Group of musicians at Donie Lyons’ Bar fundraising for the upcoming Fleadh Cheoil.

Athea Community Games

Athea Community Games will hold their annual church gate collection this coming weekend February 15th/16th. Your support is greatly appreciated

Athea Drama Group

Athea Drama Group continue with their play “Looking for Love” this Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Don’t delay in booking by texting/calling 087 2743189

Glórach, Abbeyfeale

On Friday Feb. 21st at 8pm, DAOIRÍ FARRELL in concert.

Daoirí has headlined Folk Festivals from England to America to Canada & Australia and has toured in 4 of the 7 continents.

Christy Moore says Daoirí is “always a treat”, so spoil yourself and luxuriate in the company of Daoirí for an evening of Folk & Trad music & song. Tickets €15.

On Friday Feb 28th at 8pm, D’Unbelievable JON KENNY with his hilarious one-man play, CROWMAN, which has played to rave reviews, at venues large and small, the length & breadth of the country. Tickets €20.

To reserve a seat call 087 1383940 or email [email protected]

C.E Scheme Vacancy

A vacancy is currently available for a place on the 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 or 068-42500 for more details.

Changing Times

By Domhnall de Barra

As I write this piece, votes are still being counted in centres around the country to fill the remaining available seats to Dáil Éireann. We already know that it is, without doubt, the most interesting and surprising election  since the state began. I had a feeling Sinn Féin would do well but nobody, least of all themselves, could have foreseen the massive first preference votes the party got. Had they ran more candidates they could have many more seats but, judging by their performance in the local and European elections, they could not have expected to sweep the boards like they did. Some high profile politicians have lost their seats among them somebody who won’t be missed by people in rural Ireland; Shane Ross. He simply did not have a clue about ordinary people’s lives. He is a very well educated man but without an ounce of common sense. The high vote for Sinn Féin and  other parties to the left is an indication of the frustration of voters who may not be supporters but are protesting against the current political ineptitude. Therefore both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael got a kicking that maybe they did not fully deserve. Fianna Fáil were blamed for ruining the country but was it really their fault? The crash would have happened no matter who was in power. Fine Gael got a poison chalice when they took over but, to be fair to them, they did a pretty good job of getting the finances back in working order. They shot themselves in the foot with the broadband tendering fiasco, the children’s hospital, which was  built in the wrong place and at a cost that shows very bad management on their part, their bad handling of the pension retirement age and the lack of progress in dealing with the hospital waiting lists, housing and rent. It was easy for Sinn Féin to promise to solve all these problems at a time when they had little chance of being in government but now the landscape has changed and it is likely that they will have to deliver on the pledges they gave.  The formation of the next government is up in the air at the moment but one thing is certain; it is time for all the parties to grow up and stop ruling out talking to each other.  Every TD has been elected by the people and deserves to have  their views considered. We could have the best of both worlds with left and right policies being tempered by having to compromise in a coalition situation.  There are no easy answers so we wait and see.

While on the subject of change, I wonder what the parish of Athea will be like in the not too distant future. We have already seen many changes since my young days when small farms  were dotted all over the place.  Most of these had less than 20 cows and brought the milk to the creameries in the village and Cratloe. They spent money in the shops in the village and also in the ones at each side of Cratloe creamery.  They managed to make a living and educated big families. The secret to their success was the fact that they did not need much money for shopping. They had their own milk, reared pigs to kill for the table and had all the vegetables and spuds they needed in the garden. Times began to change, however and little by little the smaller farms became unsustainable and we had bigger but not as many dairy farms. The creameries eventually shut down leading to the closing of most of the shops. There was very little employment outside of farming but the bogs were a great source of income at that time. People who had plots of bog cut a few extra sleáns  for sale after they had enough for themselves. This turf was sold to the many lorry owners who sold it on down County Limerick,  where there was no bog, or else it was taken in horse rails to nearby towns to be sold door to door. Then change came and forests began to spring up all over the bogs. Those that remain are now in danger of being left uncut  due to the ban on fossil fuels which will soon come into effect.  Farming, as we know it today, is also in danger  because it is so intensive and is blamed for much of the carbon pollution in the atmosphere. It is difficult to see how farmers in this area, where the land is not as good as the Golden Vale, will be able to make all the changes necessary and still make a profit. So what is the future?  More trees and windmills, less cattle and farmers, a drop in the population as young people have to leave to get employment and  a drop in the number of houses being built in the countryside. Can we do anything about it? I don’t know but I live in hope that  the younger generation will come up with answers. Our  village  is doing ok at the moment, indeed it is better than most  settlements of its size. We can help to maintain that by supporting local enterprises wherever possible. They say you never miss the water ‘till the well runs dry.

There was no local running in the election but there is an Athea connection to one of successful Sinn Féin candidates in Dublin. Chris Andrews is married to Tina Brosnan, daughter of the late Pat and Mary Brosnan of Knocknagorna. His family are steeped in politics and he is also a cousin of Ryan Tubridy of RTE fame. Congratulations Chris.