By Kathleen Mullane

“Happy Christmas” 

Can I start by wishing all readers of Athea & District News, all fellow correspondents and of course Lillian & Donal, all the very best for Christmas and good health and happiness for 2016.  I had a card from Margaret Hurley O’Connell in Birmingham (Paddy Hurley’s sister and John O’Connell’s sister-in-law) who said her son reads her the newsletter every week and it’s the only thing that keeps her in touch with Athea, so isn’t that great to hear that at least our few lines are reaching out to our emigrants. Well done to Athea Printers.

It was just announced the other day , that Ireland was the 8th best place in the world to live in with the USA in 9th place –  or vice-versa. That was indeed good news to hear, so we are well up there in  the big world.

Well, Christmas time always brings about engagements and this year is no exception. Lorraine Higgins (daughter of Bernie and Pat, Glenagragra) has got engaged to James Fenton of Borris in Carlow. The newly engaged couple are home from Australia for Christmas.

The engagement also took place last week of Dan Leahy (son of Mary Ita and Stevie, Upper Athea) to Michelle Kearney N.T. (daughter of Angela and Joe Moyvane). Sincere congrats and good wishes to the newly engaged couples.

Congrats are also sent to Eoin Horgan (son of Kevin and Margaret, Knocknasna) who celebrated his 21st birthday at the Top of the Town recently.

Congrats to Joanne Hunt (daughter of Teady, Coole West) and Jason Michael who have been blessed with a new baby boy, William Brian Michael.

Sympathy is extended to Margaret Ahern, Lower Athea on the death of her mother, Anne Cunningham of Kilbaha, over the weekend. Also to Tom Grady on the recent death of his mother Peg at a great age. And to the relatives and friends of John Mautie Moran of Clash who was buried last Saturday. Sympathy also to Ger Finucane and his wife Julie on the death of his mother recently. May the Light of Heaven be theirs.

The Christmas vigil Mass will be celebrated this Thursday night at 8pm and Christmas Day Masses will be at 9am and 11am. It is hoped that Canon Kelly will be able to make one of the Christmas Day Masses. We wish him well.

What a great day was enjoyed by all the grandparents on Friday last here in the school. Firstly, we were allowed to browse around the school for a while where one could admire the pupils’ lovely art work and look at the many photos of pupils both past and present. Then it was up to the Church for 11.30 Mass which indeed was a credit to the teachers and pupils alike, also Fr. Bowen. The singing of Christmas carols was lovely. Then it was down to the school where there was a fabulous spread of cakes, buns, tea, coffee etc. Indeed well done to all those who helped out with the catering. No doubt Grandparents Day will be an annual event such was its success.