Pictured with Irish Water personnel, local councillors, members of Athea Community Council Ltd., Athea Tidy Towns representatives and children and teachers from Athea N.S.

Minister officially opens €2 million Athea wastewater treatment plant

After years of waiting and several disappointments, the Athea wastewater treatment plant has been finally officially opened by local Minister, Patrick O’Donovan TD.

“For years the need for an upgrade of the Athea sewage plant was the dominant issue in the area. I remember as a Councillor attending meetings where the local community spelt out that they wanted this upgrade provided. So, on being elected as a TD I made this one of my priorities. I engaged with former Minister, now EU Commissioner, Phil Hogan and others, to try to get this project advanced. I succeeded in getting it approved and put out to tender and now it’s completed.”

“I’m delighted to be able to officially open the plant, which is a huge investment by the Government in Athea. This plant will allow new houses to be constructed in the village, something the residents and voluntary groups, including the Community Council, all wanted. For the future development of the village to be assisted, this plant had to go ahead, and that’s why I’m delighted to have been able to deliver it.”

Minister O’Donovan thanked the local community, the contractors, Irish Water and everyone associated with the delivery of the plant. He said it represented a major investment by the Government in Athea, and together with schemes like the Sports Capital Programme, Town and Village Renewal and other funds, showed Fine Gael’s commitment to the area.

“I’m often criticised by some outside Limerick for using my position in Government to deliver locally. I’m going to continue to do that, regardless of criticism and I’ll use every avenue available to me to get projects like this one in Athea over the line.”

Boost for Athea

Two events put Athea firmly on the map during the past few days; the programme on Nationwide and the opening of the new Wastewater Treatment Plant out the Glin Road.

All eyes were on the TV on Friday night last to see the airing of Nationwide featuring our very own village. The crew had been in Athea for a full day filming and it was an eye opener to see how they condensed all that work into about 12 minutes. I thought it was a very good programme and showed Athea in a very good light. I was amazed by the reaction I got from people all over the country who rang and sent messages of congratulations. They keep asking me how we manage to keep the place so vibrant and beautiful and my reply is always the same: community activity. The volunteers who give of their time to all the organisations in the parish should take a bow. It is your efforts and dedication that has brought Athea to a position where it is admired far and wide. For myself, it is an honour and privilege to be a native of a place that is a haven of peace and tranquillity surrounded by natural beauty and populated by people who are the salt of the earth.

The opening of the water treatment plant heralds a new chapter for our community. For years, any serious development wasn’t possible because of the lack of capacity in the old system and many proposed projects had to be cancelled.  People are the lifeblood of any community and, of course, they need houses to live in. It is now possible to add new houses to the community and I’m sure there will be a demand for them because Athea is an ideal place to live. It has all the qualities of a secluded village but we are within an hour’s drive of major towns, cities and airports.  We must continue to promote our locality at every opportunity. In the meantime, well done to all who were involved in the two events. Come on Athea !!!!

Public Speaking

This is Fr. Brendan and I am going to tell you about an American called Dale Carnegie who wrote, in 1926, a book entitled “Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business”. This served for many years in the USA and as a text book for Y.M.C.A. public-speaking classes. Over one million people of all ages have graduated from Dale Carnegie Courses. I am going to share many of Carnegie’s ideas and principles with the people of Athea, Youth, Teenagers and Adults young and old. Come to my house on Wednesday night at 7.30 and we will begin.

The first introductory discussion will be about  “developing courage and self-confidence before speaking in public”.

Here are a few points for discussion

  1. Why do people enrol for this course? – One person wrote as follows…..

When I am called upon to stand up and speak (person after person wrote) I become self-conscious, so frightened, that I can’t think clearly, can’t concentrate, can’t remember what I had intended to say. I want to gain self-confidence, poise and the ability to think on my feet. I want to get my thoughts together in logical order and I want to be able to say my say clearly and convincingly before a business or club group or audience.

Thousands of their confessions sounded like that

The testimony of many famous public people re public speaking is startling.

Mark Twain the first time he stood up to lecture felt as if his mouth was filled with cotton and his pulse was speeding for some prize cup.

The late Jean James, the most powerful political speaker that France produced before World War II sat for one year tongue-tied in the French Chamber of Deputies before he could summon up the courage to make his initial speech.

Lloyd George (“beloved” of Irish patriots) confessed. “I tell you I was in a state of misery. It is no figure of speech, but literally true, that my tongue clove to the roof of my mouth, and at first I could hardly get out a word”.


The Great Cicero, 2000 years ago, said that all public speaking of real merit was characterised by nervousness.,

I can give you other examples– Charlie Chaplin suffered from “Microphone fright”. Before a mike he had a feeling in his stomach not unlike the sensation one gets in a plane over the Atlantic in a bad storm. You can see why he starred in Silent Movies.

Lincoln had major problems. After Andrew Carnegie’s death  a friend found a plan of his drawn up when he was 33.

It is an attainment that almost every person of education longs for. After Andrew Carnegie’s death there was found, among his papers, a plan for his life drawn up when he was thirty-three years of age. He then felt that in two more years he could so arrange his business as to have an annual income of fifty thousand; so he proposed to retire at thirty-five, go to Oxford, and get a thorough education, and “pay special attention to speaking in public”.

There are two more Quotes

“There is no other accomplishment”, stated Chauncey M. Depew, “which any man can have that will so quickly make for him a career and secure recognition as the ability to speak acceptably.”

Philip D. Armour, after he had amassed millions, said; “I would rather have been a great speaker than a great capitalist”

Have I said enough.

I encourage you all to come to my house on Wednesday night and learn how to overcome your fears. If you are terrified you are normal. I had to learn a lot myself over the years also. One never stops learning but you can now enjoy the freedom of not being afraid and become confident in oneself.

This course is essential for our teens. When they are in Primary School they lack inhibitions.

Come and see for yourself and as the Gospel Hymn says “Be not Afraid”

Fr. Brendan.