Athea Parish Festival
The Parish Festival takes place this coming week starting on Thursday, June 30th with an Afternoon Tea Party at the Top of the Town with music by Ger Conaghan. If you haven’t already given your names in please do so immediately to Peggy Casey or Brouder’s Shop. There will be a card game at the Top of the Town on the same night at 9pm. Friday see’s the Barman’s Race in the village at 8.30pm and also a Slow Bike Race with a Comhaltas Concert at 9.30pm. Dart Tournament at White’s Bar at 10pm and music in the Top of the Town by No Direction at 10.30pm.
On Saturday at 2pm there will be an underage Soccer Tournament in the Hall and a Barbeque at Collin’s Bar from 6pm to closing with the Festival Queen introduction on stage in the village at 9pm and a Céilí in the Hall at 9.30pm.
To finish off the weekend there will be a Fancy Dress parade and prize giving at 12 noon, a 5k Road Race at 1pm with registration from 11.45 am and the grand finale of the Festival Queen competition will take place at the Top of the Town from 10pm with music by Michael O’Brien.
So here’s wishing the Festival every success and please come out and enjoy the wide variety of events over the weekend.
Athea Tidy Towns
Thanks to all who have volunteered their services to water the flowers. This is cutting down on our workload and allows us to concentrate on other projects. Also the weather is also playing its part in preventing the flowers from drying out!
Work is due to start this week at the Gazebo at the bridge. The timber is being replaced with a slate roof. This is a joint project between Athea Community Council and ourselves.
Our fairy trail is also getting a makeover in the coming weeks with extra signage being erected and some doors added. Watch this space!
Thanks to Kieran Griffin and Margaret Watters for organising and painting the wall in front of the school. The school is now looking very clean and bright and the hanging baskets add a nice splash of colour.
Well done to Athea GAA on the success of their recent Féile. The grounds are looking splendid at the moment. Congratulations to all involved.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Horgan’s Garage, Athea and Adams of Glin who have sponsored our insurance for the coming year. This is a great help to our group and we are extremely grateful.
On Saturday evening last at 7.20pm as parishioners were coming to mass, on the way down the hill between the GAA pitch and graveyard, it was noticed that boys were hitting the tops off all the flowers with hurleys. The Tidy Towns group have been informed by those passing who these boys were. Unless they come forward to the Tidy Towns group admitting responsibility the group will have no alternative but to go further with the matter.
Annual Day Trip
To Athlone on July 19th. Bus leaves Newcastle West at 7.30 am via Abbeyfeale, Athea 8.30am, Carrigkerry, Ardagh, Rathkeale & South Court Hotel, Limerick. Contact: Marie on 087-7674832
Donie Nolan CD Launch
Donie Nolan from Kilcolman will launch his solo CD the Banks of the Abha Bhán at the Devon Inn Hotel, Templeglantine on this Thursday 30th June with a start time of 9pm. Donie is one of Ireland’s finest accordion players and is also an All-Ireland champion singer. Along with his wife Maura (nee Ahern from Knockfinisk) he appears regularly at the Top of the Town here in Athea. He is also much in demand for ceilithe with his band “Taylor’s Cross Céilí Band” and has toured extensively with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann concert groups. The Devon Inn will be well worth a visit on Thursday night and we wish Donie all the best with the CD.
Athea Voluntary Housing Association Limited
House to Let at St. Bartholomew’s Villas, Athea, Co. Limerick
Would suit single, senior person
Applicants must be registered with Limerick City & County Council for Housing
Please apply in writing to
Margaret Scanlon, Glenagragra, Athea, Co. Limerick
Closing date for applications Friday, July 8th
This coming weekend sees the second staging of Athea Parish Festival which is organised by the Con Colbert Community Hall Committee. From Thursday afternoon to Sunday night there will be something for people of all ages to enjoy from the tea party to card games, darts, barman’s race, slow bike race, fancy dress, 5K road race, Ceili, Comhaltas Concert, Festival Queen, dances and barbeques. Hope I haven’t left anything out of this very full and exciting programme of events. All we need now is a bit of fine weather. I can’t help thinking back to the old carnivals in Athea in the middle of the last century. They were organised by the G.A.A. and the village would be packed for the duration. We had a dozen pubs in those days and each one would be full as people came, not only from our own parish but from neighbouring parishes as well, to join in the festivities. There was a lot more drinking in those days than there is now. We hear a lot about binge drinking, especially by the younger generation, but they wouldn’t hold a candle to the drinkers of old. Young people generally confine their drinking to the weekends and then maybe on one night only but, back in the ‘seventies, the bars were doing a brisk trade day and night. Some people couldn’t even go to the creamery in the morning without having a pint or two. Thankfully there were very few motor vehicles on the road so accidents were scarce. Anyway a good time would be had by all at the carnival.
In those days regulations were not as strict as they are today. A marquee would be erected for dancing, which was the main source of income over the week. Bands would be booked from all over the country and the place would be heaving with bodies. The problem of toilets was solved by letting the men use the bushes out the back but the ladies presented a problem. On the first occasion of using a marquee the problem was solved by a local business man who cordoned off one area outside and placed an empty paint bucket in it for the ladies to use! Needless to say they weren’t amused. As time went on things improved and, though they wouldn’t have a hope of passing inspection today, proper toilets were supplied. At that time there were no direct telephone lines. If you wanted to make a call you had to turn a handle to get through to the local exchange who patched you through to Listowel if you were going outside the area. Making a call home from England was a similar task. During one carnival my aunt Nora, who lived in Coventry was trying to call my mother (we had one of the few phones in the parish – very posh!) about 8pm in the evening. She went through the local exchange to the international one which got her as far as Dublin and then onto Listowel and finally to Athea. The operator asked to be connected to Athea 17 which was our number at the time. The late Edsie O’Connor R.I.P. was manning the switchboard and answered; “there is no point in looking for them, they are at the carnival, I saw them a couple of minutes ago”. That was service for you.
One of the highlights of the carnival was the donkey derby. There was great rivalry between local donkey owners and there was often a “ringer” slipped in. On one occasion a donkey qualified for the final but when he appeared at the starting line he was a lot bigger than when he qualified half an hour before. Of course a row ensued but eventually peace was restored and the race was finally run when the big donkey was disqualified. Happy days. No problem with insurance in those days. If you wanted to run a donkey derby in the street now it would be nearly impossible to get insurance cover for it. Despite the absence of donkeys, enjoy the forthcoming festival.
Domhnall de Barra