.

Our community composter has also been upgraded recently and the lid replaced. We are currently familiarizing ourselves with composting techniques, so watch this space!

Thanks to residents who have recently painted their buildings in the village. This really brightens up the village core and creates a great impression. The Library is also due to the painted in the near future which will allow us to fully appreciate this gem of a building.

Information and photographs will be forwarded to the printers soon for our wildlife signage which will be erected near the bridge. Thanks to Anneke Vrieling of Feale Biodiversity for her invaluable assistance here. It is also hoped to carry out a feasibility study of the river area over the coming months with welcome assistance from West Limerick Resources. This will explore possibilities on how to best protect the local environment and recreational opportunities.

Athea Tidy Towns picture of the footbridge
‘Blooming in the Sun’


Joe Aherne finishing his 2nd 50 mile challenge walk in three weeks in a time of 14 hrs 54 mins. His next walk is on August 5th from Ardagh to Listowel. Joe can be contacted on 086-8155614

Hidden Danger

The other day I turned on my computer as usual and went to put the kettle on as it warmed up. This is part of my normal routine before I download the crossword and enjoy the first cuppa of the day. I brought up the internet when I returned and then the postman arrived with the mail. I was looking through the envelopes when I heard sounds coming from the computer. It sounded like somebody in pain but when I looked at the screen I got quite a shock. I was looking at a porn film. I am not talking about erotica but full-blown explicit hard core. I have no idea how it got there but I have noticed lately that some sites just appear on the screen automatically. This is a new form of marketing and shows the lengths some people will go to, to promote their goods.

I am old enough and long in the tooth enough not to be bothered by this stuff but my computers do not have passwords and my grandchildren use them on a regular basis. What if this filth appeared when they logged on? I could put security passwords on each computer but that would not remove the danger because they all have tablets and mobile phones that can access the internet.

It must be a nightmare for parents trying to monitor what their children are looking at when they are not under supervision. They can’t be wrapped completely in cotton wool and, in this day and age, they have to be au fait with modern technology. They need tablets and laptops for school so what can be done to prevent the  intrusion of  unwanted material onto our screens? There needs to be tighter controls by governments worldwide to counteract this problem.

Why are people allowed to make such films in the first place and advertise them as if they are normal. I  know there are those who say that adults should be allowed to make up their own minds about what they want to read and watch. I agree with that and I do not ever want to go back to the days when authors like Edna O’Brien had her books banned for what now would be considered as harmless content. What we need is some method of ensuring that unsuitable content is not available to one and all and that people who want that type of “entertainment” are vetted and given their own special passwords.

We also should be very worried about the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Again, they are a great social outlet when used in the right way but they are wide open to abuse. It is very easy to bully people, especially young people, on social media. Anything can and is said when guaranteed anonymity. Some immature adolescents are vulnerable and sometimes are in danger of self harming or even contemplating suicide while the bullies high five each other. Parents and guardians have an unenviable job but they must take control and make a few tough decisions. The first is to decide at what age a child should have a mobile phone. This is not too bad as phones can be limited to calls and texts and they are a comfort to parents to know that their child can make contact if they  need to but, at a very young age, they do not need the whole works. The next step up is the tablet, iPhone or laptop and this is where supervision is needed. It won’t make one very popular with a young teenager but one  needs to know that they are looking at safe content on the net.

There are some bad people out there who prey on the innocent who  can be easily impressed and led astray. “Grooming” has become a big problem with middle-aged men pretending to be teenagers to gain the trust of young, inexperienced people. The vast majority of teenagers are very responsible and able to look after themselves but there are the minority who need our protection even if they won’t thank us for it. I don’t have the answers but what happened on my computer frightened me, even though my own children are now fathers and mothers themselves. I didn’t have such problems and in truth, if I had, I probably would have left it to Noreen to solve them. The internet is a marvellous tool and opens up the world to all users. I wish we had it long ago. My six year old granddaughter seems to have more knowledge now than I had when I was twice her age. Technology is hard to keep up with nowadays with new gadgets coming on the market every day. They have the ability to make our lives much easier but some may have hidden dangers  yes we have to embrace the internet but we just have to make it safe

for all.

Domhnall de Barra