Archive for March, 2016

By Carrig Side-30/03/2016

By Tom Aherne

Aidan O’Connor from Carrigkerry was a guest on Limerick Live 95 in the County programme on Saturday morning last. He was being interviewed about his love for song writing for the Eurovision and his latest entry which will represent the Czech Republic at Stockholm in the first semi-final in May. Aidan is an English teacher in Dublin and over the years he has built up a large amount of contacts involved in the Eurovision Song Contest and he has written the lyrics for 25 songs for various countries. He has had two second place finishes in the national contests in Malta and Lithuania before winning in the Check Republic. Aidan’s song I Stand will be performed by Gabriella Guncikova and wouldn’t it be great if it won the contest.

Congratulations and best wishes in the future to Michael and Birdie O’Connor, Ballingarry who recently celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Michael from Carrigkerry and Birdie from Athea, held a family celebration in Charleville, to mark the special occasion.

Good Friday was dry and windy and ideal for Team Limerick Clean Up 2 which was held throughout the city and county from 10am to 1pm. The event was even more successful than last year with more people and communities getting involved. Well done to our own local people and communities who organised clean ups. Cleanliness is next to godliness goes the old saying.

Fr Tom Mangan was a participant in the Ballyneety Golf Club’s Strictly Come Dancing fundraiser which was held at the South Court Hotel. The Glensharrold native is the current Parish Priest in Donoughmore/ Knockea and his Irish dancing background came in handy. The fundraiser raised a lot of money for the club and it was an outstanding success.

The following are the Lottery results from Neary’s Bar, Ardagh on Monday March 21st. The numbers drawn were 15,16,18,24, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the lucky dip winners: €60 Ann O’Connor, c/o Peadar’s. €60 Ita Liston, c/o Curley’s. €60 John Dineen, c/o Neary’s.  €30 Séan and Oisin Ryan, Ardagh. €30 Sheila, and Mike, c/o Neary’s. €30 Patrick Mullins, Ardagh. Next week’s Jackpot will be €11,600 and the draw will be held in Reens Bar, Ardagh.

Saint Kieran’s defeated Castlemahon by 2-13 to 2-8 in the West Senior Football Championship Quarter Final at Newcastle West on St Patrick’s Day.

The club presented the players with their U-21 and Minor football medals won in 2015 at Moore’s Bar, Carrigkerry on Saturday March 19. Johnny McCarthy and Sean McSweeney did the honours. A presentation was made also to former chairman John Ryan to show appreciation for his work over the last eight years.

The latest edition of the Green and White magazine, was distributed to the primary schools before the Easter break. It is another very interesting publication with lots of news views and interviews. The award winning magazine contains photographs of Ardagh NS boys and girl’s teams, as well as Kilcolman NS team who won their division last year

Carrig Celtic defeated Pallaskenry 7-2 away in Round 3 of the Desmond Cup on Sunday March 20. Seanie King, and Ray Cahill, scored three goals each and Brodie O’Connor added the other. Creeves Celtic defeated Adare Utd 3-2 at home in the Quarter Final of the Reidy Cup with Seamus Mangan, scoring all three goals. Old Mill gave a walkover to St Ita’s in Division 2 of the Desmond League. In Division 1 of the Desmond Ladies League, Carrig Celtic lost 4-1 away to Charleville, with Ellie Moloney scoring their goal. Kilcolman Rovers lost 2-1 at home to Askeaton.

Congratulations to St Kieran’s participants who did the club proud at the Irish Night Finals in Askeaton on Saturday March 12. Cian Ward won gold in the U-16 Solo Irish Dance, James O’Sullivan, and Adam Ward won gold in the U-12 Group Irish Dance, Mya Bridgeman won silver in the Solo Irish Dance and Mya, Eileen Collins, Cliodhna Heffernan and Jack Bridgeman won silver in the U-16 Group Irish Dance.

