Congratulations to Festival Queen winner, Rachel Griffin, with Theresa O’Halloran, one of the organisers, at the Top of the Town on Sunday night last.

Congratulations to Festival Queen winner, Rachel Griffin, with Theresa O’Halloran, one of the organisers, at the Top of the Town on Sunday night last.

On the Ring of Kerry Cycle - Diarmuid Walsh & Martin Keane with Seamus & Teddy Ahern  & Ray Enright at the top of Molls Gap 180km

On the Ring of Kerry Cycle – Diarmuid Walsh & Martin Keane with Seamus & Teddy Ahern  & Ray Enright at the top of Molls Gap 180km











All the participants in the Fancy Dress Parade

All the participants in the Fancy Dress Parade

Thank You

Once again we would like to thank our local supporters who donated so generously on Daffodil Day helping in the fight against cancer. Total Collected €936.30.

The support the Irish Cancer Society shows to patients and their families in the final weeks of an illness is so appreciated. For us a very tough illness incredibly had a beautiful ending. We often talk of these nurses and how special they are.

P.S. Unwanted clothing etc. donated to the Cancer clothes banks also helps raise funds.

Car Boot Sale & Indoor Market

The monthly car boot sale in aid of West Limerick 102fm takes place at the Community Centre, NCW on Sunday, July 10th with gates opening at 7.30am.  Further information 069 66200.

Athea Annual Day Trip

To Athlone on July 19th. Bus leaving Newcastle West at 7.30 am via Abbeyfeale, Athea 8.30am, Carrigkerry, Ardagh, Rathkeale & South Court Hotel, Limerick. For further information contact Marie Wrenn on 087-7674832

ABBEYFEALE SHOCKED:  There was a palpable sense of shock and sadness when the news of the imminent departure of our parish priest of the last 14 years started to spread throughout the town and parish this week.  Canon John O’Shea is moving back towards his home place near the city and he will be sadly missed – the most approachable, personable, pleasant, pragmatic man who ever stood in shoe leather and who was at everyone’s beck and call when needed to offer support, consolation, advice.  A man of the people and of the land who treated everyone the same, who supported us in our sorrows, celebrated our successes and was there when we needed him.  Abbeyfeale parish has been blessed with strong leaders who each continued the work begun by his predecessors and Fr. O’Shea was no different.  I leave it to others to others to detail the body of work he leaves behind but suffice to say it is impressive.

CRAFT FAIR ON THE COBBLES:  There’s no Gathering unfortunately this year – a combination of burnout, difficulties in getting a committee together and lack of interest.  The Farmers Market have decided to keep the annual craft fair going anyway so we’re going ahead with it on Friday, July 15 from 9.30am.  Please support and rise a bit of excitement around the town that day.

Being Irish

The recent referendum result in the UK has brought to the surface feelings of nationalism that are deeply ingrained in some people’s minds. The “leave” side wanted their country back, as if somehow they had no control over their own destiny, and  a sizeable proportion of the British electorate still believe that they are as powerful now as when they ruled over a vast empire. Nationalism can be a good thing but also a bad one as we know to our cost in this country.  Citizens should always have control over their own country’s destiny but that sometimes comes at a price and if they don’t realise that very few countries can stand alone in the modern world and are too insular in their approach, economic disaster will follow. Our nationalism, in this country, gave us independence in the early part of the last century but was somewhat diluted by the fact that six counties remained under British rule. Our constitution claimed sovereignty over the whole of Ireland until the Good Friday agreement which necessitated the deletion of that particular clause in the interest of a peaceful co-existence in the North. Sinn Féin are probably the only party that still have the aspiration of a united Ireland. This may be nearer to happening than we think. There is a provision in the agreement for a border poll if the majority of the people of Northern Ireland want one and that day is getting closer. In the meantime we are in a state of chaos with the possible return of the border, which had become almost invisible, with customs posts and all the problems that go along with that.

To complicate matters, the citizens of Northern Ireland are entitled to hold both Irish and British passports if they so wish. So, what does that mean. Is a person Irish because they hold an Irish passport?  Is a person less Irish if they are born and raised in the six counties but hold a British passport ?  I think people who are born on this Island, north or south are Irish, no matter where their political affiliations lie. We could learn a lot from the soccer teams. The team from Northern Ireland wear the green jersey with pride and their followers identify with that. They also have great support from the Republic of Ireland fans who do not look on them as a British team but a second Irish team that brings pride to the whole nation when they have success. Our rugby team covers the whole island and thee players from Northern Ireland who are members of the team have great pride in representing the country despite some of them being loyalists. So is being Irish a sense of nationhood or a sense of belonging ?  We are all happy when our national athletes, boxers or teams do well and wallow in the reflected glory. That is good and gives a lift. The recent run of the soccer team is a case in point. One could feel the sense of Irishness as the best supporters in the world lifted the team to heights  some of us did not think they were capable of.  While I am at it I want to complement the fans on the way they show respect for our national Anthem. They sing each note while the team stand to attention right to the very last not. Contrast this with the way G.A.A. fans and teams react. Some of the players are fidgeting about and look disinterested while the fans drown out the last  10 or 12 bars with raucous cheering. By the time the anthem is over the teams have broken up and are running about the pitch. They could take a lesson from their soccer counterparts and show a little more respect for the anthem that defines our nationality. Being Irish, to me, is being proud of the place I was born and reared in. I love the countryside, the people, our unique way of life and our ability to punch above our weight at world level. We should be proud of ourselves and look forward to the day when the whole island is united.

Domhnall de Barra