At the blessing of the plaque ( which was made by Leo Finucane) in memory of Dan Hanrahan on Sunday last,
Domhnall de Barra & Fr. Duggan.

Dan’s sisters Mary and Ellen









Members of Dan Hanrahan’s family along with Fr. Duggan & Domhnall de Barra at the blessing of the plaque in his memory on Sunday morning last.


Athea Fine Gael Branch AGM

The Athea Fine Gael Branch AGM will take place on Monday 4th March  at 9.00pm at the Carnegie Library. New members are always welcome.

CFRs say Thank You

The Community First Responders (Registered Charity Number 20164973) want to say a very big Thank You to everyone who gave so generously to their church gate collection last weekend.  A fantastic amount of €1,386.37 was collected.  This money will be used to maintain / purchase equipment and train new volunteers.

A reminder – in the case of an Emergency (out of hours) – cardiac arrest, chest pain, choking, heart attack or stroke, ring emergency service (999 or 112), who will contact the CFRs if they decide they are necessary.  It is helpful to have your Eircode at hand as it makes it easier for the ambulance service to find you.

Communicare Healthcare

Message to Fr. Brendan and Fr. Tony from Maria Dixon of Communicare Healthcare on 12/2/2019.

She is trying to recruit Care Assistants to provide essential homecare support to over 65’s in the Athea area. Flexible working hours with excellent rates of pay. Contact [email protected]  094-9259100


Glórach Concert

Celebrate International Women’s Day at the Glórach Theatre, Abbeyfeale on Friday, March 8th with a themed concert from the group Cúisle, who will be performing iconic songs written by women.  The concert starts at 8 pm, and tickets can be booked at 0871383940.

Bits and Pieces

By Domhnall de Barra

I spent a few days in England last week visiting an old friend in Knowsley near Liverpool. When I say an old friend I mean it in more ways than one. When we got married, 49 years ago on Thursday, we moved to Liverpool from Coventry as I had just got a job with a transport company in Speake Airport. I visited the Irish Centre, in Mount Pleasant near Liverpool city centre, and I was invited to play a couple of tunes on the box. After I had finished playing a woman came and introduced herself as Celia Kilgallon,, originally from near Louisburgh in Mayo, now living with her husband John and family in Knowsley. She told me her brother, Tony O’Toole, who lived in Coventry and was a great follower of traditional music, had contacted her and told her that there was a great accordian player (her words –  not mine!) coming to Liverpool. She said “will ye come out to the house  next Sunday and I will kill a cock”.  The next Sunday John Killgallon arrived at our humble flat in  a big car and took us out to the house. John was a box player and played with the original Liverpool Céilí Band. He was also North West manager for UK construction  and great company. Anyway we all got on like a house on fire and have been firm friends ever since. There was many a great session in that house over the years which included many of the greats from Ireland who would call there when they were on tour. John died a few years ago but Celia is approaching her 97th birthday and  “going strong” doesn’t approach describing her. She lives alone and does all her own cooking, washing, ironing etc. Her mind is as sharp as ever and she has a memory any elephant would be proud of. Her only flaw is her hearing which is very bad but, thanks to modern technology, she has  earplugs that operate with her tablet and can hear well enough with them. We had a great few days with her recalling old times and discussing every topic under the sun. She is one of the most remarkable ladies it has been my privilege to know for so many years and we look forward to her celebrating her 100th in the not too distant future.

The weather in Liverpool was fantastic. It was more like the Costa Del Sol than the North of England with the sun shining and people walking around in shirtsleeves and dresses; the warmest February on record, they tell us. I noticed a couple of differences between there and here particularly the prices. A phone lead I needed would have cost €23 in Tralee but I got the same brand in Prescot for £6.  Petrol is about 30c  a litre dearer than here and unlike in Ireland where it is cheaper, diesel is another 10c dearer again. We travelled by ferry which gave us the opportunity to fill the boot of the car with goods at a fraction of the price we pay for them here. Even groceries are far cheaper. No wonder the international super stores call us “treasure island”

We sailed on Saturday night and got into Dublin on Sunday morning. I had to keep the pedal down all the way home to be in time for the blessing of the plaque in memory of Dan Hanrahan who sadly passed away a year ago last week. There was a good attendance at the blessing which was performed by Fr. Brendan Duggan. I am proud of the fact that Athea Community Council honoured Dan in this way because he left us a legacy that will stand the test of time. I have a soft spot for stone masons since my grandfather, Dan Hartnett and his brothers were all masons. Some of their work is still in evidence around the parish. One of the Hartnetts worked on the bridge in Athea which was built after the collapse of the old wooden bridge. Dan worked on a scheme I was supervising in the early ‘nineties and for a few years created beautiful stone work all around the village. He was an artist and a perfectionist and it was great to see his family members and so many neighbours and friends at the blessing.  May he rest in peace.

On a different topic completely, I was reading a newspaper in England and one article caught my attention. It was the story of a young man who wanted to join the police force to follow in his father’s footsteps as he is a detective inspector. He made his application, took the exam which he passed with flying colours and did a very good interview. Everything seemed to be going well until he was informed that his application had been rejected. The reason for his being rejected was that he was a white heterosexual British male. He would have been acceptable had he been gay, a member of an ethnic minority or had a disability. I had to read it a couple of times to make sure I was getting it right but no; it was true that he was being discriminated against on the grounds that he  had no faults. Apparently the police are having trouble recruiting officers from ethnic backgrounds etc. to liaise with communities who will have nothing to do with white policemen. Good police work has nothing to do with ethnic background or sexual orientation. In the UK they have created large ghettos in urban areas that they have basically lost control of and they are now trying to use a different approach. As they say, good luck with that.

Having driven around over there for a few days I was so glad to get home to Athea. There is no place like it. I will end with this little quote

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.”