by Pat Brosnan


Summer Traditional Seisiúns


Seisiún 2012 has now started all over the country under the auspices of the Comhaltas organisation and these will be held in two venues in County Limerick. Murroe/Cappamore branch will be holding their Seisiún each Tuesday night at the Heritage Centre, Adare at 8-30pm and the Templeglantine branch will be holding their seisiún at the Devon Inn Hotel on Thursday nights at 9pm. At each venue the best of Irish traditional music, songs, dances and storytelling will all be part of the night’s entertainment so each venue is worth a visit. Those who have attended these seisiúns in past years have all found great satisfaction and enjoyment and are looking forward to a similar kind of fare bein provided again throughout this summer. There will be a céad mile fáilte for all.


Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan

Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan 2012 will be held in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford on the weekend of July 20,21, 22. Many previous Munster Fleadh Cheoils have been held in this lovely Déise town and some of us have many happy memories of attending there, not alone during a Fleadh Cheoil but also on a number of occasions for weekends with the Civil Defence. Well-known composer and singer Micheál Ó Marrinan who has been a friend of mine for over thirty years lives in a place called Kilgobnet near Dungarvan.

Meanwhile best of luck to all the Limerick competitors who have qualified for the Munster Fleadh Cheoil and also to our friends in Kerry and Cork whom we have known for many years.



West Limerick Set Dancing Club will hold a set dancing Céilí at the Railway Bar, Abbeyfeale on Friday night July 20th. Music by Mountain Road and all are welcome.


New Baby Girl

Emma Mullane and Dave Mulvihill of Barragougeen, Moyvane, recently celebrated the birth of their first child, a baby girl, whom they are naming Ava. Congratulations to Emma and Dave and also to the grandparents Kathleen and Paddy Mullane, Athea and Anne and Noel Mulvihill, Moyvane.


Athea Community Games

Congratulations to Margaret Stackpoole and Sinead Hunt who recently won County medals for Athea in the Community Games Athletic competitions in Mungret. Well done too to all the others who represented Athea after they had qualified for the County finals. By all accounts they performed well in Mungret and some reached the final stages in the competitions. It is great to see that the Community Games are still going well in Athea since that rainy day away back in 1973 when we first organised a sports meeting under the auspices of the Community Games rules. Athea did not win any County awards in that first year but on the following year Athea made the first breakthrough when Mike McAuliffe won the silver County medal in the 100 yards race, the first Community Games medal for Athea. Breda Quaid had previously won a medal in the shot but in this Breda represented Abbeyfeale, that was before the Athea Association had been formed. From 1974 onwards Athea took part regularly in the Community Games and went from strength to strength in various competitions down through the years. During all this time many dedicated people in the parish have from time to time taken over the running of the games. While it would not be appropriate to mention names in case someone was omitted, instead we must pay a well deserved tribute to all these great people of the parish in organising and promoting Community Games. It has been my privilege to work alongside many of these people on various occasions and to be able to state that they were all wonderful.

Naturally at times, as in almost every other organisation, some differences of opinion arise, but generally Athea has never experienced any great bickering or major disruption or take over bids except perhaps on one occasion when a sub-committee tried to take over one of the functions of the main official body. However, it all seemed to pass over quietly enough without any great hassle or ill feeling and the running of the games soon resumed and continued as before. The present committee and their assistants seem to be doing a great job and there is now a big variety of competitions in which the children and teenagers can participate and play their part.

While the Community Games Association is of course a separate and independent body, co-operation and co-ordination with other local sporting and cultural organisations is not alone useful  but it is essential.

While other organisations are all doing great work in organising and promoting specific games and various cultural activities the Community Games movement on the other hand is and organisation that caters for talents of all kinds and even for those children who might have no particular talents but who nevertheless benefit from the friendship and comradeship that can be found in the Community Games.

My own involvement in the promotion of the Community Games came about more or less by accident. When Sergeant Pat O’Leary, a native of East Kerry, was in charge of the Garda Station in Athea we used to meet when organising juvenile football matches for the local schoolchildren. In the meantime Pat had intended to form a Community Games branch in Athea, but then he was transferred to Rosscarbery Garda Station in Cork. Before he left he gave me the details of how to set up the Community Games in Athea. This was all very new to me because even the Community Games movement at National level and particularly in Limerick was still in its infancy.

However, with the help of some local interested people and financial backing from Athea GAA Club we entered a team for the County Athletic finals at the Gaelic Grounds. We then organised a sports meeting in the high field and bought medals for the winners with the money we got from the GAA Club.

As already stated we held our first Community Games Athletic meeting on a very wet Sunday in 1973 and after that the rest is history. Having got stuck with the job of Secretary for the next ten years or so, Athea Community Games gradually evolved with wins for our Association at both County and National level as the years went by right up to the present. It has been a great experience for some of us to have set the whole thing in motion.


Go Raibh Míle Maith Agat

Many thanks to Canon Patrick Kelly who recently presented me with a copy of the Limerick GAA Year Book. In the Athea section of the book there are some lovely colour photographs of the Athea teams and familiar faces including one with my own grandson Pauric Walsh who is now on the County U-15 panel.

My sincere thanks also to my correspondent colleague Kathleen Mullane who sent me a lovely songbook “Songs of Glen na Mona” by Brian O’Higgins. It brought back many happy memories of hearing some of these great songs in our boyhood days.

Kathleen also sent me some other fine songs including one composed by Tom Lynch, Chicago and Blaine Bridge, Athea.

It is a nostalgic song of an exile in which many of the towns and villages throughout County Limerick get a mention. Perhaps it would be possible to have it published in Athea District News within the next few weeks. In the meantime thanks again Kathleen.