Archive for October, 2019


On Tuesday the 22nd of October we celebrated the birthdays of brothers Connie 89 and Patie 88 (O’Sullivan )Lower Road, Athea. Happy birthday to you both.

Athea Gun Club

Athea gun club will hold their long tail competition this Friday 1st. November in the Top of the Town at 7p.m. sharp. We ask all members to clean and check their guns and please respect land owner’s property while out. Safe shooting and happy hunting.

Going Strong Collection

Going Strong Church-gate collection will take place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd November. Your support would be very much appreciated.

Fair Day

The Fair will be held on Saturday, November 9th. As always we hope that the weather will be good so as to enable as many as possible to attend.

Athea Parish Journal

As of today we have very few articles received for the Journal. We ask all individuals, clubs, community groups etc to please send in material and photographs to us as soon as possible otherwise we will be unable to have it ready for printing before Christmas. It is a huge job of work and until we know we have enough material to include in it we will not be able to collect advertisements which causes a further delay, so we are putting a deadline of Friday, November 1st for all remaining material.

November Masses

The Holy Day vigil mass for ‘All Saints’ will be on at the usual time of 7.30pm this Thursday evening and on Friday morning November 1st at 10.30 am. On Sunday, November 3rd rosary will be recited at 11.30am in Holy Cross for those buried there and on the following Sunday, November 10th in Templeathea.

Man’s Inhumanity to Man

By Domhnall de Barra

It was with great sadness that I heard on the Joe Duffy show of a robbery on the streets of Dublin recently. A couple of tourists were held at gunpoint and robbed, in broad daylight, near the Guinness store. The two perpetrators  took what they wanted and calmly walked away smoking cigarettes. This should have been an isolated incident but the phones started ringing and, one by one, other callers told of their similar experiences. There was a time when I walked the streets of Dublin at all hours of the morning without fear of being accosted in any way. Now I would  not be happy to walk those streets in daylight, such is the state of lawlessness that exists in our capital city. The sad thing is that it is not confined to Dublin, it happens all over the country. Some say drugs are to blame  because addicts need to fund their habits and will stop at nothing to get the money necessary. This is partly true but not the whole story. The truth is; crime pays. There are those in society who make a conscious decision not to earn a living in the normal way but to rob and steal all around them. They run the risk of being caught, a small one, but even then the punishment never fits the crime. Gárdaí may spend hours and hours on a case of burglary, catch the culprit and bring him to court only to see some social worker make a plea for leniency based on his addiction, or social deprivation and he gets a slap on the wrist instead of a lengthy jail sentence. It must be demoralising for them getting the two fingers from the defendants as they leave the court. There was a case lately where a man in his  twenties was in court for robbing a house. He had 136 previous cases. How, in the name of God, was this guy walking the streets with that kind of a record? There seems to be an acceptable level of crime but it is wrong, crime should not pay.  After a certain amount of convictions, say three, there should be a mandatory jail sentence and not just a short  one at that. Zero tolerance is the only answer and those who think they can break the law with impunity should be targeted and taken out of circulation. Anybody found with an offensive weapon on their person should go to jail straight away as well.  Where are all the guns coming from? It is obvious that they are being brought into the country along with tons of drugs all the time and this could not happen without certain people turning a blind eye. Drugs are being sold in every town and village in the country and Athea is no exception. It is natural that young people want to experiment, we all did it in our time with cigarettes and alcohol, and I am sure that if drugs were available then we would also try them. So there is a ready market but these drugs have to be delivered throughout the country in large quantities through a huge network of criminals. This is the reality of where we are at the moment. It seems that you have a bigger chance of going to jail for not having a TV licence than for drug dealing. The Gárdaí are doing the best they can but they do not have the manpower or the resources to cover all the petty crime that exists, never mind the more serious stuff. The courts have a role to play as well. It is high time they started handing down appropriate sentences as a deterrent.

