Archive for May, 2020

News – 28/05/2020

by Domhnall de Barra

What we should be seeing this weekend. Entertainers on the gig rig in the square 2019

This weekend should have been the occasion of the County Fleadh Cheoil in Athea. It was a great success last year but little did we know that the world would be turned upside down within the year. It would have been a major boost for the local economy and an opportunity for us to celebrate and enjoy our native tradition culture. We can only hope that next year will see an improvement and the sound of fiddles, flutes, accordians etc will once again ring out around the village. The secretary of Comhaltas in Athea, Gráinne Ahern, is posting videos of live music over the weekend on the Limerick Comhaltas Facebook page so log on to bring back memories. Here are a few more reminders of last year’s event.

Session in full flow at the Top of the Town

This was taken at the Fleadh launch

Artwork supplied by Athea Tidy Towns for the Fleadh

Englishman, Ralf, who came for the Fleadh and worked with the committee over the weekend, having a well earned pint with his “landlord” Jerry Brouder

Fleadh Chairman, Francie Flavin, in good form  at the Top with johnny and Betty Cotter

This week we have contributions from Jer Kennelly, Tom Aherne, Peg Prendeville, Marian Harnett and Kathleen Mullane. If anybody else out there would like to sent an article or a photo, please do so. we are also available for anniversaries, thank you prayers etc. Just make contact at [email protected], call me on 087 675 8762 or drop them in the office in Athea.

This is a busy time of the year with the turf and silage cutting. I can’t remember a better year for the turf, the weather was so good. It is strange to see it being brought home already. The windmills have been a great blessing in some bogs as they provided good roads for access. The turf machines are also able to lay the sods close to these roads which makes the harvesting much easier. A big change from the old days of the sleán when some of the banks were a good distance from the nearest passage. Turf had to be drawn out with donkeys and ponies until the tractor made its appearance around the 1960s. With the passage of time we are going to lose much of the terminology associated with turf cutting. People won’t know what a sleán was or how it was worked. Around this area it was driven downwards into the bank but in other areas it was used horizontally. This was known as a “breis sleán” (hope I have the proper spelling!). The man who piked the sods away from the slean was said to be “branching”. Not many people outside the bog areas would know that. I remember one time when my son Danjoe broke his ankle playing ball in the back yard. He was taken to the hospital in Tralee to have it set. When we eventually got in to see him he had a smile on his face so I asked him what he was smiling about and he told me that while he was waiting in a cubicle he could hear the conversation between an Asian doctor and a patient in the next cubicle. As is normal procedure the doctor asked the man what he was doing when he sustained the injury to his ankle. “Branching turf” was the reply. “What were you doing, running, jumping, falling” asked the doctor a bit testily. “I said I was branching turf, were you ever in the bog you fool” came the retort from the man from Lyreacrompane. No wonder Danjoe was amused. “Stripping sods” were cut off before the sleán could be used and the first sods at the top were referred to as “bár fhód”(top sod). This sod could be light and stringy and there wasn’t much heat out of it but it was great for starting the fire. Of course turf has to be “footed” and some people “re-foot” (pronounced ray foot).  It would be a great pity if all these terms were forgotten and I’m sure there are a lot more i haven’t mentioned. If you know any please send them on.

Even though the competition has bee cancelled for this year, Athea Tidy Towns are out making our village look better. Great credit is due to these volunteers who give of their time on our behalf. I’m sure they would not mind if a few more people from the village joined their ranks. If there weren’t volunteers we would have a very drab life with no sports clubs, drama groups, community development etc. many hands make light work and there is great satisfaction in seeing your work come to fruition.

We were talking the other day about jobs we hated doing when we were young. Some didn’t like going to the well for water or bringing in the turf. I have two that I hated doing and they both have to do with hens, referred to as chickens nowadays. We always had hens, as most households did because of the eggs they laid and the meat the produce when past their laying years. We knew all the hens by name and they all had their own peculiarities. They usually laid the eggs in the hen house but occasionally one of them might get awkward and find a secret hiding place for her eggs. During the holidays we enjoyed everyday which wasn’t half long enough for us. I might be ready to go fishing, swimming or playing football when my mother would tell me to watch a particular hen who was “laying out”.  This might seem an easy task but the hen was smart and would soon know you were observing her movements. It became a battle of wits as she tried to avoid you. She wouldn’t use the nest while yo were watching so this task could take all day. A covert operation had to be mounted where you blended into the background and observed from a distance. Eventually she would lay the egg and your task was completed, but the waiting around, wasting valuable time was awful. The other job I didn’t like was cleaning the hen house. The droppings mingled with the rushes on the floor creating a kind of dust that could be suffocating. It was also full of lice and the smell was unbearable. It was a great fertiliser for growing potatoes but that smell would stay up my nose for days. Simple but happy days.


