Archive for January, 2016


Ann and Tom O’Keeffe, Mary Kelly and Kit O’Connor enjoying the Going Strong Party

Ann and Tom O’Keeffe, Mary Kelly and Kit O’Connor enjoying the Going Strong Party

Yoga Classes

Yoga classes are starting back again on Monday, February 1st in the Community Hall from 7pm to 8.30 pm. 

Athea Bingo 

The bingo committee would like to say a big thank you to all who sponsored spot prizes for the last Bingo Session of 2015. A big thank you also to all who support the bingo every Friday night and a Happy and Lucky New Year to all.

Rathfredagh Cheshire Home Walk

The annual Rathfredagh Cheshire Home walk will be held on this coming Sunday 31st January. It will commence at 10am and the walkers will travel from Barna to the Cheshire Home. Registration takes place from 9.30am in Barna. Refreshments will be served after the walk in Rathfredagh. More details and sponsorship cards from 069-83100 or 069-83279.

The Pursuit of Happiness

“Happiness is a thing called Hamlet” was an ad on TV before the ban on tobacco advertising came into effect. This type of advertising was all the rage up to then. Chic ladies and dapper gentlemen were shown puffing away to their hearts content in a state of happiness induced by the smoke from cigarettes and cigars that was supposed to make one relaxed and full of contentment. All the great actors and actresses of the day had a cigarette in the hand all the time. It was a great aid to directors because it gave the cast something to do with their hands. Is it any wonder that we couldn’t wait to start smoking, which we did as soon as we could afford to. I’m afraid it didn’t bring us the great happiness promised. The first pull on a cigarette was horrible causing a burning feeling in the mouth and intense coughing but we wouldn’t give it to say that we weren’t up to the task so we persevered and gradually got hooked. The same applied to drink. “Guinness is good for you” beamed down on us from billboards all over the place. A glass of whiskey was thought to relax us and bring us good health. Again all the celebrities drank like fish making us want to be like them and “sophisticated”. We didn’t let them down and most of us went on to “enjoy” the joys of liquor, maybe a bit too much at times. Did it make us happy, maybe for a little while but when the hangover kicked in the following morning and we had partial recall of the fools we made of ourselves the night before, the happiness was well and truly gone. Do we really know when we are happy?  I doubt it because happiness is in many cases retrospective. We can look back at days and happenings in the past and say we “were happy then” but at the time it didn’t really sink in.

I remember when I was a young lad going to school I thought I would be happy if I had a bicycle. Eventually I got one and I suppose it did make me happy for a while but I soon started to crave for a bike with a 3 speed gear. In the fullness of time I achieved my desire but when the novelty wore off I wanted a sports bike. “Hikers” bikes we called them because we only saw them when groups of cyclists, mainly from clubs in England, passed our way in the summertime. We called them hikers, don’t ask me why, and they all had bikes with several gears and turned down handlebars. I had to wait until  I went to England to get one of those bikes, £1 down and 2 shillings a week!.  Alas the happiness was again temporary and I wanted a motorbike, which I got and then a bigger one and so on until I ended up with the biggest motorbike available at the time, a Matchless 750cc with a side car that could be taken off for racing purposes. I nearly got killed off the damned thing on the M1 south of Coventry so there was little happiness there.

The story carries on with cars, again getting bigger and more powerful until I had the best one I could afford or at least I could afford with the loan from the bank. The point of all this narrative is that we never know when we are happy. The man who works hard for a living envies the boss and thinks he would be happy in his shoes. The boss very often envies the worker because he can leave work in the evening without the worries the boss has to take to bed with him. The man with just a few pounds in his pocket thinks the world would be a wonderful place if he was to become a millionaire yet the millionaire has his own problems and is unable to enjoy the quiet life.

Many a couple who are now relatively well off say they were never happier than when they were “pulling the devil by the tail”. The problem is they did not realise it at the time. Happiness is being contented with your lot today. There may be bad things happening but if we look closely enough we will find good things as well. It is all relative. If we have a bad toothache, we think we would be happy if it was gone and we would, for a while. There is happiness to be found in the simple things. Take a walk in the country and you will find numerous wonders of nature that give us great pleasure.  Wild flowers, shrubs and trees, with their arrays of colour at particular times of the year can give a sense of pleasure and a feeling of being  at one with the natural world. The same can be said for the wild life on the ground and in the air.