Coolcappa Music Group have a DVD of their Concert held at Rathkeale House Hotel in aid of the Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fund for sale from the following Patsy Greaney 087-2153685, John Moran 087-6555098, Marion Hough 085-7341675 and Sharon Guina 087-9433496.

There are CDs of the Ardagh Church Concert in aid of the Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fund for sale, also in Curley’s Shop Ardagh, Olympic Filling Station, Churchtown, and Coughlan’s Supermarket Castlemahon.

A reminder that Trocaire boxes can be returned now to your local church. Please be as generous as possible with your donations which will go to help people in foreign lands who are barely surviving due to wars and drought.

Newcastle West Film Club present Tangerines, in the Desmond Complex on Friday 1st April at 8pm. Refreshments available and the entry fee is € 7. This is the last film of the current season, and the members would welcome your attendance.

West Limerick Singing Club will host a night of songs in remembrance of the 1916 Easter Rising in the Ramble Inn Bar Abbeyfeale on Friday 1st April. The club meet on the first Friday of every month for their normal singing session. All are welcome to attend and enjoy a good night of traditional singing.

The Mass times in Coolcappa/Kilcolman parish will change for the summer months from the weekend of 2nd/3rd April. Mass will be celebrated in St Colman’s Church Kilcolman on Saturday evenings at 7.30 pm, and in St Kyran’s Church Coolcappa on Sunday mornings at 10am.

The Mass times in Ardagh/Carrigkerry parish will change also from the weekend of 2nd/3rd April. Mass will be celebrated in St Mary’s Church Carrigkerry on Saturday evenings at 6pm and in St Molua’s Church Ardagh on Sunday mornings at 11.30am.

The Old Mill Community and Friends are holding a traditional night of music, song and story in aid of the Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fundraiser in the Ballintemple Inn, Newcastle West on Saturday 2nd April. The doors will open at 7.30pm and the entertainment will commence at 8pm sharp. All support will be greatly appreciated.

Kilcolman Rovers are holding a fundraising quiz in Peadar’s Bar, Ardagh on Saturday 2nd April at 9.30. Teams of 4, all are welcome and support appreciated.

Ardagh N.S. will hold a used clothes collection from Monday 4th April to Friday 8th April. All support for this fundraiser will be greatly appreciated.

The AGM of the Ardagh Voluntary Housing Association takes place in Neary’s Pub on Wednesday 6th April at 8pm and all are welcome.

A fundraising Bingo Night will be held in Ardagh Community Centre on Wednesday 6th April at 8.30pm. The prize fund will be €2,200 and there will be lots of spot prizes as well.  All the proceeds will go towards the Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving fund.

The Old Mill Ladies Football Club are holding a Table Quiz at Neary’s Bar Ardagh on Saturday 9th April at 9pm. They would appreciate your support for the work they do with the ladies of the locality.

The Limerick Diocesan Synod week takes place from Sunday 3rd April to Sunday 10th April. Bishop Leahy has issued an instruction that no mass be celebrated after 11am on Synod Sunday 10th April. As a result Mass will be celebrated at 9am in Coolcappa, and 10.30am in Ardagh.

An exhibition of the work of Jack Donovan will be held in Rathkeale Arts Centre commencing on Friday 29th April. The late Jack, who died in 2014, was brought up in Grouse Lodge by his grandparents after the death of his mother. The exhibition will contain portraits of the 1916 leaders, and the War of Independence soldiers and they were completed from 1969 to 1982. The exhibition will last for a month and it is being organised by his brother Tim in Rathkeale.

The Darkness into Light 5k walk/run in aid of Pieta House will be held on Saturday morning 7th May around Newcastle West. Online registration at

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Athea Utd Soccer

Youths Division 2 (Sat, March 26th)

Carrig Cel   (0) 1

Athea Utd   (1) 3  William Sexton, Adam Riordan, James Ryan

An under-strength youths were away to Carrig Celtic last Saturday afternoon and came home with a hard earned three one win. We knew it would be tough but with only ten players the task became that bit more difficult. William Sexton was operating as a lone striker on the day and it was he who got the opening goal in the first half when in a one on one with the keeper placed the ball under the keeper and this was a lead we preserved to the short whistle.

