Kit Quinn, Gortnagross who won last week’s lottery Jackpot of €13,500 being presented with her cheque. Also in photo are family members, Agatha Barrett (promoter) and Athea Utd committee members.

Jerry Brouder, winner of the Open Bodhrán Competition, with Jimmy Kelly.

Tim Joe Riordan, winner of the Confined Competition with Jimmy Kelly

Athea Fair

The annual Fair of Athea will take place this Saturday, November 3rd with all the usual stalls, livestock, horses, fowl etc. Hopefully the weather will be good for the occasion .




Athea Going Strong

Church Gate Collection

The Going Strong collection will be taken up this weekend Saturday, 3rd/Sunday 4th November at both masses. Your support, as always, would be very much appreciated.

 Athea Gun Club

It’s that time of year again and with the pheasant season fast approaching we would like to encourage people to clean and check their guns thoroughly before use.

On Thursday November 1st we will hold our annual long tail competition in the Top of the Town. Not only members but all are welcome on the night for anyone who would like to see exactly what we do on the night. Last entries will be taken at 7.15 and measurements start at 7.30 sharp.

I would like to thank farmers and land owners for allowing us to hunt on their lands and on that note I would urge all members to be respectful of landowners property and close gates and fences while passing through. Keep membership and insurance with you at all times as you may be asked to produce. I would also ask anyone who has any problems with vermin not to hesitate asking a gun club member for some assistance. Finally, safe shooting and happy hunting

Secretary – Raymond Brouder  

Athea & District Credit Union

Will be closed because of the Fair Day on  Saturday, November 3rd.

We will be opened instead on the Friday night, November 2nd from 6-8pm.

Athea Parish Journal

We are asking all contributors to get their material into us as soon as possible as the deadline is this weekend. We ask especially that photos be sent in as soon as possible for copying.

Athea Tidy Towns

Thanks to everyone who gave so generously to our church gate collection over the weekend. Your generosity, as always, exceeded all expectations. The total amount to date is €1,630.72 with donations still coming in. Will look forward to putting this money to good use in 2019.

A Waste of Time

by Domhnall de Barra 

Now that the dust has settled on the presidential election and the referendum on removing blasphemy from the Constitution, we can look back with a cold eye on possibly the least inspiring election for years. It was clear from the word go that Michael D. Higgins was favourite and that it would take something exceptional to oust him. Unfortunately, none of the other candidates gave any indication to the voters that they had what it took to accomplish that task. Instead, they zoned in on the expenses at the Aras and tried to back Michael D into a corner, especially with the use of the government jet to go to the North of Ireland. It was petty to say the least and wily old fox that he is, he managed to sidestep most of the questions. The government has that jet for emergency flights for its ministers and officials who may need to be in Europe or elsewhere at a moment’s notice. The President is the leading citizen of our country so why should he not be allowed to avail of it if necessary if he was so advised to do so on security reasons. It isn’t as if he could lift the phone and say “I am going to Belfast and the drive is very tiring so would you ever send over the jet tomorrow about nine”   I have no doubt that the man is not given to extravagance given his background and his political life in the politics of the left so let us park that one.

What became clear during the TV debates between the candidates was that they had very little knowledge of what  the office was about. Liadh Ní Riada got caught out trying to deny she had contacted her children’s school to stop them being vaccinated  when she  had already admitted it on a previous radio programme but her biggest mistake was trying to tie the presidency to a united Ireland. Of course Sinn Féin want a united Ireland, as do most of us in this country, but it has to be achieved through dialogue and consent. It will come eventually due mainly to the fact that the nationalist population will outnumber the loyalists and the promised border poll will sort that out but it is not the job of the president to take sides and interfere in politics. The “dragons” seemed to have nothing to say that mattered until Peter Casey  brought up the issue of travellers refusing to move into houses in Tipperary because there was no grazing land for their horses. He was roundly condemned by the others but whatever he said hit a chord with the electorate and catapulted him from being the lowest in the polls to coming in second to Michael D.   He has been interviewed many times since and I think it has gone to his head a bit. He is talking about standing for the Dáil in the next elections and, showing an ignorance of how the system works, said he would run for Fianna Fáil. He also said that he would top the poll and go on to be Taoiseach and that if Fianna Fáil did not want him he would form his own political party. He is beginning to sound a bit like a certain individual in the White House and maybe he is adopting some of his style. He is a decent man who has created great employment in his native Donegal and I am sure he would get great support so he does not need the bluster; it makes him less attractive.

Joan Freeman seemed to think she could use the presidency to further her good works with Pieta House and did not understand the limits of the office. They all let themselves down in the debates by descending to petty bickering and trying to damage each other. My immediate reaction was: none of you have shown me any presidential qualities and certainly nothing that would entice me to vote for you.  The big loser was Sinn Féin. They caused this election in the first place but underestimated the support of their followers in this state who did not blindly follow the party but voted for Michael D instead. It is a lesson to their leaders that they cannot take support for granted. No doubt most of their members will return to the fold in the next general election and that is good because, whatever Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael say, the country needs a strong opposition of the left to keep a balance. All in all it was a forgettable campaign.

The referendum on the removal of the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution was completely overshadowed by the presidential race. Many voters were surprised to be handed a second voting paper and had to ask what was it for. It got little attention in the lead up and was not really debated at all. It passed by a big majority  as was to be expected because in a modern society church and state should be separate and should not favour any one religion. Too many countries, particularly in the Arab regions, are controlled by religious groups who have no tolerance for any freedom of speech.  Nobody has ever been convicted of blasphemy in this country so taking it off the constitution won’t make any difference. What we need to do now is ensure that the laws against incitement to hatred are strengthened and that something is done about what is happening on social media. People think they have the right to be racist and abusive on line in the most foul manner and that it is ok. It must be stopped so that we can all live our lives in peace. Anyway the whole election was a complete waste of  time and money and should never be repeated.

I am off to Switzerland for a few days to visit my grandson Daniel who is working there and I am looking forward to the break.