Archive for January, 2012

Pat’s Corner – 18/1/12

by Pat Brosnan


Review of Athea Journal


Perhaps the first attractive feature of the 2011 Athea Parish Journal which has been on sale since before Christmas is the lovely colour picture on its front cover of the Carnegie Library which first opened in 1914 and was sadly closed down last year just like other familiar Athea landmarks of their times. Then turning to page 1 we find an index of all the contents and the names of the contributors. After this we have the Editorial from Lillian Fitzgerald and Domhnall de Barra featuring the “Uncertain Times” in which we now live. Following on this on page 4 there is an interesting article on medical matters by Dr Kieran Murphy our local GP. Tom Aherne next contributes an article about saving the turf last year 2011 and on page 7 Anne Denihan, who lives on the Lower Road, writes about the family of their own the Thornhill’s where she grew up with the other members in Kilfinane Parish.  On page 10 there is an article about the late Tommy Finn, a former professional jockey who in later years settled in Athea and who sadly died here last year R.I.P.

This year’s Athea GAA activities occupies pages 11 – 14 with some interesting contributions. Joe (The Kerryman) Quille, Limerick City and formerly Lyreacrompane writes “Odds and Ends” on pages 16 and 17. On pages 18 and 19 Nora Hurley submits an article which appeared in the Limerick leader on September 24th 1987 about “The Blessing of Athea’s “Roman Basilica”. Amina Parkes writes on page 20 about the Athea Drama Group and its most recent production “The Man from Clare”  Mary Collins asks on page 23 “Is there anything as versatile as an egg?” certainly an interesting question. My own contribution appears on page 24 and 25 Dancing in Derby 1950’s. Tommy Quille has a quiz on page 25 with answers on page 76. George Langan writes about the Lynch’s of Glasha on pages 26 -29 and George has also some lovely tributes and verses dedicated to the great bard of Glenbawn the late Paddy Faley on pages 30 and 31.  Athea United Soccer Club occupies pages 34 – 40 with a well written account of the year’s activities by Pat Mulvihill, Club PRO.  On page 41 there is a detailed account of the facilities and activities of Athea National School. Turning to pages 42 and 43 there is an article by Raymond Fennelly “All in the Game” much of it about football but more of a general nature. Also in a corner of page 43 there is a poem by Tina Brosnan Andrews “In Loving Memory of Mam”. Athea Golf Society and its activities are featured on pages 44 and 45.  Athea Coiste na nÓg activities are detailed from page 46 to 52 with contributions from Chairman Paul Curry, Michael Buckley, John Hunt, David O’Connor, Roger Ryan, Kevin O’Keeffe and Michael Reidy.  On page 54 there is an article about NKRO North Kerry reaching out Heritage Project with details of how and where to join.  On page 56 there is an article by Manager David O’Connor about U-12 Community Games Soccer. Tom Aherne writes about “A Special Visit” on page 55 and on page 60 Tom Fitzgerald has an interesting article about the Railway Tunnel in Barnagh.  On page 62 Peg Prendiville writes about her late father “In Memory of Paddy Faley”. On pages 63 – 65 Pa Fitzgerald of Knocknasna and USA submits “Historical Letters from 1856”. Domhnall de Barra contributes “Change of a Lifetime” from pages 66 – 68 which also includes a couple of songs. On pages 70 and 71 Patrick Fitzgerald tells about how “Every Photograph tells a Story”. Then on page 77 there is a short article about the late Dan Keane “Going Strong at 92” on the occasion of his book launch “A Kerrryman’s Limericks “ before Christmas. “Old Time Football Stars” an article taken from the Limerick Leader 9-3-1955 and submitted by T J Culhane appears on Pages 78 and 79.  On page 81 there is “A Song for Dev” from Tales out of School by Raymond Fennelly.  On pages 82 and 83 there is an article “The Irish Rural Servant Boy and Servant Girl” taken from the West Limerick Journal produced by the late Patrick T Aherne R.I.P. in 1985. Domhnall de Barra writes on page 84 about the activities of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Athea during the past year. On page 89 there is de Barra’s Crossword. On page 90 David O’Riordan, Granagh writes about “The Amazing Piper Jackson Story”. And on page 92 David also tells about “Famous Irish Singers in British charts”. The final articles in the Journal on pages 94 and 95 concerns the years activities of Athea Community Council the Chairman’s address at last year’s AGM and the Secretary’s report at the AGM held on September 19th last.  It can be seen from the above review that there is a great variety of interesting material in the latest 23rd Edition of the Athea Parish Journal. But the photographs, most of these in full colour are a different matter altogether, page after page they enhance the quality of the Journal and make it much more attractive. There are of course a number of older interesting black and white photographs from the past including the 1916 Martyr Con Colbert and another of late Glenbawn poet and writer Paddy Faley.  There are also photographs in both colour and black and white from George Langan’s Album. There are some fine photographs all in colour from the GAA and Soccer clubs and Coiste na nÓg and a page of photographs from Athea National School. There is a page of photographs from Athea Golf Society and another from the Comhaltas Annual Trad Féile. As well there are a couple of pages of photographs of the Soccer team representing Athea in the Community Games last year.  There is a colour picture of the Barnagh Railway Tunnel and another fine colour picture of Paddy Faley submitted by his daughter Peg Prendiville.  4 pages of pictures in colour and black and white from the Cratloe area have been submitted to the Journal by Domhnall de Barra and further on there are 2 pages in colour of “Photos old and new”. There are some nice colour pictures in 2 pages in “Every Photograph Tells a Story” sent in by Patrick Fitzgerald. There is a colour photograph of the late Dan Keane taken from the front cover of his Book of Limericks also some wedding colour photographs and motor cyclists. There is a page of colour pictures from Mike O’Connor’s album. There are more photographs in colour and black and white from the Cratloe area from Maura Keane’s slides and Josephine McElligott. Dáithí O’Riordan, Granagh submitted 4 black and white photographs with his article about Irish singers in British Charts and the last colour photograph in the Journal is of an early draw in the Community Council “Lucky Numbers”.

