Members of the Athea Vintage Run making a donation to the Hickey family.

Athea Vintage Run members making a donation to the O’Sullivan family, Athea.
As always our ethos is to support local causes and families within our community. Each year we strive to help within our community by donating the proceeds of our Vintage Run.

Athea Runs/Walks Faster in Stripes!

As part of the fundraising weekend, we are organising a Coffee Morning on Friday, October 4th to take place at Con Colbert Hall at 9.30 am and a 5K & Fun Run /Walk on Sunday, October 6th, with registration open at Con Colbert Hall from 11am.

Glórach Theatre Abbeyfeale

Local Trad Group Fuinneamh will burst onto the stage at Glórach on Friday, October 5th at 8pm. Eibhlín Broderick will share the stage as a special guest singer . Abbeyfeale claims, as its own, group members Micheál Broderick, Padraig Enright, Maura O’Connor and Ian Sheehy, with James O’Connor being an Ardagh native. Group members won 6 medals, including two 1st places, at the recent All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Drogheda. Eibhlin Broderick’s vocal talents are of course synonymous with Abbeyfeale, through her recording of “My Silver River Feale” and she holds a Masters Degree in Irish Trad Music Performance! So, not to be missed – Great Music, Great Songs, Great Group & Great Venue. Tickets cost €10 and can be booked on 0871383940 or [email protected]

Comhaltas Music & Singing Classes

Singing classes will resume on Thursday, September 26th with Catherine Broderick at the Library from 7.15 to 8pm.

Music classes will resume on Friday, September 27th at the Top of the Town, 7.15 Tin Whistle beginners, 7.45 advanced & mixed instruments

Athea Parish Journal

We have decided to go ahead with the Journal again this year if we can get enough material in. We ask all individuals, clubs, community groups etc to please send in material and photographs to us in ample time so that we would be ready to print in early November.  Late copy will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Thoughts and Views

by Domhnall de Barra

Are we becoming too sensitive?  This question sprang to mind during the week when I heard that the Prime Minister of Canada was in trouble for appearing in a school play with his face blackened. They say this is racist and the opposition were quick off the mark in their condemnation saying his judgement can no longer be trusted and he is therefore not fit to lead the country. Mr. Trudeau apologised and said he shouldn’t have done it but the question has to be asked: what exactly did he do wrong?  He was playing the part of a character who, because of the part of the world he came from, must have had coloured skin so why not look the part by darkening his face. How could this be construed as racist?. Nowadays we have to be very careful in the language we use to describe people with different skin colours. You cannot say somebody is “black” anymore even though a huge proportion of the earth’s population is exactly that. It does not stop there. When I was young we always had tinkers who camped at the cross near us. We had no other word to describe them and they referred to themselves as such. Even their songs, such as “Go to sleep my little tinker” and “A tinker I am and a tinker I’ll be” reflect this. The word tinker refers to the noble trade many of them followed  as tinsmiths. Now for some reason that name cannot be used and it is replaced by the term “traveller” even though most of them do not travel any more. Of course there are other terms used that are derogatory and their use should never be condoned.  When I first went to England Irishmen were referred to as Paddies. It never really bothered me when someone called me Paddy except when it was somebody who actually knew my name.  Scots men were called “Jocks”, the Welsh “Taffy”, the French “Frogs”  and so on. Even here at home we, from the country, would refer to Dubliners as “Jackeens”  and they, in turn, referred to us as “Culchies”.  People from Wexford were called “yellow bellies”, Roscommon as “sheep stealers” and so on.  They were all mostly used in a jocose way and no offence was intended or taken but they could also be used to demean and belittle. Some people are easily offended while others have somewhat thicker skins. It is now almost impossible to refer to someone’s colour, religion, sexual orientation or gender without running the risk of being offensive. I wonder where it all will end.

It was great to see the  huge amount of  young people who took to the streets last Saturday to  highlight climate change and the need for governments to do more to protect the environment. This was  started by a young Swedish girl, Grettsa Thunberg, who spoke to her own parliament on the subject and inspired the thousands of teenagers, all over the world, to rally to the cause. They are indeed right when they say that we are harming the planet by our actions and by doing so affecting their futures. They want immediate action but it is not that simple. We all know what should be done but it is a very different matter putting it into practice.  Carbon emissions are probably the biggest problem with cars, lorries, busses and planes adding to the pollution every day. Switching to electric is the easy answer but it is not that simple. There are not enough charging points around the country to deal with the demand and it takes too long to charge a battery anyway.  Also most batteries have a limited capacity and will not power a car for more than a couple of hundred kilometres. That means, on a trip from say, Tralee to Dublin, the battery will have to be charged on the road going up and then again on the return journey.  At the moment you could arrive at a charging point to find it out of order or taken up by another car which means a wait of a couple of hours so the answer is more and faster charging points and longer life batteries. As yet the  batteries are not capable of being used in big trucks or buses and of course there are no charging points in the sky for the really big offenders; aeroplanes.  There is no reason why electric buses cannot be used in cities. They do not need batteries but, like trams, get their power from overhead cables.  I have used them in cities all over the world and they are very effective. In the same way trains could also be electrified and take much of the cargo that is currently loaded onto lorries. All this requires a lot of  money but would be cost effective in the long run. There is also another problem. If we all do our bit and  get rid of fossil fuels and intensive farming it will make no difference if China and the US continue to ignore the problems. I was in Beijing a few years ago and, even though it was high summer, I never got to see the sun or the sky due to the heavy blanket of smog that envelops that overpopulated city.  Trump has called climate change into question and continues to keep his head firmly in the sand.  It is not before time that protests were made and I hope politicians all over the world will take notice and do their utmost to reverse the policies of  destruction that are harming our planet so much. We owe a debt of gratitude to the young people who walked the streets last Saturday. They show how much they care and it is not the first time they have highlighted world problems. Back in the middle of the last century, students were very active in the “ban the bomb” campaign. They campaigned against nuclear development and held many rallies throughout the world including here in Ireland I hope the current demonstration has a better outcome than they had because there are now more lethal weapons in the world than ever before.