Athea Ladies Football Club secretary Liz O’Sullivan and chairperson Mary Ita Casey with senior players presenting Mike Nash with a token of appreciation for the many years of service to the Ladies Club

Athea Ladies Football Club Thank You

Athea Ladies Football Club would like to thank everyone who gave so generously to our church gate collection. It is very much appreciated and will go a long way in running the club for the coming year.

Sacristan’s Collection

The Sacristan’s collection for Carol will be taken up on Saturday 3rd/Sunday 4th February. Envelopes will be available at the Church doors. Thanks for your continued support.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann

The Sunday evening sessions kick off for the year with a night at Donie’s Bar on Sunday next, January 28th, from 7 to 9pm. All welcome to  a bit of music, singing, storytelling and craic.

Athea Bingo Club

The committee would like to thank everybody for their continued support during the past year. A special Thank You to all who gave us spot prizes.

Ladies Monthly Night Out

Our next night out will be on Friday, February 2nd in Brown Joe’s. All the usual fun and games including bingo, quiz and a raffle. Any spot prizes can be dropped in to Brown Joe’s. All proceeds from the night will go to Athea Community Games.

Fundraising  Concert

The second fund-raising concert, in St. Bartholomew’s Church, will take place on Sunday March 18th. Last year’s concert was a great success  and we hope this year’s will be no different. As usual we hope to display some of the talent in the parish, young and not so young, with a few guest artists from outside.  Proceeds will go towards the Lourdes fund and other local charities. We will have more details as time goes by but keep the date on your calendar.

Living  For Today

Domhnall de Barra

I don’t like January. There is an anti-climax after all the hype at Christmas, the bank balance is low and don’t mention the weather. The month is named after the Roman God Janus who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking back.  It is an apt name for the month as it gives us the opportunity to look back at the year gone by and look forward to the next one. It also reminds us that the clock is ticking  and another milestone in our lives has been passed. It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the Millennium but we are eighteen years into the 21st century and they flew by at an alarming rate. When you are young life appears to be never-ending  with old age something that will come in the very distant future. This continues into middle age until, one morning, you look into the mirror and there is an old person looking back at you. It comes as quite a shock to some people and they get upset and depressed but this is the wrong attitude. Getting old and dying is the natural order of things. Many are not so lucky and never get the chance to know what senior years are like. Yes, it does bring your own mortality into question when you realise that your best years are behind you but, all is not doom and gloom. Death is something we all have to face sooner or later. I know it is going to happen to me but I don’t want to go just yet. I am still relatively fit and healthy and I enjoy playing my music, getting in the odd round of golf, making an eejit  of myself on stage, going for walks and getting up in the morning to go to work, I enjoy living with Noreen (even if we don’t always see eye to eye!), I enjoy my children and take great pride in their successes, but most of all I enjoy my grandchildren. When we had our own children, like most other young couples, we did the best we could without really knowing what we were doing. There is no formula for raising children but you do your best and trust things will work out ok. It is a constant worry. With grandchildren you get a second bite at the cherry and you are far more relaxed. You can have the pleasure without the responsibility. It is only right and proper that grandchildren should be spoiled. It is wonderful to be able to bring a little bit of joy into young lives. I remember my own grandparents and the relationship I had with them. My grandfather, Dan Harnett, died before I was born so I never got to know him but  my grandmother, Bridget, lived in the house with us and took me under her wing from the moment I was born. There wasn’t much around in those days but she always seemed to get her hands on little treats like sweets and biscuits to slip to me when my mother wasn’t looking. She would even give me the odd Woodbine, unknown to my parents, when I began smoking in my early teens. Everyone smoked in those days and we were never made aware of a risk to health so she didn’t think it would do me any harm. I didn’t have such a close relationship with my father’s parents who lived in Brosna but we used to visit them fairly regularly and of course they spoiled us as well. My grandmother, Hannah, ran a shop. As soon as we arrived she would go into the shop, which was closed on Sundays, and get us bottles of Goggins lemonade and Polo biscuits. Goggins lemonade was better than Nash’s we thought and Polo biscuits were new on the market at the time. I can still get the taste of that fizzy drink. All too soon the bottle would be nearly empty but I remember savouring the last sip, even  spitting it back into the bottle to prolong the pleasure.  When I got a bit older I played a few tunes with my grandmother who was a good fiddle player. All too soon they all passed away but I will always remember their kindness and generosity to me. So, I am going to be selfish and try and get as many more years as possible watching my own grandchildren grow up. There is no point in dwelling on what is going to happen in the future. The truth is, nobody knows. I watched a film once called “A Passage to India”. In one scene there was an old Indian wise man, or guru, sitting on the back of a cart talking to an excited Englishman. He said, “there is no point in worrying about what is going to happen or what has happened. Yesterday is gone and you cannot change anything that occurred then, tomorrow hasn’t yet and may never come so you cannot do anything about that. The only time you have is today so, live for now, not yesterday or tomorrow”. How right he was. Living each day as it comes is the only way. If you have an opportunity to mend fences with family or neighbours or there is somebody you need to apologise to, don’t put it off, you may never get another opportunity. Tell people how you feel about them, don’t presume they know. It does not matter if you’re eight or eighty, life is for living now. I am grateful for the life I have had up to now. Of course there are some things that happened in the past that I would love to change and I am sorry for a lot of things I have done but I can’t do anything about that. All I can do is try to make amends and live as good a life as I possibly can. I will finish this piece with  two phrases I learned from my Nan – “never put off ‘till tomorrow what you can do today” and “ if you can’t do somebody any good, don’t do them any harm”.