Archive for October, 2015


The monument to Con Colbert that was unveiled on Saturday afternoon beside the Con Colbert Memorial Hall.

The monument to Con Colbert that was unveiled on Saturday afternoon beside the Con Colbert Memorial Hall.

Athea Graveyards Collection

 The annual graveyards collection takes place this coming weekend, Saturday,  Oct. 31st and Sunday, November1st at both Masses. Envelopes are being distributed at the moment to all households.

Noonan’s Christmas Lights Fundraiser

A fundraiser will be held at the Top of the Town, Athea on Saturday, November 7th with music by Paddy Quilligan, there will be complimentary food and spot prizes and all funds will go to the charities that Noonan’s Lights support.  All welcome.


Athea Credit Union

Athea Credit Union office will be closed on Saturday, November 7th due to the Fair Day in Athea. We will be open on Friday evening 1st from 6.00pm  – 8.00pm. Normal hours will resume the following week.

Going Strong

The annual Church gate collection will take place on the weekend of November 7th/8th. at all Masses.

The Christmas party will take place on Wednesday, December 9th. Dinner at 1.30pm with music after by Blue Rhythm. €10 per person for dinner and entertainment, numerous spot prizes on the day. Names to be handed in to Rose at Brouder’s Shop or Peggy Casey before December 1st.

Athea Parish Journal

Please send in your material for the Journal as soon as possible, photos, articles, poems etc. It takes a lot of time to put it all together and time is running out. Where possible please email articles to or bring them in  to the office on a USB key

The Way We Were

I am continuing my looking back on the way things were and how much times have changed in such a relatively short time. Saturday night is now the big night out but that wasn’t always the case. Saturday night was reserved for going to Confession, taking the weekly bath and polishing the shoes. It was also the one time in the week when most men shaved. Sometimes the razor wasn’t too sharp and the “walking wounded” could be seen with bits of paper covering the scars of battle with it. Some people did not take the chance and went to the barber for a shave. This also had its dangers as the following tale illustrates. A man went into a barbers for a shave but was unlucky  to find that the barber was unwell and his apprentice was taking over for the first time on his own. He proceeded to try and shave the man but he was so nervous that he nicked him with the razor in several places. Each time he apologised and put a piece of paper on the cut to stem the flow of blood. Eventually he finished and the man asked him how much was going to him. “A shilling ” he replied. The man took money from his pocket and handing the young lad three shillings said “take that. Any man who can do barbering, butchering and paperhanging at the one time deserves to be paid for each job.”

The weekly bath was a big operation. A tin bath was placed in front of the fire and filled with hot water which had to be drawn in buckets and boiled in a big pot over the flames. The youngest child was washed first and then the older ones in sequence. If you happened to be the eldest child the water would not be exactly clear by the time it came to your turn. The parents made their own arrangements. The Sunday shoes would then be brought up from the room and the polishing began. They were first cleaned and then the polish was applied. As soon as it dried the rubbing began with a brush or a soft cloth. This went on until you could see your reflection in the shoes and boots. The Sunday suits were taken from the wardrobe and put before the fire to “air”. The old people lived in fear of damp clothing and took no chances. The Sunday clothes were often referred to as the “new” clothes even though they may have been there for years. They were as good as new though as they were only worn on very special occasions and were taken off and hung up as soon as possible.  We had to go to Confession at least once a month. On Saturday nights the church would be full of people waiting for Confession. Long seats were arranged outside the confessional which had two sides. We used to go to Abbeyfeale where there were three priests hearing Confession. The two curates, Fr. Liston and Fr. Frawley were very quiet and would give lenient penances for our misdemeanours. Canon Carroll however was a different kettle of fish and was liable to raise his voice in condemnation and could give several rosaries or the Stations of the Cross. We avoided him at all costs and went to one of the curates. One night I went to Confession and took my place in the queue for Fr. Liston’s box. Unknown to us the Canon had switched places with him and by the time I found out it was too late to back out. I had just started courting at the time and of course I included it in my list of sins. The Canon told me to speak up and then started to berate me in a loud voice. “Do you see that crucifix“ he said. “He died on the cross for you and this is the way you repay him by corrupting a young girl. You are a disgrace to your mother and father”. This could be heard all over the church and when he eventually gave me absolution I had to get up and face all those who had been listening to my misfortunes. The woman nearest the door was a neighbour of mine Mary Gleeson. She was splitting her sides laughing and it lightened the mood a little for me but if the ground could have opened and swallowed me I would have been happy !.

