The Broderick’s from Cratloe and the Flynn’s from Temppleglantine
at a recent Comhaltas session

O’Riordan’s Pharmacy Athea

Are holding a Coffee/Tea morning in aid of Daffodil Day on this Friday, March 22nd. All donations of  baked goodies kindly received. All welcome.

Variety Concert in aid of Athea Lourdes Invalid Fund

In St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea on Sunday, march 31st at 7pm. Tickets at €10 each are available locally.

The Concert will feature Emily Clarke (Limerick Mid-West Radio 102) plus Niamh Mulqueen & Friends, Donie & Maura, Mike Guinane, Margaret Carroll & group, Brid Stackpoole, Athea Church Choir, Domhnall de Barra & Friends, Fr. Tony Mullins, Dancers, Ciara Hunt, Eoin Sheehan & Maeve Donovan.

Mick Mackey Draw

Tickets are now on sale for the Mick Mackey Draw at €100 each. Contact Kathleen on 087-1233361

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. Please call 068-42301.

Irish Country Music Concert at Duagh Sports& Leisure Complex – 04th April 2019.
All roads lead to Duagh Sports & Leisure Complex on Thursday 04th April 2019 for The Irish Country Music Concert presented by Mike Gardner of Country Corner – Clare FM.
A fantastic line up comprises The Ryan Turner Band, Louise Morrissey, Gerry Guthrie, Cathy Durkin, John Hogan, Michael Collins. Following on from the great success of last years “Showbands concert” this promises to be an event not to be missed.
Doors open 7.30pm and Concert starts @8.30pm. Tickets €25 available from 087-2684540 or any committee member. Lots of Spot prizes, Full Bar Facilities as well as Tea/Coffee.

A World of Chaos

by Domhnall de Barra

It was difficult not to be affected by the events in New Zealand last week when a gunman opened fire on Muslims at prayer in their Mosque. 49 people lost their lives in this act of savagery by an Australian whose motive seems to be race related. It is hard to believe that somebody would plan this operation, get the firearm and then cold-bloodedly  shoot innocent people but that is what happened. The world is full of extremists who are consumed by hate and are willing to murder those who are the object of that hatred.

Why are we like that? I sometimes wonder if we are not all savages with just a veneer of civility to protect us. The history of the world is littered with examples of certain races and colours thinking they are the chosen ones and everyone else is inferior. Religious sects in particular are guilty of this. Unbelievers, or “infidels” as they are called, are to be removed from the face of the earth and eternal glory is promised to anyone who dies trying to do so.  In recent times Isis has waged an unholy war on the rest of the world and committed unspeakable atrocities in the name of Allah. Because of them other lunatics are given an excuse to hit back at them and feel they are justified in doing so.

We thought the second world war had put an end to Hitler’s philosophy that the world should be “cleansed” of  certain races but it seems that the lesson has not been learned and there are dangerous signs in many parts of the world today. Political leaders pander to the unrest of the marginalised and deprived in their constituencies to get elected to office giving them an expectation that their philosophy will now have a voice. Left wing groups are cropping up in many countries and they are growing in strength. The situation is not helped by people like Donald Trump when he says “America first” and gives the impression that the country is in danger from immigrants who are lined up on the borders waiting to invade. This is also a country where the Ku Klux Klan operate with impunity spreading their hatred of black people. In France there is civil unrest about government taxes and ordinary people have taken to the streets to protest in yellow vests. This is their right to peacefully protest but they have been infiltrated by groups of individuals who are using the protest as a screen for their own agenda which is anarchy and chaos. Over 100 shops and businesses were looted and destroyed over the weekend. Nothing “peaceful” about that.

We saw it here in our own country during the water protests.  Protesters were urged on by certain politicians who believe in the failed ideology of Lenin and Trotsky and went way beyond what is acceptable in a protest situation. A government minister was held captive in her car for hours during that period of unrest.

Then we have the divide between the traveller and the settled communities where there is fear and suspicion. There are those amongst us who believe that all travellers are thieves and robbers and that they should not be allowed to live anywhere near them. There are also travellers who believe that all settled people are against them. We can even narrow it down further. In the past, people who live in rural Ireland were looked down on by those living in the towns. Certain landowners looked down on those who lived in cottages and so on. It just goes to show that none of us are completely blameless and that great changes have to be made in our way of thinking from the bottom up.

We may not want anything to interfere with our cosy little world but we should remember that what nationality we are and what creed we follow is just an accident of birth. Who, for instance is Irish?  It depends on when you want to stop the clock. I would consider myself  Irish but the Barrys more than likely came from Normandy as did many others whose manes have “de” in the middle. Over the years we have mixed with invaders from England, Scotland, Wales, Scandinavia and others who settled in this country and made it their own. We are all part of one big family and we really own nothing. We are here on this earth for a relatively short time; we came into the world with nothing and we will leave it the same way. There is plenty of wealth in the world to feed everybody but it is not evenly distributed. Capitalism has created a very uneven society. Profit and greed are the new gods and the average worker is paying the price because they are being forced to work under zero hours contracts and can no longer aspire to owning their own homes.

Is it any wonder then that, failed by their own politicians, those workers will look to any alternative to try and better themselves.  Look at what the big supermarkets have done to local communities. Most of the small shops have closed and local producers, particularly of vegetables, are being priced out of the market by a “take it or leave it” policy on pricing that makes it impossible to make ends meet. Until governments wake up and work for the good of the people, not just the cronies who finance them, we are going to have resentment and unrest and unfortunately we may even see more episodes like the one in New Zealand.  Tolerance and compassion are great virtues.