Congratulations to Tony O'Sullivan, Hillside Drive, Athea, pictured with his parents Sandra and Noel, at his graduation from Birmingham City University with a B.SC in Adult Nursing

Congratulations to Tony O’Sullivan, Hillside Drive, Athea, pictured with his parents Sandra and Noel, at his graduation from Birmingham City University with a B.SC in Adult Nursing

Athea Ladies Football Club

Would like to thank everyone who gave so generously to our church gate collection .

Our A.G.M. will take place on Saturday  night January 21st at the club house at 8.15pm after mass. It is very important that players and parents attend. All new members welcome and anyone interested in getting involved with the girls.


Our A.G.M. will take place on Saturday night January 28th in the club house at 9pm. All are welcome to attend.

Duck Race in Athea

As part of the fundraising tactics for the Lip Sync Act – Top of the Town Zombies featuring Roger RyanDerek CurtinMike Flynn & Mike Buckley, a duck race will take place at the bridge Athea at 12pm (after mass!) on Sunday, January 29th. This is the first of its kind for the parish and promises to be a whole lot of fun. Ducks will be on sale (from January  18th) at Shops & Pubs in Athea or from any member of the group. Ducks are priced at €2 or 3 ducks for €5. Prizes for the first ducks home!

Athea Community Games

Wishes to thank everyone who supported there “gallon of porter” fundraiser,  and thanks to pubs who facilitated this.

“The Play is the Thing”

This is the time of year when amateur drama groups all over the country are putting the final touches to the plays they are staging for this season. We are lucky to have an excellent drama group in Athea and two in nearby Abbeyfeale. There is a good crossover of actors between the groups which is a healthy development and brings new talent to the locality. Listowel, and Ardagh also have very experienced groups.

The history of drama begins as far back as records are kept. Acting is a natural gift that most people have, even if they are not aware of it. We, in Ireland, are particularly good at it because we spend most of our time acting anyway. How often do we meet somebody we can’t stand on the street and though we are fit to choke them, we put on a happy face and  inform them of the latest weather changes as if they were our best friend.  We may look into a baby’s pram at a very ordinary, wrinkled little mite and declare “isn’t she gorgeous and the spit of her mother” even though she is just the same as any other newly born baby. We are born with this ability inherited from our forebears who had to put up with being ruled by a foreign power for eight hundred years. Over the centuries, the people of Ireland learned to say one thing and mean another simply to survive. They had to plot in secret and pretend to the authorities and the landlords that they were happy with their lot. Whatever the reason, there is a rich vein of acting talent in the country and especially in this locality. West Limerick and North Kerry have produced some marvellous poets and playwrights over the years and without them there wouldn’t be any plays to produce. Thankfully there is plenty of material to choose from and the process of selecting a play begins in the early Autumn. Having made a choice of play the next order of business is to cast the parts. Most of the time the director has somebody in mind for each part, or at least the main roles,  and the play may even be chosen to suit a particular actor. Now the rehearsals begin. When first you read the script it can be intimidating. “How am I going to learn all these lines” is one of the first thoughts but you are committed now so, on with the readings. This continues for a few weeks and gradually you get to have a feel for the part and you are able to get into the mind of the character. The cast begin to use movement on a mock stage and, even though you still have to look at the script, some of the lines are off by heart already. Gradually, week by week it gets easier to remember and finally you are able to throw away the script. Not only do you know your own lines but you discover that you know most of the other actors’ lines as well. Finally the dress rehearsal comes and you put on the greasepaint and powder, get into the period costume and take to the stage. Now for the real thing – opening night.  You get to the theatre early. There is a buzz in the dressing room which is a hive of activity with people coming and going, getting make-up, donning costumes, drinking cups of tea , coffee and even stronger liquid. You have a last glance at the lines and say a quick prayer that you won’t forget them on stage. “Five minutes” shouts the director and the butterflies are doing somersaults in your tummy. You suddenly have an urge to go to the toilet but it is too late. Last minute countdown and the curtains are drawn back. Though you can’t really see them you are aware of the eyes of the audience on you but you  steel yourself and somehow you say your first lines without tripping up. End of thefirst scene and there is a generous round of applause. Great; this is what you have been rehearsing for since last October. This is why you left your cosy fireside on bad wintry nights to travel to a cold hall. When you feel that warmth and appreciation from the crowd, all the sacrifice is forgotten. Scene follows scene and before you know it the play is ended and it is time to take a bow. You are now walking on air and higher than if you were on ecstasy. There is nothing quite like the feeling of being asked to take that extra bow. Off with the costumes and on with the street clothes and back to normality until the next night and the process repeats itself. It is difficult to come down from such a high at times but life goes on and when the play is finished its run, all is forgotten until the next season.

