Damien Ahern, Angela Keane & Tommy Hassett at the launch of the Defibrillator Phone Box


The Danaher McGrath Trust is seeking applications for a scholarship for third level students.   In order to apply for the scholarship students must meet the following criteria;

  • Applicants must reside or have resided in one of the following Parishes prior to taking up their studies:

Athea,  Abbeyfeale, Mountcollins, Tournafulla or Templeglantine

  • The Scholarship is provided on a mean test basis and is for students of limited means. Proof of means will be requested and required under the application process
  • Students who are undertaking courses of study in Irish language, Irish literature or music will be given preference in the application process
  • Application forms are available from secondary schools in Tarbert, Abbeyfeale and Newcastle West and from Woulfe Murphy Solicitors upon request (068 31106)

Applications should sent to: 

The Danaher McGrath Trust Scholarship Application,  C/O Woulfe Murphy Solicitors,  The Square, Abbeyfeale,  Co. Limerick.

The Scholarship is open to students or prospective students of all third level institutions in Ireland.  The scholarship is an annual scholarship for the duration of the scholarship fund. The minimum award will be €2000 per annum. The maximum award will be €5000 per annum. Up to 5 scholarships will be awarded each year.

Students are entitled to apply for the scholarship each year. No student will be awarded the scholarship for more than 4 years in duration.

Where a student fails to pass an academic year they cannot be awarded the scholarship to repeat the same academic year.

The Scholarship will be awarded to full time students only and is not available to part time students.

No canvassing will be tolerated and the decision of the Trustees is final.

Glórach Theatre Presents

The Hilarious 3 act Comedy-The Two Loves of Gabriel Foley

Opening on Tuesday, November 21st and continuing on 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 28th & 30th November. To book seats please call 087-1383940. All performances start at 8pm sharp. Admission €10, family (2adults & 2 children) €25. The cast includes Donal Woulfe, Domhnall de Barra and Theresa O’Halloran from Athea.

Mass Of Annointing

A mass of anointing will take place in Athea Church this coming Saturday, November 18th at 11am.

Christmas Street Lighting

There will be a Church gate collection this weekend Saturday/Sunday November 18th/19th for the Christmas Street Lighting.  Your support would be greatly appreciated.

St. Vincent de Paul

Church Gate Collection

The St. Vincent de Paul annual collection will take place on Saturday/Sunday December 2nd & 3rd. Your support as always will be greatly appreciated.

Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann

Traditional singing classes have commenced on Thursdays in the Library from 6.30 to 7.15pm. If interested  please contact  Gráinne Ahern, 087 752 7127 for further details.

Ladies Monthly Night Out

The last monthly night out for this year will take place on Friday, December 15th at Brown Joe’s.  This will be a Christmas Party Theme night with wine and nibbles and the usual quiz, games etc. If anyone would like to join us for a great night of fun you would be most welcome and word has it that Santa might even make an appearance on the night. All the proceeds will go to the Butterfly Club.

Come off the High Horse

Domhnall de Barra

The Paradise Papers are the second biggest data leak in the world. The name refers to some 13.4 million files that have been studied by thousands of journalists all over the world. They contain hitherto secret information about how large corporations and wealthy individuals use loopholes in the tax system to avoid paying tax by using offshore accounts in places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. It’s a long and detailed list but I’m sure the eyes of our own journalists lit up like landing lights when they saw names like Bono and some of the cast of Mrs. Brown’s Boys on the list. The sub-editors couldn’t wait to sharpen their pencils to write witty headlines to maximise the interest in the story. Their slant was hardly fair to the people concerned because they were portrayed as tax dodgers and people who were defrauding the state of much needed revenue for roads, schools, hospitals etc.  They were being named and shamed as if they were criminals. It continued on the air waves and TV where people took the high moral ground saying that if they were paying their  income tax then everyone else should. Most people do not have a choice. They are in the PAYE system where money is taken from pay-packets every week. The self-employed have to engage an accountant at the end of the year to work out how much tax they owe. It is the job of that accountant to use every possible allowance to reduce the tax bill. They may, in some cases, pay less that someone on equivalent earnings in the PAYE system but they do not get the same benefits. If the PAYE worker loses his job he is entitled to redundancy and can get a weekly payment from the social welfare. If the self-employed person’s business goes belly up he may have to face paying redundancy to his staff and he is not entitled to a penny from the state –  swings and roundabouts.

Let us call a spade a spade, nobody likes paying tax – we only pay because we are forced to by the government. How many would willingly pay  if it was voluntary? Many of the people who now complain about everybody having to pay their fair share might not be so eager to fork out their hard-earned cash if they had a choice. If we all could reduce our tax bill legally, would we do it?. Of course we would, for example: you are buying a car but there is a difference in the vat rate from Limerick to Kerry. It is 23% in Limerick but only 10% in Kerry. Would you say “I know it is cheaper in Kerry but I will buy in Limerick because I want to pay my fair share of tax”?  You would be a fool to do so. We work hard for our money and we would like to hold on to as much as we can of it so, when I heard the people on radio and TV complaining about Bono and Mrs Brown’s Boys my immediate reaction was; get off the moral high ground. It smacks of begrudgery and envy.  The motto is: if I am caught I want everyone else caught too. Remember the parable in the Bible of the worker who was hired in the morning for a days work for an agreed sum.  Another worker was hired at noon and a further in the afternoon but, at the end of the day they all received the same wage. The man who was hired in the morning complained that he should get more  because he had worked longer hours  but the boss said to him: “Did I not pay you what we agreed”. The man said yes. “Well then”, said the boss, “am I not entitled to use my money as I wish and be kind to the other workers”?

The people who avail of the loopholes in the tax system are not breaking any laws. They do so because they can hire very clever people who know exactly how far they can go to avoid paying tax within the law. It is up to governments and banks to make the changes necessary to close off these loopholes but I will not be holding my breath. Our own government has been actively helping big multi-nationals to avoid tax by registering in Ireland and the bankers have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. The government will argue that the reason they accommodate the multi-nationals is to keep jobs in Ireland and they are perfectly entitled to do that. The end justifies the means  and we all benefit from the wealth created in the country. Maybe there will be changes but, in the meantime I say; fair play to anyone who reduces their tax bills in a legal manner. Forget about the moral indignation of those who do not have the same opportunity. We would all do it if we could and begrudgers, please come down off that high horse before you fall down.