Athea Tidy Towns committee members Jamie Kelly, Margaret Scanlon, Thady Sullivan, Mick Ahern, Eileen O’Sullivan, John Scanlon, Damien Ahern, Donnacha Quille & Thady Hunt who were runners up in the ‘Limerick In Bloom Competition’ and also winners of an incentive award under the Going for Gold category with Mayor of Limerick, Stephen Keary at the Awards Ceremony in Limerick last week .

Athea Tidy Towns

We were delighted to come home from the Going for Gold Awards Ceremony last week as runners up in the ‘Limerick In Bloom Competition’ and also winners of an incentive award under the Going for Gold category. We were all very proud of our achievement and we are already planning our entry form for 2018!

We are almost ready now to launch our telephone box, keep an eye on Facebook and local press for the launch date. We would like to express our thanks to Haulie and Ian Liston for carrying out the electrical works to the telephone box free of charge. We are also grateful to Athea Community Council for allowing us to connect the Christmas Street Lighting power supply in the village. Our call for sponsors for the telephone box proved very successful and to date we have nine confirmed sponsors; 1. Breda, Hugh and Casey O’Brien & Kay O’ Sullivan in memory of The Jack Casey Family of Lower Athea, 2. Athea United AFC, 3. Colm and Francis Leahy & Family 4. Lal Browne 5. The Chicago Roches 6. Clodagh Histon and 7.Siobhan Barrett & Family 8. John Scanlon & Patsy Griffin and 9. Derry Lyons & Eileen Scanlon. We also have other enquires awaiting confirmation. Again, the generously of the parish exceeded all expectations and we are truly grateful for all the support and well wishes. In order for sponsorship plaques to be printed for the launch of the telephone box, Wednesday October 18th will be the deadline for sponsorship. Please get in touch with any member of the committee before then if interested. We have also decided to print a limited number of key-rings for the launch which will be mini replicas of the telephone box on which the number for the Athea Community First Responders will also be printed. As we always believe in supporting local, these key-rings will be designed and printed by Shane Hassett (brother of Tommy Hassett) & Johnny Quaid of ‘Wazp’ in Tralee who carry out 3D printing. These key-rings will be part sponsored by Athea Tidy Towns & Athea Community First Responders.

Our TUS worker Thomas Flaherty was very busy last week power washing around the Con Colbert Memorial Hall. This cleans the area immensely and we are very grateful to Thomas for his continued hard work and commitment.

We carried out some spraying on Saturday last of 4 sites of knotweed in Athea. The first site is in our wildflower meadow and the remaining 3 sites are located on the Clash Road. Signs were also erected to prevent the further spread of the species by cutting.

The Athea Tidy Towns Church Gate Collection will take place on this weekend Sat & Sun October 21st and 22nd before all masses. This is one of our main fundraisers of the year and will allow us continue our work to make further improvements to our village. As always, your continued support is appreciated. Please spread the word!

 

Athea Community Games

Athea Community Games will have their AGM next Monday, October 23rd at 8pm in the hall (kitchen) .  We urgently need to get some more people involved with the running of Community Games in Athea.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Athea Graveyards Collection

The Annual Graveyards collection will take place on the weekend of 28th, 29th October. Envelopes will be distributed to all households. The solar panel has been installed at the statue in front of Holy Cross graveyard this past week. This will mean that we will no longer have to pay ESB bills to keep the statue lit and will be a great saving on an annual basis.

Athea Parish Journal

Closing date for material for the Journal is October 31st.  We would ask all contributors, clubs, associations etc. to please send 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 domhnall.barry@gmail.com or photos can be handed in to the office for scanning.

Moyvane ICA Cookery Demonstration

With Lizzie Lyons form Lizzie’s Little Kitchen, Listowel & Ireland AM fame

Has had to be postponed and will now take place on Tuesday, October 24th at 7.30pm in the Marian Hall, Moyvane. Admission €5.

