Section of the crowd in Athea on Sunday for the Ronald McDonald Fundraiser

Athea Runs/Walks Faster in Stripes!

What a magnificent turn-out for the Ronald McDonald fundraiser on Sunday here in Athea, it surpassed all expectations. Well done to the hard-working committee for bringing it all together.

Athea to Feature On Nationwide

Athea is to receive it’s 12 minutes of fame this Friday evening, October 11th on Nationwide on RTÉ 1 at 7pm. The show will feature community activities in Athea. Tune in!

Blessing of the Animals

This Saturday at 11am sees the blessing of all animals at the church. St. Francis of Assisi was a lover of animals and his feast occurred last week – so bring along your cats, dogs, hamsters or whatever and Fr. Duggan will be on hand to bless them in the church grounds.

Fleadh Celebration Night

This will take place at the Top of the Town on this Friday Oct. 11th. at 9pm, It is an opportunity to say “thank you” to all who helped make the Fleadh in Athea such a success.  A couple of drinks, a bit of food, music, song and lots of craic. Don’t miss it.

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.

Pat Collins, Martin McDermott, Billy Collins, Haulie Collins.

Despite the extreme weather forecast on last Thursday Athea men Paddy O Sullivan, Jim O’Connor, Donie O’Sullivan and Pat White braved the elements and travelled to Listowel for the October horse fair.
Photo: Moss Joe Browne.

This and That

By Domhnall de Barra 

Some people from my own area, Cratloe, have featured prominently in the past couple of weeks.

On Saturday night last I attended a concert at Glórach Theatre, Abbeyfeale. It featured a group of young traditional musicians from West Limerick and North Kerry. I didn’t know quite what to expect because some of the latest groups, such as Moxy have gone off in a tangent from traditional music. This is not to say that what they do is not good and entertaining but strays from the tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation and at least dilutes the traditional content. Therefore I was more than pleasantly surprised when I heard what this new group Fuinneamh had to offer. They play fantastic traditional music with slight innovations that enhance the performance without in any way interfering with its traditional nature. They are all fantastic musicians with a host of All-Ireland medals in their pockets but they also gel as a group and complement each other. There is a vibrancy and musicality about them that I have not experienced since the time I first heard Stockton’s Wing. With apol0gies to my good friend, Kieran Hanrahan, I think they have the potential to be even better than Stocton’s Wing and I look forward to watching a rapid rise to stardom, if they can stay together. Two of the group are from Cratloe; Eileen and Micheál Broderick. Eileen sings beautiful folk songs with delicate accompaniment while Micheál is a maestro on the banjo and adds a rhythmic lift to the music. He is among the top banjo players in the country at the moment. As the great Peter O’Connor from Tournafulla used to say long ago: “there might be as good but no scuttering better”.  Look out for this band.

Another Cratloe native made the headlines lately when she addressed the United Nations in America. Margaret M. Barry, M.A., Ph.D., holds the Established Chair in Health Promotion and Public Health and is Head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research at the National University of Ireland Galway. She has published widely in health promotion and works closely with policymakers and practitioners on the development, implementation and evaluation of mental health promotion interventions and policies at national and international level.
Professor Barry was elected as Global President of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education in 2019 .

Another Barry from Cratloe, Danjoe, was invited to have dinner with Taoiseach Leo  Varadkar during his visit to Scandanavia.  He has an MBA and a BSc degree in Electronic Engineering from Trinity College, Dublin and has worked in the IT and Telecom industry in Denmark since leaving college. He is now the foremost authority in his profession in Denmark and has published many papers.

As you probably have guessed from the name, they are both members of my family; Margaret is my sister and Danjoe is my son. I make no apology for basking in a little reflected glory and I am especially proud of them because they have risen to great heights in their professions without ever losing their Athea accents, unlike some others who feel they have to adopt Dublin 4 accents to be successful.

Congratulations to all who helped to organise the Ronald McDonald Family Fun Run in Athea on Sunday. I don’t know if anybody anticipated the large attendance  and for once the weather obliged. Another feather in Athea’s cap thanks  to the marvellous input by so many volunteers. All in all, a good time to be from Athea.


There was a man from some wildlife organisation on the radio the other day  saying they wanted to bring wolves back into Ireland. The last wild wolf was killed in Ireland in 1786, 100 years after they disappeared from Scotland and 300 years after they became extinct in England. Wolves, by nature, are vicious predators who are expert hunters and will kill almost any animal for food. Just imagine if they were introduced into the Irish countryside again and were free to roam the woods and the hillsides. There wouldn’t be a lamb, calf or any other farmyard animal safe, especially the sheep who roam the mountains freely throughout the year. They would also be a danger to other forms of wild life and even a threat to children who play outdoors. It is a ludicrous suggestion and one that should be nipped in the bud. What will they want next;  to bring back the dinosaurs ?

Another bad move was the imposition of a further carbon tax in the budget. The idea is that if the cost of petrol, diesel and heating oil etc was too high, we, the people, would have no alternative but to stop using them. The important word here is  “alternative”.  Most of us in rural Ireland depend on our cars to get to work and any other journeys we have to make due to the absence of  public transport. We mostly drive second hand cars that cost under €10,000 and would have no hope of changing to electric models that start at €30,000. Even if we all converted in the morning there would be chaos due to the lack of charging stations. Of course it is a great idea but practicalities have to be faced. This tax won’t please the greens who want it to be much higher and it will not do much for the prospects of rural TDs who rely on our votes in an election that is fast approaching. A word to our leaders; you can’t please all the people all the time but you can use common sense, a commodity that seems to be in short supply at the moment.