We saw the effects of crime on a much larger scale last week when a number of Vietnamese citizens were found dead in a trailer in England. These people had paid thousands of  pounds to unscrupulous people traffickers to be transported to the UK to get a better life for themselves. They had suffocated in the trailer of a lorry that was driven by a Northern Irishman and the trailer also came from the North. It is a sad sign of the world that there are poor people who are willing to take the chance of losing their lives to try and reach a land where they are promised to get good wages and improve the lives of their families. They are, of course, being duped. There is no way that unskilled labourers can earn the €3,000 a month they are told they will get and even if they did they would not see a penny because all the money they borrowed has to be paid back. They end up in slavery working in shady operations all over the country and will never see the life they had hoped for. This is huge business run by international cartels and I hope that this latest incident will see the police finally nail those at the top who profit hugely from this trafficking. This is not an isolated incident. How many trailers have come to England with people dead on board that were never detected?  They were quietly disposed of with no fear of anyone coming looking for them. There is no end to what people will do to get money but we have to fight against it or else we are back in the jungle where the survival of the fittest is the  only rule.

Halloween is here again and it is amazing how much it has grown in recent years. Long ago we had “snap apple night” at Halloween where an apple was suspended on a string and we had to try and take a bite out of it without using our hands. Sounds easy but it was not. Then there was the apple in a pan of water to guarantee we got a good soaking. We had a treat of a barmbrack that had items hidden in it. There was a piece of wood,  a pea and a ring. We all wanted to get the slice that contained the ring because that meant we were going to get married and we wanted to avoid the wood which was the sign of the coffin and death.  For the life of me I can’t remember what the pea portrayed. Nowadays kids have a great time dressing up and going “trick-or-treating” and fair play to them. The winter is long enough. Happy Halloween.

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Kathleen’s Corner-30/10/2019

By Kathleen Mullane

“Happy Halloween” 

Congrats to Bríd Curtin (formerly Riordan of Upper Dirreen, Athea) who celebrated her 60th birthday on Saturday night last with a music session with her family, relatives and friends at Donie Lyons’ here in Athea.

We also send congratulations to Tom Brosnan of Upper Athea who celebrated his 40th birthday with family and friends at Reen’s Pike on Saturday night last. Everyone had a lovely night.

The Holy Day vigil mass for ‘All Saints’ will be on at the usual time of 7.30pm this Thursday evening and on Friday morning November 1st at 10.30 am. And on Sunday, November 3rd rosary will be recited at 11.30am in Holy Cross for those buried there. And on the following Sunday, November 10th in Templeathea. This will continue for the month of November for the Holy Souls.

Also you are asked to have the names of your deceased family members, relatives and friends written down and placed in the envelopes which are available at the church doors. A donation can be placed inside if wished. The envelopes will be placed on the altar for November and all named remembered in the masses during the month. Saturday November 9th is the ‘Remembrance Mass’ for those who died from the parish since last November.

“The Fair of Athea” is fast approaching and takes place on Saturday, November 9th. This is a fun-filled day that brings another “great buzz” around the village. So bring along the kids, put on the wellies and even if it is raining who cares – “soak up the atmosphere” – do a bit of “bartering” and meet old friends and acquaintances.

I was recently reading an article about The Power of “Thank You” stating how we all love to moan. We moan about “the weather” – “it’s too hot – it’s too cold – it’s so wet! We moan about – pot holes – traffic – the speed of vehicles – we moan about other people – when instead we should “Be Thankful” for what we have, when we hear about the awful things that are happening. ‘GRATITUDE’ – reduces ‘stress’ – it improves sleep, it boost’s spirits and makes us powerful – it’s The Glue that keeps Communities together!  So the message is:-

Acknowledge your loved ones if they do something good.

It’s amazing how much weight a “Thank You” carries in the workplace – a lack of appreciation leaves an employee frustrated. Say ‘Thanks’ for the “memories” – appreciate the ‘Sun’ but also appreciate the ‘Raindrops’. And remember the saying “Thanks” costs nothing.

Happy Halloween to one and all.

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Knockdown News-30/10/2019

By Peg Prendeville

There will be a Remembrance Mass for all those who died during the year  in Ballyhahill next Sunday 3rd November. Now that the clocks have changed Masses in the Parish revert to Sunday Mass in Bally and Saturday evening Mass in Loughill from now til next Spring.

