Aaron Hunt on his horse Gismo at the IPC National Minimus Championships 2021.
( Aaron is a grandson of Kathleen & Jerry Griffin, Brookfield House, Athea)

Athea Drama Group

Athea Drama Group AGM will take place on Thursday September 23rd at Con Colbert Hall at 8pm. We will discuss plans to hopefully stage a production in early 2022. Please spread the word! 

Message from Jenny Liston

Dear all, most of us will have seen the terrible events in Afghanistan over the last few weeks as people desperately try to flee the country.

An opportunity has arisen for 2 families to be supported to settle in West Limerick. Liam Kavanagh-the fiancée of Jenny Liston from Athea-daughter of Kay and John Upper Athea, who worked in Afghanistan in 2016 with CONCERNWORLDWIDE.

The couple have been lucky to secure asylum for 2 former work colleagues from CONCERN and their families – one married and one family of 6 and we hope they can make Ireland their  new home.

Both families now face the difficult task of leaving Afghanistan and at present there is no guarantee this can be done safely, and we ask people to keep families in their thoughts.

Liam and Jenny have already had many kind offers of support in West Limerick, but finding long term suitable accommodation would be greatly appreciated.

A quick update on the families

Zimari, Khatira and their families are still in Afghanistan and attempting to get visas for Pakistan. Khatira is sadly now in hiding as the TALIBAN have come to her home.

We hope they can find a safe route here soon.

In the meantime we are trying to get as much support in place as we can. The house search continues – unfortunately nothing has been secured yet. However announcements have been made across parishes in West Limerick and word is spreading.

We will also set up a GO  FUND ME PAGE this week and hopefully we can share across all networks. Our target is to raise €10,000 to help with the initial resettlement costs.

If for any reason we are not successful in getting families here we will ensure the money is donated directly to Concern’s humanitarian support in Afghanistan.

This is the report I received from Jenny Liston and we wish them well in their work and please God all will be safe.



Readers:                                              Sat –  Caroline Pierse                                                                                                                                                                               Sun – Bernadine Enright

Eucharistic Ministers:                 Sat – M. Enright/M. Sheahan

Sun – C. Woulfe/M. Hunt.

Mass Intentions:                           Sun Sept 19th 10.30am –  Timothy, Margaret & Nicholas Leahy.

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 12th October.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

The end of the summer brings anxiety to all those who await the results of the Leaving Cert because the points they get decides what course they are offered. It is not a good way to channel people into their chosen professions but it is the way that has been created and we seem to be stuck with it. This year, however, is different because the powers that be decided to give students a choice of accredited grades or the results of a written exam. There was an option of doing the two and choosing whichever was the highest. This, to my mind, was lunacy and left the whole system open to abuse. It is quite understandable that a teacher will be more generous when dealing with one of his/her students than by examining an anonymous paper. They want themselves and their schools to look well. Not all teachers are like that but it is interesting to note that, in over 50% of cases, accredited marks were much higher than those of the written papers.  It is not conceivable that the class of 2021 is so much more intelligent than those of any previous years. It means that the points race takes on a whole new meaning. Even those with maximum points  are not guaranteed their first choices at college not to mention those who had deferred for a year and now find themselves at a severe disadvantage. The leaving cert exam does need overhauling but what went on this year is not the answer. It is time for a meeting of all the interested parties to decide on a way forward, a way that will be fair and transparent. It is not just an exam; it is the key to peoples future careers and we owe them the best possible way to achieve their desired outcomes.

Mayo’s quest for All-Ireland glory failed at the final hurdle last Saturday. It is heart-breaking for the thousands of supporters and the team itself  but this time there are no hard luck stories. I was in Croke Park when they nearly and should have won but not this time. On the day they were beaten by a far superior team, one of the best organised that has appeared in the Tyrone jersey. They had a plan that worked and their defence reduced what is a good Mayo attack to hurried and bungled attempts at scoring. It is safe to say that the majority of  GAA fans outside of Tyrone were supporting Mayo and hoping for the long wait to be over and that may not be fair to Tyrone. If they had defeated Dublin or Kerry I think they would have received far more praise for their efforts. People thought that the win over Kerry was a bit of a fluke and that Kerry were over confident  but the way they played on Saturday gives the lie to that type of thinking. Congratulations to Tyrone, worthy winners and commiserations to Mayo. We will be hearing about the curse again  but no heed should be paid to it. Mayo’s day will come but only when they are good enough and deserve it. Sentiment isn’t enough.

Work continues on the footbridge and I am delighted to see that the lights have changed and traffic is now flowing freely. I was a bit critical of the old lights because of the delay in changing from red to green so I must say well done to the contractors for upgrading the system. The job on the bridge is a big one because much of the surface has to be stripped back and treated before it is finally painted. Maroon, is the preferred colour which was decided by the public in a poll. It will set off the village, especially approaching from the Carrigkerry side and will be another addition to the many improvements by the Tidy Towns Committee. Maybe the national competition will take place in a post-Covid 2022 when Athea’s efforts should be rewarded with an increase in points.

This week there is a motion of no confidence in Simon Coveney being debated in the Dáil. It is tabled by Sinn Féin due to the appointment of Catherine Zappone to, what is, a fairly minor European position. It is all about who told who what and when and why wasn’t the Taoiseach informed and a competition and interviews held for the position. I am really surprised at Simon Coveney because he is, to my mind, the best politician we have and is well respected in international circles. If he wanted to give her a job I think she is well suited for he could have advertised the position, had interviews and still given it to her anyway. That’s the way it has always worked. As Donnagh O’Malley famously once said “all things being equal, we look after our own”. How many times have I heard that such a person has got the job of school principal only to see the job advertised in the papers a few days later. I once played “Danger Mullalley” a character in John B. Keane’s play “Many Young Men of Twenty”.  He was a bit of a bum who made money by carrying luggage for people coming and going from the local hostelry to the train station. He had a kind of rural wisdom and quick wit. One of his lines was “the story of Ireland is written down in four letters on that door. It is called PULL”.  At one stage in this country you had no chance of getting a government job, especially in the civil service, if you didn’t know some individual who could swing it for you. That is why we had so much incompetence in the service with people who weren’t really capable of doing the job being appointed because the father was a big supporter of the party in power. The clergy weren’t slow also to use their influence. Was it wrong? –  of course it was but , like it or not, it is the way the system works and anyone who thinks otherwise is naive. They should have handled it better but is it an offence that warrants the sacking of a minister and the fall of the government? Of course not, it is just a time wasting exercise by Sinn Féin who, of course would never, ever do anything like that. We shall see.