By Kathleen Mullane

“The Brightest Star”

Well Athea and far beyond were plunged into a state of disbelief on Monday last as news filtered through of the death, at the tender age of 9 years, of Ella Ahern of Garrygloss House, Athea. Ella had battled for the past 21 months and was a patient in St. John’s Cancer Ward in Crumlin Children’s Hospital. Hundreds came to pay their last respects here in Athea Church on Tuesday evening, which incidentally everyone agreed was a most fitting place for Ella’s reposing. There was an air of serenity and peacefulness in the church coupled with the serene background music, it was so sad but there was a calmness there too.

Fr. Duggan P.P. said mass for “All Saints” on Wednesday instead of “Mass of the Angels” – as he said Ella herself was a ‘Real Saint’ – it was concelebrated with Fr. Paddy Bowen, Canon Tony Mullins and chaplain of Kerry General Hospital Fr. Teddy Linehan where Ella’s mom Therese worked as a nurse. The singing at mass with Margaret Carroll was very touching, with a thronged church. Ella’s mom Therese bravely spoke about their beautiful, uncomplaining daughter – there wasn’t a dry eye in the congregation. Ella was laid to rest in Holy Cross – she will be the “Brightest star in Heaven”. Sympathy to her loving parents Therese and Michael, sisters Molly and Hazel, grandparents, extended family and her many friends. “May she look down on all of them”

Incidentally Athea Drama Group will perform their final night of ‘Anyone Could Rob A Bank’ on this Sunday, March 5th with all proceeds going to St. John’s Children’s Cancer Ward in Crumlin in memory of Ella. All donations of spot prizes etc welcome.

Athea GAA are pleased to announce that following the great success of their recent Lip-Sync Battle and the great support they got from the Athea community and beyond, that the debt on the field has now gone from over €70,000 down to less than €50,000. with the next target hopefully below €40,000. It is hoped  that grants will come through for perimeter lights and further improvements are also in the pipeline. It’s great when a parish gets behind something how successful it can be as we’ve seen before with the Community Hall and the church and the bridge and much more.

Sincere sympathy is extended to our former P.P. Fr. Paddy Bowen who laid his nephew, John Bowen, Abbeyfeale, to rest on Sunday last following concelebrated Requiem Mass in Abbeyfeale. John had not been well for some time but is now at rest. ’May the light of heaven be his’.

This Saturday, March 4th has a special ’Healing Mass’ here in Athea church at 11am. Everyone is welcome and if there is anyone who is sick or elderly and may need a drive, you might help.