Archive for June, 2017


Hannah Scanlon celebrating her 95th Birthday with family and friends last weekend.


Athea Tidy Towns

The village continues to look well with the flowers in full bloom. Thanks to all who came forward volunteering to water flowers, your assistance is much appreciated.

The Library received the first stage of its makeover this week. The building looks great and really stands out as one enters from the Abbeyfeale Road.

Thanks to Fr. Duggan who organised for the church grounds and presbytery to be power-washed over the last week. With this ‘working together’ attitude, much can be achieved in the parish.

The bottle banks were in a sorry state over the weekend. The bins were full and many bags full of bottles were left beside the bins. We appeal to users of this facility not to dump bangs near the bottle banks. Instead, please return at a later date.

Thanks to Kevin O’Keeffe who contacted us to volunteer to paint the railing at the pedestrian entrance to Rathronan. Anyone else out there willing to give a hand with a project, please get in touch.

Memorial Mass

A memorial mass for the late (Seán) Dr. John Barrett R.I.P., Fairy St. will take place on this Friday, June 30th at 7.30pm in Athea Church.

Athea Day Trip

This year’s day trip will take place on Wednesday, July 12th. Venue: Japanese Gardens and National Stud, Kildare. Bus leaving Newcastle West at 7.15am via Templeglantine, Abbeyfeale, Athea (8 o’clock) on to Carrigkerry, Ardagh, Rathkeale, Adare, South Court Hotel. For more information contact

Marie 087-7674832, Joan 087-9865005

Sacristan’s Collection

The Sacristan’s collection for Ann & Carol will take place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd of July. Envelopes can be got in the church. Your support is appreciated.

Trip to Knock

Bus going to Knock on Thursday, July 27th (Mullane’s Coach). Fare: Adults €20, children €5. Names and fare can be handed in to Rose’s Shop. Book now to secure your place.

Limerick Community Games

Limerick Community Games held their Athletics day Mungret  last weekend

Thanks to the children from Athea who took part in the various different races and long puck, and who all ran very well. Well done to Tomas Ahern on reaching the final of the U10 100m where he ran a great race. Thanks to the parents who helped out on the day.

Charity Walk

A charity walk in aid of Children’s Cancer charity Aoibheann’s Pink Tie will take place on Sunday July 9th  on Ballybunion Beach at 1 pm sharp. Registration from 12 noon, with balloon release at 12.45 pm.  Everybody welcome.


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Kathleen’s Corner-28/06/2017

By Kathleen Mullane

‘What an Experience’

Well the Athea contingent, headed by Fr. Duggan along with the youth helpers, left Athea for Lourdes on Wednesday last. It was a while since a group had travelled together. We arrived late last Wednesday night. Most of our group were based in the Eliseo Hotel near the grotto, the youth helpers a bit away in the Astoria. In all there are over 200 hotels in Lourdes, a far cry from when St. Bernadette witnessed Our Lady’s apparition many years ago.

The opening mass at the Grotto on Thursday morning was so beautiful with Bishop Brendan Leahy celebrating and many of our Limerick priests concelebrating with him. The musicians and singers that had brought over their harp, accordion, side flutes etc were so talented, not to mention the singers – I can tell you anyone of them could win “The X Factor” -what voices!

We went to the “Baths” in the afternoon – luckily we only had to queue for over an hour, more often than not it can take even 3 hours or more, such are the crowds! The heat of 35° was almost unbearable on Thursday and bottles of water were drank – sometimes even ‘Holy Water’. The Baths were a unique experience-plunged into the cold water and all your worries and woes gone away, for some it was a very emotional experience. Thursday night devotions ended with Holy Hour and then it was off to “The Solitude” where many gather. Fr. Chris O’Donnell and Lizzy Murphy took to the floor with all the youth helpers and what a great buzz, all letting themselves go after a ‘hard day’s work’.

The anointing of the sick on Friday was again a very emotional ceremony, so many from the Limerick Diocese attending. Bishop Donal Murray said this mass and again the singing was so uplifting. Some of us took off with Fr. Duggan, Bill Casey & Teady Hunt in the afternoon up hundreds of meters up the mountain to Pic du Jer and the caves. Clodagh Histon, Nicole O’Sullivan & Patsy Hayes & myself plucked up the courage!

