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

[email protected] 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