Mike Hayes, John Cotter, Pa Chawke, Matthew Tierney, Brian McKenna & Brian Ahern supporting the Athea GAA ‘Night at the Dogs’

Mike Hayes, John Cotter, Pa Chawke, Matthew Tierney, Brian McKenna & Brian Ahern supporting the Athea GAA ‘Night at the Dogs’

Farm Safety Seminar

A Farm Safety Seminar will take place at the Devon Inn Hotel, Templeglantine on Thursday, October 15th at 7pm. Admission Free. Speakers: Maura Canning, National Chairperson of IFA Social & Family Affairs, Diarmuid Cronin, Community Alert Development Officer with Muinter na Tire for South Region – Cork, Kerry & Limerick and James Clarke, farm accident survivor, from Adare. Chairperson will be Marian Harnett, co-ordinator of The Farmers Market. Question and Answer session, various exhibitions on the night and refreshments will be served.


The comedy thriller Audacity by Simon Mawdsley and directed by Merce Hobson opens at the Glórach Community Theatre in Abbeyfeale on Wednesday, September 30th at 8 pm with further shows on Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th October.  Don’t miss this play with lots of humour, taut dialogue and some great twists.  Tickets can be booked at 0871383940. Beidh fáilte roimh gach éinne.

The Joys of Fishing

Athea has a very good fishing club that has created hours of enjoyment and good sport for many of our young people. Fishing is an age old pastime and was once necessary to provide food for the family.  That is still the case in seaside areas and along the bigger rivers but it is mainly for pleasure on the smaller tributaries like our own Gale. For years the local rivers had been neglected with pollution almost wiping out all the fish but the fishing club, to their great credit, have succeeded in breathing new live into them by re-stocking and looking after the environment. I used to fish along the banks of the Ulach, which separates Cratloe and Ballaugh, and one time it was teaming with fish. Eventually they disappeared but lately, as I gazed into the waters over the metal bridge, I saw small fish taking flies from the surface. I was delighted and it brought to mind my early days fishing and the first ventures I had almost on the spot where I was standing. In those days money was very scarce so the fishing rod was cut of the sally trees that grew at the bottom of the garden. A nice slender shoot with the branches pared off and a slight spring at the top was ideal. A length of fishing line, a piece of gut and a couple of hooks were bought at Ryan’s in Abbeyfeale. The line was tied to the top of the pole (no reels for us back then) and this was attached to about a foot of gut with the hook tied on the end. A jar of worms completed the necessities and I was ready for my first trip to the river accompanied by my mother who wouldn’t contemplate me going on my own for fear of falling in and getting drowned. Unfortunately my mother knew as much about fishing as I did so my first adventure was a disaster; no fish and lost the hook! My next outing was different.

The O’Hallorans, who lived down the road from me, were great fishermen as the river ran behind their house so I was allowed to go with them, safety in numbers and all that. I cast my hook with a bluehead worm on it into the head of a fairly swift moving pool and followed it down the bank to the end. I repeated this a few times until my line suddenly stopped half way down. Thinking I was caught in some debris in the river I gave a strong pull on the line and to my amazement a small fish came flying through the air to land at my feet. I had caught my first sprat. The feeling was unreal and like the poor fish, I was hooked!. We never used more than a few casts in each pool and followed the riverbank along behind Cratloe creamery and towards Knocknasna. Soon the O’Hallorans went home but by this time I had four more fish so I continued on my own. Engrossed in the fishing I totally lost track of time until it suddenly began to get dark. I was in unfamiliar surroundings but I eventually made my way up to the Abbeyfeale/Athea road. What I didn’t know was that there was a search party out looking for me with my mother out of her mind since no sign of me had been seen since early afternoon. They eventually found me and as they say I thought I was going to be killed but my mother was so relieved to find me OK that she forgot to get angry with me. Needless to say fishing was banned for a time but gradually I wore her down with my pleading and eventually she relented and I was allowed back to the river but this time there were strict rules to be observed. I complied as the alternative was to miss out on the fishing and that was a fate worse than death or so I thought.

That was the beginning and as time went by I got better equipment, bamboo rods with reels attached and waders for the water etc. The excitement was still there especially when catching my first white trout which weighed almost a pound. I caught five of those on the same day and felt about ten feet tall coming home with my magnificent catch. As I grew older other things took precedence and the fishing rod was put on the rafters of the shed. When I returned from England I lived in Duagh for a while and took up salmon fishing. This was a whole new adventure and I well remember the first time I played a salmon. It took me a good fifteen minutes to get the better of him, a very active ten pounder. I was in seventh heaven. After a few years the fish grew scarce and you could fish for days without getting a bite. Work took up most of my time so the fishing rod again rested on the rafters where it lies to this very day (different rafters of course). I will never forget my days fishing and my fervent hope is that I will return to the river banks when I finally retire if God spares me the health. As they say in the fishing world, tight lines!.

