A happy crowd pictured on Monday morning last at the arrival of our specially commissioned Hen Harrier by Fear na Coillte Chainsaw Sculptures, the hen harrier has found his forever home on the Glin Road funded by the Hen Harrier Project.

Congratulations to Athea Tidy Towns Committee on this latest addition to the development out the Glin Road. It adds a new dimension to the appearance of the village and we hope will further enhance the drive to make Athea one of the tidiest towns in the county

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea

Mass Intentions next weekend

Fri Aug 6th 7.30pm: Jack & Mai Dalton and brother Denis.

Sat Aug 7th 7.30pm: Conor Geaney.

Sun Aug 8th 10.30am: Bryan, Mary & Patrick Hanrahan.

Readers: Sat: Mary McGrath  –  Sun: Paul Curry.

Eucharistic Ministers: Sat: B. Ahern / M Donoghue – Sun: C. Woulfe / M. Hunt.

All masses and funeral masses are live streamed on the Church Services TV network via the following link https://churchservices.tv/athea

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 Siobhán 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.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra 

I felt sorry for the American gymnast who had to pull out of the competition at the Olympics, after making a mistake, because she feared for her mental wellbeing. She had been the best in the world and had been phenomenal at the previous games but there was a great weight of expectation on her shoulders this time around and the pressure got too much for her. Social media wasn’t too kind to her afterwards with heartless idiots saying she had no bottle, had let her country and teammates down etc.  She is just a human being, albeit a very talented one, with  the feelings, emotions and frailties that we all have.  Do we expect too much of our athletes  and performers –  I think the answer is yes. Leading up to Sunday last week our own commentators in RTE were talking about “super Sunday” when some of our Olympians were expected to win medals. As it happened, Sunday turned out to be a day of near misses for some competitors but there were no more medals. Those who had reached finals should have been very happy, after all, these are the very best in the world and to be counted inside the top ten is, in itself, a mighty achievement. We are a very small nation and it is only on rare occasions that we can produce people capable of becoming Olympic champions but we continue to put pressure on our best to outperform instead of letting them enjoy the experience of competing with the cream of the crop. When they lose, as most of them will eventually, they sometimes feel they have left their families and country down and this is not right. I have seen something similar in music competitions where young competitors feel they have to win because of pressure from parents, teachers and Comhaltas branches. Over my years adjudicating I have observed how unhappy some of them seem to be as they try their best to please everyone. They are not enjoying what they are doing and I wonder what the long term effect on them will be. We see it all the time at football and hurling matches with parents, coaches and others roaring from the sidelines to win at all costs. At the end of the day it is only sport and sport is an activity that should be enjoyed. It should never leave anyone with mental problems.

100 years is a long time but in relation to the age of the world it is just a blink of an eye. About that long ago, villages like Athea were hives of activity and industry. Every second door was a shop of some kind. There were tailors, dressmakers, shoemakers, harness makers, coopers, blacksmiths, coach builders (a fancy term for carpenters who made carts for horses and donkeys), hardware shops, grocery shops, drapers and pubs, to name but a few. I often wonder how they all made a living but they did and it was through the support of the local community. Up to then the world had not changed dramatically for centuries with most of the work done by hand with the help of animals. Then things began to change and, little by little, shops closed, trades disappeared and we eventually reached where we are today with just a handful of businesses operating. It is now affecting my own profession as well. When I started printing first it was very different to what it is today. The “cut and paste” functions we see on our computers today was done with an actual scissors and glue. When a page was set out with text and graphics it was treated with chemicals and put into a machine that  took an image and put in on a steel plate. This was done with a lot of heat and afterwards more chemicals were used to clear away impurities and expose the image. The plate was then attached to a drum on the printing machine that picked up ink as it rotated and transferred the ink onto paper. It was a long job and the ink had to be evenly spread over the rollers to get a good finish. It could take half an hour to get the first copy off the press. Now, all the text and graphics are done on the computer, sent directly to a digital machine and the first copy is produced in seconds, no ink, no mess, no cleaning. It has certainly become easier but the modern printing machines do not come cheap and a good volume of work is necessary to justify buying one. Alas, times for the small printing office have changed and the work we used to do is disappearing, just like the old trades. Not so long age we were busy printing invoice books, business cards, posters and fliers. Now big firms will e-mail an invoice to a customer who has to print it off themselves, no books needed. Social media has taken away the need for business cards, posters and fliers. If there was some function on, a few years ago, posters would be erected in all the local outlets and hundreds of fliers would be stuck under the wipers of cars parked in the church grounds and in the street. That practice was outlawed a good while ago but now there is no need because the use of facebook, instagram etc spreads the word better than fliers could ever do. What that means for people like me is that our core business is now gone so  it will not be viable for most small printers to remain in business. I am lucky that I am well past retiring age anyway and I am happy doing a fraction of the work I was doing before but whenever I do pack it in, which I hope will not be for a good while yet, there will be no business to pass on to anyone else. In the meantime I will work away because I enjoy it and it gets me out of bed in the morning.

Our “Lucky Numbers” lotto is back up and running again after many months on the shelf. At the moment it is the only source of income for the Community Council and we desperately need funds to keep the CE  scheme going and develop the building on Colbert Street. We could do with a few more sellers in different parts of the parish where people do not get an opportunity to buy a ticket. If any of you can sell even three tickets for a €5, please contact myself or Lillian at the office by calling 068 42533,  087 7813123 or 087 6758762.  Draws take place on Monday afternoons so tickets should be in by Monday noon at the latest.