Theresa O’ Halloran and Rebecca Stapleton at rehearsals

Athea Drama Group

Athea Drama Group presents ‘Looking for Love’, the comic drama written by Westmeath playwright Jimmy Keary, on February 6th, 8th, 9th, 13th, 15th & 16th at Con Colbert Memorial Hall, Athea at 8pm.

An amalgamation of two one – act plays written in 1996 and 1998 respectively, ‘Looking for Love’ tells the tale of Vivian and Denis’ romance – from their first encounter in Bewley’s Cafe to their wedding night exactly one year later – “where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong, with hilarious consequences.” Directed by Tommy Denihan and starring Theresa O’Halloran, John Sheahan, Rebecca Stapleton, Nora Hunt, Linda Hunt, Oliver McGrath, Annette O’Donnell and Denis Casey.

Special opening night concession price on Thursday, February 5th where all tickets will be priced at €5.

Booking line will open on January 27th by calling/texting 087 2743189.

Church Gate Collection

Athea Ladies football club will hold their annual Church gate collection this coming weekend, 18th/19th January before all Masses.

Athea Ladies Football

Athea Ladies football club will hold their AGM on Saturday, January 18th at 8.15pm in the clubhouse.

Referees Course

There is a big shortage of referees in all counties at the moment including Limerick. Liam O’Sullivan has arranged a Level 1 Foundation course for new referees on the 27th of February, 3rd of March and 5th of March. If anyone within the club is interested please contact John Hunt for more details.

A Good Start

By Domhnall de Barra

A word we didn’t have until the last few years has dominated all media to the extent that nothing else seemed to matter. It is of course,  brexit, a word I would be happy never to hear again.  People who never before took any interest in politics are suddenly experts on the British political system which, due to brexit, was in a fish bowl for the world to gaze at. Needless to say the Brits did not come out of it well as they showed how childish and petty they can be, never mind the blatant telling of lies to suit their own ends. At last we had the election and Boris came out on top which is not good news for us here but it brought things to a head and he persuaded the House of Commons to back a deal, very similar to the one  that Theresa May had proposed and had rejected a couple of times before.  It did however bring stability that was badly needed and soon the horse trading with the EU will begin which will decide the future relations between the two.

That election also had an effect on the second bit of good news; the resumption of the Stormont Assembly. The election returned enough Tories to get out from under the DUPs who had the balance of power in their hands and milked it for all it was worth.  Once the high horse was taken from under them they had to compromise and agree to some unpalatable conditions for returning to the assembly. It is good to see the assembly back and agreeing that all races and creeds deserve equal treatment. The deal has been sweetened by cash injections from the government here and their counterparts in the UK. With the brexit deal the North of Ireland is in a very good position, having the best of both worlds. They will benefit from special treatment from the EU and the UK at the same time, a win, win situation.

My position on the North is well known. I believe there is no reason why a foreign power should have jurisdiction over a part of this island. The more autonomy the northern assembly gets, the better. It will eventually make the move to a united Ireland all the more easy in time to come.

The next bit of good news is the decision to cancel the commemoration ceremonies for the RIC and DMP. Charlie Flanagan, despite the advice of the experts in the field, decided to have a big do as it is 100 year since the state was formed.  As news broke it soon became apparent that this was a very divisive subject and many prominent politicians signalled their intention to boycott the event. There is no doubt in my mind; both bodies were arms of the British government employed to keep Irish people in their place. They collaborated with the armed forces and the Black and Tans in a vicious campaign of terror throughout the land. They do not deserve to be remembered as if they were an important part of the fight for Irish freedom. I know that some of them took the job to support their families and, at the time, there didn’t appear to be any great changes on the horizon,  But does everything need to be commemorated?  It is just an exercise in nostalgia and I dread to think what is coming down the tracks with the War of Independence when brothers and sisters sometimes fought on  opposite sides. The past is the past and sometimes it is best left there. Anyway, it is good to see that common sense has prevailed and the big do is off the agenda.

Another reason for optimism is the lowering of tensions between the US and Iran. For a while it looked likely that a major war was going to break out due to Trump’s actions in executing the leading army general in Iran. A big backlash was expected but, in the end, Iran made what can only be described as  a token missile attack on US bases that, thankfully, caused no fatalities. Let us call a spade a spade; the killing of the Iranian general was murder. It might be excusable as an act of war but war had not been declared. They will say it was to save American lives because of an imminent attack but there is no proof of that and, anyway, he was only one man, they have plenty more. Then we had the unfortunate shooting down of a Ukrainian plane killing everyone on board. The Iranians thought they were being attacked and somebody jumped the gun and brought down the aircraft. This incident was a direct result of Trump’s actions and the blood of those passengers who died, many Canadians, is on his hands. Iran’s rulers are not blameless either. They provide arms and assistance to terrorists all over the middle east and continually support any group who wage war on the west. This does not give America an excuse to commit murder. Where was the condemnation from the United Nations ? Have they lost their sense of what is right and wrong. The British parliament, of course, came out in favour of Trump’s actions but that is due more to their need to have a good trade deal with America now that they are leaving the EU than anything else.

Finally the softening of the trade war between the US and China is to be welcomed. They are the two biggest economies in the world with China, in particular, supplying a lot of the goods we need. It is a very encouraging start to the year and i can only hope that it continues in the same way. Wishful thinking maybe but if we don’t have hope what do we have?