Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all at home and abroad

Chairperson Lal Browne revealing the overall amount raised from our Fundraising night

Athea Drama Group

Many thanks to everyone who supported our fundraising night on Thursday March 3rd where €1,600 was raised which will be donated to The Irish Cancer Society in memory of Oliver McGrath RIP.

Our highly successful run of ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ is now complete and we would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who supported us over our eight night run. It is heartwarming to hear the stories about people travelling long distances and enjoying their annual visit to Athea to attend our productions. A word of thanks also to our local businesses who generously supported our raffle each night.

It was a challenging year battling covid and missing our dear Oliver McGrath, but together we made it. Goodbye from the 2022 cast and crew – see ye in September!

Search for Jack

Last Sunday’s search for Jack had to be cancelled due to the bad weather. It will now take place this coming Sunday.

It is six months since the disappearance of Jack Keane.

The group that are involved in the search for Jack are appealing to people from the parish to assist them this Sunday morning if they can spare an hour or two to search again near Jack’s home and surrounding area.

The family would greatly appreciate any help.

Group to meet at Jack’s house at the Water Tower at 10 o’clock.


Mass Intentions next weekend

Sat Mar 19th 7.30pm:    Tom & Mary (Babe) White.   Margaret O’Connor.   Mary O’Halloran.

Nora O’Connell & Con O’Connor.   Bridget (Bridie) Scanlon & John Tom Scanlon.

Cornelius & Mary Brouder and their sons Pat & Joe and son-in-law Tony.

St Patrick’s Day– Thursday Mar 17th: Mass at 11am

There will be no Friday evening mass this coming week.

Lenten Programme

Tuesday 9.30: Morning Mass flowed by prayers and rosary for Ukraine.

Wednesday 7.30 pm: Evening Prayer Service *

*The Pastoral Council would like to invite you to our prayer gathering at our Lenten Garden every

Wednesday evening during Lent at 7.30pm.

A petition box will be available for your intentions and we encourage you to bring symbols of you

loved ones which can be placed in our Lenten Garden.

We appeal to you to make a special effort during Lent as it offers a great opportunity for reconciliation.

Confirmation: Congratulations to the 6th class boys and girls of Athea NS who received the Sacrament of Confirmation last Saturday morning.

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

Ministers of the Word and Ministers of the Eucharist 

Sat 19/3  Denise O’Riordan / Betty Ahern  Sun 20/3  Yvonne Roche (Both)

All masses/services are streamed live on https://www.churchservices.tv/athea

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

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

I wonder if the government have found a magic forest with trees that  produce an unending supply of banknotes instead of leaves. We have been told that since the great bank collapse there isn’t enough money to build the necessary amount of houses or to pay a proper wage to health professionals who are leaving in their droves for foreign shores where their skills will be suitably rewarded. The big bail-out we got from Europe still has to be paid back yet people have been paid to stay off work for two years, some at a great deal more than they were getting when they were actually at work,  due to the Covid pandemic. Millions of vaccines have been purchased and administered at great cost and there has been less money coming in. Despite this lack of money the government decided to give €1,000 to those who operated on the front line and now we hear a proposal to give €100,000 each to families of those same workers who died from contracting Covid while on duty. €200 is going to be paid off every electricity bill in the country, regardless of means and, just a few days ago, there was a reduction on the tax on petrol and diesel of 20 and 15 cents respectively to counteract the rise in oil prices due to the war in Ukraine. There are also redress schemes for those who suffered abuse in state and religious institutes in the middle of the last century. I am not saying any of these are wrong but where is the money coming from? We act as if we are a world power but the truth is, we are a small island off the coast of Europe with a population that would fit into a suburb of most of the major cities in the world. Some of the schemes are not very well thought out. Take the subsidy on oil prices at the pumps. Why have a bigger amount to petrol instead of diesel?  It is common knowledge that the number of petrol vehicles on the roads has been declining in recent years while diesel is the fuel of heavy vehicles, commercial and agricultural. A transport company with a fleet of trucks is now faced with astronomical fuel bills which in turn have to be passed on. This will inevitably mean higher prices in the retail outlets driving the cost of living higher still. It would have made more sense to give a higher rate to diesel but then I suppose the Greens wouldn’t like that. The rush to get rid of fossil fuels is foolish as we will be dependent on them for many decades to come. Independent TD, Michael Fitzmaurice, speaking on the radio the other morning, suggested that the bogs should be opened this year, as a temporary measure,  so that people would have some form of heating for next winter but a member of the green party was totally against this quoting the danger to the planet. To quote Michael, “it is time to live in the real world, not the dream one”.  This is again where we have an exaggerated opinion of our own importance. If we all got rid of our cars, blocked up our chimneys, killed all the cows  and reduced our carbon emissions to zero, it would not make the slightest bit of difference as long as China, India, Africa, Russia and the America’s continue to produce fossil fuels and use them for homes and industry. Of course we should be doing our bit but not at any expense and the welfare of our citizens should be our first priority. When the big powers move, we can move with them but, in the meantime we should act in a sensible way in these very turbulent and unpredictable times.

How long more is the world going to stand by and watch Putin destroying Ukraine and committing war crimes against its citizens. I know all the arguments against escalating the war and the dangers of nuclear conflict but he mustn’t be allowed to act with impunity just because that threat is there. I think his bluff should be called. Will he be mad enough to launch a nuclear missile knowing that there would be one coming straight back at himself?

The last time we came close to such a war was in the reign of Cruschev and John Kennedy when there were ships loaded with nuclear missiles on their way to Cuba. Kennedy stood his ground and the Soviets had to turn around and go home. You have to stand up to bullies but I suppose there are mad men everywhere. During that Cuban crisis, a high ranking American general in the Pentagon wanted Kennedy to declare war on the Soviet Union. The President pointed out that millions of people would be killed if he did that to which the general replied that if there were only three people left on the planet as long as two were American it would be a win. Kennedy said: “If that is the case you had better hope that the two Americans are a young man and a woman”.  One of the biggest casualties of war is truth. Russia has banned all independent TV and radio stations from broadcasting what they call “fake news”. For example the official line is that Russia is not at war but trying to free the Ukrainian people from Nazis who were put in power by the West. That is what is now being told to the Russian people by the only broadcasters, all owned and operated by the state.  They also deny bombing civilian areas and hospitals even though the evidence is plain to be seen. Their latest absurdity is the claim that America is developing chemical warheads in Ukraine. The idea is to use this as an excuse to “defend” Russia by launching their own such attack. There seems to be no trick too low for them to stoop to and the world looks on. At some stage Putin has to be stopped. Sanctions are ok but they take time and the people they really affect are the ordinary citizens of Russia who have no say whatsoever in what is going on in their name. This is obvious in Afghanistan where the people are starving and dying because of the sanctions imposed on the Taliban regime there. Do we really want to make ordinary people suffer for what their rulers have done?  The world is in a bad place at the moment and it is difficult to see a way out of it while we have dictators like Putin who put their own ambitions above all else and don’t mind who suffers as long as they achieve what they perceive as their rightful place in history.