Noah Daly and cousin Clodagh Prendeville on 1st Holy Communion Day

Stepathon Fundraiser

Nicole O’Sullivan is holding a Stepathon fundraiser in the Community Hall on Sunday, May 26th from 12 to 2pm in aid of M.S. Your support would be welcome for this very worthy cause.

Athea Fianna Fáil Cumann

The Cumann wish to thank everybody for subscribing to their recent Church gate collection. It was very much appreciated.

Athea Comhaltas Collection

The annual collection takes place on Sat. & Sun, May 18 & 19 at both Masses. It is especially important this year with the Co. Fleadh in Athea. Your support would be appreciated. 

Afternoon Tea Dance

There will be an Afternoon Team at the Top of the Town, Athea on Wednesday, June 5th at 3pm. Music by Ger Connaghan and a raffle. For more information contact Peggy Casey 087-9416223, Mary T. Mulvihill 087-2708603, Máireád Langan 086-6407026.

Rehab Collection

A sincere thank you to all who contributed so generously to our Church Gate collection in aid of Rehab last weekend. The amount raised was €612.

Playground Meeting 

A meeting will take place on Friday night (May 17th) at the Library at 9pm with the view to establishing a community playground in Athea. This has been proposed on a number of occasions but it will only happen if the project is supported by all the Parents & families of those who would use the facility.  Please spread the word.

Athea GAA Micheal Long RIP


We were saddened by news of the death of Micheál Long, our former Treasurer, after a brief illness. Micheál, who had many friends in Athea, passed away on Friday last in Milford Hospice.

Our deepest sympathies go to his parents, extended family and friends at this sad time.

As a mark of respect to the Long Family our West Intermediate match vs Mountcollins last Sunday evening was postponed.

Athea Branch Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Eireann

The County Fleadh takes place in Athea over the June Bank Holiday weekend.  There will be a meeting at the Top of the Town on Monday night, May 20th at 9pm to continue making arrangements. We will need a lot of help to run this Fleadh so please, if you can at all, come along to the meeting.

The next Trad Session will take place in Collins’ Bar on Sunday, May 19th from 7-9pm. So come along and enjoy the music and craic.

A Time for Action

By Domhnall de Barra

We never seem to learn in this country. Wouldn’t you think, after the financial ruin that resulted from the last boom and burst, that we would be prepared and determined never to go down that road again but no, we are making the same mistakes all over again. It is frightening to think that renting a flat in Dublin is now more expensive than paying off a mortgage but that is the reality. It is all down to a shortage of housing we are told and, if that is so, why aren’t building sites springing up all over the country.  It takes far too long to get planning permission for a start. I know of one man who applied for planning permission to build a modest bungalow on his own land. He submitted his plans and waited for months. Eventually he had a visit from an official who looked at the site and went away again.  A couple of weeks later he got a letter telling him that planning permission could not be granted and outlining the problem. He was invited to re-submit his application with new plans so he had to go back to his architect and fork out a few hundred Euro to incorporate the changes. He was contacted officially to say that there was a further problem as the house was facing the wrong way. Another trip to the architect and more plans submitted. To cut a long story short this happened on no less than five occasions. When he eventually got the planning permission it was almost identical to the first set of plans except that the roof had to be six inches lower. I know we have to have planning laws but surely there is a better way of doing things.

Objections are another problem. A friend of mine, back in Kerry, applied to Kerry Co. Council for planning permission to build a house on his land next to his existing house which was getting a bit run down. After jumping through the usual hoops he was successful but that wasn’t the end of the story. A man, living in Foxrock in Dublin, who hadn’t even seen the site of the house, objected to An Bord Pleanala on the grounds that the proposed building was in a scenic area and would be a blight on the landscape. His appeal was successful and the decision by Kerry Co. Council was overturned.  I’m sorry but I don’t think that is either fair or desirable. Another problem is the NIMBY factor. If there is a proposed housing scheme of social houses objections come in thick and fast. We all agree that there should be housing for the less well off and the travelling community but not in my back yard!. If the government are serious about providing housing then they must relax some of the rules that are causing huge delays and get building as soon as possible.

There is another problem. There aren’t enough tradesmen to fill the vacancies that exist at the moment, never mind if we get a building boom. They are all working in Australia, and Canada, The US and other countries where they are earning good money. Why should they return to Ireland to work on a building site in Dublin where they will have less pay and have to fork out over €300 a week for  some place to stay.  Just because there is a shortage of rental properties doesn’t mean that owners are justified in charging the maximum the market will allow. There should be a ceiling for rents that will be fair to all. In the meantime many families are homeless with no light at the end of the tunnel. Is this government really capable of delivering the goods? Recent events  are not in their favour. For a start there was the mismanagement of the tendering for the children’s hospital which resulted in massive over-runs.  Then we have the broadband fiasco where a bidding process ended up with just one bidder who has been awarded the contract to provide fibre optic broadband to every premises in the country at a multiple of what the original cost was. The government propose putting in 3 billion as oppose to less than 300 million by the private contractor. To add insult to injury, when it is completed, the state will have no ownership or no return from the project. There is a semi-state body called the ESB who already have the infrastructure in place and could surely be able to deliver this project at a fraction of the proposed cost. The government however seem to favour private enterprise. Should we have sold off Eircom a few years ago?  If they were still state owned we wouldn’t have the problem and they could be funded, again at much less than the 3 billion. One would think that there is no shortage of money but the reality is that we are still up to our neck since the bail out and there is still the housing crisis, the health crisis and many more projects that need capital.

Providing broadband is appealing to politicians, especially those in rural Ireland who see it as a vote getter in future elections. That is fine but the price is too high.  There is only so much to go around so some projects will suffer, we don’t know which ones yet. It is time to draw up a list of priorities and deal with them one by one. Providing housing for our people and looking after their health should be top of the list and should be dealt with before any project and if that means raising taxes – so be it!