Athea Drama Group

The curtain came down for one final time last night on our 2020 production of ‘Looking for Love’. Our group have been rehearsing since last October, becoming a very close group of committed individuals determined to entertain it’s audience. We would like to thank everyone who supported our shows this year, with large audiences attending each night. We are also privileged to be a part of a very supportive community who willingly donate spot prizes for our raffle and loan us props year on year. Following last night’s show, we were delighted to make a donation to Athea Tidy Towns committee for the group to continue their fantastic work in the village. Pictured  are some of the cast & crew presenting donation to Henry Moran, Thady Hunt and Colin Mumbray from Athea Tidy Towns.

Community First Responders (CFRs)

The Community First Responders (Registered Charity Number 20164973) will hold their annual Church gate collection this weekend.   They respond to five life-threatening emergencies – Sudden un-responsiveness, stroke, heart attack, choking and cardiac arrest.  All the members are trained in CPR, defibrillator use and administration of Oxygen and Aspirin.
All funds raised are used to train new volunteers and maintain / purchase new equipment. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.

Thank You

Athea Community Games would like to thank everyone who gave so very generously to there church gate collection last weekend.  A total of €698 was raised which will be used for the continuous participation of the children from Athea in community games events.

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.

Mairead Langan, Carol Noonan, Patrick Langan, Anne Reynolds (SSE Airtricity), Dave Noonan, Margaret Culhane and Denis Culhane receiving an Airtricity grant for Knockdown Vintage Club

Bits and Pieces

by Domhnall de Barra

I have a nasty old cold at the moment which is more annoying than painful.  There’s lots of coughing, tightness in the chest and a little factory that keeps churning out mucus at an alarming rate!. Usually, when this happens to me, I am over it in a couple of days but this time it has been with me for more than three weeks. A visit to the doctor has provided me with some medication so, fingers crossed I will be back to my old self (and a lot less grumpy) in the near future. Because of the cold and the terrible weather, I was housebound over the weekend, no golf, but at least I had some company. Danjoe and his family were on a short visit from Copenhagen so we had plenty of time to chat and catch up. We watched a few matches on TV and it got me thinking about the futility of playing field games at this time of the year. On Sunday, Clare and Laois were playing in Ennis in the middle of storm Dennis. Hats off to the players who togged out in such conditions but what did this encounter achieve?  With the storm force wind, rain, hailstone and soggy underground conditions there was little room for exhibitions of skill with most possession being gained by mistakes that were unavoidable. Even still we got glimpses of what these great athletes are capable of but wouldn’t it have been much better if the game was played at a later date?  There is too much competition at this time of the year. We have just finished minor challenges like the McGrath Cup, which was at one stage a competition for the weaker counties. It now has no real meaning but it forces teams to go into training at a very early stage. Remember that, in the middle of the Summer, there will be very little activity as teams get removed from the championship.  The league was once a high profile competition but it is now treated as a chance to experiment with new players and nobody seems to mind if they don’t win it. I would favour a system where the league and championship were combined with the country divided evenly into four divisions who would compete on a league basis but that the top two teams in each division would progress to the championship. It would cut down the length of the season and would leave more time for club matches. There is the old argument about the provincial finals but, when you look at it, they are not really on an equal basis. In hurling, for example, there is no championship in Connaught and a very limited one in Ulster because of the amount of teams taking part. In football there are plenty of teams but there are more teams taking part in Leinster than Munster and Connaught put together. It could still be possible for provincial finals to take place with the best two teams in the league system. Better heads than mine will be needed but something must be done to spare players from having to try and perform in   bad conditions at the worst time of the year.

The play in Athea is over again for another year and it was a great success. The hall was full for every performance, including the first night, something we have never before seen. I enjoyed my visit and I must applaud the actors from Athea Drama Group who gave great performances. Indeed   it was the quality of their acting which rescued what was a play with very little substance. There is a great following for amateur dramatics at the moment as evidenced by the large crowds that attended.  It is great for local actors who work so hard for months in search of perfection. There are many long cold nights spent going over and over the same scenes as well as the time spent at home learning all the lines. It takes huge commitment but it is all worthwhile when the curtain goes up and adrenalin starts flowing. At the final curtain, when the crowd are showing their appreciation, there is a great feeling of satisfaction, elation and sheer joy. I think what makes Athea a bit more special is the work of the backroom team. No detail is ignored providing a set and props with sound and lighting second to none. When I was watching, I would have given anything to be up there on that stage again. Congratulations to all and already looking forward to next year.

When Danjoe was home last week we got talking about several topics, as we do with the aid of a couple of single malts, and of course the state of the country got a good airing. The cost of housing and the exorbitant rents being charged, especially in the major cities, came up and he told me something that surprised me. In Denmark they do not have property bubbles or the boom and bust graphs that we have here. Though the cost of housing is not cheap, it is still within people’s budgets and rent prices do not fluctuate like here. One of the reasons for this is the fact that Danish people are entitled to own one house only. If you own a house, you must live in it. It cuts out the speculators and the vulture funds who buy up property to rent at the expense of families who are trying to get on the property ladder. I thought it was a brilliant idea and would make huge changes if it was applied here. I am however a realist and I know there are too many vested interests in the corridors of power to allow a gravy train to leave the station for the last time. He told me a lot more about their system that I haven’t room for here but I might return to it in the future. What I am sure of is the fact that we should be looking towards Scandinavia for our modus operandi than towards the failed capital systems of the western world that make billionaires of a few and paupers of the majority.