Archive for September, 2017


Adam & Derek Byrne with Pat Sullivan at the U14 County Final in Rathkeale
on Saturday morning last.

Athea Horse & Pony Races

The Horse & Pony Races will take place on Sunday next, October 1st on the lands of  Mike and Helen O’Keeffe in Glenagore. Starting at 1pm it promises to be a very enjoyable family day out with fun for the kids as well. Hopefully the weather will be good for the day and best of luck to all concerned. The monies raised on the day will go towards paying for a defibrillator.  

Athea Branch Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann

Will hold a Trad Session at White’s Bar this coming Sunday, October 8th from 7-9pm. Music, song, storytelling etc. Come along and join in the fun. Everyone Welcome.

Ladies Monthly Night Out

The Ladies are back after the Summer break and will have a fun night on Friday, October 6th at Brown Joe’s Bar. All the usual fun and games including quiz will be the order of the night. Come along and join in the fun. Proceeds from this night will go to the Athea Parent & Toddler Group.

Benny Thade Celebrates One Year At The Rambling House

Benny Thade McCarthy’s Next Rambling House will take place on Monday Night October 2nd at 9pm at Fr Casey’s Club House, Abbeyfeale. All singers, storytellers, musicians and dancers all welcome to attend. Would love to see you all there on the night to celebrate our First Birthday.

Athea Parish Journal

Another year has flown by and we are starting to prepare for the Journal. We would ask all contributors, clubs, associations etc. to start sending in their material, photo’s etc as soon as possible so that the Journal will be in the shops as early as possible. Photos and articles can be emailed to [email protected] photos can be handed in to the office for scanning.