In the second half Carrig came more into the game and levelled matters early in the half and now it was game on again. Our midfield put in a big shift and we were rewarded with two late goals. Having won a corner the ball broke to Adam Riordan on the edge of the box and he sent a rocket of a shot into the bottom corner. Soon after we added a third when from a Carrig corner we counter attacked with William Sexton in a one on one again with the keeper but showed awareness to pass to the unmarked James Ryan to score into an empty net. Full time 3-1.

Team Mareks Apinis, Michael Ambrose, Evan Woulfe, Cillian Liston, Jack Vaughan, Adam Riordan, Sean Ryan, James Ryan, Liam McAuliffe, William Sexton.

Referee: John Roche.

U12 Division 3 (Sat, March 26th)

Creeves Cel   (2) 3

Athea Utd      (1) 2   Callum Buckley, Daire O’Shea

Our twelves were away to Creeves Celtic last Saturday in a league game and after a close contest it was the home side that came out on top by the odd goal in five. The strong breeze favoured the hosts in the opening half and this was a factor in Creeves taking the lead when a high ball somehow ended in the net. It took us a few minutes to regroup but once we did we gave as good as we got an what was proving to be an entertaining opening half. We were back on level terms six minutes from half time when we were awarded an indirect free kick which Callum Buckley fired to the net off a defender. But by half time Creeves had restored their lead.

The second half was just as entertaining with play going from end to end. Creeves did have slightly more possession and more chances but Gavin Mulvihill was very assured between the posts while Evin Curry had one of his best games this season. With about five minutes left the Creeves winger for once got behind our defence and his well struck shot was superbly saved by Gavin but unluckily for us the ball rebounded perfectly for their striker to score from close range. Many teams would have settled for this but this Athea team kept going and were rewarded when Daire O’Shea found the net from eighteen yards but try as we might just couldn’t get the third goal.

Team – Gavin Mulvihill, Gearoid O’Sullivan, Callum Buckley, Evin Curry, Michael Walsh, James Lee,  Daire O’Shea, James Broderick, Donnacha Barrett, Shauna Sweeney, Killian O’Connor, Rory Mahony,   

Referee: Pat King.

Reidy Cup S/F (Sun, March 27th)

Creeves Cel   (1) 10

Athea Utd      (4) 6   

Kevin Murphy, Darren Murphy (3), Shane Mulvihill, John Cotter (after extra time)

We were away to Creeves Celtic last Sunday morning with a place in the Reidy Cup final at stake. Looking for the right word or phrase to describe what unfolded in Newbridge on Easter Sunday is certainly leaving me at a loss. This was a semi-final we should have won and you would have gotten long odds against us not advancing but great credit is due to Creeves who never gave up and a never say die attitude saw then through to this seasons Reidy Cup final.

We started well and after four minutes we were ahead when a cross by Darren Murphy was headed back across goal by Gerard Ahern to Kevin Murphy who headed to the net. Soon after Darren made it two nil after a through ball from Joe Vaughan and by the quarter hour mark a second goal from Darren had us three goals to the good. Creeves pulled one back on twenty three minutes after a good move down their right but we restored our two goal lead on thirty five minutes when Shane Mulvihill drilled a free kick around the wall and inside the left post from twenty two yards. We had two more good chances to increase our lead but at half time we led four one.

The second half began and little did any of the spectators present know what was about to unfold before their very eyes. Creeves made it four two before Darren completed his hat trick when a powerful shot from Kevin was only parried by the keeper and top scored Murphy slid home the rebound. Ahern then hit the left post with a header from Kevins cross before the former laid on goal number six for sub John Cotter. The soon to be enthralling semi-final one could argue turned in Creeves favour on seventy minutes. We were awarded a penalty when Cotter was fouled just inside the area and from the resultant penalty Murphys effort thundered off the crossbar. The home side quickly broke down their left and their winger shot low to the net. Two minutes later they scored again, this time they attacked down their right and the midfielder drilled a low shot inside the near post. For some unknown reason we lost our focus and Creeves now had the momentum and looked like scoring whenever they attacked. As the game headed to the ninetieth minute we were hanging on and this bizarre game took another twist when Creeves scored twice in the last two minutes to force extra time.

