Past Meets Present The Legendery Mick Mackey seems to be standing in Pairc na nGael, Athea with the Liam McCarthy Cup. Wonders of modern technology. Athea G.A.A. appreciate all support for the Mick Mackey Draw

Past Meets Present
The Legendery Mick Mackey seems to be standing in Pairc na nGael, Athea with the Liam McCarthy Cup.
Wonders of modern technology.
Athea G.A.A. appreciate all support for the Mick Mackey Draw

Limerick Club Development Draw – (The Mackey Draw)

For those of you who are wondering who the man with the Liam McCarthy cup is on the new pitch at Páirc na nGael, it is the great Mick Mackey from Ahane. The photo was taken in 1936 when Mick captained Limerick to win their fifth All Ireland Hurling final. They went onto win in 1940 and again in 1973.

Mick was an exceptional player who in addition to his County success where he won three All Ireland medals, he won 5 Club Football Championships between 1935-39 and 15 Club Hurling Championships between 1931-48 when Ahane were absolutely dominant in Limerick.

The stand in the Gaelic Grounds is named after him as was the Limerick Club Development Draw. Even though the draw has been rebranded many still call it the Mackey Draw.

This draw is important to the club and brings in vital revenue to enable the club to maintain and develop the grounds in the hopes that some day Athea GAA will have our own Mick Mackey to shout about.

Your continued support is greatly appreciated and indeed newcomers to the draw are most welcome.

Athea Drama Group

Following a very successful run of ‘The Hen Night Epiphany’ by Athea Drama Group over six nights, it has been decided to perform the play for one final night  on Sunday March 13th at the Con Colbert Hall, Athea at 8pm. The charities benefiting on the night will be ‘The Ronald McDonald House Charities’ in Crumlin and ‘The Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fundraiser for the Burns Unit in Saint James’, Dublin. Both these charities resonate well with many from our parish. Many local families have benefited from the fantastic free service offered by the Ronald Mc Donald House by offering free accommodation, care and support to the families of seriously ill children. Equally, The Saint James’ Hospital Burns Unit in Dublin also provides a great service to our country and plays a major role rebuilding people’s lives and allowing them to once again live a happy and healthy life. Joanne McMahon’s mother, Bernie, also hails from Athea.

We would like to encourage and welcome everyone to come to this charity night and to view our performance of ‘The Hen Night Epiphany’ which has attracted large audiences with many travelling long distances to view this new, modern play never before performed in this region. ‘The Hen Night Epiphany’ is a heart lifting tale of five women who take to the countryside for a night of fun and laughter that leaves their lives turned upside down.

Please note this play contains adult themes.  

Athea Community Alert

Athea Community Alert Church gate collection on Sat & Sun 12th/13th March. The proceeds from this collection are used for alarms for elderly people living alone who feel they have a bit of security when they have one of these. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

Roots of the Rising: The Family History of Con Colbert

As part of Ireland 2016 Centenary Year, Limerick Genealogy is researching the family of Con Colbert. Cornelius Francis Colbert was one of the two Limerick men executed for his involvement in the Easter Rising 1916. Our research is to culminate in a public exhibition in Newcastle West Library, Newcastle West to be launched on Thursday 10th March 2016 at 8.00pm. Some more details can be found here –

Our planned exhibition, entitled Roots of the Rising: the Family History of Con Colbert, aims to illustrate the rich genealogy of the Colbert family, in co-operation with descendants of the extended family. We are still looking for family photographs, records and other memorabilia to incorporate into the research and public exhibition and we would love to invite to our launch any descendants of the extended family or indeed members of the local community who might be interested in attending. Guest speaker on the night is John O’Callaghan, author of 16 Lives: Con Colbert.

If you would like further details or have any questions about the above, you can contact myself or my colleague Aoife Ryan by email,

at [email protected], or by phone, at +353 61 496542. We look forward to hearing from you.

Catriona Crowe


One thing I have  noticed lately is the absence of “characters” from the locality. They were very much in evidence when I was young and added a lot of colour to our lives. The “character” was a bit eccentric, handy with the gab and very witty. He could cut you to ribbons with a few well chosen words if you had the misfortune to upset him but in general the banter was good natured and taken in good part. Most of them had very little schooling, going to the national school until they were big and strong enough to help out on the land or in the bog. Their “third level” education (we’ll skip the second level altogether) was the university of life. They graduated from this with flying colours and, being of a generous nature, were more than ready to share their accumulated knowledge with all and sundry, at least anyone who would listen to them. I have known a good few in my time and I recall some funny incidents that can be attributed to them.  The late Bill Cotter from Knocknasna, God be good to him,  was never stuck for words and was as witty a man as ever lived. Like many a man before him and indeed after, Bill left school early enough and, after working for local farmers for a while, eventually went to work in England where he lived for many years until he finally retire to live in Kingsland. He bought the house next door to my father-in-law Jack Hannon. They were great friends and had known each other from their time fishing together along the banks of the Feale. Bill would ramble into Jack’s at any hour of the day or night, as people used to do regularly in days gone by. Nowadays you have to make an “appointment”. He used to love to get a rise out of Jack and employed several methods of doing so. One day he came in and after exchanging the usual pleasantries  Bill asked, “Jack. Will you tell me what would be good for fleas?”. Jack though for a moment and replied, “Well now Bill, the best thing for fleas is DDT.”  Bill looked at him in mock alarm and said. “ O my God Jack, sure that would only kill them” He was at a wedding in Athea on  another occasion and while waiting for the bride to arrive he went up to the Top of the Town for some refreshment. It was in the summertime and there were a few Yanks in the bar who were taking a break while touring around the country. Bill was in his usual good form and fell into conversation with some of the locals. He was wearing a flower in his lapel and one of the visitors who had been enjoying the local company asked Bill why he was wearing the carnation. Before he could answer one of the locals said “he is getting married today”. “That’s right” said Bill, “ she’s running a bit late so I thought I’d be more comfortable here”. “Is your fiancé from Athea?” enquired the Yank. “No”, said Bill, “I wrote away for her”.  “Where did you write to” was the next question. “Ireland’s Own” said Bill and I hope they send me a good one, ‘cause I didn’t see her yet”. The Yank was taken aback and after some thought asked if Bill knew her name to which Bill replied “ah, the misfortune has no name sir, only a number” at which point the Yank gave up and left the company.

Bill did not always get his own way with Jack Hannon. He was in his garden one day, tending his flowers, while Jack was on the other side of the ditch thinning turnips. Bill invited him over to see his garden and showed Jack the lovely flowers he had cultivated. “ What do you think of them, aren’t they lovely Jack.”   he reply came back straight away, “God knows they are Bill. They are lovely all right sure they’ll see you through the winter”.

I was very fond of Bill and found him to be a very intelligent, generous individual. He liked his few pints and was the life and soul of any party he attended. He had a repertoire of bawdy songs that he loved to sing, especially if there were a few straight laced people in the company who would be scandalised by the words of the song. Though unique in his own way, he was but one of many of the great characters who entertained us over the years. Alas they seem to have disappeared with the advent of TV and education for all. There is no room for them any more in the world of IT and mass media and we are all the poorer for that. Many of the characters would have gone far in the world if they had the benefit of education. In my varied career I have dealt with heads of state and government ministers but I have met men labouring for Murphy, Wimpy and John Lang who would buy and sell them. As a matter of fact the country would be far better off in their sensible hands than those who mismanage it at the moment.

Domhnall de Barra