Yes, Saturday nights were certainly different in those days but there was a good feeling about being cleansed inside and out.

Domhnall de Barra

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Kathleen’s Corner-28/10/2015

By Kathleen Mullane

‘Bits & Bobs’

Sincere congrats and good wishes go to two birthday people this week. On Saturday night last Margaret Mary Mullane (daughter of Hannah and John, Templeathea) celebrated her 21st birthday along with her family and college friends from Galway in Abbeyfeale and at her home. She came home from Holland to celebrate the “special event”.

Also on Saturday night Mark O’Connor (son of Julie and Gerard of Barrack Street) celebrated his 21st at Brown Joe’s here in Athea. Family and friends had a very enjoyable night.

Congrats are also extended to Kathleen and Gerry Griffin, Brookfield House, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to France. Wishing them many, many more years of wedded bliss!

A reminder that the Tidy Towns group are meeting up again on this coming Saturday 31st from 10am to 1 pm at Templeathea Cemetery. They’ve done great work so far removing the ivy from the old church and with some more “helping hands” and volunteers it should make it much quicker to get done. The group thank everyone who gave to their church gate collection over the weekend. The money raised will help make Athea a  lovelier place than you could imagine – every year it gets better. Well done also to the group for getting second in “Going for Gold” last week at the Strand Hotel in Limerick.

Next Monday night, November 2nd, will be a very special night at 7.30pm Mass here in the church. All those who passed away over the past 12 months will be remembered by one of their family or relatives lighting a memorial candle for them to be placed on the altar. There will also be two other Masses at 9.30am and 11am on this “All Souls’ Day”

A great crowd gathered near the Memorial Hall on Saturday evening for the unveiling of the Con Colbert Memorial organised by the West Limerick Republican Movement committee. His great niece, Ide Colbert Lenin performed the unveiling and his great grand-niece played the harp. There was also some singing later on in the evening. Tea and scones etc were served  to all in the hall after. The hall was decorated with posters and information on the walls, beautifully done by the Athea N.S. children. In all it was a lovely celebration. The plaque is located at the right of the hall at the bottom of the Fairy Path.

Congrats and good wishes are extended to Claire Moran (daughter of Mary and Henry of Toureendonnell) who was married on Friday last here in Athea Church to Jack Burke of Cork. A great day was enjoyed by family, relatives and friends at the Devon Inn Hotel.

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Knockdown News28/10/2015

By Peg Prendeville

It is difficult to believe that we are into Halloween time with all that that entails. It has got to be a very commercial occasion now with Fancy Dress being almost compulsory in all schools last Friday before the mid-term break. Of course the children love it and I suppose it keeps businesses ticking over with all the fancy costumes etc but it is so different to the snap-apple days we remember. Then it used to be celebrated on just one day on October 31st, the last day of the month but now it seems to go on for a week with houses decorated like at Christmas. Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. Hence all the scary masks and witch’s outfits that the children wear now

I really enjoyed the Late Late on Friday night. It brought back many memories of dancing in the National and the Irish Club in Dublin in the 70’s. It was great to see all the old singers Philomena Begley, Sandy Kelly, and the famous Big Tom, who was my idol for some years. A lovely light entertaining show to make up for the doom and gloom of world tragedies and the plight of migrants. We need more of these kind of shows to lift the spirit.

Congratulations again to Peg and Jack O’Grady who have notched up another wedding anniversary recently. Sixty six years together is no bad achievement. And the signs are that they will be together for more years.

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