Cast & Crew of Athea Drama Group’s production of ‘Anyone Could Rob a Bank’

A scene from the play

Athea Drama Group Present ‘Anyone Could Rob a Bank’

The play starts on this Thursday night, February 9th in the Community Hall and continues on 11th, 12th, 16th, 18th and 19th. This is a hilarious comedy by Thomas Coffey and promises to be a laugh a minute. Doors open at 7.30pm curtain up at 8pm. Don’t miss it!!!




Athea Community Council Lucky Numbers Draw

There is going to be a change in the way we conduct the Lucky Numbers draw from next week on. We will be in White’s this Saturday night but after that the draw will take place on Tuesday nights at 7pm instead. This change is due to the changing times and the lack of personnel available at weekends. For 22 years we have worked on Saturday nights and in the beginning we had plenty of  members  available to do the work. As time went on the numbers got fewer and fewer until, for the past few years, there were only three people carrying the workload. If one person was sick or otherwise engaged  it created great difficulty for the two left. Tickets will be available from the usual sellers and we hope our regular buyers on Saturday nights will get them from behind the bar. There may be a seller calling to the bars but not every week. We would ask our regular sellers to have their tickets at Brouder’s  Shop or their usual drop before 6pm on Tuesday evenings. Thank you for your continued support which is vital to the Community Council work in the  parish.

Nora Quilligan (nee Enright) R.I.P. 

“The death recently took place at her home in Caherdavin, Limerick of Nora Quilligan (nee Enright), originally from Upper Dirreen, Athea, in her 90th year.

She was predeceased by her parents Dick and Molly Enright, and by her 8 siblings – Paddy, Jack, Mary (O’Halloran), Bill, Mick, Hannie (Scanlon), Kit (O’Halloran) and Dick.

Her late husband, Michael Quilligan, was also well-known throughout Athea and West Limerick as a driver of the CIE bus from Limerick to Tralee for many years. Nora attended Kilbaha school and, after brief periods in Dublin and Stamford Hill, London with her sisters Mary and Kit, she settled in Limerick City after her marriage where she raised her family.

She never forgot her Athea roots and returned regularly over the years to visit relatives and friends from the Shanahan, Walsh, Hayes, Vaughan, Collins, Shine, Riordan and Dalton families.

Her family were honoured to receive many mourners from Athea at her recent funeral, and are grateful for their condolences.”  

Religious Tolerance

The recent banning of people from seven mainly Muslim countries by Donald Trump raises the question of religious tolerance, or the lack of it. Over the centuries, going back to the Crusades, wars have been fought by followers of different religions, all believing they were doing the work of God and spreading the one “true” faith.  But, what is the “true” faith. For most of us, born in Ireland, it is found in the Catholic Church and we have learned from a very young age that we are the members of the “one true catholic church”.  All other religions were wrong and unfortunately they would never make their way to heaven. I never questioned this until I was in an isolation hospital in England in the early 1960s. I got TB and spent a long time in the hospital. At the age of nineteen I was the youngest  patient there, most of the others were victims of miner’s lung disease from working down the coal pits all their lives. A young Baptist minister used to call frequently to minister to the many Welsh miners who were there at the time. He wasn’t that much older than me so we got to chatting and, despite the fact that I wasn’t a member of his flock, we became very friendly. We discussed religion and one day he said something to me that made a lot of sense.  “Your choice of religion depends on where you were born. If I was born into your household I would be a Catholic and if you were born into mine you would be a Baptist”.

