Athea Community Games

Athea Community Games will hold their annual church gate collection this weekend, February 17th and 18th. All support would be greatly appreciated.

Trócaire Boxes

Every year, parishes, schools and communities around the country get involved with the Trócaire Lenten campaign. We are so grateful to everyone who supports Trócaire. Your kindness and compassion are changing lives for the better. Please give what you can.

Trócaire boxes are now available in the church so please take one.

Athea Drama Group

Athea Drama Group are on stage this Thursday night with their first performance of  ‘Pretend Sick’ by Michael J. Ginnelly and continuing February 17th, 18th, 22nd, 24th & 25th at Con Colbert Hall at 8pm. This is a brilliant comedy that should have everyone in stitches.

Athea Ladies Football Club

Sean Batt and his dogs. Sean Batt and ladies football in Athea. What a man, what a gentleman. It was with great sadness that we learned of his passing away last week. There is no doubt that Athea Ladies Football club will miss him. We all know that since the early days of opening his unique pub his support for the ladies was enormous . Whether it involved selling raffle tickets or sponsor ship his support was unwavering and it was very much appreciated by the ladies as they went about their business of winning county titles. With the advent of the “fair day ” in Athea his sponsor ship of a major prize for the ladies main fundraising effort knew no bounds. His generosity was a revelation for the ladies club and indeed in recent years we had to limit his willingness to sponsor. He was forever willing and never questioned the amount requested. He was present at most of our matches and always enquired about the girls. His patience also was tested many times when the girls brought home county senior titles and the fun and games went on till late in his pub. Indeed he never complained when the singing and dancing that went with such occasions, occurred. Last year when he was purportedly supposed to be closing down the ladies made a presentation to him in recognition of all that he had given to the club. Before the end of the night we suspected that the “Closing Down” was a false rumour . He enjoyed the devilment of such opportunities and didn’t mind contributing to them. We live with our memories and we have many great memories of Sean and his pub.  Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís.









World Meeting of FamiliesAugust 2018

An international gathering celebrating the joy of love

Congress 22-24 August. RDS, Ballsbridge

For adults, an enriching programme of keynote speakers, workshop, testimonies and discussions

For young people, an exciting encounter with Christ and with their peers from around the world.

For children, interactive music, art and workshops

For all, daily celebration of Mass, times of prayer, musical performances, cultural events and exhibitions.

Festival of Families Saturday, 25th August, Dublin

A reflective, concert-style event including stories of faith shared by families from various countries and cultures …and, it is hoped, a visit from Pope Francis!

Final Mass Sunday, 26th August, Dublin

*While it is probable that Pope Francis will attend the weekend events, the official announcement will be made in February.

Booking for Dublin Events

From mid-February tickets will start to sell out so Book Now! At

Adults 5-day ticket €68

1-day ticket €38. Both include options for free tickets for weekend events.

All weekend events are free but ticketed, so every child and adult must be registered. All children under 18 accompanied by an adult are free!

A Bit of a Grouse

By Domhnall de Barra

There’s a song by a man from Connemara called Pat Quinn called “I Hate Politicians”. It was sung on the Late Late Show by Christy Moore and basically berates them for too much talking and conniving. There’s on line that goes “they  have the ball and the chain and the gravy and the train and they’re trying to sell us water and its pissing down with rain”. Look it up on U Tube, it is well worth listening to. Well, whatever about politicians, I hate tribunals. Going back to the 1970s we have had tribunal after tribunal trying to get to the roots of many scandals and they have all been a waste of time, except of course if you happen to be one of the legal profession. that has milked the system costing the tax payer millions of Euro. The simple fact is that people will lie through their teeth to cover up an embarrassing truth. We even had a politician, a leader of the country and former minister for finance, who accepted “dig outs” from businessmen overseas and claimed he didn’t even have a bank account !  How stupid do they think we are.

We have one at present concerning  the treatment of Maurice McCabe at the hands of the Gardaí and the Dept. of Justice. We all know that there was an attempt made to minimise the fallout from McCabe’s revelations. There was too much at stake so they had to try anything they could, including smearing his reputation, to get the result they needed. Now we have a former minister for Justice who couldn’t remember getting vital e-mails and sticks to her story that it would have been inappropriate to take any action. It simply does not wash but we will go through the motions and, at the end of the day, nobody will be any the wiser.  Has anybody ever gone to jail as a result of an enquiry except for the two workers in Rathkeale who were only doing what they were told? Don’t expect any this time either. I hate tribunals.

Is it my imagination or have new cars got ugly in appearance? Many of the new models look alike which tells me industrial espionage is alive and well. I was looking at a Nissan Juke the other day in a showroom in Charleville. It is high off the ground and the headlamps are sitting over the bonnet like bulbous eyes. It reminded me of nothing but a big frog on wheels. Time was when you could tell the make of a car at a couple of hundred yards distance but now you have to wait to see the makers logo before you can tell them apart. I suppose they have to keep changing to keep up with the opposition but I would prefer simpler designs that were more pleasing to the eye.

Every day, on the radio and TV, we hear about the rise in rent prices around the country  which is making more people homeless because they simply cannot afford to keep up with the inflation. There is no easy solution as it is a market that depends on demand. There aren’t enough rental properties to go around and owners are in the driving seat when it comes to setting the rate. Can’t blame them as they are in the game to make a profit but we can blame the government for relying so heavily on the private market and not providing enough accommodation themselves. Why are enough council and corporation houses not being built at the moment? If the political will is there then action is what is necessary. Cut through the mountains of red tape that exist, especially at the planning stage and use up the land already in the government’s hands to build houses that will take people off the streets and out of temporary accommodation in hotels and B&Bs. It would also create  revenue through rent into the future. Where would the money come from? It is a matter of priorities. There is a plan to build a motorway between Limerick and Cork that will cost  €850 million to complete. I know it would be  good for business etc but is it more important than putting roofs over people’s heads?

The other daily talking point is the health service, or lack thereof. I was shocked to read in a Sunday newspaper about  the activities of consultants in public hospitals. One  was getting paid for 39 hours a week but over the year he only averaged 13 hours a week. This is plain fraud and an insult to the many who are languishing on waiting lists. The simple answer is to completely separate public and private hospitals.  Private beds should not be allowed in public hospitals. This would free up spaces for public patients and ensure that those who are paid to do a fair weeks work actually do so. Consultants should be paid well for what they do, I have no quarrel with that, but when they are taking money from the public purse under false pretences they should be brought to book like every other person who commits fraud.

Finally I want to grouse about the weather. Since last August we have not had three consecutive days without rain. As they say “places are swimming” and now we have snow and ice to make things worse. It is depressing, to say the least but we live in hope that there are better days ahead. I do really think that weather was better long ago or maybe we remember only the good bits. I recall hard winters but they were always followed by good summers. They had too be good, otherwise farmers would not have been able to get the hay in the