James Kelleghan who graduated from GMIT College, Galway, in Marine Biology pictured with his sister Jane, mother Monica, father Stephen and brother Patrick

Planning permission granted for Athea Sewerage Scheme Upgrade – O’Donovan

Limerick TD and Minister of State for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform has welcomed the decision of Limerick City and County Council to grant planning permission to Irish Water for the Athea Sewerage Scheme Upgrade.

“This is very welcome news for everyone who has worked to deliver the Athea Sewerage Scheme Upgrade. I secured the Irish Water investment to progress the scheme in the last Dáil and there was a number of hurdles to be crossed. This is by far the biggest, and the way is now clear for the scheme to progress to appoint a contractor to construct the scheme under the supervision of Irish Water.”

Irish Water confirmed to Minister O’Donovan that they have also finalised the contract documents for the scheme in Athea and that they will be in a position to allow construction on the scheme to commence by the end of March 2018 if there are no delays. They have also confirmed that the CCTV survey of the existing scheme is also complete.

Patrick O’Donovan added “The issue of the Athea Sewerage Scheme has been on the agenda since I entered Limerick County Council first in 2003. I am delighted as the local Minister here to have been able to use my position as a Minster locally here in Limerick to deliver this on behalf of the community in Athea. I know from the people living in the area that this investment will be very welcomed when completed as it will be a major vote of confidence in the village and wider community in Athea.”

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.


Don’t forget to post your Santa Letters in the Credit Union Post Box before bedtime on December 19th to guarantee that Santa gets them!!!

For anybody who may be home in Athea just for the holidays, feel free to contact Eilish or Maryann in the Credit Union to update your contact details with us.

A reminder that our AGM will take place on Friday, December 22nd at 7pm in our offices. We would love to see as many of our members as possible in attendance.

Credit Union is open until Friday December 22nd and will re-open on Wednesday, January 3rd after the holidays

Wishing all our members a very Happy & Holy Christmas

and a Prosperous New Year

Athea Parish Journal

The Journal will be on sale this weekend in all the usual outlets, all going well.


Next week will be the last issue of the Newsletter for this year, so we would ask you to have all your notes and notices in as usual before 12pm on Tuesday morning next, December 19th.

This and That

Domhnall de Barra 

First of all I must apologise for the late printing of the Journal. All week I have been getting calls from people who wanted to send a copy to America and other countries to arrive before Christmas, but I am afraid it will now miss the deadline for the post.  It is very frustrating for us as we made every effort to get the stuff in on time. We began in early September looking for articles from clubs, organisations and individuals and set a deadline of the end of October. If we were to go with that deadline the Journal wouldn’t amount to 50 pages. We had no option but to wait and, as always, it was the last minute with some. We even got important articles in last weekend!  There is an amount of work involved in getting the journal onto the shelves. All the material has to be set in pages, photos scanned and resized, ads put in place, corrections done etc. Lillian does the heavy lifting in the early stages, then we work together setting it out. Once we have it all in place it is over to me. It has to be printed, collated, folded, stapled and trimmed and I will be working around the clock for the next couple of days to try and have it in the shops for the weekend. I am getting too old for this type of pressure and I am also conscious that a machine can break down causing further delay. Now that I have got that off my chest I would like to thank all of you who did get your articles in on time and I hope you all enjoy a bigger Journal than last year.

I heard one woman saying lately “the television is gone to the dogs”. I know exactly what she means. The quality of programmes has declined over the years, probably due to the fact that  there are too many channels and not enough talent to go around. I was, however, pleasantly surprised the other night to discover a gem of a programme called “After the Headlines”. It featured Charlie Bird interviewing relatives of people who had died in disasters. In this episode he was in Dunmore East, Co. Waterford to talk to the relatives of fishermen who had lost their lives at sea in tragic circumstances. It takes a special type of person to conduct these sensitive interviews and Charlie did a wonderful job. There was a lot of emotion and you could see the hurt still alive in the people who had lost loved ones. Although there was sorrow and grief there was also a stoicism and courage that  helped them to go on with life. These weren’t actors, just ordinary people dealing with extraordinary events that changed their lives forever. They filled the screen with an honesty that was palpable and my heart went out to them. There was also a light moment when one woman who had lost her husband was responding to a question as to whether she missed having a grave to visit. She said yes but that her husband wanted to be buried at sea anyway. He used to say “I have lived off the crabs all my life. Let them live off me when I am dead”  Two men who were interviewed said they personally knew about twenty fishermen from the area who had been lost at sea.  This figure is frightening when you think that this is only one fishing village among hundreds around the Irish coast. If that rate of attrition was in any other industry there would be uproar and something would be done about it but, from what they were saying the life is getting more hazardous because, due to having to meet overheads and the filling of quotas, fishermen now can’t afford the downtime they used to have in Winter and bad weather. One man was paying back over €5,000 a month for his boat and insurance. This amount had to be earned before the normal overheads and the pay to his crew so he had to spend as much time as possible chasing the shoals of fish. I can’t imagine how they do it but the I wasn’t born by the sea. They love their work and I suppose it is in their blood. As communities they pay a very heavy price to the sea for its bounty.

The next time you  are having a meal of fish, have a thought for the men who put their lives in danger every day to provide it and say a silent prayer for their welfare.

The government could do more as well to take the pressure off them by negotiating better terms for them from Europe. Remember they are not allowed to catch certain types of fish while huge foreign trawlers clean up around them. Anyway well done to Charlie Bird, a really riveting piece of television.