The Jim Dalton Cup Front: John Fealy, Timmy Murphy (winner), Pat McSweeney. Back: Pat Nolan, Sean Wall, John Heffernan, Sean McMahon, Jerry Brouder

Megan Carroll on her graduation day from the University of Limerick with an honours degree in Physical Education on Friday last.
Megan will also earn her first cap for Ireland as she represents the Irish Ladies Tag Rugby team this Saturday, September 7th, in the British and Irish Cup in London.

Apologies for not being able to publish the news last week, the gremlins got into  the system !!

Coffee Morning

The annual Coffee Morning in aid of Milford Hospice will take place in the Memorial Hall on Thursday, September 19th from 9 am.

Guitar Lessons

Guitar Lessons for beginners, advanced and a Adult class starting back this week (Sept 3rd & 4th) at Athea Carnegie Library with Margaret Carroll.

Athea Fishing Club

Our season is drawing to a close after mostly a very dry season with very little water in our river up to August. This month brought us great water levels and excellent catches of good trout were recorded in the past three weeks or so.

Our last men’s competition, the Jim Dalton Cup, was fished for last week and the overall winner was Timmy Murphy. Our congrats to Timmy who also won the heaviest trout category.

Prizes and weigh-in was at the Top of the Town and our sincere thanks to Betty and Johnny Cotter in providing tasty bites to all our weary anglers.

A big thank you to all anglers who took the time to come out and fish our competitions.

Athea Tidy Towns

Judging for the Going for Gold competition takes place this week from Sept 2nd – Sept 5th. We are now in the ‘Champions Category’ where we will be judged on litter. Each participant is awarded a pot of €1600 and with each piece of litter found, €20 is deducted from the pot. All funds deducted then goes into the ‘winner’s pot’ which will be awarded to the overall winner. A huge thanks to everyone who has helped us out to date, right now the village is spotless and we feel we will have a good chance of doing very well in the competition. Thanks also to Jim Carmody and the CE workers who are working hard to maintain the spotless condition. The results will be announced on October 8th.

The producers of Nationwide have informed us that our slot on the programme will now air in mid October as oppose to September 27th. We anxiously await our 12 minutes of fame, we will keep you updated!

The roses on the Glin Road are a delight this year thanks to the care and attention devoted to them by Sean & Michael Barrett. Many visitors to the village are envious of our roses!

We are delighted to see the progress on the River Walk project on the Glin Road thanks to support from the Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure Scheme provided by the department of Rural & Community Development. Thanks to Scanlon Construction Ltd for their continued support with the project.

Time for Change

By Domhnall de Barra

When I was much younger, and working as hard as I could, I looked forward, in my mind, to the day I would reach 65 and be able to retire. Like many another I had to earn my bread by the sweat of my brow and, over the years, I have had  many different jobs from teaching to digging trenches, driving all kinds of machinery, long distance lorry driving and bus driving, pipe laying, brick laying, electro plating, cultivating roses, piano tuning, playing music, supervising engineering projects overseas, working as a full time organiser for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, supervising FAS schemes, and many more as well as doing some sub-contracting and owning my own businesses ending up with printing. Not having a silver spoon in my mouth when I was born I started from scratch and Noreen and myself toiled to pay off a mortgage we got from Limerick County Council to build our own home in Cratloe in 1975. Along with this we had to put the children through college without the aid of grants so, for many years, I worked during the day and played music or taught music at night. This is no sob story as I enjoyed what I was doing but I always wished I had a little more time so you can understand why I looked forward to being 65. In the early days that seemed light years away but gradually the birthdays came and went and the years flew by, getting shorter it seemed each time, until the day came when I celebrated that noted landmark birthday. However, now that it had arrived I wasn’t ready for it and didn’t feel any different to what I had always felt so retirement was put firmly on the back burner. You could say I was eligible but not ready!   By now, the house was paid for and the children had grown up and graduated so there wasn’t the same pressure to work so hard but I wanted to get up in the morning and  have something to do for the day. Thank God for the health that saw me through my life. I had an anaesthetic for the first time last Friday when I had veins removed from my legs. Gradually, over the past few years I have noticed myself slowing down a little. I look in the mirror and see an older man looking back at me. The hair is almost gone and there are more wrinkles by the day but that does not bother me in the least. I do, however, realise that the time has now come for me to slow down even more and curtail some of my activities. Since I returned from England in 1972, I have immersed myself in local organisations. I am proud to say I was instrumental in bringing 10 Fleadh Cheoils to Athea since then and  it looks like there will be another one next year. We also had a few TradFéiles which brought further boosts to the local economy. I can also look back with a little satisfaction on my years with Athea Drama Group, Cairde Duchais and Athea Community Council. It was a labour of love and an opportunity to serve  the community and help to enhance our parish, a place I truly love for its landscape and  caring people. But, all things come to an end and I have made up my mind that my time to retire has finally arrived, not at 65 but at 75 which  is my next birthday. I will also be married 50 years in February. The energy simply isn’t there anymore and there are plenty of young, energetic people to take up the tasks. I, therefore, will not be seeking re-election to Athea Community Council Ltd, Athea/Old Mill/ Carrigkerry Ltd, or Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann when the AGMs come up in the near future. I will, if required, stay doing the weekly Lucky Numbers Lotto until the loan on the building is paid off  and I would like to continue with the Newsletter especially since Lillian now has taken over the lion’s share of the work. I will also do a little printing but not a lot!!   There are a few things I would like to do while I am still able and a few places I want to visit. No doubt I will miss the voluntary work and I thank all those who worked with me over the years. You did the major work, I was just a small cog in a very big wheel. Athea is a very special place and deserves all the accolades it receives. But it needs new blood to keep it going. There is no monetary reward in working for your locality but the satisfaction of knowing you played a part in preserving our society is worth more than mere money. If you have any spare time on your hands, please become involved. There are numerous organisations and clubs crying out for new members. You won’t regret it as I don’t, in fact I got far more out of it than I ever put into it. It is time for a change.

One has to have great sympathy for our beef farmers in their protest against the meat factories. There is no doubt that they are getting underpaid for their produce at a time when the factories and the supermarkets are cleaning up. There is no way they can continue producing beef at a loss year after year so they have every right to fight for a fair deal. However, I think they shot themselves in the foot the other day when they prevented lorries full of cattle from entering a meat plant that was expecting a visit from a Chinese delegation who were coming to inspect the premises as part of setting up a new deal to export beef to China. Because there were no cattle to slaughter the visit had to be cancelled and the deal is now in jeopardy. This helps nobody in the long run. The protesters should have held off for that day and allowed the visit to take place. They could have resumed their blockade afterwards and would have lost nothing. It is high time the government stepped in and brought some clarity to the whole affair. We cannot allow our farmers to be treated in this way and we will be the losers when they go out of business and we will be eating sub standard beef from South America.