Mary Collins, Best Dressed Lady at the Fashion Show

Caroline Pierce on the catwalk

Grace Ahern and Daniel Hunt modelling at the Fashion Show

Athea Tidy Towns

Our annual fashion show fundraiser took place on Wednesday night, March 28th at the Con Colbert Hall. This was our sixth year of hosting the fashion show and will be remembered as one of our most successful to date. This is testament to the top class organisation skills of Margaret Carroll & Derek Curtin who have once again excelled themselves. So much work goes on behind the scenes leading up to the show including organising models. hairdressers, boutiques, make up, ticket sales, hall decorating etc. Special thanks also to Yvonne Roche who ensured that the show ran smoothly throughout the night. This is our main fundraiser for the year and without it our projects for the year would be greatly reduced.

On behalf of the organising committee, we would like to thank each boutique who travelled to Athea to showcase their fashion on the night namely; Little Rascals, Marielles, Annette’s of Abbeyfeale & Adare, Esther Abbeyfeale, Heavenly Gifts & Interiors, Maireáds Shoes,, Earls & Pearls, Blossom Boutique, Glamourous Boutique Listowel, JK SPORTS, The Taelane Store Listowel, Ian Scanlan and Athea GAA. We hope you enjoyed your visit and we hope it was a worthwhile venture. We look forward to welcoming you back to Athea in the near future. Thanks to our fantastic models both young and even younger who took to the catwalk on the night all for the sake of Athea Tidy Towns – we are proud to have such glamorous and handsome models in the parish. We are grateful to Kathleen & Staff at Athea Hairstylists and Michelle at Belles Beauty for providing the hair & make up free of charge. Big thanks to Rose Enright at Brouder’s Shop and Collin’s Shop for selling tickets and also to all local businesses who donated spot prizes for the raffle. Thanks to the Drama group for the use of the lights on the night and to Declan Carroll who took charge of same. Jules our MC continues to be a huge hit in Athea and we thank him again for travelling down to be with us on the night. Thanks to Mary Ellen Quille & Laura Quille who helped with selling raffle tickets and to Patsy Griffin, Ellen Quille and Donal Pierce and crew in the kitchen who looked after the refreshments. We are also grateful to the Hall Committee for the use of the hall and to Hannah Mai Sheehy Collins for providing us with props for the stage & judged the best dressed lady. Congratulations to Mary Collins who won best dressed lady on the night which was sponsored by O’Riordan’s Pharmacy. The free food provided by Colleen Reidy and Mark Reidy at Brown Joe’s for the models & their families was also much appreciated.  Thanks also to the FÁS Workers for cleaning up the hall & dismantling the catwalk following the fashion show.

Last but by no means least, we would like to thank everyone who purchased tickets or supported us on the night. Without your support as a community little would be possible. When we were first approached by Margaret Carroll back in 2013, we never would have imagined that 6 fashion shows later would have raised €18,000 plus for Athea Tidy Towns. Thanks to Margaret and her team, Athea is a better place today for all who have the pleasure of living here, visiting and passing through. Long may it continue!

Daffodil Day

Thanks so much for supporting our late Daffodil Day and for raising €732.79. The support  we get each year is overwhelming, we want to sincerely say thanks.

More people are surviving cancer than ever before and that’s thanks to people like our supporters in Athea contributing to our collection to fundraise ground-breaking research and ways to improve the lives of those living with cancer. 98% of funding is raised by people like you who contribute in our community so we rely heavily on your generosity and continued support.

Knockdown Vintage Club & Estuary Macra

Would like to thank all the Athea supporters for their sponsorship and cash donations to the Charity Vintage run on March 25th. Your support is much appreciated.

 Fundraising Concert

A Charity Fundraising Concert will be held in St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea on this Sunday April 15th at 7pm. Admission €5. The best of local talent plus special Guests. The proceeds from this concert will help to send invalids and helpers to Lourdes. Please support.

