John Sheahan and Theresa O’Halloran rehearsing for the play ‘Looking for Love’

Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Our Mobile Unit will be holding a Blood Donor Clinic in Ceol Corbraí Hall in Glin on Thursday, February 6th from 5pm to 8pm.

C.E Scheme Vacancy

A vacancy will arise in February for a place on the current Athea/Carrigkerry/Old Mill C.E. Scheme. We are looking for someone to take over the cleaning of our Church in Athea.  The candidates need to be on a Social Welfare payment in order to qualify.

If interested please contact 068-42301 for more details.

County Fleadh

This year’s County Fleadh will again take place in Athea, Co. Limerick on the June Bank Holiday weekend. The Fleadh committee hope to make it as much of a success as last year’s festivities.

A fundraiser session is will take place on Sat 1st Feb @ 9.30pm in Donie Lyons’ Bar, Athea as part of fundraising efforts for the Fleadh. Whether to play, sing, dance or listen- everyone is welcome to join in what we hope will be a night of great entertainment & craic.

Athea Drama Group

Athea Drama Group proudly 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 6th where all tickets will be priced at €5.

The Booking Line has been extremely busy since opening Monday afternoon. We wish to advise that there will be no extra nights added, just the 6 nights advertised. Don’t delay in booking by texting/calling 087 2743189

Roll Up, Roll Up

By Domhnall de Barra

The circus is back in town, yes, what we call the general election is upon us and in full swing at the moment.  How do you know this is happening,  well, you will notice that, as you drive the road, smiling faces beam down on you from large posters , pinned to every available pole, encouraging you to give your No. 1 to the owner of the smile. You will also notice large groups of people, mostly men, trudging from door to door, with a candidate in the lead supported by  many of the local  party faithful, canvassing for your vote. The papers are full of  ads espousing the virtues of the various candidates and, if that isn’t enough, the airwaves and TV channels constantly remind us that we have a choice to make at the polling booths in the near future. Who would be an aspiring politician ?  The hoops they have to jump through, especially leading up to an election time, are enough to put anyone off politics for life. Why is it all so necessary? Surely there is a better way of doing things. I don’t believe that anybody votes for somebody because they like their picture on a poster or that they have called to their door looking for a vote. The problem is; if one does it, they all must do it. This was first evident in the US, where advertising is big business, when companies were forced to advertise just to compete with the opposition. There is a huge expense attached to printing posters, buying ads in local and national radios and TVs, and even the physical cost of trying to get to every doorstep before polling day. The truth is, they have a minimal effect on how the average person with a modicum of intelligence casts their vote.  The big parties can afford the cost but it makes it very difficult for independents and smaller parties. There is a lot of “spin” in politics of late. The backroom  gurus devise strategies for the party hopefuls and put us, the voters, under the microscope to see how we might be influenced. They are very good at their job and, unfortunately, many of us  will believe the spoof they produce. They break us down into categories and make sure the manifestos they produce will have something that benefits each category to maximise the vote. Yes, we are promised less tax, more wages, more houses, more nurses and doctors to alleviate the hospital gridlock, more Gardaí on the beat, extra childcare support, a return to the retiring age of 65, a rise in the old age pension etc.  There is something for everyone in the audience.  Every party does this and will explain, if asked, how it will be funded.  My question is: if it is all so possible, why has it not been done already?  The answer of course is: it is not possible to give everything to everybody on the revenue we collect at the moment. Everyone seems to have forgotten about the national debt. We are not cash rich, we owe an enormous amount in borrowings  that are necessary to keep us going from year to year  so we have to be realistic in our expectations. In reality there is very little difference in the approach of the vast majority of politicians at the moment. Fianna Fáil and  Fine Gael are Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, or as some wag insultingly put it: Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber!  No matter how much they protest, despite the political history, their policies are identical. The largest party in opposition is Sinn Féin. They have made great strides since throwing off the shackles of the IRA but, despite their popularity, both of the major parties say they will not form a coalition with them after the election. This is hypocrisy because both parties gave full backing to Sinn Fein taking part in the power sharing executive at Stormont. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander and I believe they have a legitimate claim to be included in any discussions to form a future government.  There is a lot wrong with their economic strategy but they do represent a departure from the type of American politics that we have copied in the past.  Fine Gael, in particular, always placed their faith in private enterprise. This is based on the capitalist system where conditions are created so that business interests can flourish. The hope is that entrepreneurs will provide jobs for people and that a rising tide lifts all boats. A good idea it seems but the capitalist system survives on making as much profit as possible and part of this is lowering costs. Workers are at the lower end of the scale and don’t benefit  from any success the company they work for may have. This is why major employers move their manufacturing plants to parts of the world where the conditions for workers are little more than slave labour. Sinn Fein could provide a balance to the governments approach and maybe get a fairer deal for the average Joe Soap who works hard for a living. A rising tide does lift all boats but to get that lift you need to be a boat owner for a start. There are a number of smaller parties, the strongest being the Greens, who will improve their lot this time around. The hard left wing parties also have appeal to those who have suffered through the policies of those in office and, of course there are always the Independents who were very prominent in the last government.  It is all there to play for and it is up to you, the voter, to decide who shares the spoils. In the meantime, don’t believe one word out of their mouths at the moment. They will say and promise anything to get into power; they simply have to do it because, if they told the truth, nobody would vote for them. Still, at least we have the opportunity to decide who governs us. Many countries do not.