Archive for March, 2015



The Dalton Memorial Band in the mid 40’s. Can anyone name them all?

The Dalton Memorial Band in the mid 40’s. Can anyone name them all?

Athea Drama Group and Athea Wrenboys ready for the parade in Abbeyfeale on St. Patrick's Day

Athea Drama Group and Athea Wrenboys ready for the parade in Abbeyfeale on St. Patrick’s Day

 Councillor Francis Foley presenting the prize for 'Best Float'  at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Abbeyfeale to Francis Flavin on behalf of Athea Drama Group and Athea Wren Boys  

Councillor Francis Foley presenting the prize for ‘Best Float’ at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Abbeyfeale to Francis Flavin on behalf of Athea Drama Group and Athea Wren Boys

Daffodil Day

This Friday, March 27th is Daffodil Day and there will be a table beside Colleen’s Cakes selling daffodils. All donations would be very much appreciated and if you are not in the village that day donations can be given to Anne O’Keeffe or Gretta Enright.  ( Motto: We won’t give up until cancer will).

Athea Tidy Towns

Team Limerick Clean Up

On Good Friday, April 3rd, Athea Tidy Towns in conjunction with Team Limerick Clean Up will hold a litter pick-up in the village and surrounding areas. Everyone is welcome to come along on this day where gloves, bags and litter pickers will be provided. We will be beginning at the hall at 10am collecting litter in the village and all approach roads and continuing until 1pm where refreshments will be provided afterwards. We are also inviting local residents who may be interested in cleaning the roadsides near their homes on this day to contact us on 0879042477 or speak to any member of the committee where we will assist in the distribution of materials and collection of waste. Children  are most welcome but must be supervised by an adult.

Make a Splash at the Community Games County Swimming Competition

If your child is U8 to U16 and can swim a length of a pool confidently, then they may be interested in joining in the Community Games Swim B Competition in Askeaton on 19th April.

Children who swim regularly in a swimming club can enter the National Community Games Swim A Competition.  The heats for this competition will be held at the Askeaton pool 17th May.

Please contact Caroline on 0877676463 if you would like to register.

Knockdown Vintage Club along with Estuary Macra 

Are holding a Vintage Car/Tractor, a Modern Tractor Run and a Raffle on Sunday, 29th March  at The Knockdown Arms. This should be a very enjoyable day so come along and enjoy the fun.

Limerick Diocesan Synod 2016

Your Church, Your Voice-We need to hear from you so have your say

The Limerick Diocesan Synod will take place in 2016 and will be the largest meeting ever held in the Limerick Diocese. It is important that everyone has the opportunity to shape this future and influence what the Church will look like in Limerick in the years ahead. We need to hear from you so have your say.

See inside for more details


With the advent of Spring, my mind wanders back to days long ago  and what we used to do. Around this time of the year all the talk would be about the Grand National. No TVs in those days and only a few radios but people somehow got to know about the race in advance and  the chances of each horse was weighed up by firesides, in pubs, at the creamery or anywhere there was conversation. People who wouldn’t know the back of a horse from the front suddenly became experts and “tipsters” could be found everywhere. Unlike today almost everyone had a bet on the race, nothing big just a shilling or two sometimes backing two or three horses. Various methods of choosing the winner were employed. Some backed the Irish entries, others depended on tips from those supposedly in the know and a great many closed their eyes and stuck a needle into the list of runners. On two occasions my mother revealed the winner to us on the morning of the race. The first time she recalled a dream she had the previous night when she thought the Taffe brothers, Pat and Toss, famous jump jockeys in their day, had come to the house to dinner. During the conversation Pat Taffe said to her “these are quare times missus”. Quare times was running in the National with Pat Taffe on board so she wondered if it was an omen. We took no notice of her until Quare Times romped home. The second time she had a vision of men digging holes for poles. ESB was the name of a horse in the race so this time we all had a few bob on him. Again her dream came true and there was wild celebrations in our household. After that the visions dried up and we had to return to more traditional methods of choosing our horses

If you had the misfortune to go to town on Grand National day you could be asked to place  nine or ten bets for different people along the route. Everything stopped for the big race and people gathered around the radios to hear the commentary. One of the commentators was the great Micheál O Hehir, a man who could create such excitement that you could imagine yourself riding in the race instead of listening to it. Once it was over people went back to their daily toil and there was no more talk of racing until the fall of the year and the annual festival in Listowel. Incidentally, many is the man who went to “the races” in Listowel and never laid eyes on a horse but that is another story. I still love the National but never got to see it until I lived in Liverpool in the early 70s. I used to drive through the racecourse along the Melling Road every morning going to work and I always recalled the magic of the radio broadcaster’s description of the course now laid out before me. I am looking forward to this year’s race and all the great memories it will awaken.

