Marcella O'Grady, Glenbawn and Brown Joe’s Bar, Athea who was nominated Glamorous Grandmother at Killeaney AFC/Knockdown Vintage Day on Sunday last.

250k Walk in aid of Pieta House

Patrick Hayes R.I.P. 12/09/2004


My name is Michael Hayes, my son Patrick died by suicide in September 2004. Patrick was 23 years old.

Returning to some kind of normal living in the aftermath of suicide is a long slow process. There is a vacancy in our home never to be filled.

With help, human beings are capable of withstanding almost any kind of loss. Patrick’s suicide affected me emotionally and physically. I speak openly and publicly about Patrick’s suicide and how it affects me. I feel the longer one carries a problem the heavier it gets. I also believe that in time sharing my experience of suicide will help remove the taboo and stigma, bring about awareness and as a result achieve some prevention. The silence surrounding suicide needs to be broken. Of course I’m not suggesting all suicides can be prevented but if I contribute to the prevention of one suicide I feel Patrick’s death will not be in vain.

A 250km walk from Limerick to Dublin to raise funds for Pieta House (a non-profit organisation providing a specialised treatment programme to prevent suicide and self harm), has been organised from 11th to 21st September 2012.

I am taking part in this walk and would greatly appreciate any donations to this worthy cause. For sponsorship cards or further details call 087-7751386

Many thanks,  Michael Hayes (July 2012)


Athea Tidy Towns


Well done to the Tidy Towns committee who are doing such a wonderful job of work. The village looks so much better, cleaner and brighter.


Johnny Quaid

(This article was taken from Spinal News, Ireland’s National Spinal Injuries Magazine)

European Final in which Johnny came second and Kevin came third

A chance meeting in 2008 led Johnny Quaid to represent Ireland in the World Pool Championships that year and every year since. The 23 year old enjoys competing in the prestigious tournament and many other domestic and international competitions and is set to represent Ireland once again this year

Despit having the obvious disadvantage of being in a wheelchair, Johnny consistently holds his own and secures a respectable 8th or 9th place in the World Championships each year.

“I injured my back in 2006 when I was 17 years old. I left school early after the Junior Cert and had been working as an apprentice in roofing in Abbeyfeale. One day I finished work but as I was walking away I realised I had left my jacket on the roof. I went back onto the roof and a few moments later fell off it. I have no memory of the accident. The first thing I remember is waking up in the Mater Hospital without any knowledge of what had taken place.”

Johnny’s injuries were multiple. He had a fractured skull and a T10 complete break. Fortunately, the damage done to his back was less serious that that to his head. “The doctors did not tell me anything about the long term impact of my injuries while I was in the Mater. After a month, I was moved to the Rehabilitation hospital in Dunlaoighre and it was there that I gradually became aware of what lay ahead of me. One day, I was feeling pretty down and I asked the doctor to tell me straight out what I could expect and it was only then that she confirmed that I was paralysed from the waist down”

Johnny had an outpouring of support from family and friends and it was this that carried him through the dark days and spurred him on with his efforts to get back to an active, positive life with hopes and goals.

Johnny was determined to make his future a good one and would not allow his disability to prevent him from creating dreams and achieving them. “I was optimistic leaving the Rehab Centre. I was keen to get on with my life and do whatever I could do. I suppose I am a glass half full type of person and I wanted to live my life to the best of my ability.”

Johnny decided to return to school and complete his Leaving Certificate. He struggled with the idea of returning to study but knew it was the best thing for his future. He secured enough points to study Media at the Institute of Technology in Tralee.

“During this time, I tried to pick up my favourite pastime which was playing pool. The one thing I loved to do in my spare time was playing pool with my friends at the village pub in Athea. Unfortunately, despite my greatest efforts I just couldn’t get myself into a good position from where I could play well. Eventually I just abandoned all hopes of ever playing again. It was too frustrating.”

Little did Johnny know that his life was about to make an unexpected change. In 2008, while sitting in the Devon Inn near Abbeyfeale he was introduced to Kevin Flynn, one of Ireland’s most successful pool players. Some 23 years ago, when Kevin was 27 he was in a traffic accident about 60 feet away from Johnny’s house and he has been in a wheelchair ever since. Against all the odds, he has battled away to become a leading force in Ireland’s team of pool players.

