Lal Browne and Lillian O’Carroll, Lucky No’s committee members, presenting Clodagh and Agatha with their winnings

Community Council Lucky No’s Jackpot Winner

Congratulations to Clodagh Histon, Hillside Drive on winning our Jackpot of €17,600 at the draw on Tuesday evening last in White’s Bar. Well done Clodagh and best wishes for the future. Congratulation also to Clodagh’s grandmother Agatha Barrett, Markievicz Park who was the seller of the winning ticket.

Athea Group taking part in the Brothers of Charity Cycle on Saturday last.
L-R- Mark Reidy, Raymond Enright, Paul Collins, Kevin O’Keeffe, Jer Cahill, Teddy Ahern, T.J. Reidy, Pa Ahern and Sean O’Shea.

Thank You

The Brothers of Charity, West Limerick Services, would sincerely like to thank all those who helped in any way in Athea in our recent 8th Annual Charity Cycle on the 2nd of September. At the Brothers of Charity Services in Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale, we provide day & residential services for adults with an Intellectual Disability in West Limerick.  We currently provide services for 67 people and their families.

To all those who cycled, helped in our bucket collection, marshalled during the cycle, sponsored food, water and refreshments, as well as those who contributed to our collection, we wish to say thanks for your continued generosity and support.


The AGM of the Community First Responders (CFRs) will be held in the Hall on Thursday 14th  September at 8:30pm.  Everyone is most welcome.  It is a great opportunity for the public to hear of the group’s activities over the past year, new developments, and to ask about learning emergency life saving skills.

Coffee Morning

The annual Coffee Morning in aid of Milford Hospice will take place in the Community Hall on Thursday morning, September 14th from approx 9.30 am. Your continuing support is greatly appreciated.

Comhaltas Classes

The traditional music classes organised by  Athea Comhaltas branch will resume on Tuesday September 19th at the Hall. Registration for the classes will take place on  Tuesday next, September 12th in the Hall kitchen at 6pm.

Athea Drama Group AGM

The AGM of Athea Drama Group was held in the Library on Monday night. There was a good attendance and all the officers were re-elected to their positions. Finances are in a very healthy state so the future looks bright. The play chosen for this year is a comedy entitled “The Second Honeymoon”.  Anyone interested in taking a part should come along to the Library at 8pm on Monday September 18th. New members would be especially welcome.

Is it Happening Again 

Domhnall de  Barra

I thought the Celtic Tiger was dead after the biggest boom to bust this country has ever seen but I am beginning to wonder if he was just hiding, biding his time to pounce once again. We went through a period where money was floating around like confetti, most of it provided by bank loans to people who could not really afford them by bank managers who were only happy to take their commission. This was all encouraged by the government of the day who were raking in the money from housing sales. Even the proverbial dogs in the street knew that it could not last but  greed had taken over and was now driving the bus. Every piece of land that could be procured, at enormous cost, was built on, not necessarily by builders but by  anyone who had a few bob to spare and wanted to make a quick profit. Hotels and housing estates sprung up everywhere and the cost of living soared. The high prices charged by hotels and restaurants destroyed the tourist trade but we ploughed on regardless until eventually the bubble burst. The rest, as they say, is history and it has taken us the guts of a decade to get back to some form of normality. We still have a huge national debt as a legacy from the era of foolishness but we are coping.

One would think that, having gone through such an ordeal that it could never be allowed to happen again, right!  Not so; the writing has been appearing on the wall for some time but, as happened in the past, people are ignoring it. Hotels and restaurants are at it again, putting up prices because there is a demand for rooms. The tourist board has done a magnificent job encouraging tourists to visit Ireland. It became attractive because of the reasonable rates in the catering and hospitality sections. The “Wild Atlantic Way” has proved to be a great success so greed is beginning to take over again and we are going down the same old road. “Fleece them while you can” seems to be the motto but, make no mistake about it, history can and will repeat itself and we could be facing a time when hotels and restaurants will be half empty. The rise of the Euro against the Dollar and Pound is a huge problem. Not so long ago a person coming on holiday from England could get  €1.40 to €1.50  in exchange for one Pound. That day is gone and with the problems Brexit is creating the future is very uncertain.

During the boom times housing prices soared to the extent that ordinary people could never aspire to owning their own property. The bad news is: it is happening again!.  Houses in Dublin are increasing in price by the day leaving thousands of would-be buyers stranded and having to live in B&Bs and hotel rooms while they wait for social houses to become available. Everybody knew that there was going to be a shortage of houses but nobody did anything about it. During this period of inaction the government poured millions into the establishment of Irish Water, the greatest waste of money since the voting machines fiasco. If that money, and other sums that were wasted, was put into social housing we wouldn’t have the crisis we have today.

Why does everything have to be so slow? The first reaction of government is to form a working committee. This body will meet for months and will come up with proposals that, nine times out of ten, will not be acted upon and will gather dust on a shelf. The powers to act are there. Compulsory purchase orders can be used to acquire building land in the capital that is being kept off the market to get a higher price. Cut the red tape about planning permission to a minimum and get on with building houses. Something has to be done if we are to avoid going down the road that ruined us the last time. Instead of talking about giveaways in the coming budget, politicians should be focusing on keeping the ship on an even keel. We simply cannot afford tax cuts or social welfare hikes at this time. It would be a welcome relief to certain people but  there isn’t enough in the pot to cover the expense at the moment if we are to make some inroad into the homeless situation, not to mention the health service, or rather  the lack of same!.

I couldn’t believe my ears the other day when I heard on the radio of a man suspected of having prostate cancer who was referred to a consultant. Two years later he got a letter stating that he would not get an appointment for another four years. That is six years in all. How can we talk about “giveaways” when situations like that are now normal?  The government need to get a grip and treat what is happening in this country as a state of emergency. Forget about the frills and deal with the basic problems first. It will take courage and ingenuity and the risk of being unpopular in the short term but it will be worth it in the end. They have to realise that we are not a superpower but a small island nation off the European coast with a population the size of an average UK city.

Forget about the excuses and the flannel, action is what is required. If it doesn’t happen we will have another housing debacle and our services will only get worse. It is also time for those in the hotel and catering trade to realise that the goose that lays the golden egg is not there to be exploited but needs to be looked after properly if she is to continue laying.!