Jubilee Fr. Bowen 2

Thanksgiving Mass 

A very special ‘Celebratory’ Thanksgiving Mass will be celebrated here in Athea Church at 7.30pm on this Saturday night September 10th by Fr. Bowen prior to his forthcoming departure from our parish, where he has served us parishioners so well over the past years.

After Mass all are invited to the Hall for a cup of tea and a farewell chat.

Coffee Morning

The annual Coffee Morning in aid of Milford Hospice and organized, as always, by Anne O’Keeffe and her group of “dedicated helpers” will take place on Thursday next September 15th in the hall from about 9.30am onwards.


Requiem/memorial Mass 

For the late Sean O’ Sullivan (New York and Athea) in St. Bartholomew’s Church Friday 16th September 2016 at 7.30pm.   

Cycle Race

The Mid-West cycle will be passing through Athea on Sunday, September 18th.


Further details can be had from Mike Woulfe (formerly Keale and now residing in Adare) on 085-1681144 or events A@Pwestlimerickchallenge.

Thank you

The Brothers of Charity, West Limerick Services, would sincerely like to thank all those who helped in any way in Athea in our recent 7th Annual Charity Cycle. At the Brothers of Charity Services in Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale, we provide day & residential services for adults with an Intellectual Disability in West Limerick. We currently provide services for 64 people and their families.

To all those who cycled, helped in our bucket collection, marshalled during the cycle, sponsored food, water and refreshments, as well as those who contributed to our collection, we wish to say thanks for your continued generosity and support.

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

Yes, at times it is, and that reminds me of another saying from the North of England; “there’s nowt as queer as folk”. The following tale, which is absolutely true, illustrates the point.

Two neighbours from Abbeyfeale worked together buying and selling anything that would make a few bob that was badly needed  to finance their tendency to frequent various bars in the town. They weren’t much good at it and were very often broke. One night in the pub they overheard the owner saying that he was in the market for a singing bird, a Canary to be precise. He said he wouldn’t mind paying a good price for the right bird which was very rare at the time. They put their heads together and after a few enquiries they found out that there was a man in Rathkeale, Mike Quilligan of Roche’s Road, who bred the very type of bird that was required. Unaccustomed as they were to travelling such distances they got the old pick-up ready and the following morning headed off to Rathkeale to purchase the canary and make a tidy profit. It wasn’t a fine day, in fact it was misty and overcast and visibility was very poor. As they used to say long ago, “the sky was down on the ground”. They motored on through Newcastle and continued on until eventually they could see rows of houses along the side of the road. Not knowing where Roche’s road was they pulled into the side and asked two men who were chatting by a wall for directions. “Roche’s Road?” one of them said.  “By God there is no Roche’s Road in Adare that I know of and I am living here all my life”. “Isn’t this Rathkeale”, the boys asked and were quite shocked to discover that they were in Adare. They argued as to whose fault it was and eventually came to the conclusion that they had passed through Rathkeale in the fog without noticing it. They turned around and headed back the way they came peering intently through the mist in case they might miss Rathkeale again. At last they reached a town again but, as soon as they saw the River Room hotel, they knew they were in Newcastle. They were completely flummoxed and after a brief period of reflection decided to give up the quest and return to Abbeyfeale. They went into Jack Rourke’s and announce to everyone in the bar that “Rathkeale has disappeared of the face of the earth”. It provided amusement for weeks after. What the to boys had not realised was the Rathkeale by-pass had just opened and they were one of the first to drive through it.

The same two were forever in trouble with the law, nothing major but offences like no taillights, no tax, bald tyres etc. Justice Cyril Maguire was sitting in Abbeyfeale Court House at that time and was getting fed up with hearing the boys excuses. One day they were back before him but this time it was for not paying the fines he had imposed on them in the past. He decided to teach them a lesson and gave them a month in jail. A local taxi was called and they were taken, not to Limerick jail which was crowded at the time, but to Portlaoise. They were dropped at the door of the jail and as soon as they were admitted the taxi took off. After being processed they were informed that there was no room for them and they were free to return home. “We can’t go home”, one of them declared, “we have no money and it is a long way to Abbeyfeale”. After some time an official approached and gave them the price of the train to Limerick and the bus from there to Abbeyfeale. The two boys were delighted, in fact they were so pleased with the outcome that they decided to celebrate in a local hostelry in Portlaoise before getting the train which was not due for another hour and a half anyway. In the bar they struck up conversation with local replicas of themselves who had great sympathy for them when they heard their story.  Time flew by and the time for the train came and went. A sing-song followed and soon it was closing time and they had no place to go and no money in their pockets. They were, as Eamon Kelly used to say, in a pucker, but after much debating and weighing up of options they finally agreed on a course of action. Imagine the surprise of the official in charge at Portlaoise when , at 12.30am, he discovered two dishevelled Abbeyfeale men, knocking on the door of the jail, asking for lodgings for the night!  The following day they were escorted to the train and put on board and eventually returned home. Cyril Maguire never realised how much he was costing the state when he handed down that sentence

Domhnall de Barra