Even the advertisements in the Journal which are all in Black and White apart from the Athea Credit Union in colour on the back page all have their own special attraction and are neatly presented. Taken as a whole the Athea Parish journal is a fine publication and makes a very interesting read for people both at home and abroad. It is available at the usual outlets for the modest cost of €12.


Late John Murphy

The death of John Murphy of Gortnagross, which occurred during the past week at the Mid Western Regional Hospital, was widely regretted not only by his own family, extended family, relatives, friends and neighbours but also by the wider community throughout West Limerick and further afield. John was a hard worker throughout his life at various tasks and he and his wife Betty raised a lovely family who all did well when they grew up. John himself was a member of a well known locally established Athea family and he was a brother-in-law to the late John Geoghegan who was killed in the Congo while serving with the United Nations Forces in the early’60’s. Many from far and near called to the Murphy home on Friday evening to pay their respects and sympathise with the family.  There was also a big attendance at the Requiem Mass at St Bartholomew’s Church on Saturday afternoon and the funeral afterwards at the local cemetery. Sympathy is extended to his wife Betty, sons, daughters, grandchildren, brother, sister, nephews, nieces, his in-laws and other relatives. ‘Ar Dheis Dé Go Raibh a Anam’.



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Knockdown News – 18/1/12

by Peg Prendeville

Sincere sympathy to Nancy Langan and family, Glenagragra on the death of her sister Eileen this week. May she rest in peace.

The parish Senior Citizens Party will be held in the Parish Hall on Sunday January 22nd. This is always a great day in the parish and gives the older generation a chance to meet and have fun together. The Gerald Griffins wrenboys, who organise the day, are to be commended for their generosity.

The Parish Hall committee had a meeting during last week to ensure that all plans for the Parish annual are going ahead. We would appeal to all clubs and schools to please send in their reports to us as soon as possible but definitely before the middle of February! It only takes one evening to sit down and put them together!  The committee wish to thanks the young Tenekilla wrenboys, ten of whom are grandchildren to Daisy and Michael Kearney, who gave a generous donation of €165 to the Parish Hall committee.  Thank you. The Parish Hall was used last week to cater for the family and friends of Miriam Reidy on the 1st anniversary of her death in January 2011. The Reidy’s wish to thank everyone who helped out on the day. Remember the Hall is there for everyone and we should be proud to have such a fine facility in our parish.

