Archive for June, 2015


Liz Flynn, Helen Twomey, Gráinne Ahern & Tina Collins at the recent schools blitz

Liz Flynn, Helen Twomey, Gráinne Ahern & Tina Collins at the recent schools blitz

Adapt Collection

ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services would like to extend sincere thanks to the volunteer collectors who raised the amount of €575.75 at the annual collection in Athea.  Thanks too to all those who contributed.  The funds raised will go towards the upkeep of the Refuge and maintaining the Outreach services in Abbeyfeale and Newcastle West and other areas.  The 24 Hour Freephone Helpline is there for anyone who needs to talk to someone who will listen and understand.  A new Support Group for women survivors is starting in Newcastle West next week,  ring 061 412354 for details.

Athea Children’s Drama

Present their show and plays ‘Alice in Blunderland’ and  ‘The Sleepover’ at Con Colbert Hall on Saturday, July 4th and Sunday, July 5th at 7pm. Everybody welcome to come along and support the children.

Killeaney AFC 40th anniversary Celebrations

Killeaney AFC is celebrating its 40th anniversary on the weekend 3rd to 5th July with music, raffles and spot prizes at the Knockdown Arms on Saturday night. Special guest is John Delaney, CEO of the FAI. A buffet will take place on Saturday night in a marquee erected for the weekend. Tickets at €25 each are available from club members. Come along for the celebrations and the music plus the spot prizes on offer. There is a special door prize of a break for two in Galway.

Annual Day Trip

Our annual day trip will take place to Kilkenny on Tuesday, July 14th. For more information contact Marie Wrenn on 087-7674832 or Joan Fitzgibbon on 087-9865005.


The Summer Seisiún takes place at The Devon Inn Hotel on Thursday nights.  Great night of music, song and storytelling.

The Joys of Dancing

Dancing has always been one of the great forms of enjoyment and entertainment. Solo dancing in Ireland is taught in many schools throughout the country, especially since the popularity  of “River Dance”, one of the most moving and successful shows ever to be staged. In recent years “sean nós” dancing has spread from small pockets in the Gaeltacht areas to all parts of the country. Its main appeal is the freedom of expression it allows the dancer compared to the more rigid approach of the dancers who compete in the feiseanna. Hip hop dancing has also become very popular with the younger generation. Today however I want to dwell for a while on the social dancing of the past century. It had a very special part in our lives  when we started to go to dances in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. Sunday night was dancing night and we looked forward to it all the week long.

There were very few big dancehalls in those days but we had a number of small ones in our locality. Apart from the main one, Tobin’s in Abbeyfeale, there were dance halls in Devon Road, Templeglantine, Kilconlea and two in Athea, Kelly’s and Scanlon’s. Some people even cycled as far as the Old Mill which was a long journey in those days. There was little or no amplification for the bands except for a mike for the singer and a speaker which was usually placed  on the wall half way down the hall. Some of the owners used to put lamp oil on the wooden floors to make them easier to dance on. Despite the fact that most of the dancers smoked and would stub out the butts on the boards, I can’t ever remember a fire starting in any of the halls. Imagine what a fire officer would say today!.

Getting started in those days wasn’t that easy. Ballroom dances and céilí dances had to be learned before taking to the floor or you could make a fool of yourself and run the risk of ever again getting a girl to dance with you. The dances included the quickstep, foxtrot, samba,, tango, military two step, waltz, polka, siege of Ennis, two hand reel etc. – quite a list to learn. There was always some neighbour who would take you out and give you a few lessons and by trial and error you would eventually get it right. Once you had the few steps you were on your way. Getting a partner was the next problem. The men gathered at one side of the hall and the ladies at the other. When a dance was announced there was a stampede across the floor and you were lucky if the first girl you asked said yes.  She may have the dance promised to somebody else. After a while, when you got to know the girls, it was easier and you knew going in who would be your partner for the various dances. Some were good waltzers, others good polka dancers and the slow dances were reserved for someone you had your eye on ! The slow dance gave the opportunity to get up close  and if she joined you for a “mineral” after the dance was over you knew you had, as they say nowadays “pulled”.  The courting ritual was fairly simple. The courting couple left the hall and found some secluded spot where a lot of hugging and kissing went on but very little else. Don’t get me wrong, there was the odd girl who would allow more intimate contact (the current generation didn’t invent sex) but this was not the norm and we all went home happy with our bit of a cuddle.

As time went by new dances emerged. The most popular of these was the jive. I often wondered what enjoyment girls got from turning backwards and forwards under her partners hand but they seemed to like it. Then the twist made a brief appearance. It was a silly kind of a dance with a lot of shaking of hips and descending to the floor and back up again. Thankfully it was short-lived. The small halls soon closed and many bands dropped the céilí music altogether  as they became more professional and, using more modern equipment, were able to play the songs from the current hit parade. Soon the showbands appeared on the scene and newer, bigger ballrooms sprung up all over the country. Dancing became big business and soon many of the bands became famous and could attract huge audiences to big venues. It was also becoming easier to travel as more and more people got their own transport so dancers might travel to the Oyster Ballroom, Drumkeen to hear the Royal Showband or  Dicky Rock. Ballybunion was very popular in the summertime and Tom Tobin extended his place in Abbeyfeale. There was also a big ballroom in Newcastle West. Eventually they too all closed and dancing as we knew it was almost gone. There are places at the moment where social dances attract many older couples who relive their younger days  on the floor but nothing will ever replace the old dancehalls where we started out.

