By Kathleen Mullane

“As we step bravely into the coming year, we deserve to enjoy it for the gift that it is. Live fully in each moment and move into each day with a sense of purpose, wonder and celebration, be thankful for all we have”

To each and every reader – a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2019.

Well another Christmas gone by and what beautiful and unusually warm, dry weather we had over the Christmas period. Everyone out walking and cycling and making “the most of it”. Ballybunion was very busy with loads of families down on the beach kicking ball, buckets and shovel etc. The lead up to Christmas, as always, was very busy and the Christmas Eve Mass was totally packed. The children from Athea N.S. sang carols and Christmas songs before Mass and well done to them, they were brilliant as were the adult choir that took over for Mass. It was really uplifting and sweets were distributed to all the children afterwards.

St. Stephen’s Day was a bit quieter than usual, although we did have the Athea batch of wrenboys and a young, talented group from Tarbert & Glin who were a joy to listen to, it’s great to see our youth being able to play music.

We must congratulate Chrissie Mulvihill of Upper Athea who celebrated her 90th birthday over Christmas and was overjoyed when the Liam McCarthy Cup visited on the occasion of her special day. 

It was a sad and difficult time for families over the Christmas period here in Athea. John Dalton of Knocknagorna passed away before Christmas having been in hospital for a relatively short time. Many came to pay their final respects at Kelly’s funeral parlour. Sincere sympathy is extended to his mother Peggy, his sister Marie, brothers Liam and Patrick, relatives and friends. Burial followed Requiem Mass to  Templeathea Cemetery. May the light of heaven by his.

The death also took place before Christmas of Mary Brouder of Templeathea who had reached a great age. Mary had raised a large family when times were hard, but never complained. Many paid their final respects at Kelly’s funeral parlour on December 20th. Burial followed Requiem Mass on Friday 21st to Templeathea Cemetery. Sympathy is extended to her husband Connie, sons Tom, Connie, John, Frankie, Gene, Noel and Michael and daughters Eileen, Kathleen, Mary, Máiréad and Josephine. Mary was pre-deceased by her sons Paddy and Joe. May she rest in peace.

Sympathy is also extended to Audrey Collins (wife of Paul Collins) on the unexpected death of her father Aidan Galvin of Irremore, after Christmas. A large crowd paid their respects at the family home on New Year’s Day. Burial followed Requiem Mass on January 2nd in the new cemetery, Finuge. May he rest in peace.

Sincere sympathy is also extended to Mary Sheahan of Knocknagorna on the death, over the Christmas period, of her mother Helen O’Connor of Tarmons, Tarbert, who passed away on Christmas Eve. A huge crowd  paid their respects at St. Mary’s funeral home, Tarbert on December 27th. Burial was in the adjoining Church cemetery on the following day. May the light of Heaven be hers.

Good wishes are sent to Christina Stackpoole (daughter of Margaret and Tom, Gortnagross) who celebrated her 30th birthday along with family and friends after Christmas. A great night was enjoyed by all in Abbeyfeale.

Congrats to Máireád Geaney (daughter of Margaret and Jim) of Toureendonnell, Athea who has become engaged to Sjoerd de Laat from Holland. Best wishes to the happy couple.

The daffodils are “shooting up”, the yellow furze bushes blooming, even some lawns have been cut! Hopefully we won’t pay for it later – but let’s enjoy it while we have it.

Well as I add the last few lines to this, the schools will re-open this week and it will be “back to normality and organisation” again for families. Even now we can see a bit of a stretch in the evenings. The decorations are being taken down for yet another year and as we all say – hopefully we will all  be alive to celebrate the festive season next year. As we are all aware 12 months brings many changes – so we live in hope.