An Athenry resident speaks out.

I am very impressed by your interest in Athenry. I don't know too much about David Christopher cos he was a few years behind me in school. As far as I know he's from the neighbouring parish of Craughwell but he went to secondary schol in Athenry. As such, the Tom Cloonan ethos wouldn't have been taught to him. I can assure you that every single graduate of Athenry Boys National School is sound on the national question and has more than a healthy regard for our native games and language plus is less likely to subscribe to Sky Sports than the average punter. We have dancing at the crossroads every thursday night and are so wary of malign foreign influence that on trips abroad we bring our own supplies of healthy bacon and cabbage with us.

David Christopher obviously is not the ideal advertisement for the parish but in Eugene Cloonan I feel we have a true Gael, a Cuchulainn, a man with whom Aodh Ruadh o Domhnaill could have done business.

I would add that we were never part of any King's County and the only planters around in the 1640's around our place were the peanuts and the other displaced natives. Brendan Keogh's family came from Wexford around that time. While biffos were helping to build Philipstown and Birr Castle the Galway boys were defending our culture and the language. It is an outrage that our parish should be judged by the actions of a Craughwell man although I should add that we are very pluralistic and would tolerate any dissenters in the parish, extending not only to Unionists but also Mayo football fans. However we draw the line at Tipp hurlers.