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Kathleens Corner – 28/04/2020

by Kathleen Mullane

Well, can you believe it, the month of May almost  over and, despite the unusual time we are experiencing,  we have had such beautiful  weather so at least we can be happy about that. This being the May Bank Holiday weekend  no doubt Athea would be alive and buzzing,and music would be resounding through every avenue as the Fleadh Cheoil would be taking  place and what a glorious  weekend  it would have been. We can’t dwell too long on what may have been, but we look forward in anticipation to what the future holds and  thankfully  things are going  the right  way at the moment.  Hopefully  it stays  like  that.

Sincere sympathy is extended to the McNamara  family, formerly of Gortnagross,  Athea, on the death of Hannah at Beechwood  Nursing Home, Newcastlewest  recently.  May she rest in peace.
Sympathy  also to the family of Nora Fitzgerald  formerly  of Upper Athea   who was pre-deceased by her husband  Tom and passed  away  recently  in Waterford.  May  the light of Heaven be hers.
On this Sunday from 2 o’clock  until 6 o’clock you can hand in your weekly envelopes, your Easter dues, and your Trocaire donations to Athea Church. There will be helpers   in the church to put your envelopes  into the box. You are asked, with regard  to Trocaire, not to put coins, just notes, into an envelope to facilitate  counting. As we all realise,  funds for every  organisation  are badly needed so your  generosity  would be very much appreciated.
Congrats  and very well done to Teady Hunt of Coole who wrote a fantastic  piece for the Irish  Times recently about his lock down  during  the Covid  19 crisis,and how he fills his day. From his tai chi  early every morning to his walks and reading the paper online and a lot more including his helping out with the tidy towns and at 84 years old that’s no mean feat. I can vouch for his tai chi as last June in Lourdes  he had all us Athea contingent doing it in the hotel lobby, and boy was it so much fun.  Here’s to next year.
Enjoy the bank holiday  weekend,  stay safe and above all keep the  distance,  its  worth it  in the  end.
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By Carrig Side – 28/05/2020

by Tom Aherne

Mass will be streamed live via Facebook from Ardagh Parochial House on Saturdays at 7.30pm, and on Sundays at 10.30am. Fr Michael Noonan will also celebrate Mass at 9.30am on weekdays, and the Rosary on Saturday mornings at 10.30am.The contact link is  Our two churches in Ardagh, and Carrigkerry will be open from 10am to 5pm each day for people to go in and say a prayer as long as they keep social distancing and use the sanitizers on their hands on the way in and on the way out. Also, they should use the surface spray provided on any surface which they have touched with their hands.

The death has taken place of Hannah McNamara (née Murphy) Ballyine, and late of Athea,  on Friday May 22, peacefully at Beechwood House Nursing Home Newcastle West.  In accordance with government guidelines, a private funeral Mass was held on Sunday, May 24, at Newcastle West Church at 10.30am. Private burial afterwards in Churchtown Cemetery. Mass cards and letters of sympathy can be sent to Riedy’s undertakers.  We extend our sympathy to her stepsons, Eamon, Seamus and John, sister-in-law Winne, nephews, nieces, relatives, and friends. May she rest in Peace.

Fr Michael Noonan P.P. Ardagh/Carrigkerry has the following message. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, several church collections have not been taken up and parishioners have been asking how they might continue to support the parish financially in these unprecedented times. As well as that, the ‘Trócaire’ collection has not been taken up at a time when it is most needed and Trócaire has made it known that there is an urgent need for funding in order to carry on its work for the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world, especially at this time when their need for our support is most acute.

