by Domhnall de Barra



Congratulations to Nora Lynch of Glasha who celebrated her 100th birthday on Thursday. Athea Tidy Towns organised a celebration in the village to honour the event. Big crowds, observing social distancing, lined the streets as Nora was brought to the church door by her son Jim. Fr. Tony Mullins was on hand to greet her and sang “Limerick you’re a Lady” for her.  Presentations were made  with music and songs which lasted for about one hour.

Nora was in great form and even managed a verse of “Knockanure”.  A film crew from RTE were on hand to record the event which will be aired on the news sometime over the weekend (info will be on the tidy Towns Facebook page). Well done to everyone concerned and we hope to have photos of the event in next week’s edition




This was taken in The Cnockeens the other day. It shows the Bog Cotton or “Cannavawn” (phonetic spelling for the Irish name which is “the white head” – ceann bán) at its best. This is a wonderful time in the boglands with all the wild flowers and plants in full bloom.

This week we have contributions from Tom Aherne, Marian Harnett, Jer Kennelly and Kathleen Mullane

The signs are looking good that we may be able to return to some semblance of normality in the near future. I have problems understanding some of the rules however, especially the travel limits. I can go anywhere within my own county but only 20 kl from home if I am crossing county bounds. That means I can go all the way to the Tipperary border, a journey of over 70 miles, but I can’t go to Castleisland or Ballybunion. I know that rules have to apply to the whole country but a third of our population live in Dublin city and county and they are in congested areas. Some TDs are calling for more liberalisation in rural areas where there are no, or very few, cases of the virus. They have a point but will some businesses survive with all the regulations that will have to be observed if they are to open?  Before the advent of Covid 19 many pubs were barely surviving and were considering closing even then. I can ‘t see them making a living with the new restrictions so another way of life will be changed. There are those who will say they are no loss but the pub played a very important social role in rural Ireland. It wasn’t about the drink, as any regular will tell you, it was about the company. Of course there are those who are addicted to the drink but they do not depend on pubs to get their fix. It is far cheaper to buy alcohol from supermarkets. I love the small, intimate pub where everyone in the bar is involved in the conversation. It was a place to discuss sport, politics, cattle prices, women, weather, local scandals and gossip with the odd lie thrown in for good measure. It provided an outlet for people who lived on their own, some in remote places where they might not see anyone, except the postman/woman, from one end of the week to the other.  It was also a great place for the session of music and sing-song. The Guinness goes down much better to the strains of “The Mason’s Apron” or “The Battering Ram” and good singers, who normally would be too shy to contribute, would burst into song after a couple of creamy ones. Cards was another great event in the small pub. 41 was the favourite game around this neck of the woods and it was approached with deadly seriousness. Every move had to be calculated and woe betide the person who took a trump card off his partner with a rash lead. We learned to play cards at Dave O’Connors in Knocknaboul (I hate the name “Coole West”) and I must say he had great patience with us youngsters as we picked up the finer points of the game. A halfpenny in 5 sticks was the gamble and very often it was hard to come by the stake. I don’t know if young people play the game anymore but, if they are not, they do not know what they are missing. No, life will not be the same and I am afraid the rush to urbanisation will now be accelerated. Small shops are in danger as are other local services. We are lucky in Athea to have as much as we have. it is up to us to make sure we keep as many as we can. We must use the services or they will disappear.


This was sent by Jer Kennelly . It was taken at McGrath’s house many years ago. Do you know who is in it with Bud Enright on the left?

Also submitted by Jer Kennelly. Pat Joe Stack R.I.P.  and Jim Sullivan R.I.P from 20 years ago