Congratulations to Mary Ellen Tierney, Templeathea, (daughter of Margaret and Ted) who recently got married to Tom Abbott of London. Wishing them both a lifetime of happiness together.

Shannon Technology & Energy Park (STEP)

This is where the proposed Power Plant & Terminal is to be situated between Tarbert and Ballylongford. We all remember the big boost to the area by the construction of the power station at Tarbert and the Alumina plant in Aughinish. There could be something similar with this development and they are looking for support as they apply for planning permission. People with a green agenda are opposing such a development but we are nowhere near being able to produce enough electricity for natural sources so we will need backup facilities well into the future.

This is the link to their virtual web page so please log on and have a look.

Booklets are available at the Community Council Office.

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea

Mass Intentions next weekend

Fri July 30th 7.30pm: Bridie Stackpoole & her step-sister Mary Bibi Sheahan.

Sat July 31st 7.30pm: Michael (Mike) O’Connor. Fergal Kennedy .

Benny Collins and his grandparents Catherine & Ben Barrett.

Sun Aug 1st 10.30am: Timmy O’Keeffe & his mother Lena.

Readers: Sat: Caroline Pierse  –  Sun: Margaret Cotter.

Eucharistic Ministers: Sat: M. Enright / M. Donoghue – Sun: M. Dalton / M. Hunt.

All masses and funeral masses are live streamed on the Church Services TV network via the following link

The Church is open daily for private prayer. If you wish to book an anniversary mass, a wedding or get a mass card signed please contact Fr. Brendan on 087-0562674 or Siobhan on 087-2237858.

Baptismal Information Any parent who wishes to baptise their child must have the baptismal course completed – for further details please contact Theresa on 087 1513565. Next course date: Tues 10th August.

One step at a time: Limerick footbridge taken into public ownership

Taken from an article in the Limerick Leader by Norma Prendeville

Local councillors have pledged €10,000 to Athea Community Council to refurbish the footbridge which the local community built and paid for back in 2005. The money will help foot the €55,000 bill for sandblasting and repainting the iron footbridge which sits alongside the road bridge over the River Gale.

The high cost of the work, Cllr Liam Galvin said at this month’s Newcastle West Municipal District meeting, was due to the fact that the stone bridge was a protected structure and scaffolding had to be put in place to ensure no damage was done to it while the refurbishment was going on.

But, in a further move, the councillors agreed unanimously that the footbridge should be taken into public ownership and the burden of maintaining it taken over from the people of Athea.

Proposing the motion, Cllr John Sheahan said the local community council had taken out a loan of €250,000 to erect the bridge in 2005.The safety of pedestrians crossing the bridge had become an issue he explained, because of increased traffic. “It was a great initiative at the time,” he said. “It is a credit to the community council and the people of Athea.”

But, he continued, the maintenance of the bridge was a burden on the community and it needed to be lifted and he argued it was time for Limerick City and County Council to take it into public ownership. He did not believe there would be any structural issues that would prevent that, he said.

“It will have to go through due process,” the area engineer, John Sheehan said. “It will have to be advertised.”

But, he added, the most important thing was to get the work done now.

Councillors accepted that a grant had been given from the council’s Town and Village Renewal Fund but there was still a shortfall.

Cllr Francis Foley, who seconded the motion, pledged €3,000 towards meeting this shortfall and this was matched by Cllrs John Sheahan and Liam Galvin from their General Municipal Allowance. Cllr Michael Collins pledged €1,000.

Once again Athea Community Council Ltd. are indebted to our local Councillors for their continued support of our many projects throughout the years.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

