Chris and Teddy O'Connor, who won last week’s Athea Utd lottery draw Jackpot of €23,600, being presented with their cheque last Monday night at JP's. Also in photo are Athea Utd club officials Tim O'Riordan, Pa Walsh, Pat Hayes & Denis Murphy  

Chris and Teddy O’Connor, who won last week’s Athea Utd lottery draw Jackpot of €23,600, being presented with their cheque last Monday night at JP’s. Also in photo are Athea Utd club officials Tim O’Riordan, Pa Walsh, Pat Hayes & Denis Murphy

St. Vincent de Paul

St Vincent de Paul are organising a one week stay in Ballybunion from 18th to 24th June. For more details on this please contact Mary Collins on 087-2265941 

Athea Festival Queen

As you may already know we are having a Festival Queen in our Festival weekend this year. Letters have been sent out to all the organisations about this and we want to inform them that the date for applications for same has been extended to the 14th of May.

Athea Tidy Towns

Deirdre Fitzpatrick on the catwalk

Deirdre Fitzpatrick on the catwalk

‘What a Show’

Undoubtedly, the talk around the parish and beyond for the past few weeks was the success of the recent fashion show. When we were originally approached by Margaret Carroll​ about the prospect of holding a fashion show, none of us would have envisaged the success story it has turned out to be.

Our third fashion show took place on March 31st on a glorious Spring evening. Red carpet lined the pavements outside the hall and inside the doors the attendees were welcomed by a cheese and wine reception. The hall had been transformed for the night into a glamorous and attractive setting with a newly constructed catwalk. Black curtains lined the cat walk which were prepared and sewn by volunteer Ellen Quille​. In charge of lights for the night was Declan  O’Carroll​. Thanks to Declan for providing his lighting free of charge and to the Athea Drama Group​ for the use of the lights and stage. Thanks also to Hannah Mai Collins​ who provided props for the night.

The models done themselves proud and were looking splendid thanks to Kathleen Ambrose​ and her staff at Athea Hairstylists​ who looked after hair styles free of charge.

The famous ‘Jules’ kept the crowd entertained for the night and made sure each model was introduced and welcomed onto the catwalk.

Patsy Griffin​ welcomed the crowd in at half time for tea and refreshments and was aided by the Carmody Family in Dirreen. All of your help was much appreciated.

Winner of best dressed lady on the night was Helena Kilbridge​ who wore a most attractive looking blue jump suit. Thanks to Esther​s Abbeyfeale who sponsored this prize.

On behalf of the committee we would like to thank everyone for their assistance. To all models, those who bought tickets, those who donated spot prizes, all local press who advertised the event, to Athea​ Credit Union and Derek Curtin​ for their sponsorship, to John Scanlon whose expertise we could not have done without and everyone who contributed to make the night such a success. To Joanne Kelly Walsh​ and Yvonne Roche who ensured the night ran so smoothly and ensured those back stage were looked after.

To the boutiques that showcased their style on the night namely; Little Rascals​ Abbeyfeale, Paco Tralee, The Taelane Store Listowel​, Glamour Listowel​, Dress-Two Impress​ Listowel, Marielles Abbeyfeale, Heavenly Gifts & Interiors​ Abbeyfeale, Máiréads Abbeyfeale​ and Scanlan’s Menswear​ Newcastlewest.

Lastly, a very special mention for Margaret Carroll and Derek Curtin without whom there would be no fashion show. Weeks of preparation  goes on behind the scenes contacting models, boutiques etc. and much time was also spent getting the hall in shape for the night. The success of the night is testament to both your hard work and commitment. Thanks to you both we are now in a much better position to improve our village environs in the months to come. Watch this space!

A selection of the male models on the catwalk 

A selection of the male models on the catwalk


Making a Newsletter

Only on Wednesday last did I realise that this issue will be No. 1008. Somehow we passed the 1000 mark a few weeks ago without marking the occasion in any way. To be honest I never dreamed, when I first thought of creating a local newsletter, that it would last for such a long time. It had its humble beginnings as part of a FAS scheme sponsored by Cáirde Duchais. Our first publication had four pages (black and white of course) and it cost 20 pence in old money. Soon afterwards the FAS scheme ended and I decided to keep the publication going. In the early days it came out towards the end of the week to facilitate the inclusion of the Church pamphlet which we printed also. Lillian and myself sold the newsletter at the Church gates on Saturday night and the two Masses on Sunday. It was a bit of a commitment every week but it was great to meet all the people coming from Mass (the Church was full in those days). Eventually we were in a position to leave the selling to the two shops, Stapleton’s and Brouder’s  and we extended our sales to Carrigkerry and Knockdown. The shops did this for us free of charge and continue doing so to this day. We are very grateful for this as the newsletter does not make a profit. We were also very fortunate in securing the services of correspondents, Kathleen Mullane, the late Pat Brosnan R.I..P., Tom Aherne and Peg Prendeville who kept our readers abreast of all the local news and events.

The newsletter gave an opportunity to local clubs and organisations to publish their events, fixtures, results etc. free of charge. Publication of small classified ads were also free. Other commercial advertising was given at a very reasonable rate. As long as we made ends meet we wanted to be of service to the community. All we asked in return is that the clubs and organisations who benefitted from the newsletter would use C.D. Printing  for all their printing needs. Most of them do so but there are the odd exceptions!  In the early days there was a lot of typing. Computers were scarce so longhand was the order of the day. The actual printing process was also very different to what we do now. As soon as the pages were ready for printing, a plate was made for each one. These were then printed off individually, put together and folded by hand. This took a bit of time and the quality of the printing was not great in comparison to today. As time went by, more pages were needed as more and more people began to use the newsletter. This created more labour as the pages had now to be collated by hand, before folding.

Fast forward to today and things have changed a lot. We are now at 12 pages and in full colour. The biggest change is in the printing. Plates are no longer necessary with the advance in technology. As soon as the newsletter is ready for printing it is sent directly to the printing machine. This prints a whole book in one go and folds it as well. All I have to do is ensure the setup is correct and count the copies as they are printed.

Setting up the newsletter for printing is an art in itself. The process begins with the clearing of items from the past week’s issue, some items will remain from week to week. Towards the end of the week I start to create a new crossword. Sometimes it flows to me but there are other times when I am wracking my brain trying to make words fit. I try to make the clues not too difficult but I include one or two “sticklers” to keep people thinking!. If I have time I do my own piece as well. On Monday morning the e-mails start coming in and Lillian goes to work, downloading and placing text and treating photographs in the photo shop. The text has to be resized and put into the correct font with paragraph headings in the proper size and colour People call into the office with notices, anniversaries, thanksgiving prayers adverts etc. All these are typed up and placed in different pages. Some come in over the phone. Finally, when all the material is together everything must be placed so that each page is full. This is where the skill comes in and there are a few little “tricks” to getting text to fit into available space. Now it is time to collect the remaining crosswords from the shops and, together with the ones already handed in to the office, they are checked for accuracy. The correct ones are put into a box and a winner is drawn. Now the file is put onto my USB key and I take it home with me. I start up the printer and do the necessary settings on the computer. A test copy is then sent to the printing machine and I give a quick look through it. Some more adjustments are made and another copy is printed. This goes on until I am satisfied that it is ok. I key in the required number for each outlet and off the machine goes. Sometimes the paper gets jammed but eventually all the copies are printed and ready to go to the shops. Another week gone by and another issue on the shelves. Number 1008; who’d have thought it.


Domhnall de Barra