Katie Byrne, Silver medallist in the Gymnastics Competition at the National Community Games finals in Athlone last weekend.

Katie Byrne, Silver medallist in the Gymnastics Competition at the National Community Games finals in Athlone
last weekend.

Aoibhinn Morrissey U 13's Gymnastics and Katie Byrne U11's Gymnastics, silver medallist in Athlone last weekend.

Aoibhinn Morrissey U 13’s Gymnastics and Katie Byrne U11’s Gymnastics, silver medallist in Athlone
last weekend.

Emily and Anne-Marie Pierse who helped Team Limerick win the 7k fourth place medal.

Emily and Anne-Marie Pierse who helped Team Limerick win the 7k fourth place medal.

Athea Community Games

Athea and Limerick were well represented once again in the National Community Games Festival in Athlone, over the last 2 week-ends. Tomás Ahern put in a gallant effort to reach the semi-finals of the U 12’s breaststroke, a fantastic achievement on his trip to the finals. Moving on to last week-end, in Gymnastics, on Saturday Katie Byrne took part in the U11’s and Aoibhinn Morrisey in the U 13’s,  both put in excellent performances with Katie taking the Silver medal in the U11’s competition.

On the athletics track, Emily Pierse came 5th in the 7K running it in an impressive 27 minutes, having ran the 1500 metres the previous day. Anne-Marie Pierse also ran in the 7K, and together the girls helped Team Limerick to come in fourth place overall and win a medal.

Athea can once again hold it’s head high, a fantastic effort from all who travelled to Athlone and we would like to thank all their families and coaches for the support in getting them there. Well done to all involved.


My attention was drawn lately to a letter, published in the Limerick Leader, by a man called Richard McDonagh from Athea. In the letter he makes the claim that the Athea/Carrigkerry road is arguably the most dangerous road on the planet !. Quite a claim and he goes on to give reasons and examples of what to expect. The article is completely OTT but is really well written and very humorous which I think was his primary aim rather than the dangerous road. To be fair to Limerick County Council a great deal of work has been done on this stretch of road in the past few years. The road surface has vastly improved, indeed the section from Knockfinisk to Carrig is second to none. Small fences have also been erected where there were sudden drops on either side of the road. This was a hazard, especially at night facing the headlights of oncoming cars but now, at least, the fence will give some protection. As it goes I would contend that the road from Athea to Listowel, especially as far as Gortagleanna, is far more dangerous. Trying to walk or cycle on these roads is dangerous in the extreme yet people do it all the time. Drivers on these roads have to be very vigilant. Anyway, I really enjoyed the article and I hope we see more from Richard McDonagh’s pen, or should that be keyboard?

The recent vandalism in the fairy mountain, down by the hall, is to be deplored. Athea Tidy Town’s committee have worked extremely hard over the past few years to make Athea a better place in which to live for all, including children who take a great interest in the fairy mountain. That some mindless young people see fit to undo  the good work is beyond comprehension. Apparently the culprits are known to the committee who do not want to bring the Gardaí into it at this stage . If not, it is time for their parents to take action and ensure their offspring have an appreciation of the damage they are doing to the whole community. If this is not nipped in the bud who knows where it will stop. It has to be noted, however, that the people who carry out this type of vandalism are a small minority and the vast majority of our youngsters are very well behaved and a credit to their teachers and parents. Maybe they should bring their influence to bear on those who, by their anti-social behaviour are giving them all a bad name.

Wasn’t it sickening to see our boxers being blackguarded by corrupt judges and referees in the Olympics. I am a fan of boxing all my life and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when first, Katie Taylor and then Michael Conlon, were not give the victories they had obviously won. I have watched the fights again and though Katie was not at her best, she was so much better than her opponent who had just one method of attack. That was bad enough but then Michael Conlon gave his opponent a boxing lesson for three rounds and outfought him toe to toe in the second round. After seeing the points awarded in the first round I knew it was fixed. I said to the others watching with me that the judges would give Michael the second round but that he would lose the final decision. Sorry to say I was right. It is no coincidence that the fighter involved was a Russian. The previous night, another Russian fighter was awarded a fight that he could barely finish, he was so well beaten. There is no proof that the judges were bought but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck!  Some judges have since been removed from the panel. This is an admission by the ruling body that  the decisions were wrong but, the results stand. Why should the results stand? If the fight was unjustly awarded then the decision should be overturned. After all, these boxers have been preparing for this for the past four years. They have put in hours of gym training, running, dieting and thousands of sparring bouts to be at their best. It is no shame to be beaten by a better opponent. Once you have done your best you can hold your head high, you can’t win them all but, when you are robbed, as Katie and Michael clearly were, by unscrupulous  judges who are only concerned with lining their own pockets, it hurts! There should be a thorough investigation into allegations that some of the gold medal winners had been decided before the competitions began to ensure that amateur boxing is not completely destroyed.  Otherwise how can any boxer prepare for the next four years in the knowledge that he/she is not going to get a fair crack of the whip.