The Joys of Walking 

Domhnall de Barra 

I hated walking when I was young because, until we could afford a bicycle, it was our only way for getting from A to B. It started at an early age with a mile and a half walk to school in the morning and the same home every day. It wouldn’t stop there because we might have to go to the shop, another mile there and back, or even to the village which was three miles. I knew that I would have to go to the village on Fridays to pick up my grandmother’s pension at the post office. Imagine what would happen today if a schoolboy tried to pick up the pension – different times. It wasn’t so much the walking I resented but the weather. Rain gear wasn’t too good at the time so getting drenched was a regular occurrence. Anyway, as soon as I could I stopped walking. I had plenty of exercise playing games. When I went to England first I played rugby on Saturdays, soccer on Sunday mornings and Gaelic football or hurling on Sunday afternoon – sometimes both codes!  Add to that the fact that , after playing music at the Kerryman’s club in Coventry, I usually finished up at a dancehall until the small hours. There was no time to put on weight so on the day I got married I weighed in at 10 stone 7 pounds!  Gradually I “settled down” as they say and with regular home cooking, a few pints and a lack of exercise, the weight began to pile on until I was over 14 stone. We were never made aware of proper diet or the dangers of being overweight so there was no worries until I reached middle age and began to show all the symptoms of having prostate cancer. I went to the doctor and when the tests came back and he told me I had type 2 diabetes I was delighted. I didn’t know much about diabetes but it was the lesser of two evils and was manageable. I often say that I am sorry I didn’t get it years earlier because it forced me to rearrange my lifestyle and look after my health. The giving up of certain foods and drinks was difficult at the start but when I was told I should walk every day I dreaded it. Forty years of inactivity meant that I was anything but fit but I had no choice and took to the road. It wasn’t pleasant at the beginning but gradually it got easier and soon I actually began looking forward to my daily stroll. Unlike in my boyhood days, we now have good clothes and umbrellas so there is no excuse. I prefer weather that isn’t too warm and I don’t like high wind but otherwise I really enjoy walking. It gives me about an hour on my own with my own thoughts and quite often I find the answer to some problem while on the road. At other times I take in the beauty all around, on the hedgerows and in the fields and on the far off hillsides. There are a few lovely walks in the area. The most common one is the “slí na sláinte” route which passes both graveyards. This takes me roughly an hour to complete which is long enough for me. There is a slightly longer walk out the Glin road, down Dirreen to Barry’s Bridge and in the Low Road to the village. Nearer to my home there is a difficult “ring” as the locals call it, over to Cratloe school, up the branch to the Cnockeens and back to Knocknaboul. I don’t do this anymore because it takes too long and the climbing is too steep. I love walking up the Cnockeens. I park up at the start of the “council road” and walk up the hill. I turn right about a half mile up which takes me to the top of the hill. It is worth stopping here for a moment and looking at the view behind. I can see from Sugarhill and Barna through the rolling hills back to Abbeyfeale and Castleisland, all to the backdrop of the majestic Cork and Kerry mountains. I turn right at the top of the hill but, if one has the time a few steps should be taken in a northern direction. Suddenly there is a huge panorama of beauty spread out before the eyes. Half the parish of Athea can be seen and over the hills to the Shannon all the way back to Ballybunion. Across the Shannon, the hills of Clare can be plainly seen. On a good day it could take your breath away. Back then to where I turn right down towards the windmills. They too have their own beauty as the huge vanes turn gracefully in the wind. On either side of the road I can see the unique flowers and bushes of the boglands and the wildlife that dwells amongst them. The sound of birds fills the air at certain times of the year and sometimes the bog cotton or “ceannabhán” looks like a blanket of purest snow. Past the windmills I turn right again and go through a gate into the forest. There is a sudden change as the trees give shelter on both sides. There is a calmness and serenity about the almost enclosed space and a good time for reflection. Soon I am out of the forest and onto the road  by Patsy Martin’s house in Keale. From there I walk back the road to the car. On either side of the road there are trees planted  on the edge of the forest (most of it cut down) that bear beautiful clusters of red berries. All too soon my walk is over but I feel alive and invigorated by the experience.  This is only one walk and I am sure people have their own favourites that they might like to share with us. We are living in a most beautiful part of the country but because we are so familiar with it we take it for granted. It is no harm sometimes to stop and smell the roses, as it were. Yes, walking is great and, for me, a necessary exercise that keeps me reasonably fit for my age. All one needs for walking  is appropriate clothes and, most important, a really good pair of walking shoes. Do not go walking in a cheap pair of runners. They can do untold damage so it is well worth spending the extra few bob to have the support and comfort. The days I don’t walk I play golf, another marvellous way of exercising. I am on the course for about four hours using every part of the body. The shoulders and arms are used swinging the clubs as are the hips when driving off the tee. The back is bent over 100 times placing tees, picking up balls and placing markers and of course I have to walk from one end of the course to the other (about 11 km in Castleisland). There are other benefits to playing golf but that is a story for another day so, if you are not already a regular walker, please consider becoming one and experience the joys of an outdoor activity that is free and open to all.
















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Kathleen’s Corner-27/09/2017

By Kathleen Mullane

‘Happy Birthdays’ 

Another weekend of special ‘birthdays’ this past weekend here in Athea. On Saturday night last, twins Amy & Rachel Griffin (daughters of Jeanelle and Gerry of Templeathea) celebrated their 21st birthdays at the Top of the Town with a grand get-together of family, relatives and friends. A brilliant night was enjoyed by everyone. We wish the twins the very best as they continue with their nursing studies.

Also on Saturday night a surprise party was ‘sprung on’ Margaret O’Connor of Upper Athea who turned ‘60’. Everyone got together at Brown Joe’s for the celebration which was attended by family and a large circle of friends. Congrats and good wishes to ‘Mag’ on this special occasion – hopefully she gets time off from washing the Athea GAA jerseys!

Well done to the parents and children of the 2018 Communion Class who had their 1st Mass, doing their programme “Do this in memory” on Saturday evening last. All the parents were involved along with the children and of course Fr. Duggan, as always, made it a unique celebration, making them all feel at ease. The choir complimented the occasion and it was lovely that little Ella Ahern R.I.P. was remembered having received her 1st communion last year.