I have been very lucky during my life to have had involvement with a few great drama groups. At the moment I am playing the part of Sonyy in “The Highest House on the Mountain” at the Glorach Theatre in Abbeyfeale. It is one of my all time favourite parts and is a change from the comical plays that have been so popular over the past few years. We are on until Sunday January 22nd. Athea are starting in early February with a play called “Anyone can Rob a Bank”. I hope you will support  all the local plays and that you will get enjoyment from the efforts of local amateurs who sometimes give a very professional performance. Who knows, maybe you might become an actor yourself. The drama groups will only be too happy to welcome you. Break a leg!.

 Domhnall de Barra

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Kathleen’s Corner-18/01/2017

By Kathleen Mullane

“A Great Place”

Well someone who was around Athea at Christmas and checking out our little village “observing” everything was more than impressed by all our facilities – so much so that they couldn’t stop talking about all we’ve got here. Firstly they couldn’t believe our Christmas Eve celebration in the church, both the ceremony and carol singing. They were amazed at what they called “the corner shops” and deli – namely Rose’s and Collins’ -to quote about Jerry’s butchers – “we were even able to get “Stir Fry”. When they didn’t want to cook they said they had a choice of 2 Take-Aways. They were able to go to the chemist for their necessities and a doctor if  needed. Even Kathleen’s hairdresser and a beautician were there to improve their looks! A garage if their car needed looking at and what a brilliant sports complex, soccer and GAA pitch – even walking running track! And a printers if one needed any photocopying /printing done. In all this particular visitor was more than impressed by what we had here in our small village – not to mention our post office where they were able to post their cards etc. and no less than 3 outlets in Athea where they could get their ‘Lotto tickets’. In all one of many visitors to Athea, no doubt, who were well pleased with that we had.

Everyone is looking forward to the forthcoming productions (and with half of January already gone) it’s only 2 weeks away  or so until the “Lip Sync” fundraiser takes place at The Devon Inn. And as far as I can gather the tickets are almost ‘sold out’ already – thankfully there will be a DVD on sale afterwards so that everyone who is unable to get a ticket can watch.

Then we have the Athea Drama production of “Anyone could rob a bank” – which will be shown over 6 nights starting on February 9th. So it’s a busy February and everyone is looking forward to all the shows and before we know it ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ will be upon us, and the winter gone yet again!

On Sunday next,  January 22nd Trish Phillips Aherne will be having the 11am mass here in Athea as a ‘Basketball’ remembering team Athea Club member’s mass.

Congratulations to Tony O’Sullivan, Hillside Drive, son of Sandra and Noel, who graduated from Birmingham City University with a B.SC in Adult Nursing.

I see Foynes & District Search and Rescue are looking for volunteer members aged over 18 years for their unit. Men and women can apply and training will be given. Members help out other rescue units tool and if any of you were watching the Late Late Show on Friday night and all those RNLI volunteers going our in all kinds of desperate weather and conditions looking for missing people, overturned boats etc. – they really are ‘wonderful people’. So if you have any spare time go to the Rescue Unit on Wednesday nights 7-8pm.

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Knockdown News-18/01/2017

By Peg Prendeville

Thanks to the Gerald Griffins wrenboys, all the senior citizens of the parish and surrounding area had a great day in Ballyhahill Parish Hall last Sunday. Treated to a hot meal and drinks followed by a light supper they had music and dance also. About 75 people sat down to dinner and some dinners were taken to those who could not get out. Of course the sad part is that there is one or two missing every year but that is the way of the world. Well done to all who were involved in the preparation and organisation of the event. This tradition has been going on in Ballyhahill for many years now and is much appreciated.

The local ICA members met up last week and, as usual, enjoyed the monthly gathering. They will soon be practicing for the Irish singing competition coming up in April. They have entered the table quiz, creative writing and photography competitions also so busy times are ahead. Though there are only ten members it is a very happy and talented group.

To welcome in the Spring Glin library is hosting an evening with Paul O’Brien, a Dublin man now living in Glin, who will sing some well-known ballads as well as his own compositions. All are welcome to come along and enjoy on Wednesday February 1st at 8 pm.

A clothing collection for Ballyhahill National School is taking place. Please put any unwanted clothes, shoes etc in black plastic bags and drop them to the school as soon as possible. It will be appreciated.


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