‘Make a Wish’
Athea cyclists presenting cheque to the Ahern family raised from our
cycle of the Ring of Kerry

Athea Horse and Pony Races

The Athea Horse and Pony Races were postponed on Sunday last and will now take place on Saturday next, October 7th on Helen and Mike O’Keeffe’s land in Glenagore. Everyone is welcome to come along for a fun day out for all the family.

Coffee Morning  Thank You

Thanks to everyone who supported the recent Coffee Morning in aid of Milford Hospice. The total raised was €1,070. Thank to all who also made cakes, buns etc for the event. Well done to all.

Ladies Monthly Night Out

The Ladies are back after the Summer break and will have a fun night on Friday, October 6th at Brown Joe’s Bar. All the usual fun and games including quiz will be the order of the night. Come along and join in the fun. Proceeds from this night will go to the Athea Parent & Toddler Group.

Athea Parish Journal

Another year has flown by and we are starting to prepare for the Journal. We would ask all contributors, clubs, associations etc. to start sending in their material, photo’s etc as soon as possible so that the Journal will be in the shops as early as possible. Photos and articles can be emailed to [email protected] photos can be handed in to the office for scanning.

Congratulations to Eibhlín Broderick from Cratloe, who is a student at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick and has just recorded her first CD of Traditional Songs. Wishing Eibhlín the very best of luck in the future.

This and That

Domhnall de Barra

The Athea branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann held its AGM at the Top of the Town on Monday last.  Secretary, Gráinne Ahern, reported on a good year’s activity with the  revived music classes and the successful Summer Sessions that were held in the local pubs during summer months. The classes have reformed for this year  with Brian Scannell of Abbeyfeale doing the teaching.  Congratulations to Brian who won the senior banjo competition at the All-Ireland Fleadh which was held in Ennis in August.  It is great to see so many youngsters learning to play traditional music. Athea has a great musical reputation and the parish has produced some wonderful artists over the years.

There are plans for classes in singing, bodhrán playing and set-dancing. It was also decided to have a session in the pubs once a month over the winter months. The first of these sessions takes place at White’s Bar on Sunday next, October 8th from 7-9pm.  There have been many county fleadhanna run in Athea over the years and while we would love to host one again we are not in a position to do so at the moment due to our infrastructure and the small membership. We could however run a Féile Cheoil which would be a great boost for the village sometime next summer.  The branch is currently trying to recruit members so that the future is secured. To that end there is a meeting at the Top of the Town on Monday , October 16th which will focus on membership. Adult membership for the year costs €12, a second adult in the house is €8 while a family, no matter how big, is €20.  If any one out there is interested in saving our traditional culture, please come to that meeting or give the membership fees to me Domhnall de Barra any time. In the meantime, the best of luck to the new committee in their endeavours to preserve our  traditional arts.

American Tragedy

The massacre of so many innocent people in Las Vegas once again brings America’s crazy gun laws into focus. This is the worst in a long line of mass shootings that have shown the folly of allowing unstable individuals to get their hands on high powered assault rifles and other weapons of mass destruction. Why does any normal person need an assault rifle?  Americans are hung up on  a constitutional clause that gives them the right to bear arms. It might have had some validity when the constitution was drawn up at the birth of an association of states that were, in parts, quite lawless but in today’s world it is totally unnecessary. Any right minded politician would try and remove guns from society but there is a very powerful gun lobby that is closely associated with the Republican Party and they seem to be able to persuade those in office to maintain the status quo and continue reaping vast profits from the sale and manufacture of firearms. At some stage the message will have to be learned or we will have more of this type of carnage. These are not just numbers of people who were shot, maimed and killed. They are sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, boyfriends and girlfriends; real people who went out to enjoy a concert and were brutally mowed down by a man who does not seem to have had any particular agenda. The American people deserve better and they need their leaders to step up to the plate. Enough is enough.

In my opening column, I referred to the proud musical tradition in Athea. That of course included traditional singing. I am delighted to announce that we have a new singing star who has now produced her first solo CD. Eibhlín Broderick from Cratloe is a student at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick where this recording was made. She has a wonderful  selection of songs  ranging from the very serious  ones like “Griffithstown Hill”, a Wexford song about a man dying on a battlefield who wants his comrade to send his love home to his family, to the very funny “Nell Flaherty’s Drake” a song made popular in these parts by Con Fitzgerald from Park. Some of the songs are accompanied in a very tasteful way. I have nothing but praise for this CD and I wish Eibhlín every success with it. Incidentally Eileen comes from a very musical family of two girls and two boys who have all distinguished themselves at Fleadhs over the years. Between them they have more medals than  the Kerry team! Not only are they expert singers but they play banjo and fiddles as well.