Well next Sunday, October 1st is a big day here in Athea when the Athea Horse and Pony Races take place at 1pm in Glenagore on the lands of Helen and Mike O’Keeffe. They start at 1pm and hopefully it will be a nice day which promises to be a great family day out with loads going on for the kids as well. All the money raised will go towards paying for a defibrillator. Everyone is welcome.

Next weekend before all masses the collection will be taken up in aid of Epilepsy – you are asked to give as generously as you can.

Well it was a lovely day in Knockdown on Sunday last where a 5k and 10k took place all in aid of the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. Organized by Colm Hassett (C.H. Fitness) helped by team members who helped with the training namely Donal Leahy, Mark and Jonathan Doody and Denise O’Riordan. Registration began at 10.30am and the race proper started at 12 mid-day on a beautiful sunny day. It was great to see moms, dads, kids etc taking part. Ta Mullane (Knockdown Arms) made teas/coffees available to everyone and was so helpful. Liz O’Sullivan was the 1st lady home in the 5k in 23.14 and Mark Doody the first man in the 5k in 23.14. The 1st Lady home in the 10k was Joanne Maharg in 51.40 and the 1st man was Tony O’Sullivan in 52.33. The 1st under 16 home was Eamon Sheehy – 20.46 and the 2nd child home was Sean Maharg 28.53. Well done to all who participated and did fund-raising for the event, we will have a final figure in the near future to present to Crumlin.

Apologies to Matt Tierney in last week’s newsletter on naming him as grandfather to Elaine and Rob Collins’ new baby. It should have read – congrats to “John Chris Tierney”. Hope anyone wasn’t insulted.

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Knockdown News-27/09/2017

By Peg Prendeville

Congratulations to the following local couples who got married last weekend:  Gary Kelly to Carmel Barrett and Mickey White to Bridget Liston. Wishing them both much happiness.

All is in order for the upcoming Cookery demonstration in the Parish Hall Ballyhahill on this Sunday October 1st at 4pm. In order to cover expenses the admission fee is €15. Tickets can be got at Knockdown and Paddy’s but can also be got at the door on the day. There is a raffle on the tickets so if one cannot attend but wishes to support the event please put your name and number on the ticket. The Ballyhahill School Parents Association will launch the Cookery Book with all the teachers’ and pupils’ favourite recipes. The book includes a photo of each participant and is a lovely keepsake. It is also a mini history of our times and the meals and foods we eat and will prove to be very interesting in the future also. All funds raised go towards the running of the school. Free education is but a myth, so all support will be gratefully appreciated.

Loughill /Ballyhahill Walking group is holding a fundraising Fun Walk on Sunday 15th October from Loughill Resource Centre.   You can walk 5km or 10km. Starting time is 11.30am. Sponsorship cards are available or just register on the day @ 11am. Further details from 0877539926.

Killeaney AFC is taking in any unwanted clothes, shoes, handbags. If you have “black bags” to give away please drop them to the clubhouse before this Friday 29th. Please do not drop off anything after Friday.

Limerick Diocese is busy getting ready for the ‘Free Family Fun Afternoon’ in the grounds of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick on Sunday October 8th, 2017. Families of all shapes and sizes, babes in arms, parents and grandparents, teenagers and toddlers all welcome. There will be marching bands and a mobile farm, youth activities and child-friendly events, water zorbs and climbing walls, musical acts every hour and quiet prayer spaces, all brought together in a family Mass at 4pm on the steps of the Tara building in Mary I. This is a free event for families and all welcome. They expect at least ten families from each parish.

Loughill/Ballyhahill  parishioners are reminded that from Saturday October 7 the Mass will change to Loughill at 6 pm. Sunday morning Mass will revert to Ballyhahill at 10 am.

There were a few lovely evenings lately suitable for walking and as I took advantage and did “the ring” with two of my grandchildren it was lovely to see the two Sheahan boys out in the yard playing football with their Daddy. Even more lovely when we know how sick one of those boys was at a younger age. It is just great to see him so healthy now after all he has been through and we wish him all the best in the future.

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