Archive for December, 2017


Teacher Ann Marie Horgan with the Athea N.S. Carol Singers on Friday morning last at Colleen’s Cake Stall in the village.

Congratulations to Leah Geoghegan who graduated from Mary Immaculate College recently with a Batchelor of Education in Primary Teaching.

Players from the team who were Junior A Football Champions in 1997 at a Commemoration Night in the Top of the Town recently



To all our readers, columnists, advertisers, contributors and the shops who sell the newsletter free of charge.

May the coming year bring you all you desire.

The first publication of the New Year will be on Wednesday, January 10th.

Athea National School-Grandparent/Special FriendsDay

Athea N.S. Would like to invite the community of Athea to its 2nd Grandparents/Special Friends Day on Thursday, December 21st. Mass at 12.00pm followed by the Official Opening of the Autistic Playground by the Lord Mayor of Limerick, Mr. Stephen Keary. Tea/coffee to follow with a little entertainment by the children’s school choir.

Athea & District Credit Union A.G.M.

The AGM of Athea & District Credit Union will take place on Friday, December 22nd at 7pm in the Credit Union offices at 7pm. Everybody welcome.

The Credit Union will be open until Friday, December 22nd  when we close for the holidays and will re-open on Thursday, January 4th

Home For Christmas

Adapted from a story by Ray Fennelly

Domhnall de Barra

John was born in Upper Athea in 1939. His parents were small farmers who eked a meagre living from the land. He was one of a large family and, like many a young man at the time he left school at the age of 14 to work a day here and there for local farmers. There was no other work available and the money wasn’t great but it kept him going for a few years. Eventually, a cousin of his father’s sent the money for the fare to America so he emigrated to New York to get a better life for himself. John was a good worker and he was soon in good employment in the building industry where he quickly made a name for himself as a man to be relied on. Most of the workers on the building sites were from Ireland so when work was finished for the evening it was the custom to go to the nearest bar for a couple of beers before going home. John liked the beer and soon got a taste for it as well as whisky and brandy.  As time went on he spent more and more time in the pub until he was drinking all the spare money he had . He was young and strong so he was able to do his work every day as usual.

He wanted to go home for Christmas so each year he would give up the beer in October to save enough for the trip home. Alas he never quite managed to stay on the wagon. Something always happened to trigger a return to the booze so eventually he gave up trying altogether and resigned himself to the fact that he would never see his home again. Year followed year and, as his body aged, he was no longer able to hold down a job. He lost his flat but was lucky to get a bed in a hostel each night. By day he roamed the streets and financed his drinking by doing odd jobs around the local bars.

One evening he was walking through Central Park when a great weariness came over him and he had to sit on a park bench. It was a couple of days before Christmas and the snow had just begun to fall. He closed his eyes for a moment but he woke suddenly, as if he had been shaken, to find a slip of paper on the bench beside him. It was a lottery ticket so, hoping that his luck was in he took it to the nearest store to find out that he had just won $5,000.  He took it as a sign from above so, stopping only to buy new clothes and shoes, he headed for the airport and booked on a flight to Shannon. Soon he was winging his way over the ocean and in what seemed like a flash he was in Shannon hiring a car for the journey home. He drove in a kind of a daze through Limerick and on the road to the Pike where he turned off for Carrig and Athea. As he neared the village memories of his youth came flooding back. He passed the High Field where he had togged out many times for Athea. Scanlon’s dance hall brought Nancy, a girl he was courting before he went away, to mind. Up the street he remembered the great nights in the pups with the creamy pints of Guinness, the games of 41 and the sing-song on fair days. Finally he turned in the short passage to his parents house. As he entered the yard the house, with its welcoming candles lighting up the windows stood before him. He was overcome with emotion and he closed his eyes saying “I’m home for Christmas at last”.

Back in Central Park the paramedics searched through the clothes of the tramp on the bench looking for some kind of ID. They found nothing. The policeman who had called them when he found the man slumped on the bench in a bad way asked the if they had any idea who he was. “I, don’t”, one of them replied, “but I know he was Irish”. “How do you know that”, the policeman asked. “Because, just before he died ho opened his eyes for a split second, closed them again and in a lovely Irish brogue said: I’m home for Christmas at last”






















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Kathleen’s Corner-20/12/2017

By Kathleen Mullane

Happy Christmas

Firstly, I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every reader of the Athea Parish Newsletter, along with my fellow correspondents and of course Lillian and Domhnall a very Happy Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year.

Congrats incidentally to Domhnall & Lillian on yet another great production of the Athea Parish Journal – indeed a great read for the Christmas period, and especially as a gift for our emigrants.

Sincere congrats go to Kate Hunt (daughter of Pat and Tova) and granddaughter of Teady, Coole, who recently was a silver medalist in the U-23 singles representing Bath University in the British Rowing Championship. Well done Kate.

Congrats to Gráinne & Conor Brouder of Templeathea on the birth of their new baby girl Éabha, a little sister for Séodín & Conchúir. Congrats also to the proud grandparents Noreen & Gene Brouder and Mike & Bridie Twomey.

