Athea Tidy Towns new signage and the Heritage Trail with 20 points of interest in the parish by Rachael Grainger.



Our group are busy at the moment preparing for filming for Nationwide on this Saturday, August 24th. The producers will arrive in Athea at 10am and will continue to film until 6pm. There is a busy schedule for the day including the use of drones to record the topography of the area. The schedule is made up of interviews, house visits, musical recitals, drama,  as well as footage of Athea GAA, Soccer and Basketball. Thanks to all the organisations in the parish for their co-operation. The programme will be aired in late September/ early October. Watch this space!

On a side note, we would like to express our thanks to Athea & District Credit Union for sponsoring our new High-Visibility Vests which will arrive just in time for filming.

Project work is ongoing in the parish in a number of areas. Rachael Grainger continues to bring our heritage to life by illustrating each of the 20 points in our heritage trail. We would advice you to log on to our facebook page to see the illustrations completed to date which are indeed impressive!

The first of our ‘Welcome to Athea – The Giant’s Village’ signage was erected last weekend. We are very happy with the finished product and we look forward to repeating this project on each entry road to the parish. A word of thanks to Councillor John Sheahan for providing the funding for these signs.

The foundation is now ready for the stone planters at the creamery where our Beech Trees will be planted. Local Stone Mason John Brosnan will be carrying out this work for our group. Thanks to Brian McKenna, Neilus O’Sullivan, John Hunt and Con Scanlon for their support with this project.

Work is also due to commence shortly on the River Walk project on the Glin Road thanks to funding made available from Limerick City & County Council.

Due to lack of time and high workload with preparations for the County Fleadh, Nationwide & ongoing project work, we have decided to postpone the local competitions until 2020. Many thanks to our sponsors Jim & Elizabeth Dunn, Athea PC & Brigid O’Brien & Family who have agreed to remain as sponsors for 2020. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

It is great to see some new colours added to Colbert Street during the week with the painting of further buildings. Thanks to everyone for responding to our call and for engaging with us with regard to colour choice. Athea is fast becoming one of the most colourful villages in the county!


A film crew from the popular RTE Nationwide programme will visit Athea on this Saturday morning to film and highlight life in our village. It is hoped the programme will be aired in late September or early October.

Death Notice

The death has taken place of Mary Stack, Park, Upper Athea and late of Strand House, Ennis Road, Limerick and Thorpe’s Nursing Home, Clarina, Co. Limerick. Peacefully at Limerick University Hospital on Monday, August 19th surrounded by her family. Deeply regretted by her loving brothers John, Philip and David and sister Kitty (Wilson),  sister-in-law Hannah, nephews, nieces, other relatives, neighbours and friends. Funeral arriving at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea on Thursday, August 22nd for Requiem Mass at 12 noon. Burial after in Holy Cross Cemetery. Family flowers only please. May she rest in Peace.

Athea Drama Group

Athea Drama Group AGM will take place on Monday night, September 2nd at 8.30pm at the Hall. New members especially welcome.

Do we need a Change

By Domhnall de Barra

Last week was the week that secondary students look forward to and dread at the same time. It was the week the results of the leaving cert are announced. Many young people opened that envelope with trepidation fearing the worst and hoping for the better. Most have worked towards this for the past five or six years and their whole lives can be changed by the contents of that envelope. It is all about points and  if they have reached the required amount to get into their chosen path in college. There was joy and disappointment in almost equal amounts but should this be the case?  Should a person’s future be decided on the results of one exam that is mostly a test of memory and has no indicator of a person’s capabilities or aptitude for particular professions. A good memory will get you most of the points you need but how does somebody with very little experience of life know for sure what they want to work at for the foreseeable future. It was simpler long ago. You needed to eat and be clothed and have a roof over your head  so you needed money. That meant getting a job and it didn’t matter what kind of job as long as it paid enough. “Job satisfaction” never came into it and most people did not like what they did for a living but, needs must, as they say, so it was a case of grin and bear it. It did meant though that many were unhappy most of the time and it wasn’t good for mental health either. Today, things are different and young people have far more opportunities. They can pick and choose what profession they like and, if they work hard enough, they can achieve their ambitions through a good leaving cert result which will open the doors to third level education. I am not a great fan of the current system though. There is too much riding on one exam, an exam that is confined to a couple of weeks.  Students may have worked hard up to the time of the exam but not feel too well going into it and not do as well as what they were capable of. The mere pressure of the whole thing can affect performance and another false result ensues. It is also a poor indicator of a person’s suitability for a certain profession. The points system picks the “brightest” students for top professions but is that right?  I know a doctor has to be clever but there is far more that profession than mere brains. The ability to deal with people and a caring personality are just as important, indeed many extremely clever people would make very bad doctors.  Suitability to a particular role in life can not be determined by one exam. I would prefer to see continuous assessment as a student makes their way through the education process that would take into account all aspects of their abilities and suitability. Teachers know their pupils really well and could guide them in the right direction. Even then, I feel that they need some experience working in their chosen environment before they adopt it as the course they wish to follow. There is nothing like “hands on” experience and this could be done before they commit to college. It need not be a financial burden because they could get some pay for the work they do maybe supported by the government. What may seem like a very glamorous profession may not be all it is cracked up to be. There is only one way of finding out. To those  who did not achieve the necessary amount of points I offer this comfort. It may be the best thing ever happened to you.. There are hundreds of courses out there that may be more suited to you and make you happier in the long run and, don’t forget, not everyone is cut out to be an academic. Check out the Post Leaving Courses to find something you might be good at. We are all good at some things and not so good at others. Some of the most successful people on the planet had little or no formal education but that did not stop them achieving their ambitions. The media highlights too much the “Straight A” students who get into  veterinarian, scientific or medical studies at the expense of those who have more general  but none the more impressive results. The bottom line is : there is something out there for everybody no matter how many points they do or don’t get in the dreaded leaving cert.

Data protection is a big thing at the moment with the citizen’s right to privacy to the fore. The Government has got into hot water by extending the use of the social service card to other departments rather than the one it was created for. It was brought into being originally to cut down on fraud in the Dept of Social Welfare. It stopped the practice of people claiming benefits in more than one area among other things and made it easier to keep track of statistics. It contains a person’s private information which, the law says, can only be used for that purpose only and not transferred to other departments. I have mixed feelings about it. I respect everyone’s right to privacy but, if I have nothing to hide and am a law abiding citizen, why should I mind if the government has the use of my social services to process things such as passports, driving licences, etc. It would make the work of the civil service so much easier and speed up the services we love to grumble about. There are those who fear we are becoming too much of a “nanny state” but  the use of this card, carefully monitored, could be a good thing. I am sure the government will try to bring in a law that will allow this to happen but in the meantime Regina Doherty has egg on her face and the fact that we are in the last days of this government will mean Fianna Fáil will not spare her. Such is politics in our fair isle!