This weekend before all Masses the Annual Vincent de Paul collection will be taken up. Each year everyone is very generous and this year more than ever the Society needs everyone’s help, so please give even ‘a little’ it will help a lot.

‘Double’ the joy for Gary and Catherine O’Keeffe who have been blessed with twin boys Darragh and Cormac recently. No doubt the proud grand-parents Ann and Tom O’Keeffe in Upper Athea are doubly excited too. Wishing them many hours of enjoyment with their new little bundles.

Congrats also to Alma and JP Finucane on the birth of their son Tom, a little brother for Rory. Congrats to Marian and Jeremiah O’Connor, Upper Athea, the very proud grand-parents and of course Brown Joe, the great grandfather.

Next Wednesday Dec 11th sees the Annual Going Strong/Vincent de Paul Christmas Party taking place at The Top of the Town. Mass is at 12 mid-day with a hot meal after. Anyone wishing to come along can give their name to Mary T Mulvihill, Rose’s or Collins Shop or Top of the Town with their €10. Lots of spot prizes on the day, indeed if anyone wishes to donate a spot-prize, they can give it to any of the above.

The schoolchildren are very busy at the moment preparing for a lovely evening entitled ‘The Christmas Story’. This will take place here in Athea Church on Tuesday December 17th starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are just €5 and can be bought at the school. No doubt every family will want one, so you are advised to buy early to avoid disappointment.

If anyone has seen little ‘Charlie’ a 6 yr old Bishon Frieze dog, please ring Essie Kelly on 087 7678116, he went missing in Knocknaboul recently.

December is with us – how unbelievably fast 2013 has gone – it must be the fine weather we’ve had all along and can you believe it  cows are still out in the fields, isn’t it great and a brilliant saving on fodder for the farmers-hopefully we don’t get the -10° that they are forecasting before Christmas.

To be brief I won’t say too much about the late Johnny Collins’ funeral as Mike Hayes has done a great job in thanking everyone – he himself deserves untold thanks for what he did along with so many others. What came out of this whole occurrence was that there were so many good people out there. We always hear of the ‘bad news’ – but this brought the entire ATHEA Community on both sides of the IRISH SEA together – this is what helping our fellow human beings is all about – not the Christmas presents, not the Christmas drink or food – just doing what we can for each other and making people happy.