Archive for August, 2019


Athea Tidy Towns new signage and the Heritage Trail with 20 points of interest in the parish by Rachael Grainger.



Our group are busy at the moment preparing for filming for Nationwide on this Saturday, August 24th. The producers will arrive in Athea at 10am and will continue to film until 6pm. There is a busy schedule for the day including the use of drones to record the topography of the area. The schedule is made up of interviews, house visits, musical recitals, drama,  as well as footage of Athea GAA, Soccer and Basketball. Thanks to all the organisations in the parish for their co-operation. The programme will be aired in late September/ early October. Watch this space!

On a side note, we would like to express our thanks to Athea & District Credit Union for sponsoring our new High-Visibility Vests which will arrive just in time for filming.

Project work is ongoing in the parish in a number of areas. Rachael Grainger continues to bring our heritage to life by illustrating each of the 20 points in our heritage trail. We would advice you to log on to our facebook page to see the illustrations completed to date which are indeed impressive!

The first of our ‘Welcome to Athea – The Giant’s Village’ signage was erected last weekend. We are very happy with the finished product and we look forward to repeating this project on each entry road to the parish. A word of thanks to Councillor John Sheahan for providing the funding for these signs.

The foundation is now ready for the stone planters at the creamery where our Beech Trees will be planted. Local Stone Mason John Brosnan will be carrying out this work for our group. Thanks to Brian McKenna, Neilus O’Sullivan, John Hunt and Con Scanlon for their support with this project.

Work is also due to commence shortly on the River Walk project on the Glin Road thanks to funding made available from Limerick City & County Council.

Due to lack of time and high workload with preparations for the County Fleadh, Nationwide & ongoing project work, we have decided to postpone the local competitions until 2020. Many thanks to our sponsors Jim & Elizabeth Dunn, Athea PC & Brigid O’Brien & Family who have agreed to remain as sponsors for 2020. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

It is great to see some new colours added to Colbert Street during the week with the painting of further buildings. Thanks to everyone for responding to our call and for engaging with us with regard to colour choice. Athea is fast becoming one of the most colourful villages in the county!


A film crew from the popular RTE Nationwide programme will visit Athea on this Saturday morning to film and highlight life in our village. It is hoped the programme will be aired in late September or early October.

Death Notice

The death has taken place of Mary Stack, Park, Upper Athea and late of Strand House, Ennis Road, Limerick and Thorpe’s Nursing Home, Clarina, Co. Limerick. Peacefully at Limerick University Hospital on Monday, August 19th surrounded by her family. Deeply regretted by her loving brothers John, Philip and David and sister Kitty (Wilson),  sister-in-law Hannah, nephews, nieces, other relatives, neighbours and friends. Funeral arriving at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea on Thursday, August 22nd for Requiem Mass at 12 noon. Burial after in Holy Cross Cemetery. Family flowers only please. May she rest in Peace.

Athea Drama Group

Athea Drama Group AGM will take place on Monday night, September 2nd at 8.30pm at the Hall. New members especially welcome.