In the end we were relieved to get to extra time but that’s where the relief ended. Creeves went ahead for the first time when a shot deflected off a defender and we were down to ten players as Joe Vaughan picked up an injury. Two more goals in the first period of extra time sealed our fate before Creeves added a tenth from the penalty spot with three minutes left.

How does one analyse this match? Well it’s a game we should have won with all the chances we had but we didn’t take them and Creeves made us pay the price and a heavy price at that. Fair play to Creeves they never gave up even with the odds stacked against them they fought and battled and deserved to be in the Reidy Cup final and we wish them the best of luck in it. Hopefully we will have learned our lesson for next Sundays game in the league cup.

Team: Pa Ahern, Mike Reidy, Mathew Tierney, Padraig Reidy, Joe Vaughan, James Ryan, Gerard Ahern, Shane Mulvihill, Jamie Collins, Kevin Murphy, Darren Murphy. Subs Steven McEnery, Pa Kiely, John Cotter.

Referee Pat O’Connor.


Wednesday, March 30th

U16s away to Granagh Utd at 6.30pm

Saturday, April 2nd 

U10s home to Killeaney at 11.30am

U14s away to Broadford Utd B at 11am

Sunday April 3rd

Juniors away to Askeaton in the league cup at 11.30am

Monday April 4th

U12s away to Askeaton at 6.30pm

Tuesday April 5th

U14s away to Kildimo Utd at 6.30pm


U/8s on Saturdays at 11am

U10s on Tuesdays 6.30pm to 7.30pm

U12s on Wednesdays 7pm to 8.15pm

U14s on Thursdays 7pm to 8.15pm

U16s on Tuesdays 7.30pm to 8.30pm.

Youths on Wednesdays 6.30pm to 8pm

Juniors on Fridays at 7.30pm


Our last man competition continues and now its starting to get exciting as those still standing as after week six we have just twelve still standing. For those twelve remaining we are looking for their selections for week seven (week ending (April 2nd / 3rd). Best of luck to those still in the running.

Mike Hayes is sponsoring this Last Man Standing competition and the club thanks him for his sponsorship. Prize money is €300 to the winner and €50 to the winning seller.


The club extends its deepest sympathy to the family and relations of Nora O’Connell, Athea Village who passed away last week. May She Rest In Peace


The results of our weekly lottery draw for March 28th at White’s Bar are as follows –

Jackpot was €23,400. Numbers drawn 1, 9, 15, 17.

No Jackpot Winner.
Lucky dips to the following – Dean Barrett, Listowel. Ann Flaherty, Dromreask. Ann O’Keeffe, Upper Athea. Ann Horgan c/o Kostal. Seanie Quinn c/o Top of the Town.

Sellers Etty Aherne & Karina Buckley.
New Jackpot €23,500 at Brown Joe’s on Monday, April 4th

Athea GAA

Club Limerick Draw (Mackey Draw):

The Club Limerick Draw (Mackey Draw) will recommence in March and we would really appreciate your support. The draw is an important source of revenue with 50% of all funds collected returned to the local club with the remaining money going towards the development of our county teams, the Green & white, etc. CLUB Limerick Draw also provides Clubs with Finance to Fund their ongoing developments both on and off the field. All members this year will receive a 10% discount card which can be used in Elverys, Limerick Race Course, Limerick Greyhound Stadium, Thomond Park Stadium, Irish Country Hotels and Timmy Macs Restaurant in the Woodlands House Hotel Adare. Like previous years there will be 10 monthly draws from March to December. This year’s prize fund has been increased with in excess of €300,000 up for grabs. For the March and June draws there will be a star 1st prize of €20,000 cash or a choice of car. The top prize for all remaining draws will be €10,000. The second prize will be €3,000, third prize €2,000 and fourth prize €1,000. With sixteen other cash prizes up for grabs plus a guaranteed Lotto Jackpot of €10,000 every month there are lots of chances to be a winner.  If you would like to find out more and join for the coming year please feel free to contact any committee member or our draw coordinator Mairead Donovan.

