Joanne Chawke & James Collins of Kilmichael, Co. Cork who were married recently in New York

Patrick Chawke & Sarah Mitchell who were married recently in Navan, Co. Meath

Thank You

A sincere thank you to all who supported the Coffee Morning in the Hall for Milford Hospice.

The amount raised was €920.

Children’s Drama

Children’s drama classes will resume on Wednesday, October 3rd in the Community Hall. Enrolment at 5.30pm.

Athea Parish Journal

Please send in your material for the Parish Journal as it takes a lot of time to pull it all together so please, please send it in as soon as possible. In particular we ask the clubs and associations to start sending in their submissions and photographs so that we can get the Journal on the shelves in good time for Christmas.

Irish classes – Comhra Gaeilge

Class for parents wanting to brush up on Irish to help with homework/comhra gaeilge for competition/ fun Irish classes / functional Irish or anyone who wishes to learn can be arranged if there is enough interest. Please contact 087 6768762 if you are interested.

Telling it as I see it

By  Domhnall de Barra 

A couple of items in the news this week reminded me of the fact that we are a nation of begrudgers at heart. Every time somebody climbs the ladder of success there are those at the foot of that ladder trying to topple it. First we have the investigation into the spending at Áras an Úachtarán. Call me cynical but I see opportunist politics written all over this. Why is this happening now, during a presidential election when nobody asked a question over the past seven years?  It is a blatant attempt to cast a shadow over Michael D. Higgins and his attempt to get re-elected to a post he has filled admirably. That politicians can suddenly get worried about  sums that are insignificant in the grand scheme of things when there is so much waste going on in other departments is baffling. Then you have the commentators who question the amount of money spent on hotels for the President while he is abroad on official duties. Do they want to book him into air bnb’s ?  Should he queue up for a seat  on a Ryanair flight?  Let’s go the whole hog and have him use his travel pass at home and use  the bus and the Luas to get around. What nonsense.  Our President is our representative around the world, the holder of our highest office, and should be given  the  treatment that office deserves. Maybe we don’t need a president at all and people are entitled to that opinion but, while the office is in existence, let us treat it with respect and dignity. Look at the way the image of our country has been portrayed by Michael D., Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson.  They have been the face of all that is good about an Ireland that has finally thrown off the shackles of church and oppressor and cannot just stand shoulder to shoulder with other nations but, as has been proven by recent referendums, lead the way. Let us hope that Michael D. or whoever else is elected president, will not be curtailed by a lack of funds to continue the good work.

Secondly, the J.P. MacManus affair. J.P., a long time supporter of the G.A.A., gave a very generous grant of €3.2 million to the organisation around the country. One would think that we would all be delighted at this gesture and be grateful but, oh no, not all. I was flabbergasted listening to the Joe Duffy show the other day when the begrudgers again came out of the woodwork to throw cold water over the affair. They brought into question J.P.’s financial affairs and the fact that he does not pay income tax in this country.  The sentiment seemed to be; we all have to pay for our services so why shouldn’t he?  For a start let us look at the facts. J.P.’s business is worldwide and therefore his headquarters are not based in Ireland. There is nothing illegal about that but to say he does not contribute to the finances  of this country is wrong. He provides employment for hundreds of people around the country through his projects and his racehorses. If he decided to transfer all his horses to English stables in the morning, as he is entitled to do, the country would be much worse off. He also does an amount for charity behind the scenes. Very few people, outside of the beneficiaries, know this. He does not need or have to do this. It is his money to do what he likes with but some people seem to think he has a moral duty to pay income tax in this state. Let me pose a question: how many people would pay income tax if it was voluntary?  Would there be a rush at the end of the financial year to pay every penny we owe? Of course not but we resent having to pay our share if somebody else, using legitimate means, can reduce their liability or avoid it all together. Why do we always want to screw “people at the top” and try to drag them down to our level? It is simple begrudgery and it is alive and well.  What J.P. has done is great for the development of sport, particularly for our young people and he should be applauded for that. The fact that Limerick are now All-Ireland hurling champions is due in no small part to his sponsorship down through the years. He did not just jump on the bandwagon when things were going well, he was there during the barren years to create the environment where hurling could improve and reach the pinnacle it has today. Look what that success has done for County Limerick. We are all standing a bit taller because of it so thanks and gook luck to J.P. and to hell, with the begrudgers.

On a different theme entirely, we have come to that time of year again when voluntary organisations take stock and hold their AGMs. Athea Community Council Ltd. is one of those and I’m afraid it is in danger of being wound up due to lack of members on the board. Over the years the council has done an amount of work in Athea through the Community Employment schemes it has sponsored. This work includes the footpaths, stone walls, townland signs, the footbridge, the acquisition of the Library and Community Council offices. The village is also kept tidy on a daily basis as the council works closely with the Tidy Towns. We once had a very large and vibrant committee but over the years, due to people getting older and taking well deserved retirement, the numbers have dwindled to the point that there are now just a few trying to keep it going. At the AGM in a few weeks time we will be hoping that some new faces will join us to help carry on our efforts to promote Athea and make it a better place for our children and grandchildren, otherwise we cannot continue and as the old saying goes: “you’ll never miss the water ‘till the well runs dry”