Mary & Denis Barrett, Fairy Street, Athea celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary with their family

Happy 50th wedding anniversary to Denis & Mary Barrett, Fairy St., Athea. 25th November 2021. Wishing them many more happy years together.


Timmy Woulfe, writer, historian, dance master, footballer extraordinaire has launched his book “As Tough as Tathfhéithleann”, a list of Irish words and phrases which were commonly used in the parish of Athea in the last century. This would make a great Christmas surprise for our ex pats.  Copies will be available at this office.

Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann

Due to the rise in Covid cases in the parish recently the Comhaltas session arranged for Saturday December 4th at the Top of the Town has been cancelled. We will return, hopefully after Christmas.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

I am back from my rambles to America and am I glad to be home. I had a great time while I was there but the travelling was a nightmare. One thing for sure, if you are not well able to use a smart phone you might as well stay at home. On every leg of the journey information had to be downloaded or scanned and put into a document mainly due to Covid restrictions. At some of the cafe’s there were no printed menus. A code had to be scanned to the phone which opened the menu there. It took a bit of getting used to. Most places did not accept money, just cards. The trip started off badly when Bríd and myself tried to check into our direct flight from Dublin to discover that that flight had been cancelled. They say we were sent an email about it but I double checked and, no, couldn’t find it. They reluctantly got us on a flight to JFK and then another from there to Seattle. All in all we were travelling for 24 hours. We had to come back by Chicago with another stop over  so we were another 24 hours getting home. To add insult to injury they lost our bag on the way over and we were waiting for three days for that to be delivered!  A good job my son Sean wears the same size clothes as I do. Anyway, as I already alluded to, I did enjoy my visit to one of the nicest and most picturesque cities in the world. I even got to play a couple of rounds of golf with Danjoe and Sean on two beautiful courses and found a perfect pint of Guinness in a bar run by an Algerian. You’d think Gerard White himself pulled it! We also had a few sessions of music together in Sean’s house where we were joined on the bass fiddle by a Chinese gentleman who lived nearby. He wasn’t long getting the hang of the Irish tunes and it was really enjoyable. I never realised what a big deal Thanksgiving is in the US, it is like Christmas with all the trimmings and then of course I was there for Black Friday with real bargains to be had in the shops. I did notice, however, that things have gotten a good deal more expensive since I was there last, three years ago. I suppose, like the rest of the world it is businesses trying to catch up after Covid restrictions. A nice place to visit but I wouldn’t like to live there permanently; too old and set in my ways I suppose.

I was thinking, while there, of the people who emigrated from Ireland many years ago when flying wasn’t an option. Many from Athea took the long road to Cobh in Cork to board a liner that took most of a week to reach Ellis Island. Some of them hadn’t a clue what was before them while others had relatives to welcome them. It was the custom, at the time, to hold an “American Wake” on the night before somebody set off for Cobh. It was a party in one sense but it was also extremely sad because this could be the last time they would see each other. There was little hope of people coming back on holiday so, many were never again united with family and friends. As time went by things improved and it became easier to cross the Atlantic. It was however very expensive to travel by plane so holidays were few and far between. There would be great excitement when the “Yanks” came home with their flashy clothes and American accents making us all look dowdy and ragged. I remember, when I was very young, relatives of my mother calling to see us while they were in Ireland on holidays. They only stayed for a few hours but there was an awful lot of cleaning and whitewashing in the week leading up to the visit and my mother seemed to be baking forever. They gave me a bar that was different from anything I had ever tasted before. They called it candy and I ended up eating it in very small bites to try and make it last. Nowadays travelling across the ocean is much more frequent as the world has gotten to be a much smaller place and no destination is too far away. Having said all that, there is no place like home and we are very fortunate to be living where we are.


I can’t believe that we are at the last month of the year already. It seems like only yesterday I was trying to remember that the date ended with 2021 and in a few weeks I will be writing 2022. They say the older you get, the quicker time passes. I can certainly attest to that as years seem to be no longer than months. I remember, when I was young, thinking how long a year was, waiting for Christmas to come around or for Santa to pay a visit. It seemed to be an eternity but I suppose that is the way. An hour can be a long time if you are waiting for a train but a very short time if you are hurrying to catch one. Anyway, each day should be enjoyed as there is no point in looking too far ahead. The future is unpredictable so there is great merit in the old saying “never put off ‘till tomorrow what you can do today”.  That is why it is so important to let loved ones know how we feel about them right now. We might not get the chance again.

The new strain of Covid means we are all going to have to be more careful in our dealings with each other. If we all do as we are advised we can minimise the spread of the sickness and avoid more people in our hospitals.  With this in mind the local Comhaltas branch have cancelled a session that was organised for the Top of the Town next Saturday night. I know some people will be upset by this but it is better to hold off now than risk more infection. With the best will in the world it is extremely difficult to observe socialising at a session. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is now more Covid in Athea than at any time since the pandemic started so we all have a responsibility to protect each other. I look forward to the day when we can return to a normal life but that may be some distance into the future.

