Maura White, Rita O’Hagan and Carol Noonan met Dominic West in Glin recently

Happy 50th birthday to Angela Ahern of Knockfinisk, Athea pictured with her mom Ann Ahern at Leen’s Hotel, Abbeyfeale


The Community First Responders (RCN 20164973) held their 11th AGM on the 09th September.  A very big Thank You to everyone who contributed to their church gate collection (€1,386.37) and the Drama Group who made a presentation of €500.  The Group would like to thank Dr Kieran Murphy, Rodge Byrne, Richael Griffin and Denis Casey for their continued advice and support.  Congratulations to Richael Griffin who qualified as a paramedic in March.

Since being affiliated to the National Ambulance Service last year, the group continues to be busy with callouts.
All sitting officers were re-elected.  New members are always very welcome.  For more information contact Richael on 086 8841171.

Glórach Theatre, Abbeyfeale

On Friday, 5th October we host local Trad Group, Fuinneamh in concert. The group consists of James O’Connor, Maura O’Connor, Micheál Broderick, Padraig Enright  & Ian Sheehy.

Tickets cost €10. The concert starts at 8pm and you can book your seat by calling the booking line 087 1383940 or email [email protected]

Comhaltas Music & Singing Classes

Music classes will resume on Friday, September 27th an the Top of the Town and singing classes will resume on Thursday, September 26th with Catherine Broderick at the Library. Registration for both classes will take place on Wednesday, September 18th at the Library from 6 to 7 pm.

Athea Runs/Walks Faster in Stripes!

The community of Athea is currently in the process of planning a number of fundraisers in aid of the Ronald McDonald House who are actively seeking funds to develop a new facility. Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and a caring and supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill and are hospitalised or undergoing medical treatment in Dublin.

A number of families from the locality have used the service in the past and as a community, we are very grateful for this support. – ‘allowing our family a space to recharge our batteries and focus on what is important – being by our child’s bedside’ .  The Kiely Family

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.

Our theme for the weekend is ‘Athea Runs Faster in Stripes’ where everyone participating in the Run/Walk are encouraged to dress in stripes. Judges will be on the look out for the best striped Woman, Man or Child! There will also be a treasure hunt around the 5K route for children featuring Athea’s famous Giant and an appearance from our local Ducks!

Colm & Donal at CH fitness have come on board by offering fitness classes at the Creamery in Athea on each Saturday morning at 10am for the month of September for anyone wishing to get fit for the 5k where donations to Ronald McDonald House in lieu of a cost will be accepted.

To add to the excitement of the event, we are in the process of decking out our village in Red and White stripes with the assistance and good will from the whole community. Currently we have painted up a house and van at the National School which are receiving lots of attention online! We are also appealing to local businesses and homeowners to decorate their own areas in the red and white.

Local businesses have also joined the initiative. O’Riordan’s Pharmacy in Athea are currently selling lines at €2 each, where the winners will walk away with two tickets to see Little Mix in Dublin on October 10th. Lines are available to purchase in the Pharmacy. Urban Angels in Glin are also selling lines to win a bumper hamper full of hair beauty products. A number of businesses have also donated paint, food supplies, signage etc which will allow us to keep our costs to a minimum. Thank you all for your unending support.

There will be no set fee for the coffee morning or Fun Run/Walk and we are encouraging everyone to give what they can to this fantastic cause. This can be done in a number of ways. Online donations can be made on by searching for ‘Athea Runs Faster in Stripes’, Athea Credit Union are also accepting donations by donating to account number 3094. Sponsorship cards will be available in local shops and buckets will be available during all events.

We invite you all to donate what you can, dress in your stripes, and come join us for what we promise will be a fun event for every walker, crawler or runner! #athearunsfasterinstripes Further information can be received by contacting Liz Sullivan on 087 6699783.