Statistically the 3rd Monday in January is considered to be the most depressing day of any year so now that we have passed it, we look forward to brighter spring days with the evenings lengthening and the moods lifting. There is so much negative stuff coming from the media that we have to cling to the hope of sunnier days ahead. Let us hope it will not be like the Spring of ‘95 of which I found a poem which I wrote back then!


Spring ’95


Such excitement here this morning when I looked out from my room

Expecting pelting rain and wind and the usual air of gloom

“Mammy, Mammy” my son called, “What’s that yellow thing in the sky?”

I was sure I was still dreaming and massaged my sleepy eyes.


But, a miracle had happened, the sun shone with all its might.

The grass and trees looked greener from the wondrous heat and light.

And the daffodils were laughing as they tossed their golden curls,

The tinkling stream sang merrily -we were in a different world.


Oh yes, our eyes had been defogged and everything was quite clear

Gone were the grey and dreary days, the hailstones, rain and sleet.

Spring had arrived belatedly and put us all in humour

For gardening, cleaning, dusting and making plans for



By evening time we were all tired but full of fun and cheer.

We thanked our God in Heaven that at last fine weather’s here.

Tonight I check the forecast to see how long ‘twill stay.

But all I see are big black clouds! Ah, well, we had ONE day!




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By Carrig Side – 18/1/12

by Tom Aherne

The following are the lottery results from Foleys Bar Reens Ardagh, on Monday 9th January. The numbers drawn were 2,10,11,19.
Congratulations to the lucky dip winners as follows:
€60 Danny Sammon, Newcastle West.
€60 Geraldine McCarthy, Askeaton.
€60 Noreen Geoghegan, Newcastle West.
€30 Pat Sullivan+Jim Woods c/o Moore’s.
€30 Paula Ruane, Askeaton.
€30 Jack+Aaron Mulqueen c/o Curley’s.
Next week’s draw takes place at Peadar’s Bar Ardagh, and the Jackpot will be €13,800.
Carrig Celtic defeated Askeaton by 4-0 in the ladies soccer league cup tie played in Carrigkerry on Sunday 8th January. Jessie Quaid 2,  Bridget Liston and Michelle Brouder scored the goals.
In the Desmond League Division 1 Old Mill lost 1-0 away to Glantine.
Carrig Celtic and Kilcolman Rovers had no fixtures as the pitches
were unplayable.
We extend sympathy to Nora O’Connell and family Carrigkerry,  the Murphy family, Ballylin, Ardagh and Patsy Madigan and family Ballyegna,
Ardagh, other relations and friends in the locality on the death of Nora’s brother John Murphy, Gortnagross, Athea. His remains were removed from his residence on Friday evening last to Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Athea. Burial after Requiem Mass in Holy Cross
Cemetery Athea, on Saturday 14th January. Sympathy also to his wife
Betty, sons Tony, Teddy, John, Declan, Brennan, Kenneth, Colm, and
Eamon, daughters Mary and Pauline, brother Liam, and sisters Nora and
Mary, grandchildren, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

The death has also taken place of George Aherne, Doolin, County Clare, and Kildimo, County Limerick on 5th January. His late father Christy was a native of Glensharrold, Carrigkerry. His remains were removed from his mother’s residence on Friday evening last to Saint Joseph’s Church Kildimo. Burial after Requiem Mass in Kildimo Cemetery on
Saturday 14th January. Sympathy to his mother Maí, his daughter Maura Rose (San Francisco) brothers Noel and Kevin, sister Mairead. The Aherne family Glensharrold extended family and friends. May they both rest in Peace.
A large crowd from the locality attended the meeting in The Ballintemple Inn Newcastle West on Monday 9th January to discuss the septic tank registration, property tax and neglect of rural Ireland.
It was time that people stood up and be counted and spoke up about the way our country is being run in recent years. The time has come for people to take a stand and to demand fair play for people living in rural Ireland who have witnessed their services and their way of life taken from them. Rural politicians from all sides should come together and unite as one to ensure there is a level playing field for all
citizens. We are in very challenging times and it is time the people and their needs came first and the people who put us in the mess paid. We hope the momentum gained at the meeting continues to grow and become a nationwide movement to fight for ordinary citizens whose message at the meeting was crystal clear. Do not register your septic tank, until the County Council gets their house in order. Do not pay the household charge until refuse and water services are supplied and roads upgraded and bridges repaired.

