Winners of the Lip Sync Battle
Congratulations Sia & Maddie

From Athea Hair Salon (Tina Divas) we would like to thank each and every one of you for your support and sponsorship for our hamper which we raffled to raise sponsorship for the Lip Sync on behalf of the GAA. It was Greatly Appreciated. The winners were Katie O’Sullivan, Lower Road, Athea and Tom Collins, also Lower Road, Athea


‘Anyone Could Rob a Bank’

The play continues on this Thursday night, February 16th, 18th and 19th. in the Community Hall. This is a hilarious comedy by Thomas Coffey and promises to be a laugh a minute. It has been receiving great revues. Doors open at 7.30pm curtain up at 8pm. Don’t miss it!!!

Athea Community Games

Will be having there annual church gate collection next weekend  Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th of February at all masses.  Your support would be greatly appreciated

Sacristan’s Collection

A collection for sacristans Ann and Carol will take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th February. Envelopes can be got in the church.

Ladies Monthly Night Out

The next gathering will be on Friday, March 3rd in Brown Joe’s. The funds raised on the night will go towards the Lourdes Invalid Fund. All the usual fun, games, bingo, craic etc will be the order of the night. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

A Disgrace!

I have always thought of myself as a fairly broadminded, liberal person who does not like too much censorship and believes in the freedom of speech. I have always enjoyed a joke and, in the right company, I am capable of telling fairly “blue” ones as good as the next man but I have to draw the line at the contents of the Late Late Show last Friday night. It was meant to honour St. Valentine’s Day but, following the programme, I am sure the poor Saint is turning in his grave.  It was vulgar, lewd, crass, tasteless and an affront to common decency. The audience were all young single people, the age group that do not normally watch this show because they are out enjoying themselves. This, once respected show, is watched mainly by families –  fathers, mothers, grandparents and of course children who are allowed up late because there is no school the following morning.  I shudder to think what the older generation thought of it, never mind the example it gave to youngsters. Have people completely lost respect for themselves and others?  If this type of material is thought suitable for the national airwaves what next?. Will we have x-rated films beamed into our living rooms and the kind of bawdy humour that is described by Donald Trump as “locker room”.  There is the argument by some ultra liberals that there should be no limits on what is shown. Nudity, sex, foul language are “normal” and should not be hidden. It brings to mind a discussion that was held as part of Writers Week in Listowel a few years ago. It concerned censorship in books, plays and films and the consensus was that nothing natural should be hidden. Dan Keane, God rest him, was in the audience and when all had finished talking he rose to his feet and asked the question, “if that is the case, if we build a public toilet on Market Street, should we have glass walls in it?” A few people weren’t so sure any more. There was a time and if the word “piss” was used over the airwaves there would be an outcry. Gradually, the use of suspect language has grown until it now appears that anything goes and we hear vulgarity all over the place. Believe it or not, I am not a spoilsport but I have respect for other people and their sensibilities and I wouldn’t dream of repeating things I would say to the lads in the pub to others in a different context. I don’t think, by the reactions to the programme I have got from others, that I am alone in my thoughts. If anyone wants to know about St. Valentine and  the true meaning of love they should read the leaflet distributed by Fr. Duggan at Mass last Sunday. What a contrast with what was portrayed on Friday night last. RTE and Ryan Tubridy should be ashamed of themselves. We deserve better from them. I am seriously thinking about whether I should renew my TV licence when it runs out.

History in the Making


A bit of history will be made in Athea on Sunday March 19th when the first concert ever will be held in St,. Bartholomew’s Church. This is being organised by the local Comhaltas branch featuring many aspects of different entertainment from people within the parish and a couple of special guests from outside. We hope to showcase what is going on in the parish through the school, church choir, dancing and music classes, wrenboys etc.  Thanks to Fr. Mullins and Fr. Duggan for giving the use of the Church for this concert.  Any money raised from the raffle will go towards sending people to Lourdes and the local school. The concert will commence at 7pm so keep your diary free for that occasion. It promises to be a great night.

Lucky Numbers Draw

By now you probably will have heard that our “Lucky Numbers” draw will be held on a Tuesday night  from now on instead of Saturday nights as heretofore. When we started the lotto, 22 years ago, we had a big group of people running it. Over the years that number has dwindled due to retirement, illness etc. until there are now just three of us left to do the job. We have tried to get other people on board but it is hard to expect anyone to give up their Saturday nights every week. I don’t blame them but we felt we could no longer continue as we were. If one of us is not available it puts too big a strain on the remaining two. Tickets will be available in all the pubs and there is the advantage that they  may be bought throughout the weekend and Monday. We hope the publicans will put the tickets in a prominent place, our regular buyers will continue to support us and we will occasionally make an appearance on Saturday nights armed with tickets!. I want to thank all the people who have bought tickets on Saturday nights over the years. It was great to meet you all and there is a part of me that will miss the banter and the craic. I will not, however miss working until nearly one in the morning. Like I said to somebody on Saturday night, I don’t want to be going from pub to pub in my Zimmer frame !

Domhnall de Barra

A Bit of Polish History continued….

By Fr. Brendan Duggan 

Poland 1989

During the International Taize meeting in Wroclaw from December 27th to January 2nd, the temperature one morning was –21° Celsius. This was quite an experience for us Irish. I met Cardinal Hume of Westminster outside one of the churches where we had prayers. He was a humble man who travelled from England to Poland and back by coach, 28 hours each way. He was too humble to travel by plane. There was one Irish Bishop (from Raphoe) at the meeting. Pope John Paul was a regular visitor to Taize, so you can see how he adopted the Taize meeting module and it became the World Youth Day which was held in Czestochowa, Poland in 1991 and has been ongoing ever since.