 Domhnall de Barra


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Kathleen’s Corner-30/09/2015

By Kathleen Mullane

‘Awareness Week’

Well, this past week has been ‘Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week’ and we have been very much made aware of it these last few days with Siobhan Barrett of Lower Dirreen speaking so very well about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning having lost her sister Miriam through it. She has spoken out on Radio Kerry last Friday and on TV3 am today in the hope that we all will put carbon monoxide alarms into our homes. And considering they are available at a very reasonable price it’s imperative that every household has one or two at least in their home. We congratulate Siobhán on having the courage to enlighten everyone on the dangers, which must not have been easy for her at this difficult time – well done Siobhán by speaking out, you will no doubt have saved lives.

This weekend Sat. 3rd & Sun. 4th the church gate collection in aid of Epilepsy will be taken up. You are asked to support this very worthy cause.

Well ‘Team Hope’ are starting to organize the annual Christmas shoebox appeal at the moment. It was ‘heart-warming’ to see the children opening up their shoeboxes on TV the other day, the delight on their faces and the excitement was unreal. It gives everyone the ‘real urge’ to start putting their bits and pieces aside to get ready their shoeboxes. And indeed it’s great training for young kids and indeed teenagers to think of others not as well off as themselves. They are happy with anything and not looking for the most up to date phone, computer, Xbox or whatever!

Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Bridget O’Connor of Markievicz Park (or Biddie as everyone knew her), on her sudden death last week. Biddie was predeceased by her husband Mike a few years ago. Many came to pay their last respects at Finucane’s Funeral Home on Saturday evening. Burial followed Requiem Mass on Sunday to Holy Cross. Sincere sympathy to her daughters, sons, relatives and many friends. ‘May the light of heaven be hers’

Well, Saturday last saw our church thronged to capacity with an overflow of many outside the church also for the memorial mass for the late Benny Collins. Fr. Bowen concelebrated with Fr. Denis Mullane and Margaret Carroll with her lovely music and song added to the memorial mass. The whole of Athea community and beyond along with friends, co-workers and rugby friends from Wales were there to support Benny’s wife Melanie, his son Harry and the Collins family. There wasn’t a dry eye in the congregation.


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Knockdown News-30/09/2015

By Peg Prendeville

At last we are having the most pleasant autumn weather. The full moon lights up the night sky while we have pleasant sunshine by day. Did anybody see the Blood Moon on Sunday night? I set the clock to get up at 3 am to see it, as it has not been seen for 40 years and won’t be for another 14 years. If one did not know the science of it, one could think that very strange things were happening; it seems many of our ancestors did and used to think that it was an omen of bad things to come. But now we know that during a lunar eclipse with a full moon Earth comes between the sun and the moon so that all or part of the sun’s light is blocked from the moon. It is the earth’s sunrises and sunsets that give the moon the orange glow. The world is a magical place.

Many locals travelled to the Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois last week. Thankfully the weather behaved itself making it more comfortable for all those 281,000 people who attended. It was a pleasure to be able to walk through the ploughing fields without muck up to the ankles or knees like we have to experience in west Limerick sometimes. Such a contrast in land. It was a very enjoyable day out and being only a half hour away from my daughter’s place made it even more convenient.

I have been asked to remind you that there is still time to get tickets for the Dieselman’s Ball which is being held on Saturday 7th November in the Devon Inn where you will be treated to a 4 course meal and music by The Michael Collins Band for only €30 per head. These events are being run to raise much needed funds for The Cliona Foundation, providing financial assistance to families of sick children. All support would be very much appreciated. For more, contact Pat White (086-8170600) Anne Dullea (086-7760269) or Elaine White (086-3895382).

There will be a visitor count taking place in all libraries during next week so it would be nice to see all regulars and maybe even some lapsed members back for the winter months. Of course, I am thinking of Glin library but all libraries would like your visit. Monday 5th to Friday 9th. By then you will be hooked anyway and will continue! Libraries are such a great facility in any town or village and all are FREE.

The next gathering of delegates for the Diocesan Synod  takes place on this Saturday October 3rd in The Limerick Strand Hotel from 10.30a.m to 4.30p.m. It will be a busy time from now til next April. We will see what the outcome will be.


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