Christina Ahern and Noel Brosnahan who got married on August 20th in Portugal. Christina, who is daughter of Seamus and Breda Ahern, Hillside Drive, and family and friends travelled to Portugal for the big day. Congrats to the happy couple.

Coffee Morning

The annual Coffee Morning in aid of Milford Hospice will take place in the Community Hall this Thursday morning, Sept. 14th from 9am. Your support would be greatly appreciated.


The AGM of the Community First Responders (CFRs) will be held in the Hall on Thursday 14th September at 8:30pm.  Everyone is most welcome.

It is a great opportunity for the public to hear of the group’s activities over the past year, new developments, and to ask about learning emergency life saving skills.

Athea Ladies Football Club

Athea ladies will meet St. Bridgids in the Intermediate County final this Saturday,  Sept 16th at 2pm in Bruff.

The girls need your support and we are hoping you will come out and support them on this huge occasion and help them bring the cup home.

The very best of luck to the girls and their manger Tommy Denihan.

Comhaltas Classes

The traditional music classes organised by  Athea Comhaltas branch will resume on Tuesday September 19th in the Community Hall kitchen at 6pm.

Athea Tidy Towns 

As we approach the middle of  September, we will soon be taking down our flower displays and putting the containers in storage for another year. Thanks to everyone who aided with the watering during the summer, your help is very much appreciated. The flowers looked well throughout the summer and created a nice impression.

The results of the National Tidy Towns competition will be released on September 25th and we hope for a further increase in points. Thanks to your text votes, we are also through to the finals of the ‘Going for Gold’ Competition. The final will be held at the Strand Hotel Limerick on October 10th. We are hopeful of a good results for Athea.

We are delighted to secure a 12 month TUS placement for the Tidy Towns Committee. Tom O’Flaherty has taken up this position and we hope he has an enjoyable year with us. Tom has been doing trojan work around the village in the last few weeks preparing the site at the rear of the library where a shed will soon be erected.

We also received the news recently that we have been awarded €10,000 in funding from Limerick City & County Council to carry out an outdoor recreational project in Athea. We are conducting research into this and will look forward to delivering this project.

Our committee would like to welcome Jamie Kelly on board who has recently joined our committee. Jamie has a huge interest in local heritage and will spear head the introduction of a heritage trail in the parish.

We are also anxiously awaiting the arrival of our telephone box which is due to be put in place in the coming days. Other ongoing projects include the erection of wildlife signage, painting of the graveyard wall and the resurfacing of the footbridge.

Special thanks to Sean Barrett who is tending to the Roses on the Glin Road. The roses have never looked better and create a lovely impression as one enters from the Glin Road.

Thanks also to Francie Flavin who recently came to our aid with his tractor and trailer!

Athea Children’s Drama

Resuming on Wednesday, September 20th in the Community Hall. Enrolment at 5pm for children from 4 to 12 years.

Athea Drama Group

The play chosen for this year is a comedy entitled “The Second Honeymoon”.  Anyone interested in taking a part should come along to the Library at 8pm on Monday September 18th. New members would be especially welcome.

Abbeyfeale Class of ’84 REUNION!

Did you sit your Leaving Certificate at St. Josephs Secondary School, Abbeyfeale in 1984,or were you part of that class along t way?  If so, join us on our REUNION celebrations on Friday night October 20th @ 9pm, in

“The Winners Circle Bar”, Bridge St. Abbeyfeale. €10 at the door includes: finger food & DJ to dance the night away, have a chat, reminisce & a great night of fun.

Please reply before Friday October 6th by “texting” either of these numbers:

Annette 087 2025359, Maura 085 8473160, Christiane 087 9421608 or Mary 087 2724388.  Looking forward to seeing u on the night!!

Fundraising Sleep out in Athea? 