On New Year’s Eve 1989 we had a wonderful Midnight Mass in Polish and German at our church. The choir had arrived from Hamburg, Germany led by a Lutheran pastor who, 50 years previously, had been ejected with his family from Poland back to Germany. He returned with his choir as a symbol of peace and reconciliation between Poland and Germany.

We all know of course how the Germans treated the Poles. At the end of the war the Germans in Silesia (Southern Poland0 were largely expelled. The P:rince Cardinal of Wroclaw was kicked back to Germany together with many German priests and replaced by a Polish Archbishop and priests. The Sudetenland (Bohemia & Moravia) in Czechoslovakia also had about 3 million Germans expelled. Of course on the Eastern Front the Russians absorbed large chunks of Poland and formed the country of Belarus (i.e. White Russia) and many Poles were expelled back to the New Poland. In the Ukraine to the east of Poland Lwoff, formerly the cultural capital of Poland, had hundreds of thousands of Poles expelled. Many came to Silesia and moved to Cracow which became the new cultural capital of Poland. The Ukrainians and the Poles to this day don’t like each other and many of the rare cultural items and Polish manuscripts are still in a sense imprisoned in Lwoff. So Poles are not exactly welcome at the Polish-Ukrainian border and vice versa for Ukrainians. That is one reason I have never visited Ukraine as one can endure long delays at the border. Crossing to Germany or the Czech Republic was easy as these are European Union Nations. There is a long and tragic history all over Eastern Europe and it is rather complex.

To be continued next week……

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Kathleen’s Corner-15/02/2017

By Kathleen Mullane

‘Happy Valentines’ 

Well by the time this newsletter is published you will have either celebrated Valentine’s Day over the past weekend – as some have done or else yesterday Tuesday 14th– being Valentine’s Day. On the other hand you may be waiting until next weekend and also you may not bother if “you’ve passed that stage in your life”. However, Pope Francis is urging everyone of us to celebrate “The Joys of Love” this Valentine’s Day and has a leaflet published with “3 phrases” that make for a successful relationship.

“May I?”- yes, courtesy kindles love.

“Thank you”- always say those words, they cost nothing

and last but not least he advises to say “I’m sorry” – never let the sun go down on your anger!.

Well “Happy Valentine’s to one and all – enjoy!

Well its great to have the Athea Drama’s production this week of “Anyone Could Rob a Bank” as there would have been a very low atmosphere, after the Lip-Sync if there wasn’t something to look forward to. I went to see it on Saturday night and it’s a great laugh – with some wonderful acting. And I seriously think Damien Ahern would be well able for a fight with Conor McGregor! You still have a chance to see the show this Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Congrats to Peter O’Connor of Hillside Drive who celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday night last along with his family and friends.

Well done to the pupils of Athea N.S. who took part in the 10-10-10 on Friday last in conjunction with Operation Transformation, with the classes all doing their 10mins workout at 10am on the 10th February.

A reminder that the Sacristan’s Collection for Anne Mulvihill and Carol O’Connor will take place at all masses on 25th/26th/ February with envelopes available at the church doors. Please give as generously as possible as they give tremendous help at the church.

Congrats to Patrick Langan of Glenagragra who will be appearing on this Saturday night’s ‘Winning Streak’ show on RTE1. I’m sure there was great excitement when his name was called out. Best of luck Pat, all Athea will be rooting for you.

Athea Comhaltas, under the leadership of Donal de Barra, will be performing a traditional concert in the near future to raise funds to send 3 youth volunteers from the parish to Lourdes and maybe some invalids on the West Limerick pilgrimage in June. We look forward in anticipation to the same.

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Knockdown News-15/02/2017

By Peg Prendeville

“Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,

It’s with O’Leary in the grave”

These two lines from the poem “September 1913” by W.B. Yeats came to me last Friday night after watching most of the Late Late Show. I had settled myself down for a quiet night to watch the St. Valentine Special but eventually gave up and turned it off. It would seem, from the programme, that romance is a thing of the past in Ireland and has been replaced by swearing and double-meaning vulgar talk and actions. I may sound like a prude but I cannot help but feel sorry for the young generation who are hoping to be swept off their feet with a little bit of romance before settling down to the humdrum of daily life. Judging by the majority – not all – of the comments on the Late Late Show Facebook page  I am not the only one who thinks it was in very bad taste. I think that Ryan Tubridy should have shown more respect for both men and women and called both guests and audience to order. Maybe Domhnall might have more to say on it in his column this week or next? I always enjoy his opinions and comments. Anyway I hope St. Valentine’s Day was a happy day for all you readers and that you got some whiff of romance during the day.

The play in Athea “Anyone Could Rob a Bank” brought back the smile to my face on Saturday night.. It was a great choice of play, well acted, as always, and brought laughter to brighten up our hearts. Well done to all. Make sure you see it when it is staged again this coming week. So much work goes into producing dramas like this that it is important to appreciate and support it.

Gerald Griffin’s GAA had a large turnout for their dinner/dance on Saturday night in the Devon Inn to celebrate their successes in 2016.

Best of luck to Patrick Langan, Glasha when he appears in Winning Streak this coming weekend. Something for us all to look  forward to.

There is a Church Gate collection next Sunday in Ballyhahill National School. The parents’ association will appreciate all support.

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