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’.