Eibhlín Broderick’s CD

‘My Silver River Feale’ is now on sale at Brouder’s Shop @ €15 or from Domhnall on 087-6758762

No Great Changes

Domhnall de Barra

The recent budget showed how inept the government is with Fine Gael having to depend on the support of Fianna Fáil and a disfunctional group of independents to get it through the house. As budgets go it was harmless – a bit here and a bit there but no major changes. It is just a holding budget, waiting for the next election when suddenly all the parties will have the answers to all our problems, if only we give them the power to act.  There were a few disappointments however. The poor old smoker was hit again with a hike of 50c on a packet of cigarettes. The anti-smoking lobby will be delighted but spare a thought for somebody in the later part of their lives who started smoking in their early teens. Penalising them by raising the price will not make them quit. They are addicts who have no control over a lifelong habit and they will have to find the extra money somewhere. It is totally different today to when I was growing up. Everybody is now aware of the dangers of smoking and it has become anti-social whereas long ago it was considered good for  relaxation and soothing the nerves. It was the done thing in those days to smoke and of course we could not wait to try our first cigarette and be like the grown ups. All the film stars smoked. It was a directors delight because it gave them something to do with their hands on stage and screen. We were totally oblivious to any dangers from inhaling tobacco smoke, all one needed was the money to buy them. When I was going to Kelly’s in Abbeyfeale there were a few shopkeepers who would sell cigarettes singly. One of them would go as far as to cut a cigarette in two with a razor blade for any of us who only had a penny to spend. Of course we got hooked and it became an addiction for us. I tried many times to give them up but failed until 1974. I was coming off a concert tour of America and had the last couple of days in New York where I met up with a few family and friends and partied until just before take off. Somebody strapped me into a seat and I slept soundly until we were on the descent into Shannon . All the tea and coffee etc was stowed away so I took a cigarette out of my pocket and lit it (you could do it on planes in those days).  Now, American fags are bad enough at the best of times but that morning, in my condition, I nearly choked. I looked at the cigarette, asked myself what I was doing smoking it and put it out. That was my last one. I had 20 packs in the case. So I kept one in my pocket and decided I would not smoke for the rest of that day. I made the same vow the following morning and every morning after that for a long time. On many an occasion I took one out of the packet and put it in my mouth but I got the strength from somewhere not to light it. Gradually the temptation got less and less but it was a rough journey and the hardest thing I ever did. Trying to cure peoples habits by making their addiction more expensive simply does not work. The country is awash with illegal drugs that are far more expensive but the high cost does not deter those who have no control over their addiction.  They will find the money somehow even if they have to break the law to do so.. I would prefer if they now stopped taxing cigarettes and concentrated instead on educating young people who have a choice, before they get hooked.

I was also disappointed with the approach to housing for those who find themselves in hotels and B&Bs. The biggest snag with building houses is planning permission. It is tied up in red tape with several different departments involved who do not always act as one. If you want to build a house or an estate of houses you have to get the go-ahead from the local planning authority. This can take quite a while with various changes having to be made to the original plans, all at extra cost. You finally get approval but you are not yet out of the woods. Anyone who cares to can object to An Bord Pleanála and hold up the process for  a further few months or even years.  There are people who live in Dublin who regularly object to housing in places as far away as Kerry or Donegal even though they are not from these places and probably have never visited the sites they are objecting to. This nonsense should be done away with. If the local authority are satisfied then building should commence. Councils could also remove the restrictions on one off housing in the countryside. Going back a few years, if you could provide a half acre site, the local council would build a house for you.  The council got a rent from the property which would be available to purchase at a reasonable rate after a few years. The “cottage”, as it was called, was a great idea and many a big family was reared in one. I came out of one myself and have no complaints. The problem is, the powers that be would prefer if we all lived in towns and villages and leave the countryside to the animals. It won’t happen so I hope they get back to building enough houses to accommodate the growing population in this country.

On  the health front, I would like to know why most of the operating theatres in the country close down on Friday afternoon and do not open again until Monday at a time when there are long waiting lists. Surely, if the capacity is there it should be used. Many essential services operate over the weekend so why not the most essential of all. We need politicians to start thinking outside the box and not leave our health services stuck in a rut. Extra staff may be hard to find but I think doctors and nurses who are trained here at a huge expense to the state should be obliged to work in Ireland for a number of years before jetting off to the big money in places like Dubai. They owe it to us.