Athea Tidy Towns members taking a well earned break on Saturday morning last compliments of Athea & District Credit Union

Athea Tidy Towns 

Our volunteers were out bright and early on Saturday morning last installing sockets on Colbert Street which will hold our hanging basket poles on Colbert Street. These poles are currently being manufactured.

We have also purchased 38 self-watering hanging baskets.  Two of these hanging baskets will hang on each pole as well as 8 at the bridge. These baskets contain a mini reservoirs which will keep the hanging baskets moist and will also cut down on the number of evenings our volunteers need to be out watering.  Thanks to Derek Curtin for donating concrete to us on Saturday and also thanks to Athea & District Credit Union for the welcome cup of tea!

The plaques for our heritage trail are now ordered and we hope to have them delivered by mid June.  This trail will be a nice addition to our village ensuring the heritage points in the parish are marked and appreciated for many years to come.

We would like to express our thanks to the FÁS workers who have power-washed the bridge & wall at the Giant’s Garden. Noel Sullivan has kindly volunteered his time to paint this wall and this support is very much appreciated.

The wall at the Mural beside Batt’s is now roofed and we are currently looking into lighting options. The mural is still drying out and we hope to have this amazing piece of art erected again in the very near future!

Our wildlife signage is now complete and will be erected in the coming days. Two signs will be placed at the Bridge and one sign will be placed at the Fairy Garden.

It was great to see some power washing taking place on Colbert Street on Saturday. The judges can call any time after June 1st. A wash and paint job can make a huge difference to the overall look of the village.

What Has Gone Wrong?

By Domhnall de Barra 

I don’t know what the world is coming to.  In my young days the news broke of a murder in Kerry at a farmland between Lyreacrompane and Tralee. A dispute over land resulted in a row and a man was killed. It was the talk of the day and the night for weeks and everyone was shocked that this could happen so close to us. It was such a rare occurrence that people travelled for miles just to pass the scene of the crime.

Fast forward to today and we have become almost immune to murder. Not a day passes without another report of somebody’s  life being taken. Many of the murders are gang related but there are also those that have no connection with the crime syndicates. In the past few days there has been two very disturbing happenings. A young girl was brutally attacked and beaten to death in a derelict building not far from her home.  Young boys of about her own age are suspected of carrying out the gruesome deed. It is particularly upsetting that these are not much more than children who should be enjoying the freedom of youth before the trials of adulthood. There is no doubt that there is now more brutality about than in previous years. In my day if a row erupted, and it happened frequently enough, the people involved settled it by fisticuffs, The worst that could happen was a split lip or a bloody nose. Under no circumstances would somebody be kicked on the ground. Today, it is very different. Weapons, knives etc., are used to inflict maximum injury, sometimes for the most trivial of reasons or just for the thrill of it. There is a different attitude which, I think, comes from watching and participating in violent video games and explicit violence in some films. Whatever the reason, common decency seems to have gone out the window and it is now not safe to walk many of the streets in our country at night.

The second incident this week was the abduction of a young woman in broad daylight by a man in a car as she made her way home near Powerscourt just south of Dublin. As I write this the man responsible has been located and in an altercation with the Gardaí, was shot dead. The woman is still missing and joins. a long list of women who have disappeared without trace in this country over the years. She was abducted in broad daylight and luckily was seen by a woman in a nearby car who raised the alarm by contacting the Gardaí.  It is a sad day when a woman cannot walk the roads of Ireland in broad daylight in safety. What has happened to us?  The fact that it coincides with the decline in religious belief raises questions. When I was going to St. Ita’s College in Abbeyfeale, the headmaster, Jim Kelly, spoke to us one day on the subject and said: “if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him because without moral restrictions we are mere animals and will act as such”.  I didn’t understand what he was trying to say at the time but it makes perfect sense to me now.

We all need rules in our lives and boundaries that we should not cross.  Corporal punishment was used as a deterrent for centuries until recent years. Yes, it was overdone at times but the alternative now is to let children do what they like or suspend them from school. Some end up deprived of a proper education and reach adulthood with a chip on their shoulders. They are easy pickings for the crime lords who are always looking for new recruits and become indoctrinated into a life of violence. The Gardaí are doing their best but it is difficult to stop these gangs who have international links and will stop at nothing to continue their activities.

And what about the example set by our leaders?  The people we look up to have let us down big time. The cover-up of the paedophile scandal by church authorities has left many people very disillusioned and the antics of those at the head of  an Garda Síochána beggars belief. Leading members of the force appear before committees and give opposing reports of what happened in regard to the smearing of whistleblower Maurice McCabe. Even when three or four witnesses give roughly the same account it is denied by the person alleged to have spoken to them. It is obvious that some people are not being honest and have no problem telling deliberate lies in an effort to get themselves out of trouble. Our political leaders don’t exactly cover themselves in glory either. They will be “economical with the truth” when it suits them and seem to have a list of priorities that start with self preservation. A politician’s  first priority is to get re-elected. Second is to protect the party and the good of the country comes a poor third.

Why can’t people be honest and decent? We could have such a better country if we could all go to bed at night safe in the knowledge that we are not going to be burgled and that our sons and daughters, who are out enjoying themselves, will come home safely. Wishful thinking.