Sympathy is extended to Teresa Flavin & Joe Dalton on the death of their sister’s grandson Dylan McConnell in Tramore at the weekend. Dylan was just 14 years old and had been ill for the past few years. ‘May he rest in peace’.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Mary Denihan, Gortnagross, who passed away at St. Catherine’s Nursing Home, Newcastle West at the weekend. She reposed at St. Catherine’s on Sunday evening and removal took place after to Athea Church. Burial took place after requiem mass on Monday to Templeathea cemetery. ‘May the light of heaven be hers’.

This Thursday 21st is Grandparent’s Day at Athea N.S. Mass will be celebrated at 12 noon in the church followed by the official opening of the Autistic playground. There will be teas/coffee etc afterwards. This is always a lovely day for the grandparents.

Well, Athea was “the hive of activity” on Friday morning last when Anne Marie Horgan N.T. brought along some of the children from the school, helped by Mary O’Connor S.N.A., to sing Christmas Carols near Colleen’s cake stall. They were much enjoyed by everyone and even a verse of a song made up about Colleen’s cakes – all were treated to mulled wine & buns etc. by Colleen and Matt – Athea was really in the spirit of Christmas!

After Christmas, Sunday morning mass will be at the earlier time of 10.30am and daily morning mass at 9.15am to enable both Fr. Duggan & Fr. Mullins to cover for each other when needed.

Congrats to Catherine Tierney (daughter of Margaret and Ted) Templeathea, who celebrated her 21st birthday on Saturday night last, with a party attended by family, relatives and friends at Collins’ Bar, Athea.  All had a great night.

The wedding took place on Saturday last of Catherine Hayes (daughter of Denis and the late Noreen) of Templeathea, to Joseph Walsh. The nuptial ceremony was performed by Fr. Tony Mullins here in Athea Church. We congratulate the newlyweds and wish them all the vey best for the future. A great day was enjoyed by everyone who attended 

The AGM of Athea Credit Union will take place on this Friday night at 7pm in their Athea office. All members are invited to attend.

We remember with fondness those who have passed away this year in our parish and we welcome a brand New Year, which hopefully will be a happy and peaceful one for all.. “Happy New Year”

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Knockdown News-20/12/2017

By Peg Prendeville

It is great to see the Athea Journal out. I look forward to reading it over Christmas.

Christmas really swung into action in Glin last Sunday with the Wrenboy competition at 3pm. Though the day was a little bit misty it was not cold and was as could as could be hoped for in mid December. Well done to the Development Committee who organized the event very efficiently, running on time with no delay between the five batches that took part. Each batch had great talent and variety but someone had to win and that prize went to Athea. Congratulations to all who took part. The large crowd got great entertainment, putting everybody in the Christmas mood.

There was a good response last weekend to the visit to Newcastle West of the Icon commissioned for the World Meeting of Families 2018. I attended just one of the events which were prepared over the three days in which the Icon was displayed in the Church. Ireland, as we all know, has changed immensely over the past twenty to thirty years and this is reflected in the numbers attending Church. This was evident at the Monday evening ceremony which was organized by families for families. Admittedly the time of seven thirty pm is unsuitable for families with young children as the children need to be in bed for school next day; most parents are only in the door from work, trying to get dinners and prepare for the next day so there were few families with children present. Again it was the grandparent generation which formed the bulk of the congregation. I feel a new way of knowing God is slowly evolving and it will be in the more contemplative way. For better or worse we do not know but we will find out as time goes by. The Lord works in mysterious ways. I recall Fr O’Grady, who was in Ballyhahill in 2007/08 telling me that “none of us are lost. God loves us all and will never leave us.”

I got this from Liam O’Mahony: “The annual Christmas Walk along the Great Southern Trail Greenway will take place on Wednesday 27th December at 12.30p.m. Assembly is at the newly opened Longcourt House Hotel , St. Mary’s Road, Newcastle West. The hotel is on the N21 and the public bus services stop alongside it. Walkers will be transferred by courtesy coach to Barnagh from where they will walk the 6 miles[10km], all downhill and mostly along the old railway, back to the Longcourt House where they can enjoy seasonal mince pies, whipped cream and tea/coffee at their leisure. All walkers must wear visibility vests as the final section is through the streets of Newcastle West and involves crossing the busy N21 which must be crossed at the zebra crossing close to the hotel. Cyclists, with visibility gear, helmets and lights, are also welcome and we suggest that they also meet at the hotel at 12.30p.m. and cycle outwards along the Greenway for approximately one hour to Barnagh or beyond and then return in time to enjoy the refreshments. Nollaig Shona do gach éinne agus beidh fáilte romhat ar an 27ú.”

This week is a time for office parties, last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping presents and welcoming home loved ones for Christmas. It is lovely to observe the excitement of children as they wait to see what Santa brings. My two little girls next door see him every night crossing the sky heading towards Limerick. It is usually around the time a plane is getting ready to land in Shannon! Let us hope that he does not collide with Ryanair some night. I wish you all, at home and abroad, a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous and peaceful New Year

The Christmas Masses in Loughill/Ballyhahill have been arranged as follows:

Christmas Eve (Sunday) 6 pm Loughill, 8 pm Ballyhahill

Christmas Day 10 am Ballyhahill, 11.15 am Loughill

St. Stephens Day 11 am Ballyhahill

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