Domhnall de Barra, Chairman, Athea Community Council Ltd., presenting a cheque for €6,200 to Michelle Palmer, Pallas Foods, winner of the weekly Athea Community
Council “Lucky Nos.” draw Jackpot, with Bríd de Barra who sold the winning ticket.

Bernie Small, Co. Tyrone and Seán Prendeville, Glenbawn who got married last weekend.

Green light for Athea Sewerage Scheme – O’Donovan

Limerick TD and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan has said he is delighted that Irish Water have signed contracts and approved €1.5million for the sewerage scheme in Athea and that works are to commence.

Patrick O’Donovan said that he had received the confirmation from Irish Water as part of regular engagement he has with the company in relation to works on Co. Limerick schemes.

“This is great news for the people of Athea. When I became a Minister I prioritised this issue with Irish Water. I asked that a special case would be made for Athea given how long the process had been from the time the scheme was first discussed by Limerick County Council. I have watched this move through consultation with the local community, to planning with the Council and to a situation where we now have the green light to construct.”

“In that time I have attended countless meetings in Athea, Limerick and Dublin on the matter to convince people of the merits of this project and of the need for a separate plan. I am delighted today that we have arrived at this point where money has been allocated and the approval has been given to construct.”

Patrick O’Donovan added that he was very impressed by the manner in which Irish Water had dealt with the project since they came into existence and in that time a number of hurdles have been crossed.

“In 2015 I received a commitment that the upgrade would be completed, and it was estimated at the time that €728,000 would be the cost of the project. However today after all of the phases have been complete contracts have been signed for €1.5million and we are ready to go with a contractor. It’s a great day for the community who have worked with throughout the whole time and we now have achieved the result we set out to reach.”

CFR Training

There will be CPR and Defibrillator training in the Hall on Saturday 12th May from 09:00 to 13:00.To book a place and for more information contact Rodge Byrne on 086 3103233.

Athea Vixens Basketball Club

On Saturday, May 12th the Athea Vixens Basketball Club will be holding a fundraiser in the Community Hall at 7pm. Lizzie Lyons from Lizzie’s Little Kitchen in Listowel and Ballybunion will be holding a cookery demonstration which will include food tastings, a door prize and raffle prizes. The tickets at €15 can be got from Trish Aherne or from club members.

Weekend in Copenhagen 

By Domhnall de Barra 

I was out of the country for the weekend when the weather was, for once, so good but I didn’t miss it because it was just as good where I was. We were in Copenhagen for our granddaughter Sarah’s confirmation and it was 21 degrees at the time. After all the bad, cold weather we have experienced this year it was a joy to be able to walk around in a shirt and trousers.

Copenhagen is a beautiful city. The first thing you notice is how neat and tidy it is. There is no sign of any type of litter to be seen and all the buildings look as good as new. Public transport is excellent with trains and buses running exactly on time. The Danish people will not tolerate  anything less. There is an underground train which is totally automatic – no driver!. When it was launched  a few years ago people complained that it was 40 seconds late coming into the main station!

The roads are very good as well and they cater for cyclists ahead of car users. Cyclists have their own lanes and have the right of way at every junction. Consequently many, many people prefer to cycle rather than taking the car.

Everything is a bit more expensive than here and I think we may have more choices in our stores but wages are much higher over there.  Noreen and I travelled with our daughter Bríd and her family and we all stayed at the same hotel which was very comfortable except for one drawback – no bar. Apparently this is the norm over there but it wouldn’t do in Ireland. Anyway, as it turned out, we wouldn’t have had time to go to the bar if it was there.

The confirmation ceremony was so different to what we are used to here. It was not a Catholic but a Protestant service and was held in a lovely small church. There were only five for confirmation and each one of them were seated  with their family members in different parts of the church. There were prayers and hymns to start with and we were given English translations to help us understand. Most of the prayers were the same as we have here but the hymns were different. When it came to the confirmation ceremony, the priest went to each participant in turn. She stood before them and made a speech about each one highlighting their characters and achievements in life and a bit of humour thrown in before laying her hands on their heads and confirming them. This took a while but it was a lovely touch and very personal to all taking part. Afterwards, when all the photos had been taken, we all went to a thatched restaurant, overlooking a small lake for the celebration which was akin to a wedding reception. There was a full room of people with all kinds of food and drink and with the weather complimenting, it was a marvellous occasion.

After the first course Danjoe, Sarah’s father, gave a speech and then we all sat down to eat again. I thought this was it until about 15 minutes later her grandfather from Arhus got up and made his contribution to Sarah. We resumed dining and after a while Danjoe said to me “you’re next Dad”. Now the others had their speeches well prepared and even translated on paper for us but I had nothing so I had to wing it. I was nervous at first but in the end I think I managed all right. Next year Mia is getting her confirmation so I will be well prepared on that occasion.

The afternoon continued with a great buzz in the place and we met many of our old friends from Copenhagen we have known for years. Finally we left the restaurant and everyone went back to Danjoe’s house for a bit of a hooley. Out came the guitars, whistle and accordion and the music and singing continued into the small hours. I can’t remember an occasion I have enjoyed more in a long, long time and we are already looking forward to next year when the whole thing will be repeated.