By Kathleen Mullane

I’m sure everyone both at home and abroad would agree that our “Quaint” little village of Athea was looking at its very best on Nationwide last Friday evening. For those away from home it was great that they were able to view it on the RTE player. Despite having approx 12 minutes of coverage, everything we have here in Athea, and are so proud of, was shown. And as Anne Cassin summed it up at the end by saying and I quote – “I wouldn’t mind living there myself”. Well done to everyone who took part and to all those in the Tidy Towns for all their hard work in preparation.

The Friends of St. Ita’s will hold their church gate collection this weekend. Please give generously.

Congrats to Peter Murphy who recently celebrated his 50th birthday with a gathering of family and friends at the Top of the Town, everyone enjoyed the night.

Great news that Athea N.S. will be getting a defibrillator from funding organised by Councillors Francis Foley and John Sheahan. We will then have a defib in the GAA pitch, Soccer pitch, the Hall, the phone box near Griffin’s butchers and now the school which is great. I would urge everyone to always have the emergency phone number of our First Responders at hand (087-2737077) and as many as possible, especially our young people, to know how to use a defibrillator and do First Aid.

Congrats to Chris Barrett (son of Agatha and the late Tony, Markievicz Park) who, on Friday last, was married to Sharon Murphy here in St. Bartholomew’s Church. Fr. Brendan Duggan performed the nuptial ceremony. Relatives and friends enjoyed a great night at the after-celebration at the Top of the Town on Saturday night.

This Wednesday evening at Fr. Duggan’s house, people are invited to come along at 7.30 where he will help both our youth and anyone else with their confidence-building to speak in public or if they want to boost their confidence for interviews, mass reading, public speaking etc. having done this in Rockwell College for many years he would willingly help everyone. To date our 5th and 6th class pupils who read at mass have come on “in leaps and bounds” and have great confidence.

I don’t know if any of you have seen “Raised by the Village” on RTE 1 on a Sunday evening. It’s where rebellious teenagers are sent to families in the country to say – work on the farm, cleaning out from cows and milking them and tonight as I write a girl working in a fish-factory, up to the this she couldn’t  let her phone out of her hand – day or night. At the end of the week she didn’t even think of the phone. The boy who left school returned after the week and went back playing soccer. It’s amazing what country life can do.