Joe Murphy, Cratloe with his greyhound Blackie at the 10th Anniversary
Great Global Greyhound Walk in Tralee town park last Sunday
promoting greyhounds as pets.

Athea Utd Soccer AGM

Athea Utd will hold their AGM on Friday, June 28th at 9pm in the Top of the Town. All are welcome to attend.

Athea Playground

On Friday 17th May we held our 1st meeting in the Library to establish a playground for the community of Athea. Our 1st point of business was to elect a committee, those elected are as follows:

Chairperson : Anita Carroll

Vice chairperson : Gary O’Connor

Treasurer: Jackie McCarthy

Vice treasurer: Lorraine O’Connor

Secretary: Julie Finucane

Assistant secretary: Cillian O’Connor

PRO’S: Stephanie Barrett & Siobhán Ahern.

We received a lot of valid information on the night as to where to even begin with getting a playground for Athea. Thank you to all that attended on the night especially Councillors Liam Galvin & John Sheahan & on behalf of Patrick O’Donovan we thank Michael O’Connor for his attendance, also to Damien Ahern for his help & knowledge.

On Friday 24th we held our 2nd meeting, the purpose of this meeting was to narrow down the possible sites/locations for the playground.

On Friday 7th June we held our 3rd meeting.

In this meeting we discussed going forward with the possible site locations that we have.

We have a very positive group who are working very hard to get this playground up & running.

Our next meeting is on Friday 14th of June @9pm in the Library.

Athea Fishing Club

With water levels in our river extremely low since the start of the trout fishing season it was only on last Thursday evening, 6th June that we held our first river competition. That was for the MOSS FITZGERALD MEMORIAL PERPETUAL CUP Sponsored by BATTS bar.
Fishing was from 6pm to 8pm. It was pleasing to see a great amount of anglers turning out to contest this magnificent trophy.
Winner was PAT MC SWEENEY, with 5 trout, who keeps this cup till the start of the 2020 season.
The club would like to thank HELEN, present proprietor of BATTS BAR, in treating us to some tasty food after the weigh in.
A big thanks to all who participated in what was a lovely evenings fishing.
Please get your FISHING PERMIT for the current season. They will be on sale from this weekend in COLLINS BAR AND GROCERY SHOP and BATTS BAR.
Watch this space for further news and competitions within our club. TIGHT LINES.


The GLIN MEN’S SHED will have a stall in the Village Square, Athea, this SATURDAY MORNING,15th June from10 am to 1pm. Sample of homemade goods for sale which will include BIRD NESTING BOXES,VARIOUS BIRD FEEDERS,WINDOW FLOWER BOXES,WHEELBARROW PLANTER, BOXES,TRADITIONAL IRISH THATCH COTTAGES ETC. Orders will be taken on the day should you require something made to your liking.
YOUR SUPPORT WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. New members always welcome in our SHED.

There Must be a Better Way 

by Domhnall de Barra

As I am writing this piece there are hundreds of young people, all over the country, sitting exams. The Junior Cert is not so bad but the Leaving Cert exam brings lots of mental pressure on students at a time in their lives when they should be enjoying themselves. Too much depends on the results of this test which may determine the rest of their lives. The pressure to do well from parents and teachers can sometimes be a bit too much and can even cause physical sickness.  I don’t think it is fair that the results of one exam should carry so much weight in determining one’s whole future. The points score decides what course we are eligible for in third level and if we fall short of the required amount it feels like failure but that should not be the case. For a start, is 17 or 18 years of age a time in our life when we are sure of what career is best suited to  us ?  In some cases yes but in most it certainly is not and we would be better off delaying that decision until much later. Why should points decide where one goes?  They are easily obtained by anyone with a good memory who can put on paper what they remember from text books. One of the highest points threshold is medicine. Of course doctors have to be intelligent but they can have enough points from subjects that have nothing at all to do with the profession to gain them entry to medical school even though they may be very unsuited to the actual job of dealing with patients.  Many more examples could be cited. I remember when I did the Leaving Cert myself back in the middle of the last century. At that time there were three secondary schools in Abbeyfeale, the Convent, Miss Woulfe’s and Kelly’s. Classes were small at the time; this was still in the era before free secondary education (I only got there myself through a scholarship) so the exam for all the schools took place in St. Ita’s Hall. When it came to the History exam I was the only one to take the honours paper which I duly passed. One would think that I was an expert in history but the reality is that I knew an awful lot about one period, the Napoleonic era, and very little about the periods at either side of that. My point is that the results of this exam are not a fair reflection of a person’s knowledge or ability. We also have the human factor; the papers are examined by humans and we know they are not infallible. We could have a scenario where two people are examining similar papers in two different areas. One is in a pretty good mood having got some good news while the other is suffering from the effects of a nasty cold. It is quite possible that one will be more lenient with the marking than the other but the difference of a point or two may decide the whole future of one of the students. Before people start getting the knives sharpened for me, I am only quoting this as a possibility as I am sure all examiners approach their tasks in a thoroughly professional manner. If education is just the accumulation of facts then ok but I think it should be more than that. The development of the person as a responsible caring human being is far more important than getting straight A’s.  Cardinal Newman’s idea of a University was a place where people met and learned from each other through the exchange of ideas. Subjects taught in secondary school should concentrate more on personal development and less on academic prowess. Not everyone is suitable to the academic life and there is a career for everyone if they want it. I remember a man from Athea called Colm Danagher who was a very well educated  intelligent man. When electrification came to this area the ESB were hiring people in the locality. Colm applied for a job and they were delighted to have someone of his capabilities to supervise operations but Colm said no; he wanted to dig the holes for the poles. He liked the physical exercise and the lack of mental responsibility that went with the job. Peace of mind and happiness are far more important than financial reward for a job that takes over one’s whole life, causing such strain that ill-health is the final reward.  On the other side of the coin there is the story of my grandson Daniel who did the Leaving Cert, got good results but did not go to college. He spent a year doing different jobs and was destined to become a hairdresser. He wasn’t happy and after he came to live with us he told us he would have loved to go to college and do a degree in Applied Physics. Noreen and myself decided he was going to follow his dream so we sent him to Cork where he worked hard and got honours degrees in his chosen subject. He immediately joined a company called Zenith and, after a couple of years in Ireland and the US he is now working in Switzerland in a job he loves and living the life.

The Leaving Cert is not the be all and end all, or it shouldn’t be. I would like to see students being assessed by their teachers all through school and guided in the right direction career-wise by those who know them best.  Yes, there should be a test to get into whatever third level course is chosen but it should not be just the accumulation of points but a true assessment of ability and suitability. Young people are under enough pressure without ourselves and the education system adding to it.  Everyone is different with different needs and dreams and there is no  “one size fits all”.    Unfortunately the Leaving Cert is a “one size fits all” test that is not fit for a true education and the ultimate happiness and success of those that will control our destinies in the future. It is time for the powers that be to take a good look at our education system. There has to be a better way.

In the meantime, to all of you sitting you exams at the moment, don’t worry if you don’t get all the points you were expecting. It may be a blessing in disguise.