Community employment schemes in the parish have been dealt a major blow in the recent Budget, which announced cuts for 2012. All existing schemes from January 1st face a reduction on the training and material grants paid pending a review of all CE schemes that is due to take place in the first quarter of 2012. As a result all future training for participants has been put on hold and the material grant cut in
half to €10 per participant/place per week. If this becomes permanent it will signal the death knell for CE schemes which will have to fundraise to raise the shortfall or close. This is another attack on rural Ireland who depends on these schemes to maintain services in communities devastated by Government policies. They have done wonderful work over the years, saving local authorities huge sums of
money in the process and enhancing the appearances of places tenfold. If all Government Departments were as well run and accountable and delivered results as well as CE schemes on the ground we would not be in the mess we are in today. Participants on schemes want to work and
do so for as little as an extra €20 per week for their 19 and a half hours. It is not their fault that up to a half a million people have  no work and successive Governments are only worried that there will be no money to pay themselves their inflated payments and pensions. They
lick up to rogue bankers and financial institutions and treat decent honest people with arrogance, and fail to put in place guidelines and measures that would create employment. It is local communities that
will suffer again and grass will not be cut and halls, dressing rooms  and streets cleaned. A meeting to address the cuts will be held in Rathkeale Community Centre on Monday 23rd January at 8pm, and all concerned are urged to attend.
Many local people were saddened to hear of the death of Dan Keane of Moyvane, who was held in high regard by all who knew him.  He was well known for his skill with the pen, his many interviews on local Radio and his association with all things Irish. It was a joy to listen to his clean jokes and stories and to read his well crafted compositions. Dan could compose a piece in a short time about any
subject and he leaves behind a large quantity of quality writing including a number of very interesting books. He was 92 years old and he lived a long and productive life and was a friend to all. Dan worked for New Ireland Assurance Company and was well known to the
people on the road from Athea to Carrigkerry. He was a very welcome

visitor and he endeared himself to all his customers with his friendly manner.  He would always call to Flynn’s Shop and enjoy a chat and a cup of tea with the late Nell. He retained fond memories from those times, and the people he met on his travels. In 1989 he wrote a song about this route called “The Road to Carrig Town” which came first in the newly composed ballad competition at the County Kerry Fleadh Cheoil.
The Sylvan shades, the grassy glades, the Mountains bare and brown,
And the lovely maid with whom I prayed in the Church in Carrig Town.

We grew up to the sound of the lovely singing of Bridie Gallagher on
Radio Eireann during the sixties. She had a most captivating voice which attracted people from all walks of life.  We got to know all those lovely places she mentioned in her songs and the stories they told about our native land. A neighbor of ours would shout out “is
that Gallagher on the Radio” when her songs would come on. Later on
in life we watched her on Television, and attended her Concerts and enjoyed them greatly. It is sad to hear of her death aged 87 years, but we rejoice in her long and successful career which brought so
much enjoyment to so many.

We also note the passing of Billie Joe
Spears the fine American country singer who died before Christmas. May they all rest in Peace.
The card game at the Flag Floor Glensharrold resumed on Wednesday 18th
January, after the Christmas break. It commences at and all are welcome to attend.
The Coolcappa/ Kilcolman parent and toddler group meet every week from
11am to 12.30pm in the Community Centre in Coolcappa. All parents and
guardians are welcome. Please call Rosemary on (085) 1688307 if you
have any queries.
The Rathfredagh annual walk will take place on Sunday 29th January. It will start at the top of Barna, walking the railway line to Newcastle West. It will continue by road from Newcastle West, to Rathfredragh via Laceys Cross and the Bruff Line. The walk will commence at 10am, and transport will be available from Newcastle West to Rathfredragh if
people require it. Sponsorship cards can be got by ringing reception at Rathfredagh, on 069-83100. All support for one of Rathfredagh’s major fundraising events will be appreciated.  

West Limerick Resources will be offering a free training programme to community groups who would like to develop their own low cost/no cost website.  The group training initiative will show groups how to develop and maintain their own website using the free on-line resource- WordPress.  While potential participants will not require any specific web programming knowledge or experience, they must have a sound basic knowledge of computers and be comfortable in the use of the internet, email and simple applications such as Word. Venue and dates to be confirmed.  Those interested in taking part are asked to
contact Suzanne on 069 79114 or email [email protected] to register. Limit two participants per community group.


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