Happy Easter to all our readers at home and abroad


Thanks to Eileen Fitzgerald for giving us the names  of the members of the Dalton Memorial Band  Back: Tom Ahern, Stephen Ahern, John M. Liston. Middle: Dan Ahern, Jack Gleeson, Pat Joe Gleeson, Denny Kelly, John Joe Hartnett.  Front: Tom Cahill, John Guinea, Paddy Kelly, Patsy Lynch & Jim Ahern

Thanks to Eileen Fitzgerald for giving us the names of the members of the Dalton Memorial Band
Back: Tom Ahern, Stephen Ahern, John M. Liston. Middle: Dan Ahern, Jack Gleeson, Pat Joe Gleeson, Denny Kelly, John Joe Hartnett. Front: Tom Cahill, John Guinea, Paddy Kelly, Patsy Lynch & Jim Ahern

Athea Fine Gael Branch

On Thursday evening last the 26th March the AGM took place of the Athea Fine Gael Branch in the Con Colbert Community Centre, Athea. The meeting saw a very large turnout of the branch members and in attendance were local councillors Liam Galvin, Jerome Scanlan and John Sheahan as well as Dáil Deputies Patrick O’Donovan and Dan Neville.

The Branch congratulated both of the Deputies on their recent appointments, Deputy O’Donovan to the Public Accounts Committee and Deputy Neville as the Chairperson of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and wished them well for future in their respective roles.

Each of the local representatives and Oireachtas members addressed the meeting and took questions and explained to the members the work that the government was doing in getting the country on the road to recovery and the many projects that were taking place across County Limerick.

Following the election of officers for the coming year votes of sympathy were passed for all those who had died in the parish over the previous 12 months.

‘It’s The Real McCoy’ DVD’s

DVD’s of Athea Drama Group’s highly successful play ‘It’s the Real McCoy’ are now on sale at Brouder’s Shop, Athea and Ann Lyons’ Shop, Abbeyfeale.


Easter is the greatest feast in the  Church year celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday following His crucifixion on Good Friday. It is important in many religions the closest being the Jewish  Passover.

Easter week is a week of mixed emotions. There is the sad recalling of the  passion and crucifixion of Our Lord and then the joy of the resurrection on Easter Sunday. In my young days Easter week was taken very seriously. I remember at the age of five or six, walking to Mass in the rain on Holy Thursday morning with my grandmother. She had been fasting from the night before and thought nothing of the 3 miles there and back. Good Friday was almost a day of mourning. Fasting was strictly observed and nobody worked. I remember people being shocked at the news that one man had gone fishing on Good Friday ! Three o’clock was the time of Our Lord’s death and we were told that the sky would go dark at this time. It didn’t always happen but sometimes it seemed that way. Anyway there was a great feeling of sadness and anger at the Jews who could do this to such a good man.

Everything changed on Easter Sunday morning. The church, which had been bare for Lent, was festooned with flowers and there was a great feeling of elation. After all the fasting and abstinence it was now time to celebrate in style. Food was a big part of this and nothing was spared for the dinner. There was also the custom of eating eggs. On returning to school after the holidays you might be asked “how many eggs did you eat for Easter?”. The person who ate the most eggs was held in high esteem although I’m sure the numbers eaten were greatly exaggerated. Eggs have a special significance. The custom of the Easter egg may have originated in the early Christian community of Mesopotamia. They stained their eggs red to symbolise the blood of Christ and gave rise to the decorations that followed in later years. The egg is also, in later traditions, a symbol of the empty tomb. In recent times the hen’s egg has been replaced by chocolate and is now big business. No child is left without an egg  for Easter.

Many other celebrations take place such as Easter parades, sporting events and of course we have the commemoration of the Easter Rising in 1916 which started the freedom of our country (well, most of it anyway)  from British rule after almost 800 years. This will be really celebrated next year being 100 years since that Easter Monday when the GPO was under fire. We take our freedom very much for granted nowadays but back then it took the bravery of a few to raise the flag in defiance of colonial rule. We in Athea have  a special reason to celebrate the rising as one of our own, Con Colbert, was executed on May 8th 1916 for taking part in it. He is remembered locally through the hall and the main street which are named in his honour. There is also a road in Dublin in his name. We should be thinking now of how we are going to honour him next year.

In years gone by there was always a “big match” in Abbeyfeale on Easter Sunday. Two county teams would play a challenge match and it was our opportunity to see some of the players we only heard about on radio. How things have changed.  Amid all the modernisation let us hope that the true spirit of Easter still exists and that we take the opportunity to resurrect our own lives and hope to be better people in the future. Happy Easter.

 Domhnall de Barra