The best float in the Abbeyfeale parade on St. Patrick’s Day. The Athea Drama Group “Hens go to Vegas”

The best float in the Abbeyfeale parade on St. Patrick’s Day.
The Athea Drama Group “Hens go to Vegas”

Athea Tidy Towns committee with helpers for the big clean-up on Good Friday

Athea Tidy Towns committee with helpers for the big clean-up on Good Friday


The Fashion takes place on this coming Thursday, March 31st at 8pm, with the Con Colbert Hall once again providing the perfect setting for the event. The show itself will showcase the latest trends (Men’s, Women’s and Children’s ) from all the top boutiques from West Limerick and North Kerry, and will be preceded by a cheese and wine reception. Judges will also be on the lookout for the best dressed lady on the night, with some lovely prizes up for grabs.
Tickets are now on sale at Brouder’s Shop, Athea Credit Union and Collins’ Shop Athea and are priced at just €10.Tickets will also be available at the door on the night. For further information contact 087-9042477


The Athea Tidy Towns Group wish to sincerely thank all the volunteers who turned up for our clean up on Good Friday. Over sixty bags of rubbish was collected on our roads and village. We would ask everybody to make sure their own area is kept clean during the year so that we can be proud of a litter free parish. We would also like to thank  Limerick City & Council and J P McManus  for providing us with our cleaning equipment.

Vintage & Tidy Towns

Knockdown Vintage Club and Estuary Macra

Knockdown Vintage Club and Estuary Macra are hosting their annual Charity Road Run on Sunday April 10th at 1 pm. This will start and finish at the Knockdown Arms where light refreshments will be served. The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation will be the beneficiary of this event. This foundation provides nursing care and support for children with severe neurological development issues as well as offering some respite for parents and families.

The Vintage Club welcomes all vintage cars, tractors, trucks, bikes etc. while Estuary Macra will host the Modern Tractor Run. All runs will include a short stop at Moore’s, Carrigkerry.

A raffle will also be held on the day with numerous prizes including hotel breaks. A local Comhaltas group will entertain the participants during registration starting at 12 noon. The Nightingales will provide the entertainment between 4 and 6.

Estuary Macra are holding a table quiz on Friday night, April 8th, at the Knockdown Arms and proceeds will also go to the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation.

Since its foundation in 2010, Knockdown Vintage Club have raised in excess of €19,000 which has been donated to various charities and local causes. This could not have been done without the support of our sponsors, participants and the general public. Your continued generosity would be appreciated.

For more information contact: Patrick Langan @ 087 2452695, Dave Noonan @ 087 2500938 or Patrick Scanlon @ 086 0682600.

Easter Rising

The holiday weekend saw massive celebrations of the Easter Rising throughout the country but particularly in Dublin. It was very well organised and was a fitting tribute to the men and women who put their lives on the line to give us the freedom we enjoy today. It had great dignity and I was especially impressed with our president Michael D. Higgins. For a small man he carries great weight when he speaks and has a fluency in both Irish and English that is remarkable. In one camera shot the past two presidents were shown side by side. How fortunate we were to have two such great women as Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese as our heads of state. They brought the presidency to a very high level and raised our stock throughout the world. Michael D. is continuing the great work they started and we should be proud of him.

Thinking about the rising, which in itself was a bit of a shambles partly due to the fact that the boat load of guns was intercepted and it had been decided to cancel it altogether leaving some who fought and others who had stood down under orders, I wonder what would have happened if the British hadn’t been so eager to teach the rebels a lesson by executing the leaders. It was that act that lit the flame throughout the country and led to the War of Independence which culminated in the 26 county republic.

The soldiers of 1916 knew they were going to be defeated but they gave their lives willingly in the hope that by doing so they would inspire others to take up the cause. They had a great vision which is recorded in the proclamation, a document that had very modern thinking at the time such as equal rights for women. I wonder what they would think of the Ireland of today and if it fits in with their high ideals. Yes, women have equal rights but it took a long time to achieve. Fianna Fáil, in the first constitution put women back in the kitchen. Their place was “in the home” and for years a woman could not hold a civil service job once she got married. I wonder would they be happy with the sleeveen politicians who colluded with the bankers and gamblers to feather their own nests and crippled the country. What would they think of the abuse of children, who were supposed to be cherished, by those into whose care they were entrusted. This happened over decades and a blind eye was turned by the religious and state institutions. Today we have hundreds of children sleeping rough in our cities. We also have children who cannot get into their local school because of religious discrimination. Would the men and women of ‘16 be happy with people having to spend hours and days on hospital trolleys due to the mismanagement of our health services by government after government or the treatment of our travelling community, some of whom burned to death in an awful tragedy that could have been avoided if local councils spent the money available on proper halting sites. I don’t think they would be too impressed with the decline in rural Ireland. Our small towns and villages are being ruined by the closure of post offices, banks, shops and other services. We can see this ourselves in places like Mountcollins and Tournafulla, once thriving commercial communities, who now can’t even boast of a single shop between them.

Religion played a big part in the lives of those who died for Ireland. They would be saddened at the decline of the Catholic Church and the lack of priests in our dioceses. Some priests now have up to four parishes to look after and the number attending Mass is falling year on year.

But there are great positives as well. Ireland has become a modern progressive country in other ways and is well respected throughout the world. We have produced some of the best sportspeople, musicians, artists, writers and actors in the world and continue to “punch above our weight” on the international stage. Our young people are highly educated and inventive and are in great demand by leading industries. Our farmers produce the best food on the planet and we are renowned for our hospitality. Our country is a beautiful one with great scenery that we take for granted but is not lost on the thousands of tourists who come here every year. Our native language still survives in the Gaeltacht areas but is also flourishing in cities and towns throughout the country through the rise of Gaelscoileanna. Our traditional music is alive and flourishing due mainly to the great work of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. Our Gaelic Games have never been so well supported. Hurling is probably the fastest, most skilful game in the world and spellbinding to watch. I wish I could say the same of Gaelic football. This game has become boring in the extreme with hand pass after hand pass, across the field mostly, and little of the skill that was on display a few short years ago. I think it was Pat Spillane who coined the phrase “puke football”. He was right and if the powers that be don’t do something soon, a game I used to play and love will disappear. There are many other things associated with our country that are good and bad but in general I think the people who made the ultimate sacrifice would be happy enough with the progress we have made.

After a rising, war of independence, civil war, two world wars and the “troubles” in Northern Ireland, we are now in a period of peace and are coming out of a depression that has done untold damage to families up and down the land. That we have survived all that is a testament to the resilience of the ordinary people of Ireland and their fighting spirit. We are a proud nation and we thank the men and women of 1916 for lighting the fuse that started our fight for self-determination. They should never be forgotten.

 Domhnall de Barra