Archive for March, 2018


Happy Easter to all readers at home and abroad

Councillor John Sheahan, Ballyguiltenane, pictured with the Athea representatives Mike Ahern, Michelle Ahern, Megan Ahern and Jared Cline in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York

Athea Tidy Towns -Team Limerick Clean-up

We will be taking part in the Team Limerick Clean up on Good Friday March 30th. Registration at Con Colbert Hall at 9am. Anyone with litter pickers are asked to please bring them along as litter pickers are limited this year. Rubbish bags will be collected from Athea GAA car park on Friday evening. We are hoping that all roads approaching the village will be litter picked on this day so if you would like to make a difference to your area and spring clean our roads, please come along on Saturday morning.

Daffodil Day

We regret that due to circumstances beyond our control it was not possible to collect on Daffodil Day. The collection will now take place on Friday, April 6th. Please support this great cause.

Marie Keating Foundation

We will have a specialist cancer nurse from the Marie Keating foundation outside the pharmacy on Thursday March 29th from 11am to 3pm. She will be giving free advice and consultations to anyone with any cancer related worries or queries. It is a great service to be able to avail of for free.

End of an Era?

By Domhnall de Barra

So sorry to hear that Rose in Brouder’s Shop is closing down this week. It is another nail in the coffin of the small shop in our community and a sign of the changing times in rural Ireland. There aren’t many places left where you can go in and buy your groceries over the counter and I’m afraid we are heading for the time when the “counter” will be but a memory. Talking of memories, the news brought to mind a time when I was young and the place was littered with shops, even out the country. There were a few in my area and they evoke different memories. Johanna (Pats) Woulfe had a shop just over the Cratloe road. It could be seen out our back window and I was often sent there as a child. I remember the smell of paraffin, or lamp oil as we called it, as you walked in the door. The barrel was kept it in a little shed by the house  and it had a little tap on it. We would take our can, an oblong shape with a flat top and an opening with a screw on cork, and she would fill the can with a gallon of oil with the assistance of a funnel. For some reason there was always a bit of spillage; hence the smell of oil. For a youngster it was not easy to carry home as the can was heavy and a couple of ditches had to be negotiated as we always took the short cut through the fields. Oil was a vital commodity for the lamps which were the only source of light before electricity. Another item she kept was common soap. This came in a long block and Johanna would cut off as much as you wanted. It was terribly hard but was very good for the washing of clothes when used with a washboard.  Another item in great demand was tobacco. In those days most of the men smoked pipes and bought their tobacco in quarter or half quarter pounds. Like the soap it also came in a  block and the desired amount would be cut off. This then had to be prepared before it could be put into the pipe for smoking. A sharp penknife was essential to pare the tobacco in narrow strips into the palm of the hand. When there was a sufficient amount for a fill the penknife was put away and the slices were crushed between two palms until they were almost turned to dust. The filling of the pipe was also a trade in itself. Too loose and the flame would run through it and too tight and it would be impossible to draw the air through it. The old lads were experts at it and didn’t mind how long it took for the perfect fill. “Bendigo” was the most popular and sometimes the only tobacco available until the arrival of brands like “Clarke’s Perfect Plug”. Everything in the shop came in sacks, chests or boxes and had to be weighed and wrapped for the customer. The wrapping was usually brown paper tied with string that hung from a reel suspended from the ceiling.  Things like sweets would be wrapped in what we called a “tóisín” (spelling probably wrong). It was a sheet of paper twisted into a cone shape with a twist at the bottom to seal it.  Sweets could be bought by the penny worth. You could get three Bell’s toffee  or six “Milseán Uí Gráda” or one “Peggy’s Leg” (a candy bar). It sounds cheap but in those days pennies were hard to come by. My grandmother would send me for ten Woodbines, a box of matches and a bar for myself and I would get a halfpenny change out of a shilling; happy days!

Johanna’s wasn’t the only shop around. There was one at the cross in Knocknasna owned by Jess Horan and there were two more, one each side of Cratloe creamery. Tommy and Peggy Leahy had one on the Athea side and  Birdie Collins had one on the Abbeyfeale side. Collins’ shop closed when I was still young but Willy Healy, who worked at the creamery and was also a blacksmith, opened a shop just back the Abbeyfeale road at the crossroads. It was  handy for people to do a bit of shopping  when they went to the creamery but money seldom changed hands. A book was kept and accounts were settled at the end of the month when the creamery cheque came in. I can’t see Lidl, Aldi, Super Valu or Tesco operating a scheme like that!.

Things were beginning to change from the ’sixties on and, with more transport available, people began to do more shopping in towns. The closing of rural creameries was the last straw and one by one the small rural shops disappeared  as they could not compete and found it difficult to make a living without the morning trade from the milk suppliers.  I suppose it is easy for me to look back nostalgically at those days but time marches on and nothing stands still. Are we better off for all the progress or has the demise of the small shop taken away a valuable social as well as commercial outlet? The small shop was the centre of the community.

It is my fervent hope that Brouder’s shop won’t stay closed  for long and that somebody will take it over. If not, our village will be all the poorer. Like the saying goes: “you’ll never miss the water ‘til the well runs dry”.

Best wishes to Rose in whatever path life takes her from here.




















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Kathleen’s Corner-28/03/2018

By Kathleen Mullane

“May God bless you at Easter and keep you all year through,

May God give you all the faith it takes, to make your dreams come true,

May His love and wisdom always help to guide you on your way,

May His light shine down upon you now, to bless you Easter Day” 

Can I start by wishing everyone a very ‘Happy Easter’. And it’s such a nice time of the year, the evenings are getting longer, everything is coming to life, daffodils are blooming, in all it lifts everyone’s spirits – winter is over TG.