The Torchlight Procession on Friday night had the “Limerick Pilgrims” so well represented – Limerick was the biggest group in the whole procession, which indeed was a joy. Fr. Duggan led the Penitential service on Saturday and gave a lovely talk in the underground Basilica, where a big crowd attended confessions. Saturday night, after the hospitality mass, was something else in “The Solitude Hotel” – where the annual singing competition took place between 1) the youth group 2) the nurses 3) the doctors 4) the handmaids 5) the choir 6) the Brancardier 7) the Priests. The nurses came out winners in the end, however Fr. Duggan along with Bishop Brendan Leahy and Bishop Donal Murray and the other priests came in 3rd place and got some great cheers,

On Sunday the closing ceremony was taken over by the youth. Their singing, music, friendliness and above all their help with the elderly patients was something else. There was “many a tear shed” when they were leaving their patients they had taken care of all the week. My own grand-daughter Amy O’Riordan had a lady from Newcastle West – namely Lily Doody and at 95 she got off her wheelchair for a waltz!

Fr. O’Leary said the Rosary every night down near the River Gave and many prayed along with him, Lizzy Murphy does untold work with the youth from taking photos of everyone and much more. Of course Fr. Chris O’Donnell was “idolized” by all the youth and was like one of themselves.

Fr. Duggan bought a huge candle and all the Athea group went and erected it in the candelabra, across from the Grotto, and it was lit for all the Athea parish back home – indeed a lovely thought Father (and he didn’t let us down in the singing either). As I finish these few lines at 7am on a very wet Lourdes morning we will all take back great memories from our pilgrimage and I would encourage everyone to come, especially our youth. Liam Mullane, Lower Athea has come 4 years as a helper, well done. To all the names I’ve mentioned above along with Helen and Mary Brosnan, Agatha Barrett, Joan Manaher, Teresa O’Halloran (who gave us many a laugh) and Betty Murphy, thanks for the company, friendliness and prayers shared. Happy birthday to Jade McMahon who turned 17 in Lourdes and Katelyn O’Connor who worked so hard as a handmaid.

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Knockdown News-28/06/2017

By Peg Prendeville

Our lovely sun is gone for the time being but be assured it still shines above the clouds so we hope they disperse soon.

I am embarrassed to say that it was only last weekend I got to listen to Donie Lyons CD so it was with pleasure that I listened to it in the car on my way to Abbeyleix last Sunday. Congratulations to Donie for such a lovely collection of local songs and tunes. It was most pleasant and I really liked that the words of all the songs were included in the little booklet that is with it. I wish him lots of success with it.

It is nice to see all local villages Athea, Glin, Loughill and Ballyhahill looking so well for the Tidy Towns inspections. Lots of flowers to be seen everywhere and all paths swept clean. Congratulations and well done to all involved for their commitment and enthusiasm.

The Loughill/Ballyhahill Going Strong outing to Kerry is being held on next Tuesday the 11th July. The bus will leave Ballyhahill at 8.15 am. The fare is €40 including breakfast and dinner. Names and fares to  Lizzie Woulfe 069/82132 or Eileen O’Connell 069/82229 asap please if interested in joining the group for the day. Let’s hope the weather is fine on the day.

On Thursday 13th July Mary Immaculate College is hosting a one day conference entitled, Let’s Talk Family, Let’s Be Family. This event is part of the preparations for the World Meeting of Families in August 2018. The college is delighted to welcome Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna, as the key-note speaker. If you are interested in attending please book your place by calling Deirdre on 061 204507 or email: [email protected] Cost = €10

Shannon Gaels 2017 Cúl Camp takes place in Ballyhahill July 31st to August 4th. You can register your child online now at Kellog’s GAA Cúl Camp or on the GAA Croke Park site or contact Norette Behan locally. Shannon Gaels minor footballers have started back training in Ballyhahill with the championship around the corner. Any players interested in playing, contact Declan Looney, John Ambrose or any club officer.

On Sunday July 9th at 1 pm sharp there is a walk being organised on Ballybunion Beach to remember all lost loved ones. All proceeds received on the day will be donated to Children’s Cancer charity Aoibheann’s Pink Tie. Registration from 12 noon, with balloon release at 12.45 hrs. Everybody welcome.

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