Congratulations to Emily Pierse of Gortnagross, Athea who won the Kerry Junior Women’s Cross Country championship held in Killorglin last week.

Fair Day

Athea Fair Day takes place on Saturday next, November 4th. We hope that the weather will stay dry and calm and that a good crowd will attend.

Anniversary Mass

Anniversary Mass for the late Cathy Moran will take place on Sunday, November, 5th at 11am in Athea Church. Also in remembrance of her grandson Sean Moran (son of Sheila and Tommy) who died recently. May they rest in peace.

Going Strong Church Gate Collection

The annual Church gate collection will take place on Saturday/Sunday November 4th &5th. Your support, as always will be greatly appreciated.

Athea Tidy Towns

We are glad to announce that the Defibrillator Telephone box will be launched on this Sunday November 5th at 2pm. The box will be unveiled by our four local councillors; Councillor Seamus Browne, Councillor Francis Foley, Councillor Liam Galvin and Councillor John Sheahan.

We are overwhelmed with the response for sponsorship to date and we are now in a position to install CCTV cameras which will ensure the telephone box and the life-saving equipment is fully protected. Sponsors added in the last week include; 14. The McCoy Family, Temple Athea in memory of deceased members of their family 15. Athea GAA 16. Athea & District Credit Untion Ltd. 17. The O’Connor Family 7 Markievicz Park in memory of Michael and Bridget O’Connor 18. Hanora Watson in memory of her parents Jim O’Sullivan Knocknagorna & Babe Liston Colbert Street 19. Diarmuid & Aine O’ Riordan in memory of Baby Aisling 20. O’Riordan’s Pharmacy, Colbert Street. Sincere thanks to all of our sponsors.

There are a limited number of plaques remaining so if interested please contact any member of the committee.

Everyone is invited to come along on the day to share in the excitement of the unveiling.

Ladies monthly night out

The next night out will take place on Friday, November 3rd at Brown Joe’s. All the usual fun and games and the raffle this month will be for the organisation  ‘Straight Ahead’ which deals with Scoliosis. So please come along for a good night out.

Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann

Traditional singing classes will commence on Thursday November 9th from 6.30 to 7.15 if enough people are interested.  Please contact  Gráinne Ahern, 087 752 7127 for further details.

Athea Parish Journal

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 [email protected] or photos can be handed in to the office for scanning.

The Future

Domhnall de Barra

The way things are going, I have serious doubts about the future of our  village. By the future I mean whether it continues as  the village we know or becomes a type of urban dormitory where people live together but have little or no services. Time was when every second house in the village was a shop of one kind or another, Drapers, tailors, harness makers, coopers, smiths, butchers, bakers, hardware merchants, grocers, bankers, co-ops and many others plied their trades and eked out a living. Everyone shopped locally because there was no alternative and credit was available in most establishments. People from the country depended on dairy farming for a living and even those who lived in cottages kept a cow or two. Surplus milk was sent to the local creamery and at the end of the month the “creamery cheque” settled the bills in the local shops. It was a good system. I  remember my mother’s little red passbook where all the weekly shopping was written down. We went to the shop on a regular basis but no money changed hands until it was all cleared at the end of the week or the month. There wasn’t much money about in those days but that wasn’t important because, apart from tea and sugar and the likes, everything was grown on the land. There weren’t any bills for electricity or water and of course there were no appliances to be bought. Technology soon changed that and with the arrival of the power lines new demands were made on the household purse. Then came the tractors and cars and gradually things began to change. Factories sprung up in nearby towns and at last there was a bit of employment locally. Up to that time the emigrant boat was the only avenue for many in our parish. From the ’seventies on  “progress” began to accelerate. One of the first victims was the local creamery. The  farmers brought their milk tanks in the morning in ass cars, horse cars and tractors. The queue stretched down the village and local affairs were discussed at length. It was a blessing for the postmen who could deliver letters in the village and avoid the long passages into some houses. It was also good for trade because  it was handy to pick up the “messages” while going to the creamery.  Kerry co-op took over  and eventually there was no one going to the creamery. In the bigger towns around supermarkets began to spring up. They could offer groceries and other goods far below the local shops so gradually the local outlets began to close down. We lost the creamery, several pubs and shops, petrol pumps, the post office sorting office, banks, hardware and furniture stores, dance halls, Garda barracks and many more. On the plus side we are lucky that there is a doctor’ surgery in the village. This has made it possible for the chemist’s shop to survive and flourish and they both bring trade to the village. There are two good shops, a post office,  Credit Union, butcher’s and six pubs  so, as villages go, we are doing ok. Most small villages don’t even have a shop anymore so, the question is, are we bound to go down the sane route as they did eventually.  I suppose the answer lies in our own hands. If we want to keep local business alive we have to  support it at every opportunity. People can’t be blamed for going to supermarkets in nearby towns for a big shop. Money is important and the local shops haven’t a hope of competing but there are many items that could be got locally without losing money. Supermarkets are designed to make us shop with our eyes, not our heads. Shelves are stocked with goods that have been advertised on TV and billboards and there are many offers like “buy one, get one free” which look like a bargain but just get us to buy stuff that we don’t really want. If you add in the cost of travel and maybe a tea or coffee and a snack, shopping locally might not be so expensive.  The reality is, of course, that it is going to be very difficult for businesses to survive in Athea into the future. Young people do not want to work the long, anti-social hours necessary to make a meagre profit and who can blame them. The change in the drinking culture and the drink driving limits make the future of small pubs bleak. There is no future for them but, to be fair, we have too many pubs anyway. The Post Office will eventually close; I don’t want to see it happen but with all the changes coming down the line it is difficult to see any other result. Maybe it can be incorporated into one of the  shops and that would be great but it will take a fight and a good bit of political lobbying. Once upon a time we might have hoped that some kind of a factory would be built in Athea but I think that ship has sailed as all the manufacturing has been transferred to the orient where labour costs are really low and the multi nationals can make more profit. So, where do we go from here?  I don’t have any answers but I would welcome any ideas. If you have any don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. The time to act is now while we still enjoy the services that are left. One change I would like to see happen is the loosening of the regulations on the Credit Unions.  Many of the restrictions on them are to protect the banks. We now see what the banks are capable of doing to us so it is time that our Credit Union was able to provide the same services as  they do. The banks are treating us like numbers. We can’t even access our own funds in some branches like Abbeyfeale and, if you cannot deal with a machine, hard luck. The Credit Union could step in and treat us with a small bit of dignity.