Calum Buckley, Fergal Pierse, James Broderick, Cillian O’Connor & Dylan Steward after receiving their First Holy Communion in Athea recently

Calum Buckley, Fergal Pierse, James Broderick, Cillian O’Connor & Dylan Steward after receiving their First Holy Communion in Athea recently


On next Monday June 2nd at 3pm the Athea Tidy Towns Committee will launch their new Fairy Trail located behind the Memorial Hall and Giants Garden in Athea. This is a unique trail which will be home to 10 fairies who will each have their own fairy door and a purpose which will be displayed on a plaque beside their door along the trail. There will also be a worry tree called ‘Croga’ who will take away any worries you may have by placing your hand on the plaque attached to the tree. At the end of the trail there will be a Fairy Post Box where you can post any messages to the fairies.

This will be a fantastic addition to our village and will be open to the public all year round for free. On this day we will also be raising 7 new flags at the Giants Garden – the Irish, Munster, Limerick. Athea GAA, Athea United, Athea Basketball and our very own Athea Tidy Towns Flag.  Special thanks to the Quaid Brothers, Templeathea, Kathleen Casey, Chicago, and Athea UTD for each sponsoring a pole.

Everyone welcome to come along to the launch and explore Athea’s new fairy trail.


Athea Comhaltas Branch

Sincere thanks to all who contributed to our recent Church gate collection which totalled €525. It is a great help to the branch who have to donate €400 each year to the running of the  County Fleadh

The Branch would also like to send best wishes to everyone competing in the County Fleadh Cheoil in UL this weekend.

Funding package of €250

million for the LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government has announced a funding package of €250 million for the LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

Minister Hogan said: “I am pleased to announce that the overall funding package for the next LEADER Programme will be €250 million. While the EU Regulations stipulate that a minimum of 5% of the Rural Development Programme is allocated to LEADER, Ireland has decided to increase its proportion to 7%. This confirms this Government’s firm commitment to the economic development of rural areas.

The Minister is pursuing an enhanced alignment between local government and local development which is now underpinned in the new Local Government Reform Act 2014.  The aim of this work is to bring about greater coordination and targeting of scarce resources, reduce duplication and provide a more efficient and cost effective delivery of local services. The Minister emphasised: “It is absolutely critical that greater efficiencies and operational savings are achieved in the delivery of the new Programme, so that we minimise administration costs and maximise the funding available to support projects and local communities.”

The Programme will facilitate a community led approach and will outline a number of themes for support that have emerged from the consultation process and from the research conducted CEDRA.  As outlined above these themes will include, Rural Economic Development / Enterprise Development and Job Creation including Rural Tourism, general Enterprise Development, Broadband and support for the development of Rural Towns and social inclusion through building community capacity, training and animation and support for the Environment in rural areas.

The new Programme is currently being prepared for submission to the European Commission for approval. Following approval, the Department will in the second half of the year invite Local Action Groups, set up in accordance with the EU Regulations and comprising representatives of public and private local socio-economic interests, to submit Local Development Strategies. Following selection of the Local Development Strategies, it is intended that the new Programme will commence in early 2015.


Hello and Welcome to Athea’s Fairy Mountain

A long, long time ago when Athea was just named, a small, busy fairy was flying home to fairy valley when she heard a really loud sob.

Curious Lú stopped and looked around to where the sound had come from.  She flew from tree to tree and up a huge mountain (well a huge mountain to a little fairy!). In among the trees she could see a giant! Unsure whether to approach him or not Lú did feel sorry for him when he started to sob again.  Carefully she flew over and stopped beside his huge foot.  A tear dropped from his eye and only just missed Lú but causing a tidal wave of water which almost drowned her!

She flew up to his face and asked him what was wrong. He looked up, surprised to hear such a little voice. He blinked his eyes a couple of times and finally focused on Lú. She smiled politely and offered him her handkerchief.

“What are you?” he asked.
“I’m a fairy, what are you?”
“A Giant” he smiled. “You’re tiny!
“And you’re huge!”  Lú laughed and she got a fright when the giant laughed too and his laugh echoed all around them both.

“I have been so sad” the Giant sadly explained, wiping away a tear with Lú’s tiny handkerchief and soaking it!

With a little encouragement from Lú, he told her all about how his mother had died and whilst carrying her to the graveyard her body had fallen apart and her bones had been scattered throughout the parish. Lú felt so very sad for him.  Sitting on his finger she hugged her tiny knees and thought. She so wanted to make him feel better.

Lú knew that this giant was a good, kind giant who had been trying to do the right thing. She was an excellent judge of character. Suddenly, she had a splendid idea. In order to make him feel better, Lú made a promise to the giant.

That very night that she would invite nine of her very best fairy friends and they would make the mountain their home in honour of his mother. The giant was so delighted he almost squashed   Lú as he clapped his hands together with joy! His face broke into a huge smile and Lú  knew she had made the right decision.

Enlighten your Day

Oh my aching back

Nearly 9 out of 10 of us will suffer chronic back pain at least once in our lives, so the odds are pretty good that your number will come up at some point. Or rear its ugly head.

Chronic back pain is one of the most common type of pain and one of the top 20 reasons people consult a doctor.

There are two types of back pain.

