Unfortunately this will be the last newsletter for the foreseeable future. Stay Safe everyone.

Corona Virus  (Covid-19)

This is a Community Announcement to make people aware that O’Riordan’s Pharmacy, Collins’ Shop and Griffin’s Butchers are open for business. We will be organising deliveries for vulnerable members of our community who do not want to leave home. Please phone us and we will do the rest.

O’Riordan’s Pharmacy 068-42418

Collins’ Shop 068-42111

Griffin’s Butchers 087-4375719.

Our community co-ordinator Mary Ita Casey can be reached on 087-4141157or any other member.

Liz O’Mahony 087-6711886

Liz Flynn 087-6352416

Derek Byrne 087-6326232

Pat O’Sullivan 087-2997728

John Hunt 087-7875378

Mike Flynn 0876309300

Ann Marie Horgan 087-9614131

Knockdown Vintage Club

 Charity Road Run 29/03/20 Postponed

Due to Government Recommendations in relation to Covid-19, the Knockdown Vintage Charity Road Run in aid of the Symptomatic Breast Unity, U.H.L. Has been postponed until further notice.

All draw tickets purchased will remain valid for the rescheduled event.

We hope to be in a position to make an announcement regarding the rescheduled event in the future.

Please stay safe and be aware of the needs of sick and elderly neighbours.

The Knockdown Vintage Club Committee

Athea Utd Soccer

Weekly Draw cancelled until further notice.

Athea Community Council Ltd Lucky No’s Draw

Weekly Draw cancelled until further notice. All tickets sold will be kept safe until things get back to normal.

C.D. Printing

Due to the virus the office will be closed from today until further notice. I will be working from home and can be contacted on 087 6758762 or 068 42351.

Ce scheme

The CE Scheme (FAS) has been suspended by a directive from the Dept of Social Welfare. This means there will be no street cleaning in the mornings so it is up to everyone to make sure they clean outside their own premises. If we all co-operate we will have a tidy village.

Notice to all Parishioners in relation to Funerals and other Services

Statement issued by Bishop Brendan Leahy,

Bishop of Limerick on

Sunday 15th of March 2020

In the current emergency situation, “No one should attend funerals unless they are immediate relatives or very particular friends. While I do, of course, understand the desire of others to attend, to do so if not members of immediate family, or a very particular friend could enter into the realms of recklessness.  And, of course, in keeping to the HSE advice, there should be no hand-shaking or hugs regardless. Social distancing must be observed now as difficult as that is.”

“Once this crisis has passed, Memorial Masses and other ceremonies of remembrance will be arranged for all those who should not attend funerals now, to gather and pay their respects in that great Irish way and let the bereaved family know you share their loss. In the meantime, phone-calls, texts and social media can be used to convey your support for them.” End of Statement.

Further Information

Connect a relative or neighbour to Mass: If you have relatives and/or neighbours who would like to participate in an online Mass, who do not have access to a computer or tablet, you might consider supporting them by setting up your laptop/tablet for them so they can be part of the online congregation.

West Limerick 102fm Community Radio: Will broadcast Mass from Newcastle West Church on St Patrick’s Day at 10.00a.m.

St Patrick’s Day Mass from Abbeyfeale Church: Parishioners can participate in Mass for St Patrick’s Day via the local Church TV Services. Simply go to www.abbeyfealeparish.ie and click on the image of the parish church and you will be able to participate in Mass. Mass will be celebrated on Monday evening 16th March at 6.30p.m. St Patrick’s Day Mass at 9.15a.m. and at 12 noon.

Ní neart go cur le chéile. There is no strength without unity.

Difficult Times

By Domhnall de Barra

Hard to know where to start this week with the times that are in it.  Difficult to believe that the human race is almost on its knees due to one  virus but that is the situation.  I keep thinking it is a nightmare and I am going to wake up at any moment to life as I knew it but no, we are in a bad situation.  The biggest problem with this virus is the lack of knowledge on how to deal with it. Medical experts are doing their best but there is conflicting advice which is most evident in the difference between the approach of the government here and the assembly in the North. Schools closed here last Thursday but remain open across the border. They say the schools will close eventually but not yet.  What are they waiting for? Surely it is logical that the sooner action is taken the better the chance of containing the spread.  Children are very active beings with boundless energy and they get into all sorts of places. They are also very physical in the way they deal with each other and are always in groups. This is ideal for passing on the virus even if they don’t know they have it. There may be no visible signs but a child can infect a whole household who in turn may pass it on to other members of the community they come into contact with. It makes sense therefore to close schools and all places where people gather in the hope that the virus will have the least possible impact on all of us. It is difficult also to know how the government is going to keep going if it lasts for any great length of time. Hundreds of thousands will be on social welfare but there is only so much money in the kitty and  that will dwindle further with the fall in revenue from income tax and other taxes on goods such as alcohol now that the pubs are shut.  What about repayments on cars and mortgages on houses?  There won’t be enough money to meet them if the weekly wage is gone. In these circumstances it is time for banks, credit unions and other lending institutions to step up to the plate in the national interest. There is a case to be made for freezing loans that are in trouble until the virus scare has passed. I know it is a lose, lose situation but everybody is going to be adversely affected be this in some way or other.

Did we ever think we would see a time when St. Patrick’s Day would not be celebrated on this Island/?  It is the only national holiday that I know of that is celebrated world wide as well. Millions of Euro will be lost by the hospitality sector while airlines, who normally are full to capacity at this time of year, are flying almost empty or grounded. All this will have a knock-on effect that some may not ever recover from.

In the meantime what can we do?  For a start we can do what we are told, not something most of us like. Last weekend some pubs and clubs were packed to capacity despite the advice given to us about spacing etc.  This was mindless behaviour by those who put their own profits ahead of the nation’s health. We all have to obey the basic rules about hygiene and socialising. We also need to ignore some of the fake news that is spreading on social media. Some people get a kick out of scaremongering so we should listen to the advice of the government and the HSE who have daily briefings. It is also time to stop the  videos that are funny alright but it is now gone past that stage and is no laughing matter. I hope that the best brains in the world, who are working on a vaccination, will have  success in the near future. That is the way to put an end to all this.

In the meantime let us all be careful and look out for each other. If you are a healthy active person maybe you could help some elderly neighbours with shopping or other chores. Be aware of those who are more vulnerable than ourselves.  There is an old saying in Irish “people survive in each others shadow”  and that is how we will be able to deal with this.

On another depressing note, what has happened our weather? Some will say it is global warming, but they will say that anyway whether it is too hot or too cold. I can never remember a time when we got so much rain and so many storms  in quick succession. It is raining since the end of July last and got really nasty in the past couple of months. Grass is growing at the moment but the cattle cannot be left out because the ground is so wet. There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel from Thursday on with a bit of high pressure approaching. It will be more than welcome and we look forward to more seasonal weather. We could do with something to cheer ourselves up.