Patrick McMahon (the Paud, as he was known), who was killed in action in Africa on the 11th January 1943 at the young age of 23.  He was a brother of the late Mickey “Marshal” McMahon, Dirreen.
This photo and the medal, which he was awarded was submitted by Seán McMahon, and should have been included in this year’s Parish Journal but was inadvertently omitted.
Apologies to Seán for the omission.

















Thank You

Athea ladies football club would like to thank everyone for giving so generously to our church gate collection.

C.E. Scheme Vacancies

There are some vacancies for workers on the Athea/Carrigkerry/Old Mill C. E. Scheme. There are two vacancies in Athea for the  Community Hall and one for the Church.

If anyone thinks they are eligible please call 068-42301.

Athea Drama Group

Bookings can now be made for Athea Drama Group’s 2019 production of ‘The Lonesome West’ by calling/texting 087 2743189 stating your name, no. of tickets required and the date you wish to attend.  We will operate a open seating booking policy where those booked will choose their own seats. The play will be staged at Con Colbert Hall, Athea on Feb 7th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 16th & 17th at 8pm with doors open from 7pm. Play is recommended for over 12s due to strong language and adult themes throughout.

Saving the Planet

by Domhnall de Barra

Global warming, carbon emissions and saving the planet are very much in the news everyday now with prophets of doom warning us of the dire consequences of  not cutting back on or, in some cases, cutting out completely, some of the things we have been doing for years. There is no doubt that global warming is a fact and it would be foolish in the extreme for us not to recognise that and try to  do as much as we can to minimise the damage some practises are doing to our planet. We are told that driving our cars is causing problems due to the emissions from the exhausts as is burning turf and coal in our fires  and intensive dairy and beef farming.  They say electric cars are the way forward and that engines that use fossil fuels will be a thing of the past within a short few years. They want to encourage us to make the change by putting a carbon tax on petrol and diesel, a tax that will be so costly that people will have no choice but to change over or use busses, trams and trains to travel from A to B. That is all fine in theory but, if you live in rural Ireland you don’t have the luxury of a bus or a train to take you to work or shopping or to a doctor’s appointment. We do not drive our cars for pleasure so we are stuck for them. Electric cars are improving but, at the moment, the infrastructure is not there to service them. The average distance that can be achieved on a full charge is somewhere between 100 and 250 klms.  That is driving in ideal conditions without too much weight. It is certainly enough for somebody who is just travelling a few miles to work each day and can avail of cheap overnight electricity to recharge the batteries but it can be a nightmare on a long journey because of the lack of charging points throughout the country. Planning your journey in advance, you might decide to make a particular place your first stop for recharging only to find, when you get there, that  the points are already taken or out of order. That means waiting for maybe an hour to get a spot or, in the second scenario, looking for an alternative charging point not too far away. The charging time is just too long at the moment. I am sure the experts are working to develop batteries that will give enough mileage to take the recharging problem out of the equation but until that is achieved there is no way we can all switch over without travel chaos.

For as long as we can remember people in Ireland have burned turf in fireplaces to heat their homes. In bygone days it was also used to do all the cooking, baking and boiling of water as well. We thought that the smoke from the fires was harmless but we are now told that it is more harmful to the atmosphere than coal. For a good while now the powers that be have been trying to stop us from cutting turf in the bogs, not because of harmful emissions but, to prevent them being destroyed. In the past, turf cutters always ensured that the stripping sod was placed in the bog hole leaving the plants that grew intact and preserved after the turf had been extracted. The advent of the turf machine changed all that and there is no doubt that bogs are being destroyed. Coupled with the emissions problem we can expect a prohibition on turf cutting in all bogs in the near future. Somebody told me lately that it will be impossible in the future to get planning permission for a house with a chimney. I believe it.

The farming community is under attack as well because cows fart methane and they say we have too many of them and that the national  herd should be drastically reduced or removed altogether. Ireland produces the best beef and dairy products in the world and they are our most important exports. What are the alternatives?  Some people would like to see the land left to the wildlife or at least just used to grow vegetables.  Quite conveniently, as the pressure is mounting, a new diet appears on the market which tells us that we should only eat meat once a week and seriously cut down on poultry and dairy products. Pardon me for being sceptical but I smell a rat here. As we see in high profile court cases “experts” can be used by defence and prosecution and come up with quite contrasting conclusions on the same topic. “Experts” in America caused young children to be force fed spinach in the last century until it was discovered that, apart from not being particularly appetising, it contains little nutritional value. We were told that eggs were bad for us and cause a raise in cholesterol levels that could result in heart attacks or strokes. We were then informed that this was not the case and eggs could and should be eaten every day. There was a war on fat for a while and we were all advised to avoid butter and use the low-low options instead. Again there has been a change of mind and whole butter is now the better option. Now meat is under the hammer. If it is so harmful how are people who enjoy their meat and two veg every day living into the 90s ?   Can we all become vegans and forget about meat altogether?  Anybody contemplating that change should know the dangers. To survive after giving up all meat and dairy products, supplements have to be taken to give the body iron, zinc vitamin D and many others or bone density will suffer and muscles will become weak. Forget about the latest diet and remember “a little of what you fancy does you good”.  Anyway if we all got rid of all our cars in the morning, blocked all the chimneys and killed all the cattle, it would not make a blind bit of difference to global warming as long as the big powers like the US and China continue to do what they like. We are but a tiny drop in a vast ocean.