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