Can anyone explain to me what is happening with our water supply?  We live in a country that is surrounded by water, has hundreds of lakes and miles and miles of rivers that are constantly filled with all the rain that tumbles from our skies, sometimes day after day. One would think that the last thing we should be short of is water but, hey, four or five days of constant sunshine and suddenly there are water shortages leaving my neighbours with no means of washing, showering or flushing toilets. I am one of the lucky ones because, as well as being tapped into the mains supply, I have my own water source. I discovered it by accident when I was in the process of building my house. At the bottom of the garden, behind the house, a stream runs along the boundary fence. I decided to build a trough for water, by the stream, which would feed  into it, to supply enough for washing and flushing toilets. I had a JCB at the time and Noreen’s father, Jack Hannon R.I.P., was directing operations. When he thought we had enough room to build the trough, he said “take one more bucket so that we will be able to stand outside the wall”.  As I did so a great gush of water burst up through the ground. He shouted to me that I should cap it straight away as it was spring, which I duly did. We built the trough and let it settle. Eventually, my mother  and myself  got a concrete pipe and pushed it into the ground over the spring. As the water started to rise, we plastered mud around the pipe until eventually the water rose high enough to be transported by a short 2” pipe into the trough which took a couple of days to fill up. Now I had a fine supply of the best spring water you could find anywhere. It was sheer luck but am I glad it happened. In recent years I have added a filtering system and a light that zaps all harmful bacteria It is serviced yearly at a cost of €140, money well spent.

To get back to the problem, we have seen a lot of money spent on Irish Water over the past few years and were given guarantees that we would have a state of the art system. If they had their way we would all be paying through the meters they installed throughout the country. It took the people of Dublin to put a stop to their gallop and, as we all know, Dublin rule the roost. As one wise man once said  “Ireland finishes at the Red Cow”.  Consultants were paid millions to set up Irish Water which took over from the local authorities. They are pouring money into replacing pipes that are obsolete and they are only playing catch-up because more than half the water is being lost into the ground.  Maybe it is a bit unfair to blame them because the problem has been kicked down the road for decades and not enough was invested in upgrading the system. How do they fare out in countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc where they have constant sunshine for most of the summer yet they are able to fill their pools, water their lawns and use as much as they like without restrictions?. Can we learn something from these countries or will we set up another committee who will hire more consultants to eventually tell us what we already know. The system is broken, let us fix it. Plans are already afoot to pipe water from the Shannon to Dublin and this will solve one problem but it will not stop places like Athea and Abbeyfeale running dry in a week. Water is the most vital commodity we have and should be available to everyone who wants it. I don’t agree with those who think it should be free to all – I don’t mind paying for a service if it is properly delivered and if it needs investment, the money has to come from somewhere. I think we should adopt something like the system they have in the North of Ireland.  Each  household pays a services charge which includes water, bin collection and property tax. Down here we have to deal with private bin collectors who can charge what they like to make a weekly collection. We still have to pay property tax  but we get nothing in return – welcome to Ireland!  It is time to alert our politicians that they represent us and we will have the power at the next election. At the moment, both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are running scared of Sinn Féin who are steadily gaining in the polls. If they cannot give us the basics, like constant running water, then may it is time to give Sinn Féin a go or any other party who will at least try keep some of their promises.

I am not a stickler for detail and I don’t claim to be an expert on the English language but, there are some things that annoy me when I hear them on the airwaves. One of them is the use of the word “first” by sports commentators both in Gaelic Games and others. As soon as somebody scores in a match the commentator will say something like, that is so-and-so with the first score. This is grammatically incorrect as it cannot be the first score until a second one has been recorded.  First, second, third etc are all relative to each other and none of them can stand alone. Ger Canning, veteran commentator on GAA matches, has a habit of saying “that is his first ever goal in championship football or hurling. Now, if it is his first then, that’s it, the “ever” is superfluous and has no meaning. Some soccer commentators will make up a sentence like “they are doing all the pressing in this half, Arsenal”.  I know I am being picky but we should expect more from people who are paid big bucks to get it right.  Here endeth the lesson!

If the recent heat wave taught us anything, it is that we are extremely lucky to have a fairly mild climate in this country. We are not used to the high temperatures we experienced so imagine what it would be like having it for the whole summer. I found it very difficult to sleep at night and walk for any length of time and trying to do any kind of physical work was exhausting so I was glad to see a reduction even if it meant the rain was back. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the sunshine as much as anyone but just a few degrees cooler would be nice. Can’t please us all I suppose.

Mark O’Riordan, grandson of Willie and Joan O’Riordan (Dirreen, Athea) with his cousin Brian Mulvihill, grandson of Kathleen and Paddy Mullane (Templeathea)