By Kathleen Mullane

‘Many Congrats’ 

Firstly, many congratulations must be extended to all the organizers and committee of the Athea Parish Festival which took place over the weekend here in the village, John Redmond, along with his hard-working group of Teresa O’Halloran, Margaret Carroll, Carol O’Connor, Sharon Reidy, John Joe Tierney & Helen O’Connor left no stone unturned to make the festival a success.

A huge crowd – in excess of over 100 attended the afternoon tea party on Thursday at the Top of the Town. All had a most enjoyable and fun-filled day. “The Festival Queen” was a new added idea to the festival this year and a big crowd attended their introduction at the hall on Saturday night. All the girls looked stunning and did themselves proud. Sunday had the fancy dress parade which indeed was thoroughly enjoyed by parents and kids alike. The 5k road race/walk was again enjoyed by all the participants, kids and parents all joining in. We thank all those who took part and especially those who joined us from Abbeyfeale and Listowel.

The men’s section was won by Donal Leahy, Lower Athea in 18.57, the first lady home was Deirdre Mullane in 27.02 and her son Conor was the first child home in 32.31. Michelle Curry and Bill McAuliffe came in joint 3rd place at 27.08 and Margaret O’Callaghan of Abbeyfeale next in 27.37. Paul Manhony and Martin Kelliher of Abbeyfeale came in together at 30.45 and a man from the U.K. joined in at 70 years of age – he was passing Athea on his bike having done the Ring of Kerry cycle on Saturday! He was cycling the highways and byways of Ireland doing an epic 1,000mile challenge for charity. David Brodie is his name if you want to look him up. Indeed an inspirational man at 70!

The Festival Queen was chosen in front of a huge crowd at the Top of the Town on Sunday night and we congratulate Rachel Griffin, daughter of Jerry & Jeanelle, who was chosen as queen. Incidentally we must also congratulate Jeanelle who celebrated her 50th birthday last week with a surprise party sprung on her at her home in Templeathea.

Well done to all the girls who took part – they were indeed a credit to themselves and their families. Indeed an enjoyable weekend – well done to all concerned.

Congrats also this week to Mary O’Sullivan (daughter of Vera & Jim, Upper Athea) who was married on Saturday here in Athea to Jason Twomey (son of Bridie & Mike also of Upper Athea). The bridesmaids were Daphne Gleeson & Mary T. McMahon and the best men were John Collins and Niall Twomey. Maedbh & Grace O’Sullivan along with Séoidín Brouder & Sophie were flowergirls & Concubhair Brouder was pageboy. The reception was held at The Listowel Arms where everyone had a great day. Best of luck to the newly weds.

It is with regret that the parish has heard of the forthcoming retirement of Fr. Bowen from Athea parish. It is a sign of the times – no doubt with few priests being ordained in recent years.

Congrats to all the winners of the 1st 500 GAA Club draw. You are all helping to offset the debt on the wonderful pitch and track. You can still join in for the remaining draws.