Trad Session at the Top of the Town on Saturday night last

Con Colbert Hall AGM

Con Colbert Memorial Hall AGM will take place on Wednesday, January 26th at 8pm at the hall. New members are especially welcome. All those attending are asked to bring a mask and maintain social distancing at all times.

Graveyard’s Collection

Envelopes can still be dropped in to the Community Council Office or to the Collection Box at the Credit Union.



Mass Intentions next weekend

Sat Jan 29th 7.30pm:  Pakie Higgins (Anniversary). Sun Jan 30th 7.30pm: Patie Enright, Hannah Enright & Nora Dillane. Martin Riggs.  Nora & Michael Cotter (Cratloe East).

RIP: Your prayers are requested this week for Mary Barry, recently deceased – late of Lisselton,  Co. Kerry and Rathronan, Athea.

All masses are streamed live on

If you wish to book a mass etc., text/phone Siobhán on 087-2237858 or email the parish office at  [email protected]

Ministers of the Word and Ministers of the Eucharist 

Sat 29/1   Denise O’Riordan / Majella Dalton Sun 30/1   Yvonne Roche (both)

Confirmation will take place on Saturday, March 12th at 11.30am and First Holy Communion will take on Saturday March 26th at 11.30am.

Baptismal Information: Any parent wishing to baptise their child must have completed the baptismal course. Next course Tues Feb 8th – Please contact Theresa for further details 087 1513565

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

There’s an old joke that goes like this: “how do you know politicians are telling lies?  –  their lips are moving?”.  The sad part of that is the fact that it is not a joke at all but the truth. Politicians may start out with the best of intentions but they are soon dragged into the party system where survival is the name of the game and they have to toe the line. A politician’s loyalties are firstly, to themselves getting re-elected, secondly, to the party and lastly, to the country.  This makes them do and say things that are not strictly honest and they have no problem in telling us what they want us to hear, even if it has no relationship to the truth. Governments have been lying to their citizens from the dawn of civilization and sometimes they will tell you it is necessary for the greater good. Whatever about yesterday’s politicians, some of the present day ones have brought the profession to a new low. The mould was broken when Trump ran for office in America. The truth to him is whatever he deems it to be and anything contrary is fobbed off as “fake news”. He told potential voters what they wanted to hear and gave credence to white racists and other malcontents who ended up attacking the seat of government. He fabricated theories about election fraud despite court after court throwing out cases because there wasn’t one bit of evidence of vote rigging. Still, a great many people actually believe that the election was “stolen” and consider him to be the legitimate president. The whole purpose of American politics is for republicans to defeat democrats and vice versa. Many good laws, that would improve the lives of ordinary citizens, are not passed because one side or the other has a majority in one of the houses of legislation and would rather kill the bill than give a “victory” to the other side. The government also makes decisions on foreign policy that are not communicated to the general public, in fact they may be told something quite different.

The art of lying has always been used but has been brought to a new level by Boris Johnson. This was obvious during the lead-up to the Brexit referendum when, ably assisted by Dominic Cummings, when he told blatant lies about the amount of money it was costing to stay in Europe and how much it would mean to the NHS. They even put it on the side of a bus. The public swallowed it and the rest is history. He got away with it and has continued in his deceitful way ever since. At last he has told one too many and is hanging on to power by his fingertips. The dogs in the street know he was at a party at 10 Downing Street in contravention of the  Covid restrictions that he was forcing on the general public. Despite this, he continued to deny that there was a party, and when that was found out he said he did stumble into it but did not know it was a party. Now, this is his home and, if there is a party in your home, surely you have to know about it. His race is almost run and, if the Tory party has any bit of decency left, he will be thrown out sooner rather than later and good riddance.

We have not covered ourselves in glory on this side of the water either. Simon Coveney, in a jobs for the boys scenario (or should that be jobs for the girls?), appointed Catherine Zappone to a cushy position in Europe when she failed to hold her seat. When challenged about it he should have apologised immediately and admitted that he should have gone through the proper procedure but, instead he tried to justify it. Then there was a party in his department offices that he did not attend but, once again, it left a sour taste with those who had obeyed the rules. Had he come out and condemned it at once it might not have appeared so bad but he didn’t. Now, I like Simon Coveney and I think he is by far the best politician we have but he did himself no favours by taking us all for mugs.  People resigned and were forced out of their jobs for attending a golf dinner in Galway which, to my mind, didn’t break any of the rules because the dinner party was divided into two groups in different rooms where they were within the limits. There was a baying for blood after this so I presume the same fate will await the civil servants who attended the retirement party. Hang on though, Leo Varadkar said on radio the other day that the government had no power to put sanctions on civil servants so it will probably all finish up in a bottle of smoke. Since he made that statement, a law expert has contradicted him. While the minister has no power over the civil service, the government as a whole has but I doubt if that power will be exercised. The whole thing gives the impression that there is one law for us, the little people, and another for those who govern us. If you don’t believe me, ask a politician!