Tracing Family

My name is Leo Glynn, I am 71 years old – living in Kansas City, Missouri USA.
I am looking for my grandmother’s family – her maiden name being Bridget Scanlon. She is number four on the top list attached
She married my grandfather Michael Audley in Kansas City, Missouri USA in 1910.
My grandmother passed away here in Missouri USA in 1945.  My mother was Catherine (Audley) Glynn – she passed away in 2000.  She knew that her mother was from Athea and I think may have visited Athea in the late 1960’s.  My older sister now 81 years old thinks our mother told her many of our Scanlon relatives were still in the Athea area.
I know this is a long shot but I’m am wondering if some (?) of the Scanlon Family saw this list they might recognize the names on the list as being part of their family. I will sincerely appreciate any help or direction you might be able to provide. Thank You Very Much !!!   Leo Glynn        Email





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Kathleen’s Corner-30/11/2021

By Kathleen Mullane


Well the countdown is on to Christmas and this can be seen with many trees and lights already up in homes and shops. It seems they went up earlier this year comparing to previous years but maybe that’s to do with Covid seeing as last year Christmas was a bit of a disaster, many kids wanted their decorations up for the Toy Show, their biggest night of the year. And wasn’t it great to see in excess of 6 million being raised for children in need again this year in our island – truly amazing.

This Saturday sees our Vincent De Paul annual collection taking place from 9-5pm outside Paul Collins’ shop again this year, as church gate collections aren’t allowed due to Covid. Last year everyone was so generous in their donations and you can be assured the money collected will be put to extremely good use. And we urge anyone who may find the going difficult and may need a little help to contact any member of the conference in complete confidentiality and your case will be looked into. 

I bought Timmy Woulfe’s book the other day, it’s been sold out a couple of times so no doubt more copies will be printed. It was so funny to see all the words that we may have forgotten or not realised were Irish old words. Only a few weeks ago my daughter in America had said to a person from KERRY – YOU ARE A – NUDAI -NADAI. They had never heard of it -and Lo and Behold there I saw it in the book and it means -Someone Who Is Hard To Please . So you learn every day.

Congrats to Carol O’Connor, Lower Athea, who celebrated her 50th birthday at the weekend in Galway along with her husband Jamsey.

Sincere Sympathy is extended to Timmy Murphy of Knockfinisk on the unexpected passing of his good wife Phyllis last week. She was much loved by many and did great work throughout her life doing Humanitarian work in places such as Papua New Guinea and Australia among others. Requiem Mass on Sunday was followed by burial in Newcastlewest. Sympathy to her extended family, relatives and many friends whose lives she touched. May the light of heaven be hers.

The death also took place of Catherine Woulfe of Keale last week. She had reached a great age and was much loved by her family and relatives. Requiem Mass on Sunday was followed by burial in Templeathea Cemetry. May she rest in peace.

Sincere Congrats and good wishes go to Jacque Stackpoole, daughter of Margaret and Tom, who on Saturday last was married here in Athea church to Con Wrenn of Tournafulla. It was lovely to see some of the Irish Army in attendance Con himself being a member and all dressed out in their uniforms. Everyone had a great day at The Devon Inn Hotel. Congrats to the newly weds and all the best for the future.

Thought For The Week:- Your Goal should be just out of reach but not out of sight.


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Knockdown News-30/11/2021

By Peg Prendeville

My sympathies to Esther Kinnane and family on the death of her grandmother Mary Ahern, Coole West.

The following poem is a light-hearted version of my weekend.

Booster Shot

Everything seemed to fit just right

When I got my Booster call

My hubby was in rehab

So I had no care at all.

And then I had a great idea

Now that I have time to spare

I’ll go to see some family

In Fanore in Co. Clare.

On the way to Patrickswell

My battery light flashed red

So I had to make a detour

And get that fixed instead.

But with guidance from my angels

I got my battery replaced

And got my booster shot, no bother,

And headed to Co. Clare.

Some Neurofen and water

Was the advice I took

I had no symptoms, pains nor aches

I did everything by the book.

But when I went to bed that night

And was thanking God in prayer

I got a fit of shivering

In Fanore in Co. Clare.

The cold attacked from inside my bones

And invaded every pore

I couldn’t warm up at all

I was frozen to the core.

I wrapped up inside a duvet

Tucked pillows here and there

But not a wink of sleep I got

In Fanore in Co. Clare.

I yawned and tossed and turned

As I counted down the hours

And now my body was on fire

And I could not cool it down.

I was not the best of company

As I rested all next day

But thank God I slept on Sunday night

In my bed in Co. Clare.

And now I hear of Omicron

And I wonder will I dare

Accept another booster?

It’s hard to know, I swear!

Now I’m cuddled up in my own bed

And offering up a prayer

For the people who put up with me

While shivering in Clare.


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