“Kevin knew about me and was aware that I was a keen pool player. I watched him play pool that day and realised that once you know how to position yourself it’s actually quite simple. I knew I could do it. He asked me to join him in representing Ireland that year at the World Championships in England. I decided to jump on board and came 8th or 9th.”

Johnny’s first attempt at the World Championships opened the door to a whole new world. He was playing in a major competition and almost 99% of the competitors were able bodied professionals. “The Championships are massive and it’s very overwhelming. I was a bit naive going out there the first time and expected I would do well. Thankfully I did all right and also watched Kevin make it to the semi-finals.”

According to Johnny, there are approximately 12 competitors in wheelchairs at the Championships and three of those are Irish. “The atmosphere is great. The players who are able bodied barely register the wheelchairs. As far as they are concerned we are competing as hard as anyone else. Competing at this level and improving my skills over the past few years has done a huge amount for my confidence.”

Johnny plays in tournaments around Ireland and overseas throughout the year and he recently made it to the quarter finals in the Inter Counties Pool tournament. With so much experience behind him, he is cofident and looking forward to the 2012 World Pool Championships which kick off in the last week of June.

“I have my own pool table and I practice for a few hours three times per week. At the moment, Kevin and I are also training two guys in Limerick who have spina bifida. They entered the European Championships in February and played really well.”

Despite appearances there is more to Johnny’s life than pool. His next goal is to do a parachute jump. He has been a lifelong fan of extreme sports and although his mother must shudder at Johnny’s ambition, she is a firm supporter. “Earlier this year, my mum bought me a voucher for a parachute jump. My brother was less than impressed and joked that if I could sustain such a bad injury while working, God only knows what I will end up like after a parachute jump.”

This summer, Johnny is also spending a month in Greece teaching English to children on a voluntary basis; some of the children have disabilities.

When he is not free-falling from the sky, volunteering to teach children overseas or representing Ireland in world tournaments, Johnny can be found studying psychology and counselling at PCI College, Limerick. Although Johnny completed two media courses, psychology was an area that he believed he could really excel at and it’s no wonder why. At the age of 23, he has accomplished more with his life and pushed himself to limits of which most people can only dream. There is no doubt that this is not the last we will hear of Johnny Quaid.




West Limerick Resources Ltd



A new service recently launched in Abbeyfeale will offer a weekly social connection to older people living in and around Abbeyfeale, Athea, Templeglantine, Tournafulla, Mountcollins and Monagea/Strand.  Developed by West Limerick Resources, the service is run by trained Volunteers who will ring older people to check in on their well-being and inform them of local events and services.  The service is completely free of charge and people will receive calls once a week.   New subscribers are now being sought.  To avail of the service, phone 068 51888 or 087 118 4160 and leave a message and someone will get back to you shortly



West Limerick Resources is now seeking volunteers to help raise awareness of the switch to digital television which take place on October 24th.  Help is needed to identify older people living alone, those with literacy and other learning difficulties and those with few social networks who may to be aware of the change or who may need basic information on how to make the switch.  The Community Outreach Digital Switchover Programme is heavily reliant on the Irish tradition of caring for our neighbours and we are asking communities to look around and help identify those locally who will need a little assistance and make sure that they get it.  For further information contact Clint at West Limerick Resources on 069 62222



Find the information you are seeking a new information point in Athea community Hall (sports entrance) where you can locate the relevant leaflet/form or search the internet.  An information assistant will support you in your search, if required.  Weekly FAS Jobs Lists and courses for both Limerick and Kerry will also be available.  Initially the office will be open on Monday and Wednesdays from 9.30am-5.30pm and on Fridays from 9.30am-1.30pm.  This is a free and confidential service.



The West Limerick Resources office in Abbeyfeale provides support and services to people (individuals and groups) in Abbeyfeale, Athea, Mountcollins, Tournafulla, Strand, and Monagea. We provide information and support on: employment with support from FAS Job’s Club and the Rural Employment Service;  local training opportunities; general citizen’s information and information on what’s going on in the community. For further information please call us on 068 32444 or call to us at Mountmahon.  Our office is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5:30pm. Our services are free and confidential.