Total Prize Fund in Excess of €360,000

Guaranteed Star Car Prizes March 161 LK & June 162 LK.

All draws

1st Prize €10,000

2nd Prize €3,000

3rd Prize €2,000

4th Prize €1,000

5th – 9th Prize €500

10th -20th Prize €250

Guaranteed Lotto Jackpot €10,000 Every Month (Match 4 numbers 1-36)


County Football League Division 2:

Saturday March 26:

Athea 0-07         Adare 1-11

West Junior B Football League:

Monday March 28:

Athea 2-09         Gerald Griffins 3-06


County Football league Division 2:

Tuesday April 12:

Athea will play St. Senans in the County football league on Tuesday April 12 at 6.30pm. Venue to be confirmed. All support would be greatly appreciated.

West Junior B Football league:

Thursday March 31:

Athea are away to St. Kierans in Coolcappa in their second game of the West Junior B football league on Thursday March 31 at 6.30pm. All support would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday April 7:

Athea will play St. Senans away in the West Junior B football league on Thursday April 7 at 7pm.Venue to be confirmed. All support would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday April 14:

Athea will play Glin away in the West Junior B football league on Thursday April 14 at 7pm.Venue to be confimed. All support would be greatly appreciated.

County Minor Football 13aside:

Friday April 15:

Athea are away to Ballylanders in the first round of the county minor 13aside football competition on Friday April 15. Time to be confirmed. All support would be greatly appreciated 

Intermediate Football Championship Draw 2016:

There are two groups of six teams who will contest the Championship.

Group 1: Cappamore, Glin, Claughaun, Mungret, Bruff & Galbally.
Group 2: St. Senans, Athea, Cappagh, Adare, Mountcollins & Castlemahon

Round 1: Athea v St. Senans,

Round 2: Athea v Cappagh,
Round 3: Athea v Castlemahon,
Round 4: Athea v Mountcollins,
Round 5: Athea v Adare.


The Club would like to extend its deepest sympathy to the Denihan family on the passing of Nora O’ Connell, Gortnagross recently. May she rest in peace.


The Club would like to congratulate Patrick Ahern of Garrygloss and Deirdre Fitzpatrick on their engagement. Wishing them both the best for the future.

Athea Coiste na nÓg:


U15 Football :

Monday April 11:

Athea are away to Croom in the U15 football league on Monday April 11 at 6.15pm. All support would be greatly appreciated.

Féile Peil Na nÓg 2016:

Athea Coiste na nÓg are delighted to announce that we will be taking part and also be a host club in this year’s National Féile Football Competition (U14) which will take place on June 24- 26. Féile will be the biggest youth sporting event in Europe in 2016 and will take place in South West Munster with clubs from West Limerick, Kerry and North Cork hosting visiting teams. Our visiting club will bring twenty four players who will stay with host families in our Parish for the weekend and each club will play a minimum of four games. This is a great opportunity for our U14 team to take part in a National Football competition and it also gives all involved the chance to make new friends with players from clubs outside Limerick. For further Féile information please check out GAA Féile on Facebook or follow @ Féilegaa on Twitter. If anyone knows of any accommodation available in the parish and surrounding area that weekend for the families of the visiting team please contact Jacqueline at 086-0670091.

Cúl Camp:

We will be hosting our annual Cúl camp from Monday July 11 to Friday July 15. For any further information please contact Jacqueline at 086-0670091. More details to follow.