Domhnall de Barra





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Kathleen’s Corner-24/08/2016

By Kathleen Mullane

‘Out & About’

Well done to all those who received their Leaving Cert results on Wednesday last in our parish and beyond – they all did extremely well and I heard that Maurice Moore (who is a grandson of Timmy & Nancy Woulfe) got well over ‘600’ points, indeed a huge achievement.

Don’t forget the ‘Athea Residents’ outing on this Thursday, August 25th visiting Bunratty Folk Park and the Crescent Shopping Centre, with music, tea and sandwiches at the Top of the Town from 6pm to 8pm. Fare of €15 includes bus and lunch. If you haven’t given in your name yet do so to Peggy Casey or Rose at Brouder’s Shop.

Fr. Bowen is still looking for volunteers for the ‘Liturgy Group’. The finance and property committees have been filled as is the sacristan’s position. So if anyone in the parish would like to help out with the Liturgy Group please contact Fr. Bowen as soon as possible. It seems ‘lay people’ will be the ‘order of the day’ in all parishes from now on. In England and America this has been the case for a number of years where all parishioners help out. The Liturgy Group would do the preparing for the different Church occasions e.g. setting up the Christmas Crib and altar, organizing the ‘remembrance tree’ for our deceased in November and of course any new ideas they may have.

Sympathy is extended to Breda Keane, formerly of Upper Athea (daughter of the late Maureen and Con) whose husband has passed away recently in Dublin. ‘May he rest in peace’.

Well anyone getting up on Saturday morning last would think they were getting up to a ‘November’ day with storm, rain, wind, flowers blowing in all directions, branches down ‘what’s new’, however people are ‘gasping’ for air in some countries so let’s not complain.

Well it’s ‘back to school’ time again, can you believe it, and one thought at the beginning of the summer holidays that they would never end – ‘time flies’. Just see a fact regarding children’s exercise etc. Imagine 4 out of 5 children in Ireland are not meeting the recommended guideline of 60 minutes exercise a day. Also 34% of ‘preschool’ children have a TV in their bedroom. The average amount of time preschool kids spend watching TV daily is 2.2 hours. In 1981 50% of children walked to school, by 2014 the figure dropped to 25%. The key tips that are given to parents are:-

  • Replace screen time with active games
  • Build activity into everyday routines
  • Get involved and get active as a parent too
  • Children don’t have to do it all at once, they can build it up over the day.

Indeed good advice’!

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Knockdown News-24/08/2016

By Peg Prendeville

The World Wide Web or www, as we know it, opened up to the world only 25 years ago on August 23rd . It is hard to believe that it was unheard of before that as we all seem to think it is vital for humanity now. Thanks to Sir Tim Berners-Lee Web Inventor and Founding Director of the World Wide Web Foundation for connecting the world.

Sadly none of our Limerick contestants got to the live TV shows for the Rose of Tralee this week. It has been a while now since we had a Limerick Rose on air. The executive chair of the Rose of Tralee international festival Anthony O’Gara said: “RTE can only accommodate 32 Roses on live TV which is why we needed to stage a qualifying phase during the first few days of the festival. Every Rose has enjoyed the full festival experience by travelling on the pre-festival tour of Ireland before taking part in the parades, attending the Rose Ball and the various festival functions in Tralee.” At the time of writing the 2016 Rose has not been selected but we wish her all the best.

I sat up late for three nights last week watching Exodus on RTE1. This was a documentary about the refugees – those people who find it unsafe to live in their own lands and are trying to escape to Europe to find a better life. It followed the journey of a family from Syria and some individuals from Syria, Afghanistan and Gambia. Each night when I go to bed I thank God for the luxury of a comfortable warm bed but on these nights I cried, both with thanks for my own comforts and with sadness at the plight of others. One young man from Syria had come from a fairly well off family and ended up sleeping rough on the streets somewhere in Greece. “I have never even camped out before this” he said. They were all very lonely leaving behind the families and country that they loved but could see no other way out of their dilemma. Another young man said if he knew he would end up in the jungle in Calais for two months he would not have left his wife and children to try and find a home in the UK for them. What impressed me the most about all of this was the hope that these men and families clung to and the efforts they made to provide a safe home for their future. Their joy and thanks when somebody did them a kindness and their sense of disappointment to find out that people (the smugglers) are greedy and will do anything to get as much money as they can without a care for the fleeing refugees, some of whom were beaten and tortured on their journey to freedom.  At the end of it all it shows what human beings are capable of – both in doing good and bad and what we are capable of enduring in difficult times. A sobering experience. We are lucky in our lives here in west Limerick.

These past few days has seen more rain fall than in the whole month of May with 91.2 mm falling since Friday last. Monday night was the wettest since last January. Lots of events had to be cancelled on account of the weather and it surely dampened the spirits of all who attended The Rose Festival as well as the Fleadh in Ennis, the Vintage in Knockanure and the GAA Fun Day in Glin, but, like I said above we have comfortable homes and warm beds so we must not complain too much. It is back to school time so a bit of fine weather is probably on the way.

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