Happy Christmas to all our readers,  at home and abroad, and to our columnists, advertisers, contributors and the shops who sell the newsletter free of charge. May the coming year bring you all you desire. The first publication of the New Year will be on Tuesday, January 7th.

At the CH Chemist, Tralee, Christmas Parade, Amy O’Connor, The Lane, Upper Athea with her cousin Anne Harty and husband Peter

St. Vincent de Paul Annual Christmas Appeal

Sincere thanks to everyone who contributed so generously to the recent Church gate collection. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.  Thanks also to our collectors.

Helpline No:  087-7400665.

Athea Graveyards Collection

The Graveyards collection will take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th December at both masses. Envelopes have been distributed throughout the parish. Your support would be very much appreciated.

Athea Parish Journal

Congratulations to Laura Quille who graduated recently with an honours
degree in Social Care.

The Journal is on sale at the usual outlets, Collins’ Shop, Athea, Moloney’s, Carrigkerry, Knockdown Shop, Holly’s, Moyvane & Ann Lyons’ Shop,  Abbeyfeale.

Table Quiz

The annual Coiste na nÓg Christmas quiz is on at the Top of the Town on Saturday night Dec 28th at 9p.m. Come early to get a seat. A good night’s entertainment guaranteed with lots of spot prizes.

Christmas Lighting

By Domhnall de Barra

I am using part of my space, this week, to explain the position regarding Christmas street lighting. Athea Community Council have looked after the lighting since it started and had hoped to continue as usual this year, however, when we contacted our electrician he informed us that there were two problems. The lights we have are past their sell by date and would cost a fortune to replace and also that there are new height restrictions. These restrictions mean that most of the cross-street strands would be too low because of the height of the houses. We lost a few strands last year that were pulled down by a passing truck. We had a meeting in the library that was open to the public and the problems were discussed. We have decided to upgrade the lighting system completely and we have consultants coming to the village in the new year to advise us on the best way forward. It will cost a bit but we feel that the lights bring the village to life at the festive period and are worth renewing. In the meantime we hope to bring lighting to a couple of areas in the village with a Christmas tree at Markievicz. Park. Up to now we have funded the lighting by a church gate collection, a grant from Limerick County Council and our own resources. The collection brings in an average of €650 each year and the grant from the council varies from year to year but we always have a shortfall, which may be as much as €1,000, every year. This money comes directly from Athea Community Council funds which are dwindling year on year. Any money we may save this year will go towards the new lighting next year. Athea Tidy towns will put up lights on the poles that were erected throughout the village for flowers. They did some last year but will add to them this time around.  We know the situation is not ideal but we feel it is better to put money into new lighting next year rather than spending it on trying to repair a system that is out-dated this year. In the meantime we welcome any suggestions you might have.


I don’t always listen to the radio but I have it on when travelling in the car. The other day, the Joe Duffy show featured wind turbines and there were arguments for and against them with regard to the new guidelines on noise, distance from dwellings and flashing lights from the sun beaming through the turning vanes.  This country is paying fines every year because we don’t reach our anti-pollution levels. Our electricity, up to lately, has been produced by huge coal and peat burning generators such as the one at Moneypoint. The government are anxious to phase out these spewers of filth into the atmosphere and replace them with electricity  created by the wind turbines. In the last couple of decades they have sprung up all over the place with quite a few concentrated in our own area. Every time a wind farm is proposed, there are objections from members of the public citing noise, eyesores and the likes. There was one objection that made me laugh. It was based on the idea that the turbines could cause road accidents because drivers would be distracted by them and crash their cars. Proximity to dwelling houses is a problem but the new guidelines give a reasonable distance, four times the height of the turbine, so it shouldn’t be a problem. There are some instances where that distance is not adhered to but, in most cases, the house owners have agreed and been handsomely compensated. The noise level is now set at a maximum of 43 decibels which really isn’t very loud. I can speak with some authority on this because I have windmills at the front and the rear of my own house. They make a noise but it is a quiet whooshing noise and much lower than the sound of the wind blowing through trees. Will people say that there should be no trees within a certain distance?  Of course not but if you don’t like windmills anyway it is a good stick to beat them with. After a while you get used to noise. I remember, when I first went to live in Coventry, my bedroom was beside a busy street that had traffic flowing day and night. At first I had trouble falling asleep but after a short while I did not notice the noise at all.  The third topic discussed was the sunlight through the vanes. This is a problem for people like my wife Noreen who suffers from migraine. The spinning vanes cause flashing lights when the sun is aligned directly behind them at certain times of the year. It only lasts for about 15 minutes so what we do is just close the blinds for that period and open them again. In fairness to the operators they will switch off the windmill causing the problem if requested and they have developed technology that will turn off the vanes automatically when the sunshine comes from a particular angle. All in all, I think the price we have to pay is far outweighed by the benefits the windmills bring. Athea Community Council has backed the farms from the beginning because of the revenue they bring to the area.  They are mostly built on land that is no good for anything else and even where they are not, the good land can still be used around them.  I appreciate that there are those among us who don’t like them and that is their right but the overall good far outweighs any inconvenience they cause.

As this is my last bit of scribbling this year I would like to wish you all a lovely Christmas and a prosperous and peaceful New Year.