Ladies Monthly Night Out

The Ladies Monthly Night Out due to be held on Friday last was cancelled as a mark of respect to the family of the late Jacqueline Tebbs. Sincere condolences to her family.

It will now be held this Friday night, April 13th in Browne Joe’s with all the usual fun and games including bingo, quiz, etc. The proceeds from this will go to Family Carers Ireland which will stay in the Limerick Branch.

Parcel Collection 

Rose, at Brouder’s Shop, will continue to facilitate the drop-off and collection of parcels from all couriers.

Phone 087-3966673 for information or collection between 5.30pm & 6.30pm. Monday – Friday

Troubled times 

By Domhnall de Barra 

There was a very disturbing event in Derry on Easter Monday last during the holding of what was described as an illegal parade by nationalists. Some of the marchers were dressed in paramilitary gear and others had masks or scarves to cover their faces which meant that they arrived at the parade looking for confrontation and prepared for battle. The police tried to stop the march and were attacked as a result. Objects were thrown including petrol bombs and the police retreated for a few yards. This happened a few times until eventually the marchers reached their destination, the republican cemetery where a commemoration was being held. It shows how fragile the situation still is in the North and how little it would take to rekindle the “troubles”.

The Good Friday agreement seemed to be working and there was a good relationship between the opposing parties, especially between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness who were known as the “chuckle brothers”. They brought their followers with them but alas they are now both gone and relations between Unionists and Nationalists are in decline. Sinn Féin, on one side, and the DUP on the other, cannot reach a compromise that will allow the power-sharing government to be restored. They both have dug in their heels and it is difficult to see a way out of it. Coupled with the uncertainty of Brexit the signs are ominous. In both communities there are people ready to go back to war and just looking for an excuse to do so. Those of us who remember the conflict years since the early ‘seventies know only too well what the cost of another war will be. People in both communities are entrenched in their beliefs which, to the outsider is hard to understand but there are deep hurts that go back a long way sometimes that are difficult to heal. In general, the Northern people have a different mindset to those in the republic or indeed in mainland Britain.

I found this out when I used to make deliveries throughout the six counties in the ‘seventies. On Sunday nights I would travel from Coventry to Liverpool to get the ferry to Belfast with a lorry load of automatic telephone exchange equipment for exchanges in all the northern towns. I would spend a few days dropping off stuff and get the ferry back to Liverpool on Wednesday or Thursday evening to be loaded and ready  for another trip the following Sunday night. I was issued with a handbook listing of B&Bs in various places so sometime during the day I would ring up to get a bed for the night. I had no way of knowing what type of household I would be going into until I reached the house. When I entered the house I would look up at the walls to see what type of pictures were hanging there. In general there were two types; either King Billy or John F. Kennedy and the Pope. If I saw King Billy, the best thing to do was keep the mouth shut as much as possible because if they found out you were from the south you could be in danger. In the other house you could relax a bit more but you would still want to be careful about what opinions you expressed.  The only time I got into trouble was on one of my early visits when I decided to go for a pint on my own. Not really knowing the locality I went to the wrong pub and by the time I realised my mistake it was too late. There was a big banner behind the bar depicting the battle of the Boyne and unionist symbols were everywhere. I went to the toilet but I was followed by two men who looked like enforcers for the Mafia. I locked myself into a cubicle and escaped out a small window into a laneway, tearing my trousers on a nail and cutting my leg in the process. I hid in a back garden listening to my pursuers running up and down looking for the “fenian bastard” until they got fed up and went back to the pub. When the coast was clear I made my way back to the digs determined never again to be caught in that position.  I had a few other experiences which I won’t go into now but my time up there taught me that, though some people are the salt of the earth and I am still friends with them to this day, there are those who will never change . That is why it is so important to get political dialogue going. The two governments in Ireland and the UK have to work together on this. A political vacuum just opens the door for those who would drag us all back to times that are best forgotten.  We have come too far to return to the days of bombings and shootings but we must be aware that it only takes one match to light a fire. The parade in Derry could easily have been that match.