The Parish Hall annual Craft Fair will be on Sunday 24th November from 1pm to 4.30 pm. Your support will be greatly appreciated. This goes to the upkeep of the Parish Hall. The contact for booking the Hall  is Mary Stanley at 0871463208. Booking notice at least two weeks in advance please.

The Abha Bhàn Parish Park committee is hosting a Christmas Fair on Sunday 8th December. Santa will arrive at 4.30pm accompanied by our local wren boys. The Christmas lights will be turned on and there will be carol singing, face painting, storytelling and games. It will be a day not to be missed by all. Booking by emailing [email protected] or Abha Bhàn Parish Park Facebook page. Admission is €5 per child or €10 per family. If you would like to showcase your crafts please contact any member of the committee  or email [email protected] or Abha Bhàn Parish Park Facebook page.

It was interesting to watch a programme on RTE 2 last Sunday and see Pa O’Dwyer, originally from Rooska, win the title of Ireland’s Strongest Man for the 4th year in succession. It is amazing what the body can do with the proper training. Well done to Pa for putting Co. Limerick on the map. He is going on to the UK Strongest Man competition now and we wish him well.

I read the following on a Facebook page a few days ago and thought it worth sharing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I am not sure who the author is but she writes as follows:

Halloween celebrations in 1940’s South Kildare.

My mother’s recollections were not of buying fancy dress costumes and fireworks, but a simpler more creative time when Ireland was in the grip of rationing, and children looked forward to a night of fun, pranks, frightening the adults, general mischief and revelry.

The preparations by the local children began some weeks in advance, with collecting and carefully storing hazelnuts gathered from the hedgerows, selecting choice turnips from surrounding fields, and receiving gifts of apples from the convent orchard, smuggled out to the children by a friendly nun.

Precious cardboard, paints, paper and cloth accessories were hoarded to be used in mask making.

By the time Halloween arrived, turnips aplenty had been carved, candles lit and some placed in windows, while others were strategically placed at known scary haunted spots along the road. The children dressed in old clothes, donned their home made masks, tied white shirts to sticks, and hid in doorways and the greenery of the roadside hedges. From where they would jump out with howls and shouts, waving the white shirts, to frighten passers-by.

The adults too played their part, along with feigned fright (sometimes real) sweets and treats were purchased and laid out for party cuisine, coins and rings were hidden and baked in sweet currant cakes, and an occasional hard pea or rag were also wrapped in grease-proof paper and added to the mix. White enamel basins and tin baths were filled with water, apples and nuts added, along with pennies, thrupenny bits, shillings and sixpence coins. A line was attached from wall to wall in the kitchen, and apples were tied to it. Children were blindfolded and encouraged to bite the apples, the odd bar of soap was tied to the line too, for merriment value.

These Halloween games are similar to my own memories from the 1970’s, and akin to tales from other parts of the country too. Before the shops started selling the throwaway plastic Halloween tat, so popular nowadays. Saucers were laid out on the table, and one was filled with water, one with clay, others had a ring, a thimble and rosary beads placed on them.

Children were blindfolded and spun around, before being directed towards the saucers, if they chose the water they would travel abroad, the ring meant they would be married, the beads predicted a life in a religious order, the clay foretold early death, and the thimble represented either their future as a singleton or great skill as a dressmaker. 

Cousins and neighbouring children along the road would visit each others houses and delights and games galore were laid out in every home. Cakes, toffees, Peggy’s legs and gobstoppers were eaten, and an atmosphere of fun and laughter accompanied ducking for apples, nuts and coins, trying to bite apples on the line, and sometimes getting the soap instead. An evening of childhood happiness, and a lot of cleaning up, and drying of floors for the parents afterwards.

She recalls one night at a party in her grandparents, some men arriving later on, and warning that the Púca (Pooka) was out in the fields. His timely appearance was perhaps a convenient way of calling a halt to the children’s wanderings.

Turnips carved by me will be displayed on Halloween, where visiting small people will be rewarded with coins, nuts and apples, keeping some of the old traditions alive in South Kildare. Wherever you are in the world, I wish you a not too scary night, and Happy Halloween, to one and all.”

My wishes are similar. Enjoy the feast and keep safe.

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