Surviving members of the workforce at Athea Creamery who had a re-union at Batt’s Bar on Tuesday night, July 31st.
L to R: Patie O’Sullivan, Thady Woulfe, Nora (Fitzgerald) Barry, Mary (Brouder) Stack, Anthony Hunt and Seán Barrett. Missing from photo Rosie Nolan Collins.
The group would like to thank Helen of Batt’s Bar for organising and hosting the event.

Sacristans’ Collection

The Sacristans’ collection for Carol will take place on Saturday, 25th and Sunday 26th of August. Envelopes available at the Church doors. Thank you for your support.

Sudan Collection

A sincere thank you to all who supported the Sudan collection last weekend. The amount raised was €653

Athea Tidy Towns

Athea Needs your Vote! 

Once again, Athea Tidy Towns has been shortlisted for the Limerick Going for Gold Prize 2018 and is relying on your support for votes. The top prize in this competition is €10,000. Our group have a good record in this competition to date thanks to your support in previous years.

Our group will be interviewed on Limerick’s Live 95fm on Thursday August 9th and the voting will then be open to the public. All votes are online this year. You can cast your vote for Athea by logging on to and clicking the vote box beside ‘Athea Tidy Towns’. Voting lines will be open after the radio interview from 12 midday to 12 midnight. Voting is free and only one vote is accepted per individual.

The results of the vote will be announced on August 10th.

We will also post the voting link on our facebook page on the day with the hope of attracting votes from all of our followers online. Please put it in your diary and spread the word to friends and family!

Common Sense Needed 

by Domhnall de Barra

They call this time of the year “the silly season” in journalistic circles because people are on holidays, the Dáil is not sitting and there isn’t much to report so some strange stories appear in the media. This was brought home to me the other morning when I heard on the radio that the government were going to create a “granny grant” to help with child minding. I was lying in bed just after waking up and I had to check that it was not fools day!!  The proposal is that grandparents who mind their grandchildren would qualify for a grant of at least €1,000 a year per child.  Speaking as a grandparent myself, I find the whole idea both ridiculous and insulting. If needed I would be only too delighted to look after my grandchildren and would relish the time with them and let’s face it, most grandparents have reached a stage in their lives when money is no longer a problem. In most cases mortgages have been paid and pensions have kicked in so expenses are at a minimum. It is a privilege to be able to spend a few bob spoiling the young ones and we certainly don’t need the government reimbursing us for that. The scheme is also wide open to abuse. All over the country, grandparents of large families who have never looked after their grandchildren will now be doing so, or at least will be said to be doing so, for the money. It is the nanny state gone crazy. Why is it the job of the government to raise children?  In days gone by, our predecessors raised large families in times of great hardship without any help from the state. It was the De Valera government that first introduced  the children’s allowance to help out. It was a half crown at the time (25 cents in today’s money) and it was badly needed at a time of great scarcity and hardship. The amount of money paid out has grown over the years but the allowance is also abused, albeit legally. The way it is structured, every family in the land is entitled to claim it. Isn’t there something wrong with millionaires, and indeed billionaires, going to a post office on the first Tuesday of the month to collect the children’s allowance ?  It is at least immoral but no government has had the backbone to tackle the issue and at least means test it.  Of course there are families that need support and they would benefit greatly if the available money was directed towards their needs and not given as a bonus to the rich and famous. I remember working near a particular pub in Dublin one time which was next to the post office. On the children’s allowance day they would provide live music and a great time was had by all, at the state’s expense!

The state does not intervene where it should. We are now nearing the time when children return to school or start for the first time. Primary and secondary education are supposed to be free in this country but they are far from it. Uniforms and books can cost a lot of money, especially if there is more than one school-going child in the home. There is a problem with the cost of uniforms. For far too long they could only be purchased at a particular outlet who had the franchise all to themselves and therefore could set a fairly high price. Was this really necessary? There are plenty of retail stores who sell tops and skirts etc. that would be very suitable for uniforms at a much more affordable price. All you need then is to add the crest which should not be too difficult or expensive to sew on. Books are another nightmare. Why is it necessary to change textbooks every year or two years?  Surely maths, geography, history etc don’t change to a great extent from year to year yet parents are faced with the cost of new books while perfectly good ones from last year are thrown in the bin. I have a suspicion that there is a deal with the publishers of these books to keep the business thriving. Fine, if that is the way they want to play it but the government has a duty to provide free education so the least they can do is provide text books for the schools and let them be used like in a library where pupils would be able to borrow them and hand them back in good condition.  It would be a great burden off the parents at this time of year. Maybe the time is near when text books won’t be needed anymore as all the information needed can be downloaded onto lap tops, tablets and smart phones but that is another story. The uniform situation is different because control of our schools is a bit convoluted. The state provides the schools and pays the teachers but they are managed by local committees who do the hiring and firing and have the responsibility of raising money locally to augment the school funds. This is again a breach of responsibility by the government who should be fully funding the schools and not depending on  the charity of parents and local parishioners to keep them going.

Wouldn’t it be much better if the money proposed to be paid out to grandparents all over the country for minding their own grandchildren was instead directed towards providing the free education that the citizens of this country are entitled to. I suppose it is too much to ask that common sense will prevail so keep watching –  the silly season is in full swing!!