Acute and Chronic


Acute back ache is brief and short lived in nature-typically lasting a few days to a week. It’s usually the result of a minor injury or overuse, like shovelling snow, doing yard work, twisting too much with sits ups or moving heavy boxes.

Acute back pain is normally resolved after rest, icing, heat, stretching, anti-inflamatries, Massage therapy or physio.


Chronic Back pain, on the other hand is pain lasting 3 months or more, and it’s not the result of one specific injury.

It can be caused by long history of overuse, arthritis, herniated disc, a congenital spinal abnormality or the big culprit- chronic inflammation.

It’s tougher to treat and doesn’t always respond to the typical treatment options. Sometimes surgery is performed (such as with a herniated disc) but even then there is no guarantee the pain won’t come back.

Anti-inflamatries are most often used and may provide initial relief, but then your body may become “resistant” to the drugs efforts and then stronger drugs are needed.

This can become a vicious cycle where stronger and stronger drugs are needed to achieve the same relief. As you take stronger and stronger pain relievers, you’re looking at stronger side effects, a good chance of developing gastritis or GI bleeding and a risk of drug dependence to add more misery on to your misery.

There are 4 contributing factors behind chronic back pain that you might not think of.

1. Poor posture.

Poor posture is not often the first thing that pops into peoples mind when they have back pain. The fact is that incorrect posture is a VERY common cause of back pain,   especially whose jobs involve lots of sitting.

Good posture is when your shoulders are back, your head is up straight and the lower part of your spine curves out ever so slightly to form a J- shape.

It’s not hard to improve your posture-you just need to be aware of it and correct yourself when you feel your shoulders rolling or bending forward at your mid back.

If your job involves you to sit for long periods, it’s helpful to get up and move around as much as you can (once an hr is ideal) or at least take quick stretch breaks by sitting up straights and stretching your hands up towards the sky.

2. Dehydration

This is another one that doesn’t occur to people. Dehydration doesn’t just manifest itself as thirst, dark urine or fatigue during workouts. Dehydration can also eventually cause muscle weakness, and when the muscles surrounding your back are involved. You can get back pain. If your urine is dark yellow all day long chances you are dehydrated. Aim to drink a glass of water every hour. 5/8 glasses a day.

3. Chronic inflammation

This is by far the most common culprit behind all kind of pains and that includes back pain. Ours is a society that is rampant with chronic inflammation, which is mainly the results of our diets- specially eating inflammation-causing foods and, meals and getting too few Omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies need to control inflammation.

So to end chronic inflammation at its root causes as well as ease the resulting aches and pains, its essential to have an inflammatory diet plan to get the Omega-3 fatty acids your body needs.

4. Consider possible B12 deficiency

Most people do not realise there is a connection between being low in B12 and back pain, but there definitely is in my opinion. You see B12 is crucial in supporting your nervous system, and its help to maintain the myelin sheath which coats and protects your nerve cells. Since back pain is commonly the result of spinal nerve inflammation, B12 with its nerve-soothing properties can actually help encourage pain reduction. In addition research studies have shown that Vitamin B12 has anti-inflammatory properties that help in correcting degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine which becomes more common with age.

Say goodbye to back pain. Don’t think that suffering from chronic back pain and an endless cycle of painkillers and nasty side effects is your destiny for one minute. When you look at all the possible factors that may be behind you pain and take safe natural measure to counter act them a whole new live free of back pain may become reality.

Benefits of Massage

Massage therapy is becoming more widely accepted in the medical community as a credible treatment for many types of back pain and/or as an adjunct to other medical treatments. Research shows that massage therapy has several potential health benefits for back pain sufferers, including:

Increased blood flow and circulation, which brings needed nutrition to muscles and tissues. This aids in recovery of muscle soreness from physical activity or soft tissue injury (such as muscle strain).

Decreased tension in the muscles. This muscle relaxation can improve flexibility, reduce pain caused by tight muscles and even improve sleep.

Increased endorphin levels–the “feel good” chemicals in the brain. This mood enhancer can ease depression and anxiety, which can help reduce pain and speed recovery–particularly important for those suffering from chronic back or neck problems.

Note: Please discuss with your Doctor before making any changes to your diet or taking any supplements.

Next Week: The anti-inflammatory diet

Should you wish me to write about a certain health issue or topic?

Contact me Kay McDonnell, Listowel

068 23574.

E:[email protected]


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Lú, of course, honoured her promise to the giant and now she and nine of her best friends live in Athea! These fairies are very special.  Lú is joined by Rookie, Fiachra, Nóinín, Ciaróg, Sun,  Shine, Paige, Lucey and Croì. They are all living on a special Fairy Trail which you are invited to visit whenever you like.
There is also a special tree on the trail called ”Cróga” this is a Worry Tree. This tree is in the exact place where Lú originally met the giant and made her promise. You can lay your hand in the print and think of your worries and Cróga will take them away for you! Just like Lú did for the Giant. This is a very magical tree.
One more thing remains. A special post-box lies at the end of the fairy trail where you can leave notes for the fairies so be sure to go all the way in to see it!

This is a special group of fairies who are so happy to be living in Athea, a magical village itself.  These fairies need to be visited by humans on a regular basis as this is what keeps them fit and well. Most importantly you have to believe in them as this will give them their greatest strength