Every generation tries to do things differently and the modern discos give them their outlet but give me back the tin roof, the timber floor (even with the lamp oil) the courting down the lane and the sheer joy of it all.

Domhnall de Barra

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Kathleen’s Corner-24/06/2015

By Kathleen Mullane

‘Out & About’

 Congrats and well done to all the Athea participants who took part in the County Finals of the Community Games in Mungret on Saturday last. They did extremely well with a good number coming away with medals. It’s great to see the level of fitness in the young people really improving in recent times.

Margaret Stackpoole of Gortnagross, celebrated her 60th birthday recently at the Top of the Town. A great night was enjoyed by Margaret and all her family and friends on this special occasion.

Athea Credit Union will be closed on this Saturday for ESB works. Instead it will have extra opening hours on Friday evening from 6.30 to 8.30pm as well as the usual Friday morning hours.

A great day was enjoyed by pupils and parents alike on Friday last at Athea N.S. when they held their annual ‘Fun Day’. On this occasion it was preceded by the hoisting of the ‘Green Flag’ by Canon Kelly, who also said some prayers beforehand. The flag was in recognition of the school being kept clean and tidy with recycling being of the utmost importance. There was a great cake sale on the day, for which everyone who baked is thanked sincerely. There was nail painting, jewellery selling, wet sponge throwing and much more. Well done to the students and teachers for a great ‘Fun Day’, a fundraiser for the school.

If anyone out there has a cat who has recently had kittens, I would like to hear of them, as my mother cat, who just had 4 kittens last week, got killed on the road today. Thankfully I got a ‘surrogate’ mother for one of them but I’ve ended up trying to keep the other 3 alive with a syringe of milk every few hours. Some of us are very soft when it comes to keeping animals alive!

Well all the Junior and Leaving Cert exams are over and done with for yet another year, and all that stress, tension and last minute cramming is finished. Peace of mind now for all until the results. In past years it was great, there were loads of jobs out there for the summer months for students who were able to make a few pounds over the holiday period. Not now unfortunately, it’s a pity as ‘boredom’ after a while sets in with not much to do, especially if the weather isn’t great. However, its good to see some of them taking to the roads walking, cycling and jogging – good for mind and body!

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Knockdown News-24/06/2015

By Peg Prendeville

Imagine we are gone past the longest day of the year already!

There are just a few days left to get your tickets for the Killeaney soccer 40th anniversary celebrations in Knockdown on Saturday July 4th . It sounds like it is going to be a great weekend of celebration and reminiscing on former highs and lows of the club. It begins on Friday night with an Irish night in the Knockdown Arms. The main celebrations on Saturday and the weekly Lotto Draw on Sunday night. Hopefully the weather will be nice and the midges will be gone on holidays!

Laura Enright, Dromreask is taking dates for Wedding Mass music. Contact her on 086 2537442 or 068 34438. She wishes to thank everybody for their support in the Voice of Ireland journey earlier this year.

All the schools are closing for holidays this weekend. This brings mixed reactions depending on ones circumstances. “It will be great to have the time off.” “How are we going to keep the children occupied til September.” “We are bored. We have nothing to do!” Whichever way it goes I hope both children and parents enjoy the time and keep safe especially near water. The tragedy in California last week is a reminder for all of us parents to appreciate our children, even when they are driving us mad. May those students whom we know are on J-1 at the moment arrive home safely to us. God comfort those parents who have been bereaved. No words can heal their pain.

Fr McNamara in Loughill/Ballyhahill invites anyone to contact him if they wish him to attend a funeral outside of the Parish. The parish financial accounts are posted on the notice board inside the front door of the Churches for anyone who wishes to read them and come up with ideas of how to clear the debt!

Some of you may remember me telling you of my grandchild Lucy who started weekly physio in First Step Therapy in Patrickswell last September. Back then, Lucy, who was 1.5 years and has spina bifida, could barely move her legs, could not sit unaided and could not crawl. Nine months later she has come on so much. She can now sit up straight and kick out her legs with excitement. When lying down she can lift her legs with 4 kg weights on them. Originally she was doing only 5% of the movements herself while physiotherapist did them for her but now she is doing most without help. 100 “leg ups” with or without weights would test any of us, but this is what she is doing. She can do press-ups and get into a crawling position and will soon be crawling. Presently she can pull herself along the floor on her stomach. We are all so proud of her and look forward to more improvement as time goes on. I am only telling you to prove that perseverance and practice always pays off. She is a blessing in our family.

 Lucy on the left with her sister Lily

Lucy on the left with her sister Lily

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