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Pa Dillon and Clodagh Prendeville raise the National flag in Ballyhahill N.S. on March 15th to commemorate the centenary of 1916

Pa Dillon and Clodagh Prendeville raise the National flag in Ballyhahill N.S. on March 15th to commemorate the centenary of 1916


ATHEA TIDY TOWNS Team Limerick Clean-up  

Athea Tidy Towns in conjunction with Team Limerick Cleanup are holding a massive clean upon Friday 25th March 2016 .Volunteers in all our townlands are encouraged to participate. Refuse bags and pickers will be provided.

We would much appreciate your support to make our parish a litter free area.

If interested  please contact one of the following: Damien Ahern, Margaret Scanlon or Eileen O Sullivan


Mike Ahern, Damien Ahern, Eileen Sullivan, Lal Browne, Linda Mumbray, Donncha Quille, Margaret Scanlon, Henry Moran and Thady Hunt

Mike Ahern, Damien Ahern, Eileen Sullivan, Lal Browne, Linda Mumbray, Donncha Quille,
Margaret Scanlon, Henry Moran and Thady Hunt


Dedicated followers of fashion will be in for a real treat later this month as the Athea Tidy Towns Group hosts another fundraising fashion show to aid their vital work in the village. A highlight of the social calendar in Athea in previous years, this year’s show has been set for 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. For further information

Athea Vixens U16 boys and girls who are heading to Barcelona this Thursday to participate in the Thomas Sola Trophy 2016

Athea Vixens U16 boys and girls who are heading to Barcelona this Thursday to participate in the Thomas Sola Trophy 2016

Athea Vixens Basketball Club

As the county league draws to a close we look back on a very enjoyable and successful season.

As always, our approach is to do your best but we want the kids to have fun too.

We had our first ever U11 girls. We had U12 and U14 boys with a small number of dedicated, talented boys. We just missed out on the U14 play offs.

At U14 girls we had great success, we have some very talented young ladies hence we won our plate competition at Killarney in February and our league will be decided on the last game of the season v St. Mary’s on Tuesday next at 7pm.

Our 16s girls worked hard all year and got to the semi-finals of our competition but a very strong Caherciveen dashed our hopes last Saturday.

Our 16s boys also had a good season again a small number of dedicated, talented boys. We got to our plate finals and were narrowly defeated by our close rivals Gneeveguilla and of course our league was decided last Sunday on our home game v Gneeveguilla. An exceptional game was played. We were down at half time but hard work and determination won through and we won by 3 points and so winning our league. Well done boys and well done to their young coach Samantha Ahern and a very special thanks to Mr. T. as we call him – Mr. Ger Tarrant, his help at the beginning of the season was invaluable.

It was our first year with a Senior team also. A young team that faltered at first but when they started to play, as I knew they could, they started to win and finished on a flurry of winning games,  looking forward to next year – a great future ahead and looking forward to coaching ye !!!

And so, as you know, we never close the door. Training as normal after Easter.

Going forward we have Community Games, School League in Killarney, The Easter school blitz at Listowel. We look forward to the U10s on a Thursday evening, camp during early July and the big event for the U16 boys and girls – We go to Barcelona to participate in Thomas Sola Trophy 2016.

A brilliant opportunity for all. We worked for 12 months to raise the funds and would like to thank everyone for their support but we came up short on funds and had to ask for further help and almost everyone helped. So thanks to Ahern Concrete, Kearney’s Bakery, Credit Union, Athea, FloGas, Aughinish, B.C.D. Tralee, Bank of Ireland, AIB, TSB, Leens Hotel, Newtownsandes Co-Op, Adrenalin Sports, David Quaid and MTD Eng, Cork, Hogan’s Concrete, Hunt Office, Feale Oil, Lenihan Drilling, Southwest Autos, McDonnell Haulage, Finnegan’s Restaurant and Bar, Limerick. Helen Kelly Athea Community Centre, Drama Group for allowing us to cater with teas during their productions.  Thank You All.