This time of year also reminds me of going barefoot. With the coming of more clement weather we couldn’t wait to throw off the shoes. There was a great feeling of freedom, casting off the ill-fitting boots and wellingtons we wore throughout the winter. We would plead with our parents to be allowed go barefoot in mid March but they always made us wait until the 1st of April. I remember not being able to wait that long and hiding the boots on the way to school, putting them on again on the way home to fool my mother, something that did not always work!  The first couple of days without footwear were hard on the feet but they soon toughened up  and before long we could walk or run on any surface. We even kicked football in our bare feet and enjoyed the freedom until the first frost in October.  We did not realise it at the time but it was very beneficial to the welfare of our feet in later years.

Domhnall de Barra

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Kathleen’s Corner-25/03/15

By Kathleen Mullane

“Many Congratulations” 

Well another week of ‘many congrats’ this past week. It was a double celebration, almost together, for Noreen & Gene Brouder when they were blessed with another new grandchild this week, having had another new grand-daughter the week before. This time around it was the turn of their son Conor & his wife Gráinne who had a new baby boy, they are naming Conchúr, a little brother for Seóidín. We also congratulate Bridie & Mike Twomey of Upper Athea who are proud grandparents again also.

Last week also there were a few very ‘special birthdays’ celebrated – Pat Hunt, son of Teady, Coole West, celebrated his 50th birthday in Germany, where he lives, on St. Patrick’s Day. Also Caroline O’Connell (Kelleghan) had her 50th birthday also on St. Patrick’s Day. Maureen Daly O’Flaherty had her 18th birthday at The Mermaids in Listowel celebrated along with her family & friends. Julie O’Connor of Dalton’s Terrace celebrated a very special 60th birthday, also last week. Best wishes and congrats to all the birthday people!

Last Friday was a busy day for parish weddings. Ciara McMahon, daughter of Ita, Dirreen, was married here in Athea to Sean Flavin, son of Nellie & Francie, Hillside Drive. Fr. Cussen performed the Nuptial Ceremony here in Athea Parish Church. A great day was enjoyed by everyone at The Listowel Arms Hotel.

Also on Friday last Tom Collins of Knocknagorna, son of Kathleen & Paddy, was married to Caroline O’Reilly of Cavan. The wedding ceremony took place in Adare with the reception at The Devon Inn Hotel. Again family and friends had a lovely day. Congrats & good wishes to the newly wed couples.

Congrats go to “The Real McCoy” who were winners of the “Best Float” in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Abbeyfeale. Well done to them all and what a colourful display they had.

Sincere sympathy is extended to Kathleen Moore and her family of Hillside Drive on the death of Paddy last week. He was laid to rest after Requiem Mass in Templeathea Cemetery. Paddy had reached a great age. ‘May he rest in peace’.

The death also occurred last week of Joan Mullane of Knocknagorna (sister of Johnny & Conor) who was predeceased very recently by her brother ‘Bawns’ (Patrick). Joan was laid to rest in Knockanure Cemetery. ‘May the light of heaven be hers’.

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Knockdown News-25/03/15

By Peg Prendeville

Sympathies to Johnny and Conor Mullane and families Knocknagorna, on the death of their sister Joan recently; to Mary Ellen O’Connor, Turraree and her family on the death of her father Batt O’Connor and to the family of Denny Enright, formerly of Turraree, who died recently. May they all rest in peace.

A Parish Hall meeting will be held on this Thursday night March 26th at 8.10 pm in Ballyhahill. All members are asked to attend, please. New members are always welcome to join the committee. Our Parish Hall is a great asset to the parish and it is important that it be kept running smoothly

ICA member Peg Prendeville, was shortlisted in the ICA National Creative Writing Short Story competition with the theme “Peace at last”. Peg will attend the final of these competitions in An Grianán this weekend when the overall winner will be announced. Rita Horgan from Abbeyfeale is one of the shortlisted also so it should be an enjoyable weekend.

Estuary Macra will hold its annual Table Quiz on this Friday March 27th in the Knockdown Arms at 9pm. €20 per table, all welcome! This will be followed by the Vintage Run on March 29th with the Knockdown Vintage Association. All support will be appreciated.

The Easter Vigil Mass in Loughill/Ballyhahill will be at 9pm in Loughill on Saturday April 4th. There will be a Dawn Mass in Kilteery at 6 am on Easter Sunday followed by a Mass in Ballyhahill at 10 am and  in Loughill at 11.15 am. Confessions will be available after the vigil Mass in Loughill and after Mass on Palm Sunday in Ballyhahill next weekend. Confessions will be held in Newcastle West on Saturday 28th from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm.

The parish delegates are happy to learn that people are discussing the questionnaire in their homes and ask that all questionnaires be returned to both Churches next weekend in the envelopes provided. If anybody did not get a questionnaire they are available at the back of both Churches. Alternatively, internet users can fill a questionnaire online at if they wish. Your co-operation is appreciated and welcome. 

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