We are all aware of the sad and tragic news of the death of three homeless people in Ireland last week. The Simon Community do fantastic work each year to help those most in need and rely mainly on funds raised through generous donations. With this in mind, it has been suggested to hold a ‘sleep out’ in Athea in October/November to do our bit as a community to raise so much needed funds. This experience would be a small but powerful glimpse into what it would be like to be homeless in the middle of winter. If you would like to be involved in any way, please get in touch with Damien Ahern on 0879042477 or Mary Ellen Quille on 0873148438. More details to follow…

That Time of Year

Domhnall de  Barra

It’s that time of year again when the summer is over and the kids are back at school, not that we got much of a summer anyway. Apart from a few das together in early June the weather was very mixed.  The good weather came at the right time for the silage and hay and of course the bog so at least there is that much to be thankful for. I suppose it wasn’t really what you might call a bad summer but, though we had many fine days and no great floods, there was no sustained period of sunshine. All too fast it is gone once again and we are at a time of the year when, traditionally, people celebrated the end of the harvest. It was the custom to spend a few days in Ballybunion to get the sea air, have a dip in the ocean and have a seaweed bath. It was said to be of great therapeutic value. For years I heard people talking about seaweed baths and I couldn’t imagine anyone immersing themselves in such an oily mixture until I was at last persuaded by my wife Noreen to give it a try. This was just a couple of years ago and, to tell the truth, I wasn’t looking forward to it but I put on a brave face and ventured into the bathroom not knowing what to expect. The taps were running in a big bath that had a bucketful of seaweed thrown into it. The vines were moving around like serpents in the water but, having mixed the water to my taste, I lowered myself into the bath. I couldn’t believe the feeling. The water was so silky and relaxing. I was soon rubbing my head and body with the seaweed, trying to get every last bit of oil. I could have stayed in there forever but my time had elapsed so I had to get out. I made my first mistake then as I attempted to jump up and get out, The feet were taken from under me and, only for the fact that I was holding onto the rill provided, I would have had a nasty fall. I was so delighted with the sensation in the bath that I had forgotten the warning sign that was plain to be seen on the wall. Anyway, no harm done and a lesson learned. I put on my clothes with a minimum amount of drying and came forth into the world like a new man. I can’t explain the feeling except to say that I thought my body was aglow and full of life. I became a convert there and then and am now a regular visitor so I am more than grateful to Noreen for giving me that extra push.

It is also the time of the Listowel races. This was referred to as the harvest festival and attracted huge crowds from our part of the country. People went, not so much for the races, but for the atmosphere in the town, the amusements and of course the craic in the pubs. Many is the man went to the races and spent the day in Mike the Pie’s or some other hostelry and returned home very happy in the evening. If you asked him afterwards if he had been at the races he would say that he was though he never laid eyes on a horse and jockey. As children we loved the races, again not for the events on the course but to look at the shop windows and sample the amusements in the Market  Yard. Sometimes my mother would take us up Market Street to where there was a vantage point for the race course.  You could look across the river and see the horses flashing by as they raced up towards the stands. When we got older we finally made it back to the course. There were always a few buskers on the way from the square down to the bridge which added to the colour of the occasion. Then you could hear the sellers shouting: “race cads a bob, official race cards”.  For you younger readers a bob was the old shilling and there were twenty of those in the pound. Soon there would be more shouts as  other traders plied their wares, “Apples, pears, bananas or chocolates” rang out around the area. They all seemed to have the same accent which was not local. We were fascinated by the array of colour as the jockeys went to parade ring to mount their horse for the next race. The betting ring was a hive of activity as punters tried to get the best odds and bookies tried to entice them to make their bets. This continued ‘till the off when there was a mad rush for the stand. There would be a continuous buzz until the horses approached the final furlongs and the  noise would rise to crescendo as the horses flashed past the winning post to the joy of some and the disappointment of others. The scene was replicated for the next race until the final race was over and there was a kind of anticlimax as the course shut down  for the evening.

The Friday night of that week was a special occasion when the Wrenboy competition was held before a capacity audience in the square. People stood for hours applauding each group as they took to the stage after parading through the town. Some came from as far away as Cavan to perform and it was marvellous entertainment that continued into the small hours. Yes, they were magic days, never to be forgotten. That is what September meant to us. I don’t think it carries the same excitement for the current generation who are “street wise” from a very early age due to television and social media. I am now a bit too old for the Market Yard and the swinging boats but I will continue to go to Ballybunion and soak in the seaweed bath.. Next stop Hallowe’en !