Archive for September, 2019


Members of the Athea Vintage Run making a donation to the Hickey family.

Athea Vintage Run members making a donation to the O’Sullivan family, Athea.
As always our ethos is to support local causes and families within our community. Each year we strive to help within our community by donating the proceeds of our Vintage Run.

Athea Runs/Walks Faster in Stripes!

As part of the fundraising weekend, we are organising a Coffee Morning on Friday, October 4th to take place at Con Colbert Hall at 9.30 am and a 5K & Fun Run /Walk on Sunday, October 6th, with registration open at Con Colbert Hall from 11am.

Glórach Theatre Abbeyfeale

Local Trad Group Fuinneamh will burst onto the stage at Glórach on Friday, October 5th at 8pm. Eibhlín Broderick will share the stage as a special guest singer . Abbeyfeale claims, as its own, group members Micheál Broderick, Padraig Enright, Maura O’Connor and Ian Sheehy, with James O’Connor being an Ardagh native. Group members won 6 medals, including two 1st places, at the recent All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Drogheda. Eibhlin Broderick’s vocal talents are of course synonymous with Abbeyfeale, through her recording of “My Silver River Feale” and she holds a Masters Degree in Irish Trad Music Performance! So, not to be missed – Great Music, Great Songs, Great Group & Great Venue. Tickets cost €10 and can be booked on 0871383940 or [email protected]

Comhaltas Music & Singing Classes

Singing classes will resume on Thursday, September 26th with Catherine Broderick at the Library from 7.15 to 8pm.

Music classes will resume on Friday, September 27th at the Top of the Town, 7.15 Tin Whistle beginners, 7.45 advanced & mixed instruments

Athea Parish Journal

We have decided to go ahead with the Journal again this year if we can get enough material in. We ask all individuals, clubs, community groups etc to please send in material and photographs to us in ample time so that we would be ready to print in early November.  Late copy will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Thoughts and Views

by Domhnall de Barra

Are we becoming too sensitive?  This question sprang to mind during the week when I heard that the Prime Minister of Canada was in trouble for appearing in a school play with his face blackened. They say this is racist and the opposition were quick off the mark in their condemnation saying his judgement can no longer be trusted and he is therefore not fit to lead the country. Mr. Trudeau apologised and said he shouldn’t have done it but the question has to be asked: what exactly did he do wrong?  He was playing the part of a character who, because of the part of the world he came from, must have had coloured skin so why not look the part by darkening his face. How could this be construed as racist?. Nowadays we have to be very careful in the language we use to describe people with different skin colours. You cannot say somebody is “black” anymore even though a huge proportion of the earth’s population is exactly that. It does not stop there. When I was young we always had tinkers who camped at the cross near us. We had no other word to describe them and they referred to themselves as such. Even their songs, such as “Go to sleep my little tinker” and “A tinker I am and a tinker I’ll be” reflect this. The word tinker refers to the noble trade many of them followed  as tinsmiths. Now for some reason that name cannot be used and it is replaced by the term “traveller” even though most of them do not travel any more. Of course there are other terms used that are derogatory and their use should never be condoned.  When I first went to England Irishmen were referred to as Paddies. It never really bothered me when someone called me Paddy except when it was somebody who actually knew my name.  Scots men were called “Jocks”, the Welsh “Taffy”, the French “Frogs”  and so on. Even here at home we, from the country, would refer to Dubliners as “Jackeens”  and they, in turn, referred to us as “Culchies”.  People from Wexford were called “yellow bellies”, Roscommon as “sheep stealers” and so on.  They were all mostly used in a jocose way and no offence was intended or taken but they could also be used to demean and belittle. Some people are easily offended while others have somewhat thicker skins. It is now almost impossible to refer to someone’s colour, religion, sexual orientation or gender without running the risk of being offensive. I wonder where it all will end.

It was great to see the  huge amount of  young people who took to the streets last Saturday to  highlight climate change and the need for governments to do more to protect the environment. This was  started by a young Swedish girl, Grettsa Thunberg, who spoke to her own parliament on the subject and inspired the thousands of teenagers, all over the world, to rally to the cause. They are indeed right when they say that we are harming the planet by our actions and by doing so affecting their futures. They want immediate action but it is not that simple. We all know what should be done but it is a very different matter putting it into practice.  Carbon emissions are probably the biggest problem with cars, lorries, busses and planes adding to the pollution every day. Switching to electric is the easy answer but it is not that simple. There are not enough charging points around the country to deal with the demand and it takes too long to charge a battery anyway.  Also most batteries have a limited capacity and will not power a car for more than a couple of hundred kilometres. That means, on a trip from say, Tralee to Dublin, the battery will have to be charged on the road going up and then again on the return journey.  At the moment you could arrive at a charging point to find it out of order or taken up by another car which means a wait of a couple of hours so the answer is more and faster charging points and longer life batteries. As yet the  batteries are not capable of being used in big trucks or buses and of course there are no charging points in the sky for the really big offenders; aeroplanes.  There is no reason why electric buses cannot be used in cities. They do not need batteries but, like trams, get their power from overhead cables.  I have used them in cities all over the world and they are very effective. In the same way trains could also be electrified and take much of the cargo that is currently loaded onto lorries. All this requires a lot of  money but would be cost effective in the long run. There is also another problem. If we all do our bit and  get rid of fossil fuels and intensive farming it will make no difference if China and the US continue to ignore the problems. I was in Beijing a few years ago and, even though it was high summer, I never got to see the sun or the sky due to the heavy blanket of smog that envelops that overpopulated city.  Trump has called climate change into question and continues to keep his head firmly in the sand.  It is not before time that protests were made and I hope politicians all over the world will take notice and do their utmost to reverse the policies of  destruction that are harming our planet so much. We owe a debt of gratitude to the young people who walked the streets last Saturday. They show how much they care and it is not the first time they have highlighted world problems. Back in the middle of the last century, students were very active in the “ban the bomb” campaign. They campaigned against nuclear development and held many rallies throughout the world including here in Ireland I hope the current demonstration has a better outcome than they had because there are now more lethal weapons in the world than ever before.

