Knockdown Vintage & Estuary Macra committee presenting a cheque to Jim Leahy & Mary Collins, Athea St. Vincent de Paul Society

Knockdown Vintage & Estuary Macra committee presenting a cheque to Jim Leahy & Mary Collins, Athea St. Vincent de Paul Society

Knockdown Vintage & Estuary Macra wish to thank all who supported them and donated spot prizes and helped in any way. Thanks to Ta and Ita for the use of their premises and Martin Sheahan for 2 hoppers of turf in Athea.

Thank You 

The Athea Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul wishes to sincerely thank the Knockdown Vintage Club and Estuary Macra na Feirme for their very generous donation to our funds.

Parenting Positively 

Why not come along to a one night seminar on the challenges facing parents today?

Delivered in a relaxed, informal manner, this aims to equip parents with ‘know how’ on some of the challenges facing teenagers.

This seminar takes place on Thursday, April 23rd from 7.30 to 9pm in Coláiste Íde & Iosef, Abbeyfeale.

Delivered by Anthony O’Shaughnessy who has been working as a counsellor and therapist for over twenty years in areas such as relationship issues, family issues, addictions, anxiety, depression, abuse, sexuality, childhood problems and bereavement.  Open to all parents. No booking necessary.

Athea Tidy Towns

On Good Friday morning April 3rd the roads around Athea were a hive of activity with many out picking litter from the roadsides as part of the Team Limerick Clean Up Campaign sponsored by JP McManus. It was a great achievement as a parish to have individuals from each road leading into the village out picking litter. As a result of this initiative some have now agreed to ‘adopt’ a stretch of road and keep it litter-free all year round. If you would be interested in adopting a road contact any member of our committee and equipment will be provided. Our committee would like to thank everyone who took part in the clean up and thanks also to Rose Enright for sponsoring refreshments on the day.

Our committee are now busy preparing projects for the coming months to further enhance our village. An exciting project that is currently being researched is the construction of a Heritage Trail throughout the village identifying 20 important heritage sites, mapping them and erecting plaques at their location. We have enlisted the help of local historians Jamie Kelly and Thady Hunt who have chosen the sites and are currently gathering further information. This project has revealed a lot of important historical information about our parish that was previously unknown. This trail will be of immense interest to visitors to our parish in the future.

Recently we organised for the trees at Markievicz Park to be pruned to tidy up this central village green. The trees are now a more attractive shape. The recent spell of fine weather has also allowed our very talented resident artist James Dunn to continue work on his mural at the site of Shine’s Forge. All this work is done voluntarily under the watchful eye and care of his wife Liz. Since this family moved to Athea they have immersed themselves in the life of the village and we are extremely happy that this family chose Athea as their home.

Work is also ongoing at the Goold Monument. The attractive stonework adds considerably to the site and once work is complete at  the site we plan to erect informative plaques about the site and the protestant church that was once located here. Sadly, the protestant church was knocked some years ago, but at least we will do our utmost to enhance the site of the Goold Monument which thankfully survived! Watch this space.

Seamus Sexton and family who helped out with Team Limerick Clean Up on Good Friday 

Seamus Sexton and family who helped out with Team Limerick Clean Up on Good Friday

Local Historians Thady Hunt and Jamie Kelly with Henry Moran planning Athea Heritage Trail recently 

Local Historians Thady Hunt and Jamie Kelly with Henry Moran planning Athea Heritage Trail recently









Work underway at the Athea Mural by artist James Dunn

Work underway at the Athea Mural by artist James Dunn

Down Memory Lane

I was playing golf with a couple of friends the other day and we were remembering some great football matches of the past. As we compared the teams we went back to the times before television when radio was the only medium and even further still to the times when there were only a handful of radios in any parish. On the day of a match the house that owned a radio would be full to the rafters and on a fine day people would listen through the windows from the yard. There was great excitement as Micheál Ó Hehir brought us through every catch, every kick and every score as if we were present at the game. He was a fantastic commentator and could engender excitement as his voice got faster and  louder as he described the heroics on the field. As youngsters we would rush out after the match and become one of the great players we had listened  to  as we tried to emulate our heroes.

There were some great stories about the radio and television when they first came into our lives. Some of the older people could not understand how voices were coming from boxes on a shelf. One old couple had the loan of a radio and when it came to six o’clock the Angelus sounded. As it did the man of the house took out his pocket watch and declared: “that little radio is a good time keeper.”  I mentioned the radio was on loan. It was left for safe keeping by a man from Abbeyfeale called Gerry Sullivan. He was originally from Newmarket in County Cork but settled in Abbeyfeale and had a good business selling radios. One of his sales methods was to call to a house and of course he would be invited in for a cup of tea. After a while he would ask the people of the house if he could leave a radio with them for a couple of days as he had a load of stuff to pick up and didn’t have enough room in the van. Of course they agreed and he would bring in the radio, all wrapped up, and leave it. After a couple of minutes he would return and say “sure ye might as well be listening to it while it is here.”  With that he would set up the radio, dry battery, wet battery and aerial and in no time the kitchen would be full of sound. Gerry would then go away and would not return for a couple of weeks by which time the people of the house had got used to the radio and didn’t want to part with it. Another sale for Gerry!.

Some good stories were told about the advent of television. A woman from Knocknasna was known to start getting dressed up approaching the time for the news  in the evening. She would comb her hair, put on makeup and change her dress to be ready for her daily date with Charles Mitchell, the news reader. She was convinced he was looking at her and could see her every move.  Another old woman was describing a play she had seen the night before to me. She was telling me how a woman was murdered and, rising from her chair, she went to the television. Pointing with her finger she said, “the blackguard choked her to death right inside in that corner”

How innocent it sounds now but can we imagine how hard it was for ordinary people from that generation  to comprehend the new technology in a time of very few luxuries and a world that had seen little change for hundreds of years. I can empathise with them when I try to understand how I can watch somebody playing football on the other side of the world as it happens or getting pictures from a machine on a distant planet. The world is wonderful.

Domhnall de Barra