Do we need a Change

By Domhnall de Barra

Last week was the week that secondary students look forward to and dread at the same time. It was the week the results of the leaving cert are announced. Many young people opened that envelope with trepidation fearing the worst and hoping for the better. Most have worked towards this for the past five or six years and their whole lives can be changed by the contents of that envelope. It is all about points and  if they have reached the required amount to get into their chosen path in college. There was joy and disappointment in almost equal amounts but should this be the case?  Should a person’s future be decided on the results of one exam that is mostly a test of memory and has no indicator of a person’s capabilities or aptitude for particular professions. A good memory will get you most of the points you need but how does somebody with very little experience of life know for sure what they want to work at for the foreseeable future. It was simpler long ago. You needed to eat and be clothed and have a roof over your head  so you needed money. That meant getting a job and it didn’t matter what kind of job as long as it paid enough. “Job satisfaction” never came into it and most people did not like what they did for a living but, needs must, as they say, so it was a case of grin and bear it. It did meant though that many were unhappy most of the time and it wasn’t good for mental health either. Today, things are different and young people have far more opportunities. They can pick and choose what profession they like and, if they work hard enough, they can achieve their ambitions through a good leaving cert result which will open the doors to third level education. I am not a great fan of the current system though. There is too much riding on one exam, an exam that is confined to a couple of weeks.  Students may have worked hard up to the time of the exam but not feel too well going into it and not do as well as what they were capable of. The mere pressure of the whole thing can affect performance and another false result ensues. It is also a poor indicator of a person’s suitability for a certain profession. The points system picks the “brightest” students for top professions but is that right?  I know a doctor has to be clever but there is far more that profession than mere brains. The ability to deal with people and a caring personality are just as important, indeed many extremely clever people would make very bad doctors.  Suitability to a particular role in life can not be determined by one exam. I would prefer to see continuous assessment as a student makes their way through the education process that would take into account all aspects of their abilities and suitability. Teachers know their pupils really well and could guide them in the right direction. Even then, I feel that they need some experience working in their chosen environment before they adopt it as the course they wish to follow. There is nothing like “hands on” experience and this could be done before they commit to college. It need not be a financial burden because they could get some pay for the work they do maybe supported by the government. What may seem like a very glamorous profession may not be all it is cracked up to be. There is only one way of finding out. To those  who did not achieve the necessary amount of points I offer this comfort. It may be the best thing ever happened to you.. There are hundreds of courses out there that may be more suited to you and make you happier in the long run and, don’t forget, not everyone is cut out to be an academic. Check out the Post Leaving Courses to find something you might be good at. We are all good at some things and not so good at others. Some of the most successful people on the planet had little or no formal education but that did not stop them achieving their ambitions. The media highlights too much the “Straight A” students who get into  veterinarian, scientific or medical studies at the expense of those who have more general  but none the more impressive results. The bottom line is : there is something out there for everybody no matter how many points they do or don’t get in the dreaded leaving cert.

Data protection is a big thing at the moment with the citizen’s right to privacy to the fore. The Government has got into hot water by extending the use of the social service card to other departments rather than the one it was created for. It was brought into being originally to cut down on fraud in the Dept of Social Welfare. It stopped the practice of people claiming benefits in more than one area among other things and made it easier to keep track of statistics. It contains a person’s private information which, the law says, can only be used for that purpose only and not transferred to other departments. I have mixed feelings about it. I respect everyone’s right to privacy but, if I have nothing to hide and am a law abiding citizen, why should I mind if the government has the use of my social services to process things such as passports, driving licences, etc. It would make the work of the civil service so much easier and speed up the services we love to grumble about. There are those who fear we are becoming too much of a “nanny state” but  the use of this card, carefully monitored, could be a good thing. I am sure the government will try to bring in a law that will allow this to happen but in the meantime Regina Doherty has egg on her face and the fact that we are in the last days of this government will mean Fianna Fáil will not spare her. Such is politics in our fair isle!









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Kathleen’s Corner-21/08/2019

By Kathleen Mullane

The wedding took place on Friday last of Gillian Liston, daughter of Haulie and the late Catherine of Lower Dirreen, Athea, to Dara Treacy of Roscommon. The couple travelled home from Canada for the wedding. The bride was assisted by her sister Carol. The bestman was Aidan O’Toole, Flowergirls were Molly and Ellie-Mai O’Connor and pageboys J.J. Liston and Liam Óg O’Connor. Fr. McManus performed the nuptial ceremony. A very enjoyable day was had by family, relatives and friends at The Abbey Hotel and Catherine was fondly remembered. Congrats to the newly weds and best wishes to them for the future and a safe journey back.

Yoga Classes with Linda Mumbray will recommence in the hall on September 9th from 7 – 8.30pm everyone will be glad to hear. Newcomers are always welcome, along with the old stalwarts!

Can you believe this – just wait for it! – On Thursday last festive shoppers “were out in force” as Brown Thomas opened their festive shops in Dublin, Cork and Limerick with shoppers already filling their stockings stating that at that point in time there was only 131 days to Christmas – it’s less now as I write this! Call me ‘old fashioned’ but who in their right mind would want to go Christmas shopping in August? Maybe they have their seasons mixed up! It’s like “The back to school” adverts they nearly start as soon as the kids get summer holidays. But of course it’s all marketing – it’s not to please us ‘consumers’ it’s to fill their pockets by getting their merchandise first on the shelves.

Well it’s back to school next week for all students – a big change from “no study” and “not getting up too early”. However all good things do come to an end and I’m sure many parents will agree it will be great to get back to some form of “organisation”. And before they know it – the Listowel Races will be on September 8th, the ploughing in Carlow from 17th-19th – then it’s mid-term and before they know it Christmas will be here – like I just said Christmas shopping has already started. As they say from my days learning Latin (a dead language by the way) ‘Tempus Fugit’ – or ‘Time Flies’.