Firstly let me say that if you still have the envelope which was in your Trócaire pack and which is addressed to Trócaire, you could send it directly to Trócaire by cheque and give your name and the parish name with your donation. To contribute to Trócaire, through the parish this year or to hand in the money collected in Trócaire boxes during Lent, we would respectfully ask that you do not hand in boxes of coins but that you would convert the proceeds of your Trócaire boxes into notes or preferably into cheques, (if possible, for security reasons) and put them in an envelope. To help you contribute to any of the  collections that have been missed out already this year e.g. Trócaire, Parish Clerk’s Collection, Easter Dues we have made following arrangements:

The sacristies in both Ardagh and Carrigkerry will be open and manned between 3pm and 5pm on Pentecost Sunday May 31. We would ask that you put your contribution in an envelope (by cheque if possible) for each collection. A box will be provided to receive your contributions to one or all, of the collections. Please place your donation in a different envelope for each specific collection.

If, for any reason, you cannot give in your contribution on Sunday 31st May at the above times, you can drop it in to the parochial house or into the post-box at the gate of Ardagh Church.  We wish to acknowledge that some parishioners have already made their contribution to one or two of the above-mentioned collections and we thank them sincerely. Regarding the backlog in the weekly collection to the parish fund (weekly envelopes) we would ask that you wait until when we begin to  celebrate public Masses again in the church to make your contribution. 

Congratulations and best wishes in the future  to Mary Mc Carthy Duckateen House Newcastle West who recently celebrated her birthday.  A very versatile lady who is involved in many organisations around the locality. Her late husband Paddy came from Boughill Bó Kilcolman. Congratulations and best wishes in the future also  to Tom Kennelly Barnigue Carrigkerry who recently celebrated a milestone birthday.

The long dry spell of warm weather has seen an amount of outside work concluded. It has been a real bonus for the farming community and for people confined to their homes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The silage season commenced early and a lot of the first cuts have been harvested to date.

The Desmond Soccer League have confirmed that the 2019/20 junior soccer season has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is based on the safety and wellbeing of the players and clubs involved. There will be no promotion or relegation, and no champions will be crowned in any division.  All the cup competitions have also come to an end. The date for the commencement of the 2020/2021 has been set for October.

The first Limerick GAA Club draw will be held on Saturday June 6 on Limerick Live 95 FM during the sports show from 10-11am. Saint Kieran’s GAA club are open for new members, and people can join online through Clubforce, or by contacting any club officer. The Limerick GAA Draw to win a Mercedes Car has been rescheduled from June 12, to Saturday October 31. The tickets will be available to buy until Friday October 16. 

Culture Night 2020 will be on Friday September 18, and it will be a lot different this year due to Covid-19. It will be aimed at staying at home on-line audiences, which will be shown through new channels.

This week we continue to look back at the Ardagh/Carrigkerry parish notes in the Limerick Leader from May 1990, as notes are scarce due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Congratulations to Gerard Brouder Knocknaclugga, who celebrated his 21st birthday last Friday night May 11, with a party at the Country Club Carrigkerry. Eleven children from Carrigkerry National School received their First Holy Communion at Saint Mary’s Church Carrigkerry on Saturday May 12. The weather conditions were perfect bright and sunny without any rain. The three girls and eight boys were all beautifully turned out and a credit to their parents and teachers. The sacrament was administered by Fr Seamus Power, and Fr Dermot Healy.

A very pretty wedding took place at Athea church on Saturday last May 12, between Breda Mc Auliffe Toureendonnell, and John Baggett Rathkeale. The reception was held in the Country Club Carrigkerry. The Desmond League Cup Final between Villa Rovers and Rathkeale last Sunday at Newbridge ended in stalemate, nil all. Sagart a group of traditional musicians, and formerly known as the Holy Show or Limerick Singing Priests launched a new tape “The Whistling Bridge” at the Limerick Inn’s Ryan Room on Sunday May 13. Over 600 people attended the launch which was followed by a concert which lasted well into the early hours.

Joe and Eileen Corbett Garryduff won the Kantoher Co-op annual silage award for 1989.  Eileen (Woulfe) is a native of Dunganville Ardagh, and they were presented with their award at the Devon Inn Hotel. An outstanding evening of music and song was held at the River Room Motel Newcastle West last weekend when the Garda Siochana Band paid a visit. The event was organised by the Newcastle West Brass and Reed Band  who were recently revived  to clear their outstanding debts. Teresa Doyle Mc Mahon Coolanoran, and a fine soprano singer was the guest artiste, and the hall was packed to capacity.

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