A section of the crowd anxiously awaiting the lecture on the life of Con Colbert by Jamie Kelly at Athea National School  during the Con Colbert Memorial weekend

A section of the crowd anxiously awaiting the lecture on the life of Con Colbert by Jamie Kelly at Athea National School  during the Con Colbert Memorial weekend

Members of the Colbert Family who attended the wonderful Concert by Black Bank Folk

Members of the Colbert Family who attended the wonderful
Concert by Black Bank Folk

Athea Parish Journal

Another year gone by and it’s time to start putting the journal together again. We are asking all organisations and people who wish to submit material to start doing so now and where possible to email all material to us at [email protected]. Photos can be dropped in to the office for scanning and will be returned safely.  

Athea Community Games AGM

We are holding our AGM on Wednesday, October 19th in the Hall (Kitchen).

We urgently require some new people to get involved. It is not a huge commitment.

Community games have a long list of different events that children can take part in and we would like to be able to facilitate entries into some more of these events.

Anyone who can help out in any way would be greatly appreciated.

Red Hurley In Concert

A concert featuring the gospel songs of Red Hurley will take place in the Church of the Assumption in Abbeyfeale on Friday, October 14 at 8pm.

Red Hurley is one of Ireland’s most enduring singers whose career has spanned several decades. He is principally known as a solo artist, although he has performed with various orchestras and bands.  A formidable live performer, Red continues touring and performing and we are looking forward to him performing  in Abbeyfeale with the local Gospel Folk Group.   Tickets costing €15 are available from Sean Broderick, Moss the Farmer, David Wards, Pat Buckley’s, Heavenly Gifts and O’Donoghue’s Convent Street.

Monies raised from this concert go towards supporting the very active youth ministry in Abbeyfeale parish.

Thanks Amina

There was a lovely atmosphere at the Top of the Town on Saturday night last for the surprise retirement party for Amina Parkes. I was going to write about something else this week but when I found out about her retirement I couldn’t let the occasion pass without commenting on the amount of work Amina has done in Athea over the years, both in a private and professional capacity. When I first became involved in the Community Council, Amina was one of the officers. I think she was treasurer then and went on to become secretary, a position she filled for many years. Since then I have worked closely with her on many projects, one being Athea Drama Group. Back in the early ‘nineties money was scarce and the community council needed funds so we tried to think of ways to get money. At the time, Jimmy Dennison had begun to stage one act plays in pubs and they were drawing big crowds. Amina and myself put our heads together and decided to go one better and reform a drama group that had existed in Athea many years before. Amina said we needed one person to get it off the ground and that was Oliver McGrath who was a well known actor with Listowel drama Group at the time. Oliver came on board and we staged our first play “Many Young Men of Twenty” in the hall in Athea in 1992. the rest, as they say, is history. The group has gone from strength to strength. Amina would never take a part on stage but she worked tirelessly in the background and provided most of the props for the many different types of plays produced. Her attention to detail was immense ensuring that every item of furniture, ornaments and clothes fitted the period in which the play was set. She also acted as a prompter and many is the time we on stage were glad of her help when we were literally stuck for words. She also acted as treasurer for the group and kept a tight rein on the finances, a service she performs to this day. There is no doubt that Athea Drama Group would never have got off the ground without the amount of work she put into it from the word go.

Her involvement with the Community Council saw the formation of the first FÁS scheme in the village. I was the supervisor of that scheme and, with Amina’s help, we set out to give Athea a “face lift” and make it a nicer and better place for people to live and work.  Around this time I put together a group called Cáirde Duchais to promote the traditional arts and heritage in Athea. Amina came on board as secretary as soon as I asked her. Pat Cotter, who was then in charge of FÁS in the region, asked us to do a scheme and so we now had two schemes in the parish employing over 30 people. Amina’s input to all the projects was immense and we spent many hours in her kitchen “plotting and planning”.  There is no knowing how many hours of voluntary work she put into all the groups she was associated with over the years. If somebody had to be paid to do it, it would cost a fortune. I think the satisfaction she got from trying to improve the place she loved so much  was enough but we must never take such dedication and commitment for granted Athea owes her a great debt and it should be recognised.  Even in her professional capacity as a nurse she was always on hand to help anybody in trouble, day or night.

The way I have been writing, as if all was in the past, one would think Amina has passed away but that is far from the truth and I know she will still have an input into Athea matters for many years to come. We wish her a happy and lengthy retirement.

Domhnall de Barra