by Domhnall de Barra

As you can imagine, news is in short supply at the moment due to the lack of local activity. If it wasn’t for social media we would have no contact at all. I’m glad of the phone calls from the family and friends that we can’t physically meet at the moment but, having said that, I won’t be upset if I never again see a video or cartoon on my phone. I am kept busy deleting them from all the various groups I am involved with., however, if it keeps people amused at this trying time, carry on!

This week we have Abbeyfeale Notes, By Carrig Side, Knockdown News  and Kathleen’s Corner. There is also a new category called “Classified”. There is one ad in this section this time but it is open to anybody with any item to sell. Just email me at [email protected] or phone 087 675 8762.

Despite the current restrictions, Pa Walsh got a great send off from people, not only from Athea but from the wider soccer fraternity, as his remains were brought from Abbeyfeale to Athea and out to “The Vales”.  Although physical contact was not allowed, the route was lined with those who wanted to pay their respects. Since Pa came home from Germany he has devoted his time to the development of Athea Utd, especially the underage teams. He was a good player in his day and a better manager and, through his involvement in the weekly lottery,,he was instrumental in raising much needed funds for the development of the club. It is right and proper that his activities should be lauded and , by naming the new stand in his honour, Athea Utd have made sure that he will never be forgotten. Thanks Pa for all your work for the youth of the parish. It is much appreciated.

Another man who passed on the other day was my own neighbour, Dan Gleeson. Dan worked in England from an early age and once held the job of valet and chauffeur to the chairman of the Lloyd group in London. He returned to Ireland in the early ’70s and bought a bar in Abbeyfeale which he christened “the Three Counties” . It became a very popular watering hole for people from Athea, especially at a time when closing time on Sunday nights was 10pm. Dan did not enforce that time too strictly and many of us took advantage!!  I have great memories of the place as I played there every Sunday night for years. The money from that gig paid my mortgage for a long time. Dan was in a nursing home for the past couple of years. His wife Breda passed on just a few months ago. May he rest in peace.

The weather remains fine at the moment but there is little growth due to the fairly cold nights. For the past few years we have had no real Spring. Winter has struggled on into late April. I wonder if this is just a passing phase or is it symptomatic of global warming. A late growth is bad for farmers who want to let the cattle out having been feeding them indoors since last October. Once the temperature improves grass will start to thrive as will all the other weeds and unwanted plants. The time of the lawnmower has arrived along with the strimmers, hoe, rake, spade and shovel. At least we now have plenty of time for it.