Apolgies, I was a week ahead of myself last week thinking Pancake Tuesday and Ash Wednesday was on this week, however, we have another few days to go and it’s next Tuesday, 12th and then Wednesday 13th is Ash Wednesday – sorry about that. But sure even if you did make pancakes a second time around will be no harm.

Happy birthday wishes go this week to Ciara O’Grady (daughter of Marcella and Tom) who celebrated her 21st birthday at Brown Joe’s on Saturday night last. A huge crowd attended and all had a great night.

On Sunday night at the same venue, Mossy Sheehan of Hillside Drive celebrated his 60th birthday, attended by family relatives and friends. Congratulations to both birthday people.

Congratulations to the Athea Vixens basketball teams who did extremely well here in the Sports hall on Sunday last. The U-14 girls beat the Tralee Imperials 40-22. The U-14 boys won their game a30-19 against Stannes of Farranfore. And the U-12 boys played a very exciting game against the Tralee Imperials losing by just 3pts, 27-30. Well done to the players and Trish, their trainer.

Sympathy is extended to the Walsh family of Upper Dirreen on the recent death of Nora. She was laid to rest in Holy Cross cemetery on Tuesday. May she rest in peace.

Following our hall meeting on Wednesday night last, which was attended by the committee, the FAS group were complimented for painting the main hall, which has now made it so much brighter. The kitchen was all renovated before Christmas and has a new sink, cooker, fridge, burco boiler and has also been painted. It is now in readiness for anyone wishing to hold a party there and rates are very reasonable and one’s own food can be brought and full use of the kitchen is available. New blinds have also been fitted to the main hall and thankfully our debt is now very low. The Drama Group are presently busy rehearsing in the hall for their forthcoming play “Many Young Men of Twenty” which incidentally hasn’t been performed for over 20 years in Athea!

A large crowd attended the AGM of Athea GAA at the clubhouse on Saturday night last. If anyone in the parish and beyond has any old photos, the club would like to have a copy as they are trying to put them up on the club house wall. Any parents or volunteers wishing to help out with any aspect of the club please contact any of the committee


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All eyes will be on RTE 1 next Saturday night when the IFTA winners will be announced. Why? Because we have one of our own nominated for an award. Yes, 24-year-old Gerard Barrett, son of Peggy and Joe, Carrueragh and formerly Knockdown and Knocknaclugga, has been nominated as a rising star in the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) awards. Gerard Barrett made Pilgrim Hill, set in his native county, with a cast of six and a crew of four. He wrote, directed and produced the film himself. It has already been awarded the best film at last year’s Galway Film Fleadh. Gerard, on a low budget, used his own resources and a credit union loan to finance the film, recruited an amateur actor and full-time farmer Joe Mullins for the lead role as a lonely bachelor farmer. I quote from an article by Ronan McGreevy in the Irish Times on January 31st in which Gerard says “I just got a really good deal on the equipment. I think it was probably a little of the farmer’s son mentality coming out, always haggling” he said. “When you are young and starting out, it is good that somebody puts a hand on your back and says well done.” The winner will be announced on February 9th at the IFTAs which are staged in the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) and will be televised. Well done to Gerard. We wish him the best in the future.

Congratulations to Ciara O’Grady who celebrated, with friends and neighbours, her 21st birthday in Brown Joe’s Bar last Saturday night. Ciara is the youngest of Tom and Marcella’s three daughters.  

The Clounleharde School Reunion is gaining momentum as all the invitations have gone out and some replies are back already. Many former pupils are really excited at the thought of meeting up in June and have their flights and accommodation already booked. The end of February is the deadline for accepting or not.

 Congratulations to Ballyhahill N.S on winning  1st and 3rd places at the Estuary Credit Union quiz last Sunday in Glin. The school had a great day on Wednesday January 30th , during Catholic Schools Week. An important element of the Catholic Schools Week is to encourage pupils to appreciate the witness of Grandparents to the faith, and so thegrandparents were invited to the school and treated to tea and a  little concert by the pupils. One very happy grandmother was telling me that she was amazed at the talent of the pupils.  Well done to all.