I once had the pleasure of watching swallows performing synchronised aerobatics over a big lawn. I was standing outside a hedge and was  blown away by the manoeuvres, flying at top speed about a foot off the ground and missing each other by fractions of an inch. This was poetry in motion and a joy to behold. I have also seen them in the evening sky, performing in great numbers, weaving intricate patterns that makes one wonder how they know instinctively what to do next. Yes, happiness is to be found all around us, in our families, our friends, nature and in our own minds. We can’t change what happened yesterday, tomorrow may never come, so live today and appreciate the things that are all around us. Far away hills are not as green as they look.


Domhnall de Barra



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Kathleen’s Corner-27/01/2016

By Kathleen Mullane

‘Out & About’ 

Congrats this week to Damien Finnerty (grandson of Mary Brouder of Knockaclugga) who has recently become engaged to Jacquie Kelly. Best wishes go to the newly engaged couple.

The death has taken place of Emma (Holly) O’Brien of Moyvane who had not been well for some time. Emma was the owner of the very well established shop “Hollys” in nearby Moyvane until she became ill. She was greatly liked by everyone she dealt with in her shop, staff as well ascustomers. ‘May she rest in peace’.

Sympathy also to the family, relatives and friends of Ron Cooper of Coole who passed away over the weekend. An avid ‘Fulham’ supporter. Many came to pay their last respects at Kelly’s Funeral Parlour on Monday evening. Burial followed Requiem Mass on Tuesday. ‘May the light of heaven be his’.

I just heard on Radio Kerry today about a ‘phone scam’ that’s raging at the moment – a long number starting with ‘00247’ rings your mobile and you answer and hear someone in terrible distress. It cuts off after a while and if you ring back thinking someone is in trouble, it eats up all your phone credit. The advice from the Gardaí is ‘not to answer this unusual number at all.

Parishioners and all avid GAA fans are asked to help out with the cost of the new pitch development by buying a €10 ticket for the National Club draw which will take place in the next few weeks. There are great prizes – a car, trip with the All Stars, travel vouchers, shopping vouchers and much more. All money will go to the new pitch. Also if any family members who are abroad and were Athea players in the past or who have a love of football they might like to have their name on the pitch “Patron Board” by donating an amount to the pitch and no doubt the new running track around the pitch will be well used by walkers and runners alike.

Athea people have been great in the past by helping to pay for the  “Church renovation, then there was the “Footbridge”, then the Colbert and sports hall, the soccer pitch at ‘The Vales’ by supporting the weekly draw so hopefully this great pitch asset will also be well supported.

I loved Donal’s piece last week in this Newsletter, “The Way We Were”,  if our parents and grandparents could come back now and see the technology they would be flabbergasted! It reminds me of the day some years back, Patsy, my sister, myself and a car full of children and my mother, God rest her, in the front and we drove into “The Drive Thru” in McDonald’s and when we asked her what she wanted to eat she got so angry saying we were trying to make a fool of her thinking you could talk to a machine and your food would be ready at the other end – we were in such fits of laughter we couldn’t order and had to leave!

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Knockdown News-27/01/2016

By Peg Prendeville

A presentation by Glin historian, Tom Donovan, on the Easter Rising will be made in Conways at 8.00 p.m. on Thursday night the 28th January.  The presentation will concentrate on the part played by local people from Glin in the rising of 1916 and the war of Independence.  Everybody is welcome to attend and it is hoped to commemorate the people involved as part of the National Celebration.

There is a cultural night coming up in the Devon Hotel on Friday January 29th organised by the Diocesan Synod. All are welcome as it is an open event. This evening of culture will incorporate elements of poetry, music, Gaeilge and local history marking the tercentenary of the birth of poet Tadhg Gaelach Ó Suilleabháin, who born in Tournafulla in 1715. Most of his well-known poems were of a religious nature.  The evening will be hosted by Neilus de Róiste. The key note address will be given by Salvador Ryan, who is professor of Ecclesiastical History in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, with poetry readings by Canon Micheál Liston and music by a variety of local musicians. All are welcome to attend. Devon Inn at 7.30pm on this Friday January 29th. 

You can then continue to enjoy some more culture with an Irish night in Conway’s Bar in Glin at 9pm on Friday night also, organised by the local Comhaltas branch in preparation for the county Fleádh Ceóil which will take place in Glin in June. So you will be spoiled for choice

I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to believing in climate change but I suppose it cannot be denied that the weather system is changing throughout the world. The temperatures for the past few days are lovely but not normal and one does not know what to expect each day. We are now threatened with the tail end of the storm which put the east coast of America in standstill for a day or two. In fact it will probably have passed over by the time you read this. Luckily the weather has not really disturbed any of us too much in this part of the world so we are lucky.

Thankfully all my “sick” neighbours are back in good health again. We are a tough lot in Knockdown.

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