And what about the government’s latest plan to pay €100 off the electricity bill for every householder in the country?  Now, I don’t mind helping those who find themselves in financial difficulties at this time but to give it to everyone is just a waste of money we don’t have. I don’t need it, thank God, and there are many more like me out there not to mention the thousands of well paid civil servants, captains of industry, wealthy business people, millionaires and billionaires. I think this has more to do with government popularity and the threat of Sinn Féin than  a genuine attempt to help people. There is also the proposal to give €1,000 as a bonus to workers who were on the front line during the  height of the pandemic. A nice idea in theory but who qualifies? Already we have many groups putting up there hand  saying they were in danger and also deserve a bonus. Not enough thought went into this. Of course those who worked in wards full of Covid patients should be rewarded but wouldn’t it be much better if their pay and conditions were permanently improved. We already see an exodus of medical staff from this country because they are much better off working abroad. We need more professionals in the HSE and more capacity  in our hospitals. Only when that is achieved will we have a service that will be attractive to work in but one where there will be no more patients on trolleys in corridors waiting for admission to a ward. The pandemic may be coming to an end but the waiting lists are not.

What has happened to the news on RTE?  For almost a week before the announcement, the heading of every bulletin was about the possible easing of Covid restrictions and each option discussed in detail. Numerous pub, restaurant and night club owners were interviewed, day after day, letting us know what they wanted and expected to happen. By the time Micheál Martin made his announcement on Friday everybody knew exactly what he was going to say so where did RTE get its information? Was there a leak in NEPHET or was it a government ploy to tip off businesses so that they would be ready to open. I leave it to your own imagination. There was also the OTT reporting of the sad murder of Aisling Murphy. For the guts of a week, the RTE news crew broadcast from Tullamore again interviewing everyone and anyone who would answer a question. Their attention bordered on the ghoulish and intruded on the privacy of the family who were grieving. It continued with coverage of the funeral Mass and burial. To my mind funeral processions should never be filmed as they capture the immediate family when their emotions are at their most extreme  and not for public scrutiny. The cameras have now gone and the country’s attention has turned to other matters but Aisling’s family have to live with the horror of her brutal murder, something that will have changed their lives forever. May God give them the strength they need to get through this horrible time.

It was nice to be able to sit down with a group of musicians for a session at the Top of the Town last Saturday night. There was a kind of a carnival atmosphere about the place as people tasted freedom from restrictions for the first time in ages. It just goes to show how important it is for us to socialise. Our mental health will be all the better for it and we hope that it will continue. We dare to look forward to better days ahead and a return to normality. It has been a long, hard slog and many of us have suffered throughout the long periods of confinement. Some people will have lost loved ones during this time and it was especially heartbreaking not to be able to visit hospitals or attend funerals. With any luck that is all behind us but I urge you all to continue to take precautions such as wearing masks in indoor settings and avoiding close contact where possible. Anyway, I am looking forward to a few more sessions of music and, who knows, we may have the Fleadh here in June. Wouldn’t that be a nice boost for the area.

Athea Golf Society AGM

On Thursday night last we had our AGM in the Library here in Athea. TJ Reidy chaired the meeting ably assisted by Roger Ryan.

Others attending were, Domhnall Barry, Billy Crowley, Joe O’Connor, Kieran Griffin and myself.

The main items were as follows:

TJ read the secretary’s report sent in by Annemarie Healy who thanked everyone for making her tenure enjoyable and wished us luck for the coming year and hoped to join us as a guest from time to time.

Roger read the treasurers report of the finances and we now have a balance of €2,131.65 in the Credit Union.

Domhnall Barry announced he would not be carrying out the role of handicap secretary this coming year and said he would assist the incoming member to get used to the system.

I then took over as Captain and chaired the remainder of the meeting. This consisted of the appointment of the officers for the coming year. TJ and Roger agreed to continue as treasurer and vice treasurer. However, nobody at the meeting was willing to take on the roles of Secretary and Handicap Secretary.

We have a good society which has been well organised over the years with a large membership. We would ask if some of the members would take on these two roles for the coming year. Whoever is willing will be well supported by the rest of the committee. Speaking of which we could also do with a few more committee members to give a hand from time to time.

We then spoke of the outings for the coming year and agreed to try to book nine outings running from February to October inclusive, now that things are opening up Covid wise. We will issue the list, once confirmed, in the next week or two. The first outing has been booked and confirmed for Adare on February 26th so its coming upon us soon.  We also agreed that the membership fee this year would come down from €30 to €20 and we will collect this at the first outing in Adare and thereafter at the first outing of each member who can’t make it to Adare. It would be great to start the year with a good attendance like last year when we had 32.

Finally, I would like to say it is an honour for me to be Captain this year and I hope we have a successful year with a good spread of winners but most of all that we have good sociable outings and enjoy ourselves.

Hope to see you all soon, John Redmond.