Strange Times

by Domhnall de Barra

Due to the current state of affairs with the Covid-19 pandemic we have had to stop publishing  Athea and District News. With all the clubs and organisations grounded there simply isn’t anything to fill the pages. It is the first time in almost 30 years that we have been unable to get copies onto the shelves but theses are not ordinary times. Athea is quiet but not as quiet as other villages. Collins’ shop continues to provide an essential service along with the butcher, chemist, garage and a few tradesmen. The CE scheme is continuing on a limited basis but the workers are managing to keep the streets tidy and are cutting the grass that has sprung up all over the place. It is strange to see the Church closed, especially on Sundays. Fr. Duggan, who is on retreat at the moment, tells me he is thinking of his parishioners and saying Mass for them every day. Children must find it hard to pass the time, but then we all do. I have noticed a big surge n the use of social media with people swapping news and funny videos that lighten the mood. Most people are observing the social distancing advice but there are always a few idiots about who have no regard for their friends or neighbours. By working together we can minimise the effects of this outbreak and return to what passes for normality in this area. One good thing has come out of it already; a realisation of what is really important in this world and it is not material possessions or “success”. Family, friends, caring for each other and human decency have come to the fore and we must never forget the sacrifices of those who put their own welfare on the line to provide us with essential treatment and necessities. They are the real heroes and we salute them.  We will continue with a piece online, if there is anything to report so feel free to contact me if you have something to say. Stay safe, stay healthy.


Abbeyfeal Notes

by Marian Harnett

ABBEYFEALE COMMUNITY ALERT:  The most important thing you need to do today is write out your Eircode and place it by your phone.  If, God forbid, you have to call the emergency services this is all the information they require to arrive to your hall door.  The Gardai are available to help out with bringing messages to older people so if you need help just ring 06830010.  These are strange times and we must all pull together and look out for our neighbours.  Remember that the best way to stay safe is to wash your hands with soap, stay a couple of meters from the next person and self-isolate if you don’t need to go out.    Elderly people need to stay active so imagine there is an orange between your shoulder blades and that you are squeezing it – this will improve your posture and stop your shoulders rounding. Set an alarm for every 45 minutes and get up from the chair and either walk up the stairs or up and down the hall or thank God now that the weather has improved we’ll be able to get outside.  Stand by the worktop, put your hands on it, do squats or stand on one leg for 10 seconds and then change to the other leg.  Drink water all day.  Do circles with your arms while holding a bottle of water or a can of beans to keep your muscles active. We have heard of people calling to the elderly in urban areas offering to test them for the virus at a cost or do shopping for them or to fumigate the house and that mar ya they have been sent by the HSE– that will hardly happen here but if it does, don’t entertain them. If you need shopping or messages, contact the local committee who have been set up by Abbeyfeale Community Council on 068 31169/068 32080/ 087 7571144 any day between 9-5pm. Ring Abbeyfeale Gardai on 068 30010 (Three hundred ten) if you have concerns over callers/ travelling salesmen, if the phone is unattended the call will be answered in NCW and the local squad car will be notified.  When you reach the age of 65 and live alone or with a person/s aged over 65 you are entitled to receive a monitored alarm system. But if you have younger people living in the house who are out for long periods of the day then,  because you are spending hours alone you are also entitled to the system provided that you are over 65.  The free equipment is provided by Pobal following an application from Abbeyfeale Community Alert, there will be a monitoring fee to be paid from the second year of installation to the installing company of €72.  Please note that this fee has increased by €6 and is payable in a lump sum each year after year one.  Should you not have a landline the installing company Task provide a sim card at a rate of €7.50 per month payable from day one.  Then, in year two you will also receive a bill for the monitoring fee so in year one the bill will be €90 and in year two and every other year after it will €162 approx.  Committee members are Michael O’Kelly N.T., Seamus Stack, Mossie Gleeson, Kathleen Collins, Mary McArthur, John O’Sullivan, Billy Quirke N.T., Cllr. Francis Foley, Catherine Daly, Marian Harnett.

 CALLING ALL TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND PARENTS! World Vision Ireland’s Climate Change essay competition 2020 is opened until March 31 for children between the ages of 8 and 18. The winning essay writer will get the chance to meet Ryan Tubridy in the RTE Studios and will also win a €500 Smyths toy voucher.

For more information on how to enter, go to our website

HELPLINES:  Men suffering domestic abuse, operates 36 hours a week on 1800816588.  Limerick Social Services:  061-314111.    AA    061/311222 Al-Anon 086/8143425. Parent Support worker 068/31019.  Accord NCW 069/61000.   Samaritans Freephone 116123 or text 087/2609090 or email [email protected] Aware (Depression & Anxiety) 1980 303 302 National Suicide Helpline (Pieta House) 1800 247 247 Irish Advocacy Network (Peer advocacy in mental health) 01 872 8684 Pieta House (Suicide & self-harm) 01 623 5606 IACP (Counselling & Psychotherapy) 01 230 3536 Shine: (Supporting people affected by mental ill health) 01 860 1620 061 – 412111 or Free phone 1850609090 A.A. 061-311222.  Al-Anon 086-8143425 Bereavement Support: 068 / 31203    068/ 31262    068/51984    St Vincent De Paul    Tel 087/1213560 .  Counselling Appointment    061/314213.  ALONE; has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Professional staff are available to answer queries and give advice and reassurance where necessary.  The support line is open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024. Hours may be extended to meet the demand.  SPRING FORWARD:   Clocks go forward on Sunday, March 29.  This year’s spring equinox fell on the earliest date in 124 years. The first day of spring occurred on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 11:50 p.m. EDT for those in the Northern Hemisphere, which is marked by the arrival of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox.

CHURCH SERVICES:  Mass is being celebrated every day in the Church of the Assumption and broadcast on and Monday to Friday the Stations of the Cross are also being broadcast at 3pm.  RTÉ will air Mass every weekday at 10.30am from St. Eunan’s and St. Columba’s Cathedral,  on RTÉ News Now.  If you have a neighbour who is not on the internet then ring them and place your phone beside your laptop and they will be able to hear Fr. Tony or Fr. Shoji celebrate daily Mass.  Adoration from 11am to 6pm each day except from 2.30pm – 3.30pm when the Stations of the Cross are on.  Exposition will be in the Main Church to facilitate social distancing.  Enter the church by the Blessed Sacrament church door as all other doors will be locked. We regret these changes but we must adhere to the HSE guidelines.