The Gift of Music

By Domhnall de Barra

Music is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind. Not everybody can play an instrument but most can sing or make some attempt. Even for those who, as they say, haven’t an note in their head, there is the joy of listening to music and it is surely one of the best therapies of all time. Listening to music has the ability to arouse all the emotions within ourselves and the really good composers knew how to arrange their notes to have the desired effect upon us.  This is very noticeable in the early films before the “talkies” came in. The film was projected onto the screen without any sound so most of the cinemas employed a musician to supply mood music to accompany the scenes, usually on an organ. These musicians played music that enhanced the scene portrayed. It was fast and lively as the cowboy raced along on his horse pursued by angry Indians, soft and sentimental as lovers eyed each other for the first time or sad and lonely as a weeping face was portrayed. One minute it would be loud and boisterous, the next soft as a whisper. The audience forgot completely that the music and the film were separate items and did not realise how much they combined to covey the message from the screen.  Even when the talking films appeared, background sound tracks were still used but now they were part of the film reel and the musicians in the cinemas became redundant.  Some of the best soundtracks include Purple Rain,  Dirty Dancing, Star Wars, ET, Harry Potter and Schindler’s List. Without the music these  films would have far less effect.

Music is as old as time itself. The oldest instrument is the human voice and though there is no record of the first song, it wouldn’t surprise me if Adam or Eve didn’t warble a little in the Garden of Eden!!. What is generally described as “folk music” goes back to the very early times when composers made up songs for all occasions.

Some were in praise of local chieftans or landlords, others to commemorate notable victories in games or on the battlefields and all occasions of note. These songs are like pages of history, recording all the events of a locality for posterity. Our own folk music developed from the same source. Early tunes were taken from, and inspired by, the songs of local singers. As time went by some composers of music created more intricate works and so began the classical music that still exists to this day. Again, from folk origins, other forms of music developed. In America, there was a fusion of folk cultures from all over the world and even though they had many different origins, much of what we call modern music today is a result of the common thread that ran through them. Bluegrass music is closely related to the music of Ireland and Scotland but with more emphasis on stringed instruments, particularly the banjo, and a lively tempo. Down south traditional jazz had the same tempo as the Irish reel but it allowed great freedom for the musician to improvise. In the south as well the “blues” developed from the songs of the Negro slaves and generally told stories of hardship and deprivation in very soulful lyrics. “Rhythm and Blues” developed from these two types of music and that in turn gave birth to “rock ‘n roll” which is the forerunner of all types of  popular music today. Bill Haley and the Comets are credited with being the first rock stars but it was really Elvis Presley who put it on the map. This music differed from the old folk music, not alone in it’s rhythmic beat but also in the fact that the songs no longer told stories. Love was the central theme for the most part and gave rise to the phrase “I love you baby”  which appears in countless lyrics right up to the present day.  Rhythm was vitally important as much of this music was for dancing. Up to this time ballroom dancing was the norm. Dances varied from slow waltzes and foxtrots to quicksteps, tangos, two steps etc. All danced with the girl in the boy’s arms. With the arrival of rock ‘n roll all this changed. A whole new way of dancing emerged which did not need synchronised steps but encouraged individual flair and interpretation. As time went on and the arrival of the pop groups contact between male and female on the dance floor became minimal and it wasn’t uncommon to see groups of females dancing in a group together. The music did not depend on great composition instead it got its appeal from repeated phrases that were easily remembered. In general, though there some exceptions, the lyrics had no great meaning and were the flavour of the month until replaced by something new and quickly forgotten. It is easy to dismiss pop music as meaningless but that would not give credit to some great musical artistes  who stand out from the rest. I refer to the likes of Queen, U2, Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles all of whom created some wonderful compositions that cross all musical frontiers. As time goes by music changes but, side by side, there are those who keep the classical and traditional types alive. Irvin Berlin once said “there are only two types of music, good music and bad music”.  If it is good in any class it can be enjoyed and the opposite goes for the bad stuff. We rely on music for our entertainment in many ways. We listen to it on the radio, watch it on television and go in our thousands to see our favourites perform live. What would a wedding be like if there was no music?  I dread to think. People probably know me best as a traditional musician and while it is my first love I have a great appreciation of all types. It is not commonly known but I played in modern groups and bands on the drums, saxophone and clarinet even going so far as to hire an accordion player for my own group one time when I was playing the guitar. I think Shakespeare got it right when he said: “if music be the food of love, play on”.