Lourdes Youth Volunteers Aidan Curry, Meadhbh Donovan and Eoin Sheahan

Fr Duggan, Teresa O’Halloran, Sean Hanrahan
and Patsy Hayes in Lourdes.

Athea Vintage Club 2019

This Sunday, July 14th Athea Vintage Club will hold its annual Road Run. The club is based in scenic West Limerick and each year holds this event to benefit local charities.

The club is based around a passion of vintage cars, bikes and tractors, and each year people with the same passion are drawn to Athea village where annually the committee have picked beautiful scenic routes along West Limerick and North Kerry.

This Sunday will prove no different as the club have identified routes that not alone have amazing views but are a pleasure to drive for all Vintage lovers.

Registration will begin at 11am in The Top of the Town Bar, Athea and a hearty welcome to all is guaranteed on what is looking like another glorious Sunday in sunny West Limerick.

The day is a treat for all to view the amazing array of cars, tractors and bikes from bygone years, each being preserved by their owners. It is a great family day, raffle and music afterwards in the bar.

So polish that vehicle, grab your keys and come along to Athea this Sunday at 11am to see what treats Athea Vintage Club have to offer for all vehicle enthusiasts.

For further information please see Facebook  Athea Vintage Club or phone Francie on 0876666850.

Uncertain Future

By Domhnall de Barra

We are living in very uncertain times what with Brexit, the Iran situation, North Korea and the trade war between America and China. It is a time when we need leaders of great vision and diplomatic skills who are able to see the big picture and realise the catastrophic results of going to war. In a war situation there are no winners; everybody suffers. At one time wars were fought between opposing armies and generally those with the greatest forces came out on top. Civilians were rarely involved but that has now changed. Wars are now fought by pressing buttons that will release bombs that will destroy all life in very large areas. Civilians are the target and are looked on as collateral damage. Right thinking people may say this could never happen and, up to recently, I would have agreed but the calibre of leaders we have at the moment does not inspire any great confidence that common sense will prevail. Kim Jong-Un in North Korea could do anything. He is a spoilt narcissist  who rules over his subjects with an iron hand and really believes that he can take on the w

orld and win. Traditionally they hate America and Japan. America because of the disastrous Korean War and Japan because they were colonised by them for many years. President Trump, when he came to power, started sable rattling against Korea calling Kim Jong-Un “Little Rocket Man” and, in schoolboy fashion, saying “my rockets are bigger than yours” In recent times he has grown to like him and that is not to be expected because they have a lot in common. That Trump is an embarrassment to the American people is a fact. He has no grasp of politics and his command of the English language is so poor that he can barely string a sentence together. He is the most dangerous man on the planet because he has at his fingertips the means to plunge the world into chaos. American presidents have too much power. As a matter of fact there is a lot wrong with the American political system. In the last presidential election, Donald Trump did not get the people’s vote, Hillary Clinton did but the way their system is set up he won. He is now on a campaign to get another four years in office so I hope and pray that the American people wake up and realise exactly what they are voting for. Anybody is better than Trump but voters do strange things and this could be replicated on this side of the Atlantic where the Conservative Party in the UK are about to elect a new leader who will de facto become the British Prime Minister. The favourite for that position is another Trump-like character, Boris Johnson.  He has this blind vision of Britain as the great leading nation of the world, the ruler of the seas as of old. He comes from an elite group of people who are educated at public schools like Eton and Harrow where they are taught that they are the superiors of their race and it is their duty to rule lesser mortals with fairness. No wonder so many of them go into politics and no wonder that they get it all wrong when they haven’t a clue what living in the real world is like. Boris never lets the truth get in the way of his ambitions. Leading up to the referendum that created Brexit he told blatant lies that were swallowed by many of the British public some of whom still have delusions of greatness. He is intent on taking Britain out of the market at any cost and it is well known that he does not give a fig about Ireland or Northern Ireland. The result of a no-deal exit and the establishment of a border along the six counties is a return to civil war in this country. There are units of terrorist groups out there preparing at this moment for that outcome and there are many more waiting to be recruited. It again brings to mind how ridiculous the situation. Why, in this day and age, should another nation have jurisdiction over a small corner of our island? It is of no strategic value to them and was taken by force in the first place. There are a number of loyalists  who would fight tooth and nail to maintain the union but they are being overtaken, population wise by the nationalist community. There is no real reason why this country should not be united without a shot being fired but as they say, it is what it is and we have to deal with Brexit as best we can.

Relations with Iran are also worrying. The western world has meddled greatly in the Middle East and North Africa and continues to fund various factions to further their ambitions. They don’t understand that western ways and politics can never work in the region. Now Iran is stepping up its nuclear programme and though there is no immediate danger, the fact that Trump could push them too far is unsettling. A deal should be made to lift the sanctions on Iran in return for nuclear disarmament.

The trade war between America and China also has the potential to cause havoc. Again, in situations like this, there are no winners. I stop your goods and you stop mine so we all suffer. The world has become a very small place where a change in relations between countries can have a knock on effect in banking and share prices that may upset the financial markets and even lead to devaluation of currencies. America thinks of itself as the most powerful nation in the world but my money is on the Chinese. They are the sleeping giants and God help the world if they are ever awoken. There are also more of them in the world than any other nation. They are a hard working industrious people with a very proud heritage and they have succeeded in making their country the foremost manufacturing nation on the planet.  It is time for Trump to wake up and realise that he needs China more than they need him.