The Grandparents day and Opening of the Remembrance Garden at Athea National School
Henry Moran, Donal De Barra, Philip and Mary Woulfe, Fr Bendan Duggan, Cllr Francis Foley, Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy, Cllr John Sheahan, Chairman of Metropolitian Area of Newcastle west Area, Roger and Mary Carmody, Mrs Waters, Principal, Mike Ahern, Cllr Liam Galvin, Theresa, Molly and Hazel Ahern, the Hayes family, Carrigkerry at the Opening of the Remembrance Garden at Athea National School
Picture Brendan Gleeson

Thank You

Kathleen, Richard, Nicola and Vincent  Orreys (family of the late Mikey Byrne R.I.P.) would like to express our gratitude to the community of Athea for the love and support they showed us all. What a wonderful, friendly and delightful community and we were very proud to be part of this for our few days there.

Michael’s funeral was conducted with the utmost love, dignity and respect and was so beautiful. The entire service was extremely heart warming, emotional and funny at times. We are absolutely overwhelmed with the love shown to Michael, he certainly left his mark and that was a great comfort to us all knowing that Michael was popular and very well looked after.

Thank You 

The Going Strong Committee would like to thank all those who came out and supported us plus all the helpers, those who made food for the event, the caterers, the musician and all the people who gave spot prizes too numerous to mention.

Thanks especially to Santa and the Wrenboys who turned up to make this year’s event a very special and memorable one.

Thanks also to Fr. Tony Mullins and Fr. Brendan Duggan for the concelebrated Mass which was beautiful

Athea Craft Group Open Day

Athea Craft Group will have an open day on Friday, December 14th at the Library, Athea from 9.30am to 12.30pm. All crafts will be on display and will be available to purchase. Everyone welcome to join the group for a cup of tea & a chat and to see first hand the projects the group carry out.

Athea Credit Union AGM

The AGM will take place on next Sunday evening, December 16th at 6pm in the Athea office. All members are invited to attend.

Letter to the Editor 

Dear Editor

Last week Athea said farewell to Mikey Byrne (RIP), Mikey was the known unknown of Athea for the past number of years, we all knew Mikey but knew little about him personally. I attended his requiem mass on Saturday where Domhnall De Barra gave a touching eulogy for Mikey, Domhnall described him as a blow in who blew into Athea and stayed to become very much part of Athea life since his arrival, private in his own affairs but a willing helper to the community. Finishing his eulogy he said Mikey will now forever stay with us as we lay him to rest in Holy Cross cemetery. I was glad to help in facilitating this through Limerick City and County Council.

Mikey as we learned didn’t have an easy path in life but his luck was in when he settled in Athea. Athea and its people can take a bow for the send off they gave Mikey. I want to commend all who helped in any way especially Mary T and Denny for their professionalism as undertakers. Well done Athea.

Cllr John Sheahan

The Making of a Journal

by Domhnall de Barra

Athea Parish Journal has just been printed and goes on sale today. It is the 30th edition of a publication that has seen many changes over its lifetime. Technology has been a great boon, especially the advent of the computer which means nearly all our articles come to us already typed up. In the beginning everything was handwritten and had to be typed  and prepared by the printer. Getting material online means it is a simpler “cut and paste” job that does not take as long.  At one stage we would have several people involved in the preparation and finishing but now two of us can manage the whole lot ourselves. The work begins in September when we clear off the pages from last year and prepare for the new one. All our advertisers have to be contacted to see if they wish to continue supporting the journal. Without their financial input there wouldn’t be any publication. Then ads are placed in the newsletters looking for articles and photographs and reminding clubs and organisations that the deadline for submissions is the end of October (a deadline they constantly ignore!!). Articles that come by email are placed in a file on the computer to be transferred to the main file when ready. Photographs are placed in a special box to be scanned into the computer’s photo shop where they are resized and enhanced  and put into a separate file. Some photos are old and may be faded so there isn’t much that can be done with them.

October passes and we begin to panic as some of our larger articles are still not in. Phone calls to remind them but very often they are waiting to include some event that hasn’t happened yet. At long last we think we have all the material and are ready to go. We start by  placing the articles one after the other making sure that  the ads are included and that text covers the whole page. Photos are put in at regular intervals making sure that, as far as possible, they do not back onto each other. We are just about ready when late articles and photos arrive and we have to re-jig. It would be easy to say the deadline is past but we try to accommodate people if we can. At last the book is full and we have the index sorted out so we do a test print that is scrutinised for errors and omissions. Sometimes the gremlins are at work and for no apparent reason pages go missing or pop up in the wrong places. It would drive you round the bend at times but eventually, once we are happy with it, or should I say Lillian is happy with it because it is she does all the proofing, it is ready for printing and now my job begins.

I have already bought plenty of paper and supplies of ink for the job so I set up the printer which prints the book in two halves. These have to be put together and the cover, which has already been printed on a different machine, is attached. The book is folded and placed on a spine stapler to be stapled. The books are put into a press, five at a time to “flatten” them out before being transferred to the guillotine for trimming. Now they are ready for the shelves and will be on sale at the usual outlets. It is a long, slow process but it is now much easier than it used to be. Originally, a printing had to be made of every two page spread,  the first and last page starting off. A plate would then be made from that print and wound onto an offset printer. It would be inked up and the print would be transferred to the paper as it passed through the machine. If we needed 400 books we would print about 410 of each plate to allow for errors and blemishes. All the pages were done like that until the middle of the book was reached and then they were turned over and the opposite pages printed onto them. We could have maybe 30 stacks of printing laid out around a long table. Now they had to be collated by hand. This is where the work was labour intensive as several people were needed to walk along picking up one sheet from each stack until the whole book was together. The cover had to be added and then the books were stapled with a long hand stapler. This used to take a long time and I remember working late into the night when we were trying to have the books ready for  the upcoming weekend. After each year I used to say to myself “never again” but then tiredness was soon forgotten and it started all over again the following year.

This year’s book has a mixture of current and historic affairs and a fair smattering of photos. One of the articles is about a woman called Joan Grogan who came from Clare originally I think but lived in Athea most of her life. I had heard of her but knew very little about her until I read the article which is extracted from a scholarly thesis by Niamh Ní Lochlainn submitted by Timmy Woulfe.  It is a great read and very informative about the beliefs and customs of bygone days.

The sporting organisations give us a snapshot of their activities throughout the year and they are a valuable record that will be there for all to see in years to come. It is a special celebratory year for the G.A.A. as they honour the men of ‘63 and ‘68 who brought honour and glory to the parish.

Thanks to everyone who sent in photographs. Some of the old ones remind us, embarrassingly at times, of how we looked before the years left their mark on us. There is one old photo from Kilbaha N.S, about 1924 that, even though it is faded, shows pupils that some of our older readers may recognise.

Anyway I hope you enjoy it. It may or may not be our last one but we won’t make any hasty decision just yet!!