Don’t forget this Good Friday we must all ‘do our bit’ and get involved with Athea Tidy Towns in the Team Limerick Clean Up. I always do from my own house in and out to the village. Ann Carroll and her grandkids do from the Church Cross up to Fairy St. Cross. Patsy Hayes does from her house out to Flavin’s Cross. Michelle Curry does from Hannah Scanlon’s to John Mullane’s with her family and Denise O’Riordan and family do the Lower Dirreen Rd. if you have any spare time, register at 9am at the hall on Good Friday morning and if all take a section of road – Athea will be “looking great”. It’s good for kids too to get involved in keeping Athea tidy. We would ask everyone to refrain from throwing rubbish about – just take it home, it’s easy.

The Fashion Show on Wednesday night is a much looked forward to night out. Even if you can’t attend, please buy a ticket. All the money raised will go into improving our quaint little village, which thankfully, is vibrant!

A list of our ‘Easter Ceremonies’ is available at the church doors, so pick one up for all the times etc. Fr. Duggan hopes on April 21st to have “a teenage youth mass”. So all you young people – get together and have a great input into your own celebration. Saturday night saw great ‘Community Involvement’ from Margaret Carroll with the Athea N.S. choir to the parents reading – it was brilliant.

Well Rose at Brouder’s Shop finishes up after ten years serving our community. We thank her and wish her well and a well deserved rest. No doubt she will be missed by all her customers.

Sincere sympathy is extended to Bernie Reidy on the recent death of her sister Mary in England. ‘May the light of heaven be hers’.

Also to the Kelly family, Coole, on the death of their sister Peggy recently. Memorial mass was celebrated here in Athea on Saturday night. ‘May she rest in peace’.

And to Maura and Bríd Liston of Lower Athea on the death of their father Dan last week. ‘Go ndeana Dia Trócaire le na hanam’.

Congrats to Aishling Brouder (daughter of Noreen & Tom, Loughill) on her engagement to Micheál Moran (son of John and Catherine, Toureendonnell)

I’ve had an enquiry about Ed Sheeran’s concert in Cork re bus going. Anyone requesting same can contact me.

This past week had “World Happiness Day” celebrated and if anyone was watching Stetsons & Stilettos last week, they would have seen the Irish clergy out jiving and enjoying the music, dance and song. As they stated “There is enough Sadness in the World” –  Be Happy- Enjoy life.

If anyone knows anything about a “K’s Lotto” they might let me know as I have a couple of Euro that was maybe put in a wrong letterbox for a winner? Otherwise I will give go the Lourdes fund.


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Knockdown News-28/03/2018

By Peg Prendeville

History was made in Knockdown on Sunday last with the biggest crowd ever  attending the annual Vintage Run. There was not an inch of room to spare inside or out for all the people and cars. The weather was perfect, people were in good form; tea, coffee,  sandwiches and pastries were  available from 11 am to 6pm to anybody who wanted a bite or a sup. There was great excitement in watching the many tractors and cars heading off on their run. Tons of prizes were won in the raffle and music flowed all afternoon. Well done to the enthusiastic Vintage committee members who put so much work and long hours into ensuring a successful day.

Sympathies to Patrick Langan, of the Vintage committee, and his family on the death of his aunt Joan O’Connor at the weekend.

Congratulations to Ciara O’Grady who was mentor for Laurel Hill FCJ in the Build a Bank challenge, which is an AIB initiative for students. They opened a bank ‘Bank Of Hearts’ and chose the specialism Backing School. So it was all about healthy Hearts! They fundraised since last October to get 30 students defibrillator training.

Over 200 schools competed and in February Laurel Hill went to Cork for the regional finals and were one of 48 schools successful to compete at National level. The

National finals were held in RDS and, thanks to Ciara’s motivation, Laurel Hill won overall for ‘Backing School’. Over 30 students are now fully trained in the use of  defibrillators  and cardiac arrest and they have left a legacy of €500 in the school to train incoming 1st year students for the next 4 years. Events throughout the year included heart screening for students, stress free corridor, healthy afternoon tea, and schools talks from Rosie Foley and Michelle Herbert. Well done to Ciara who, obviously, works in Allied Irish Banks in Limerick.

Ballyhahill Parents Association sent the following: Congratulations to our Easter Raffle prize winners Lorraine Dillon, Ross Phillips, Claire Dillon and Kasey Kiriakaki. Thanks to everyone for selling and buying lines and for the continued support to the school. The kids had a great evening at the school disco in the Parish Hall on last Sunday evening. Thanks to all the kids for coming along and making it a fun evening for all and to the Hall Committee as always for the use of the hall. The school is still collecting old clothes, curtains, shoes etc so if you are doing a spring clean please drop your black bags to the school when it reopens on the 9thApril.  Every little helps! 

A reminder that on the weekend of April 7th /8th  we, in the Loughill/Ballyhahill parish will be changing the evening Mass to Ballyhahill at 6pm and the Sunday morning one to Loughill at 10 am.

Ceremonies for the weekend are as follows:

Holy Thursday – Ballyhahill @ 7pm

Good Friday – Passion in Ballyhahill @3pm

Good Friday – Stations in Loughill  @ 7 pm

Holy Saturday – Vigil Mass in Loughill @ 9 pm

Easter Sunday – Dawn Mass in Kilteery. Time will be announced at the weekend.

Ballyhahill @ 10 am.

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