Will check in with you all again after the blitz and let you know how we get on!

A final word of thanks to Tina Byrne, Rita Collins and Noreen O’Neill, Samantha Ahern and Helen Kelly, without your help and input we couldn’t do all we do………

On the Lighter Side

Johnny was born in a tenement building in Brooklyn, New York in the middle of the 1940s. His grandfather had emigrated from Ireland and worked hard all his life on the railways. His father became a policeman and again worked hard at his job. Johnny never knew his mother. She died shortly after he was born from consumption which was rampant in the damp tenements at the time. His father wasn’t able to cope so he was reared by his aunt, a dour woman who had a big brood of her own. Life wasn’t easy for Johnny but he became tough and grew up learning in the university of life in the back streets of the area where everything could be got for a price and every scam in the book was in operation.. He decided that since his father and grandfather had worked so hard, the state owed him something better so he wracked his not inconsiderable brain for a scheme that would earn him a lot of money without too much physical effort on his part.. His father, who had taken to the drink after the death of his wife, died from liver failure and left Johnny a tidy sum from an insurance policy he held. With his new found wealth, he left New York armed with a degree in medicine and psychology he had obtained in a back street forger’s shop and headed for San Francisco where nobody would recognise him. He bought a house in a city street where consultants and specialists had their clinics and put a brass sign outside the door proclaiming, “Doctor Connolly, cures for all ailments, $30. He had inherited the gift of the gab and charm from his Irish background and with the knowledge he had gained on the street and a nimble brain, he was able to hoodwink his clients into parting with their money and soon made a name for himself. There was a lot of work in construction in San Francisco in those days and quite  few Irish lads came to the city for the big wages that were on offer. One of them thought he recognised Johnny from the old days in Brooklyn but he wasn’t quite sure. He was discussing it in the pub with his mates one night and they decided to play a prank on Johnny and find him out. They discussed several options and finally hit on a plan. One of them was deputised to do the deed so, even though it was well past clinic hours, he arrived at Johnny’s door and rang the bell. A maid appeared and when he asked for the doctor she told him it was too late. He said, “I have three ailments. That would be worth him $90”. She told him to wait and after a minute came back and said that he would be seen. He was shown into a room and asked to wait. Soon Johnny arrived dressed in a silk robe and asked him what the problems were. “I can’t tell the truth” he said, “I can’t eat and I forget everything. Can you cure me”. Johnny smelled a rat straight away but he never let on, only asked him if he was able to take strong medicine.. “Of course I can” came the reply, realising that if he said he couldn’t he would be telling the truth and would be caught out in his first complaint. “Wait there”, said Johnny and he left the room and went into the back yard where he had some pet rabbits. He took a spoonful of rabbit’s droppings from the hutch and brought them in. he ordered the patient to open his mouth and thrust the spoonful in. Swallow that”, he ordered and, after gagging a couple of times, the patient managed to complete the task. “What did that taste like” he was asked. “it tasted like shit” came the reply. “Very good”, said Johnny, “that is correct. That is the truth so your first complaint is cured. Now, your second complaint about not being able to eat; the man who can eat rabbits droppings is able to eat anything so that is cured, and as for your third and final complaint about forgetting everything, I’ll guarantee you that, as long as you live, you will never forget the day you ate shit. That will be $90 please”.

Now, on a more serious note, there was a letter from Fr. Bowen in last week’s issue about a bad accident he had come upon, caused by headlights left on a car facing the wrong way. I have noticed the same practice in Athea where cars pull up double parked, so that the occupants can converse through the open windows, with the outside car facing oncoming traffic with it’s lights on. If the oncoming car is dazzled by another car coming down the street, the driver could quite easily decide to go on the wrong side of the parked car and there would be tragedy. Remember it is illegal to double park and also to have headlights on facing the wrong direction. So please, drivers, be aware of the danger you might be causing and have consideration for other road users. Thank you.


Domhnall de Barra

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