It’s great to see further painting being done to houses on the street. Athea is looking good now with the Tidy Towns volunteers doing immense work in preparation for the forthcoming “Nationwide’ arrival. Let’s do our bit and make sure all rubbish is picked up on the approach roads, which is thrown out by ‘non-carers’. Fr. Duggan gets back into the village each morning with a bag full after his walk.

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Knockdown News-21/08/2019

By Peg Prendeville

This week I will give this space to my sister who wrote this interesting article some time ago. Philomena spent her first years living with my Uncle Dan and wife Ciss in Turraree.

The Bottle Bank

by Philomena Daly 

I enjoy going to the bottle bank and smashing bottles into the bottle bin.  Ironically I like hearing them smash and clatter into each other.  A great stress buster.  I say ironically as I appreciate different shaped bottles and all their varying colours.  I know my love of bottles and jars of all types comes from wandering around the “bottle Graveyard” in the haggard at my aunt’s mother’s house.

As there were no bottle bins back in the sixties, and quite possibly no need for them as mostly everything was recycled.  But there was a little corner of the haggard reserved for the safe storage/disposal of old jars and bottles.  I loved this corner!

What attracted my attention to it was the glistening of the sun on the glass, as if inviting me over to join in the merriment, as the sun’s rays on the different coloured jars danced in the summer sunshine.  The haggard being a suntrap itself.

There were the ubiquitous jam jars- different from the jam jars of today, as the old ones didn’t have a screw cap, but rather a rounded lip – I know this as I still have one.  There used to be two different sizes too: a one lb jar and a 2lb jar.  The bigger jar was only bought around Christmas time.

There was the lovely blue of the Milk of Magnesia bottle.  Vick’s medicine was also sold in blue jars. There were some green medicine bottles too. The little brown ridged iodine bottles. I loved the little bottles of all shapes and sizes.  It was an added bonus if the lid was still intact.  Then there were the square Chef brown sauce bottles, with the picture of the chef with his big hat and the white “smeg” on him.

There were big brown round bottles too, with shoulders on them and then a straight narrow neck.  I think these used to have some animal medicine in them, or else were used to “dose” cattle with medicine.  (I used to feel sorry for the cow or calf that was “bottled” as they always looked so scared, with their eyes wide open, as if pleading for understanding as to why they had to drink from such a bottle

It was fun to take out a selection of these bottles and jars and wash them. We borrowed the basin and its medal stand from the back kitchen.  My aunt also had one of those metal stands.

It was three legged and tapered into a slim waist, where a circular ring kept it together, before expanding again, where another circle of metal held it in place at the tip – into this circle the basin fitted and the little bowl half way done held the soap.

I can smell the red Lifebuoy carbolic soap just thinking of it.  There was also an extra metal band attached half way around the top ring, to hold the towel.

After we washed them all, my sister and I would set up shop with them.  The haggard was slightly to the left from the back of my grand aunt’s house – so we were away in our own world, but also within the security net of hearing the banter and chat as my aunt, her mother, and other neighbours chatted happily in the kitchen!

A real gem to discover would be Nash’s Mineral Water bottle as we could take these over to the local shop and get money for them.  That was a real treat!  But it was unusual to find one as all would be returned before we got to them.  Going to Mullanes with the bottles was a big event as we had to walk the mile over to the shop and we felt we really earned the money we got for them.

An added bonus was that we could then buy some more red lemonade with the money we got and this in turn let to another excursion of the shop “by and by”.  But it wasn’t all fun and games: there were rows and arguments.  I’ll always remember the time my sister annoyed me and I slapped her B-O-T-tom, as my aunt used to say, with the full bottle of lemonade.

The reason I remember is because the bottle broke and I lost both the longed for lemonade and the money I would have got for returning the bottle.  It was Karma, I suppose, and we were both laughing and crying at the same time.

Still and all I still harbour a love of quaint shaped bottles and one of the nicest Christmas presents my sister gave me a few years ago was a beautiful bottle in a lovely presentation box.  She obviously remembered my love of bottles – I wonder does she remember that fateful day too. Best not to remind her I think!

Perhaps that is why I like smashing bottles into the bottle bank – trying to erase the frustration of losing the deposit and the bottle of Nash’s red lemonade on her ‘B-O-T –tom’ that summer day long ago.














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