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Kathleen’s Corner-25/09/2019

By Kathleen Mullane

Open-air mass was celebrated on Wednesday evening last by Fr. Duggan at the Mass-rock up at Tony Constello’s and what a beautiful evening it was for the occasion, coupled with the gorgeous views. There wasn’t a big crowd, but those that made the effort to attend really appreciated the surroundings and the peacefulness. And would you believe we had over 20 cows in attendance and a bull, who stood enthralled and were part of the ceremony standing around the altar. Thanks to all who helped to set up the altar and the chairs etc.

Well Athea has once again taken the great initiative and “come up trumps” with the forthcoming fund-raiser in aid of the Ronald McDonald House. Red and white bunting are “flying high” in many locations –  we have a red and white painted house in the village and a van in the school yard – all making the place look amazing! It will be a great weekend starting with the Coffee Morning on Friday, October 4th and the great fun-run on Sunday 6th. We don’t realise the huge benefit the Ronald McDonald House is to families who have sick children – so tell everyone, friends and relatives from all over the county and beyond to come along and support this great cause. And bring along the kids too there will be loads for them to get involved in.

Congrats to John Paul O’Riordan, son of Willie and Joan, Dirreen, who celebrated his 40th birthday in Listowel during the races.

A great crowd came along to the annual Coffee Morning last Thursday in aid of Milford Hospice. Of course the cakes, buns etc made by the dedicated volunteers went down a treat. If you still want to donate you can do so.

Sympathy is extended to Gerard and Anne Denihan, Lower Athea, on the recent death of Anne’s son Maurice (Mossie) Crowley, late of Kilbreedy East, Kilmallock. Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé.

The past week saw our roads so busy with the last of the turf being brought home from the bogs and the farmers availing of the glorious weather to get work done. And doesn’t ‘the sun’ give everyone a great lift! The ‘blackberry picking’ is nearly at an end and I must say I find it strange that more people don’t go out and pick them and they still go into the supermarkets to buy them?? It’s a “very therapeutic exercise” and the children love it and what better for you than a handful on a bowl of porridge or cereal in the morning! Better to get the kids out and off the mobiles and I-pads also to enjoy the “little things” in life.

Thought for the week:-

Happiness loves to see people at work. It loves sweat, weariness, self-sacrifice. Happiness is not found in palaces, but lurking in fields, factories and hovering over littered desks.


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Knockdown News-25/09/2019

By Peg Prendeville

Sincere sympathy to Mary O’Brien and her daughter Ella on the death of Mickey O’Brien last weekend. Mickey was a gentleman with a very active mind and an interest in all things. May he rest in peace.

A collection of any unwanted clothes will be taking place in Ballyhahill N.S. on October 18th so please spread the word if anyone has any items they want to get rid of. They will take bags of clean and dry clothing, curtains, towels, sheets, paired shoes, handbags, belts, blankets and soft toys. Bags can be dropped off to the school any day during school hours.

September is closing in and the children are settling back to school. In Ballyhahill the junior infants are Ronan Healy, Riain Daly, Kelly and Shannon King and Sophie Moran Kennedy. In Loughill Annie Delee, Jack Wallace, Oscar O’Sullivan and Daniel Whelan began school life.

Gerald Griffins Mens and Ladies Sync Group is holding a fun 5/10k run/walk & Kiddies disco on this Sunday 29th Sept at 11.30am sharp. Starting & finishing in the Parish Hall Ballyhahill. Fee: €10 per Adult €5 per Child €15 per Family

Admission to disco is €5 & Free for kids who complete the run/walk. Registration is from 10.30am. Disco runs from 12.30- 2pm. All support greatly appreciated.

Many of us, including myself, love to go foreign to see nice places but we tend to ignore those which are near us at home. I discovered this on Sunday evening when I took a drive to Barnagh to explore the Barnagh tunnel which had an open day on Saturday. The tunnel is now connected to the Greenway following improvement works carried out by Limerick City and County Council and was officially opened in a ceremony on Friday 13th September. Parking my car on the lay-by at the top of Barnagh I took the path toward Templeglantine. I did not realise that there was a little distance before the tunnel came into view but what a lovely pleasant walk along with glimpses of the Golden Vale to my left and the murmur of the passing traffic to my right. Little streams flowed by my side and tiny rivulets flowed down off the high rock embankments on either side as I approached the tunnel. What a surprise I got when I saw that it had been tarmaced and lit up so that there was no spookiness at all. We’ve all heard the tale of the Barnagh ghost or Sprid na Bearna but there was no sign of her on Sunday evening only the lovely sunshine as I came through the other end. I looked up the ghost story in the website. This is a shortened version of what I found; it was taken from the 1938 Folklore collection.

“This unfortunate woman, Moll S by name, brutally murdered her husband and un-baptised child with such a formidable weapon as a churning staff for which crimes she was condemned to wander through the locality where she committed those dastardly deeds and to molest honest people and to terrify the locality for quite a number of years until the almighty permitted his ministers to show their powers by permitting them to banish her for ever from the scene of her many depredations. The spirit continued her uncanny and destructive peregrinations to this world until she became quite a menace to the whole peaceful country side; nobody young or old dared venture out of doors after dark. Then the great Father Hartnett of Duagh who was now in the hayday of his wonderful miracle working career came on the scene. He watched out for her and he banished her for ever from the ken of men condemning her to drain the Dead sea with a bottomless thimble.”

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