It started me thinking and for ages I struggled with the fact that I was no longer sure that I was the only one who was right. I began to look at all the other religions throughout the world and see how they differed from my own. There were many differences but they all had the same aim –  salvation.  I thought about the tribes who lived, shut away from the world, in tropical forests. Should salvation be denied them just because they had never heard of Jesus Christ?  Could God be that unfair?  Of course not, if we believe that he is a just God who loves all mankind. Maybe we don’t have a monopoly on God after all. I do believe in the existence of God. I see him in the centre of a big circle that is the size of the world. From the outside of the circle there are many paths leading to the centre. Where we start on these paths depends on where we are born and what religion our parents follow. If, for instance, we come from India we may be on the path followed by the Hindus or maybe the one followed by Sikhs. Buddists will follow their own path as will Muslims, Protestants, Catholics and all the other beliefs. They are all trying to reach the same goal and I am convinced that, if they live good lives and follow their rules, all have an equal chance of reaching that goal, the presence of God. If we look at our own religion (or at least the religion of the majority in our community) we can find fault with the Church and what has happened over the years. The scandals uncovered, not least the abuse by clerics of young people, have  been a big blow to believers and the many, many good priests who try to do their duty but there is nothing wrong about the teaching of Jesus Christ. His words are all about love and caring for one another. His commandments cannot be argued with and His tolerance for the sinner is great indeed. If we follow his teachings we won’t go too far wrong. That is not to say that, for instance, the Jews are wrong. After all Jesus Christ was born and raised in the Jewish faith and never declared that He was anything else. There is great similarity between the Old Testament and the Koran and followers of Islam are devout people who pray many times a day. There are, however extremists who distort the teachings to their own ends. Their leaders spew hatred and encourage those they indoctrinate to kill those who are “unbelievers” even if it means taking their own lives at the same time. They are told that heaven is waiting for them. What kind of a God do they think they are pleasing by killing innocent men, women and children? But, we cannot tar them all with the same brush. We have to respect other religions and  be prepared to accept them on an equal basis. If we do not, we are as bad as the ones who encourage hatred. Live and let live. That does not mean anyone has to compromise on their beliefs, far from it. It is by practicing the teachings of Christ that we will show the tolerance that he would want us to have. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Ireland is changing fast and as the years go by we will see many new faces in our communities. They will have different ways of life and maybe different colour skins but they are all God’s children and deserve our respect.

My grandmother, God rest her, had a little saying she passed on to me and if anyone practices it they won’t go too far wrong. It is simply this: “ if you can’t do somebody any good, don’t do them any harm”. Try it!

Domhnall de Barra

A Bit of Polish History continued….

By Fr. Brendan Duggan

Poland 1989 

In August 1989 while in Taize, France it was announced that Mazowiecki, the “Solidarity” candidate, was the new Prime Minister of a Free Poland. Communism had collapsed. Soon after Ceaucescu, the Communist leader of Romania was also overthrown as a result of the efforts of the reformed Protestant Church of Hungary under the leadership of the Bishop of Timio Soara. The Berlin Wall fell on November 9th and Europe, by now, had changed drastically for the better. Pope John Paul II and the Taize Ecumenical Monastery had played a big role in the break-up of Marxism even though President Regan took a lot of the credit.

After Christmas ‘89 a priest friend and I decided to attend the International Taize Youth Conference in Wroclaw, (pronounced Wratswaf) Poland from December 27th to December 30th. We had a wonderful time there. The idea of having international weeks for young adults from 17 to 30 began in Taize after the War. Able Roger Schultz, a Calvinist Monk from Switzerland founded the monastery and it became a haven of peace for thousands of intelligent young people mostly University students from myriads of countries. In Wroclaw we had about 250-300 thousand people. Food was scarce, but the people welcomed us with open arms. I remember talking with one University of Wroclaw Professor who had only a scrap of stale bread for her breakfast in a temperature of about -10°c.

Wroclaw at the time was so run down and neglected. It was a powerful Hanseatic League River Port on the Oder River, in the middle ages but fifty years of Communism did not help. I came to Wroclaw some six years later in 1995 and the transformation of the city had to be seen to be believed. Today I reckon Wroclaw is one of the finest Medieval Cities in Europe with a wonderful University and beautiful buildings and churches etc. Such is the resilience of the Polish people. If you get a chance go and visit Wroclaw.

When our group arrived in Wroclaw we went by trolley train to the parish which hosted the Irish group. On the train I asked this nice blonde young Polish girl for directions etc. and to my delight I was reunited with Kasia (Kate) the girl I had met the previous Summer in Taize. We have been friends ever since. Strange are the ways of providence. Kasia, who is now  married and lives in Chicago introduced me to her friends Monika, Wojtek, Ewa and Robert and there are my friends in Gliwice, whom I have have visited regularly ever since.

They may visit us here in Athea in a year.

I will continue with my story next week