Thanks to Jer Kennelly for this video of Nora’s 100 celebration

Noras’s 100th

by Damien Ahern

We had a really memorable evening for Nora on Thursday last, where the community came together to celebrate Nora’s birthday and get a glimpse of Athea’s only centenarian. A large crowd lined both sides ofthe street in anticipation of Nora’s arrival by Garda escort. Many of the premises on Colbert Street had also been brightly decorated for the occasion. At 7pm the siren from the Garda car could be heard approaching the village followed by Nora being escorted by her son Jim.  The crowd cheered and clapped and held up banners made by some of our younger residents. Nora was paraded up and down the street before entering the Church Grounds where a mini concert was organised for Nora. Treasurer of Athea Tidy Towns, Henry Moran welcomed Nora to the village and gave a brief summary of her life and congratulated her on reaching her 100th year. Fr Mullins then sang Happy Birthday to Nora as well as providing a rendition of ‘Limerick You’re a Lady’. Born and bred a Kerry woman, we could not let the occasion pass without singing Nora’s favourite song – The Valley of Knockanure. Hannah Mai Collins sang this accompanied by Nora. Local musicians – Danny Barry and friends also provided some entertainment.  Nora’s granddaughter, Angela O’Connor accepted a bunch of Flowers on Nora’s behalf from Athea Tidy Towns member, and friend and neighbour of Nora, Eileen Sullivan.  Jason Lynch, Nora’s grandson was then presented with ‘Nora’s box of wishes’. This box had been left in Collins shop in the week leading up to Nora’s Birthday where people were encouraged to write their birthday wishes on a piece of paper and place it in the box. It was wonderful to see the younger members embracing this idea by colouring and painting pictures for Nora. In the midst of the Covid Pandemic, it was a wonderful occasion for the community to come together to celebrate a positive occasion and to honour our Centenarian. TG4 also visited Athea for the occasion and it is due to be aired on either June 21st or 22nd. Keep an eye on Athea Tidy Towns Facebook Page for Updates. Huge thanks to everyone who helped out in any way with the celebrations. The big Athea heart continues to beat.


At Nora Lynch’s 100th birthday celebrations


by Domhnall de Barra

This week we have contributions from Jer Kennelly (Knockanure Notes), Marian Harnett (Abbeyfeale Notes), Tom Aherne (By Carrig Side), Kathleen Mullane (Kathleen’s Corner), Peg Prendeville (Knockdown News) and we welcome back a piece on the GAA by John Hunt (Sports). We are also grateful to Damien for is piece on Nora Lynch’s 100th birthday in this section




16th & 7th Anniversary

Patsy (who died May 6th 2004)


Margaret (who died June 20th 2013)

Late of Coole House, Athea

Our lives go on without you

But things are not the same

Its hard to hide the heartache

When someone speaks your name

All we have are memories

And photos in a frame

We place some flowers with care

But know one knows the heartache

As we turn and leave you there.

Always remembered by your loving family.


Have we become too thin skinned?

In the aftermath of the “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations, there has been a rush by certain organisations to rewrite history. The removal of one of the classics of the film world “Gone With The Wind”, and  tv shows like “Fawlty Towers” and “Little Britain”, because they depict what is regarded as racism, are going completely overboard. Gone With The Wind does portray black slaves who speak very bad English and cow-tow to their owners. This is the way things were in those times before the South was beaten in the American Civil War. Of course the slaves had bad English, they were snatched from their homes in Africa, having had little or no formal education, and sold into bondage to work for a roof over their heads and simple food which was not always of the best quality.  They had to pretend to like their owners or they would probably have been whipped. It was a cruel and barbaric practice but it was not thought to be so by many people at the time and, lest we get on the moral high ground here, slavery was practiced in Ireland as well. Chieftains, especially along the east coast of Ireland, regularly raided the lands along the English and Welsh coasts and captured slaves to work in their houses and estates. Some say this is how St. Patrick got to Ireland. My point is, it would be wrong to pretend that things were different at any particular time. We have become too sensitive.  It is not PC to say somebody is black, even though the colour of their skin is actually black. Would I take offence if somebody describe me as white?; of course not. There were bands, like “The Black and White Minstrels” who blackened their faces to look like the jazz musicians of the American South. Today they would be shunned as racists. Racism is nasty but it exists and has done for centuries. Certain white people have always thought of themselves as superior to others with a different skin pigment. This sense of superiority is not confined to race or colour. People who live in capital cities think they are a step above other citizens, townies look down on country folk, people with land look down on those who don’t – I could go on; the list is endless. They are, however in the minority and most of us are tolerant, understanding and respectful of other races and creeds, in fact we have a lot to learn from them. Time was when comedians could make jokes at the expense of people from different cultures or those with physical disabilities. That would not be tolerated today but we must remember that they were only jokes and should not be taken too seriously. We had the Kerryman jokes here a few years ago and these were the same as the Irish jokes in England or the Polish jokes in the US. Even today you might hear somebody say that something that was ridiculous or stupid was “a bit Irish”. When I was in North Africa I was looked down on by the Muslim population because I was an “infidel”. It didn’t really bother me and I eventually won the respect of quite a few of them. That is the thing – respect has to be earned. It is not enough to say “I am different; respect me” if your actions are anti-social. Discrimination is not confined to race or creed. The greatest discrimination in the world is against women. It is only about a century ago that women finally were given the right to vote in elections. Up to the middle of the 1900s, female civil servants in Ireland had to resign if they got married. An organisation that has done great good in the world, the Catholic Church, has a poor record in this regard. Even the marriage vows, up to recently, included the words “love, honour and obey”.  A wife had to be subservient to her husband and at all times willing to submit to his demands and “rights”. Thank God that has all gone but women are still being discriminated against because they are not allowed to be ordained into the priesthood. Is it any wonder that numbers attending Church services continue to wain when the, mostly old, men who control things still have their heads firmly stuck in the sand. It is time that women were finally treated as equals in every walk of life. It would not be hard for them to improve on the performances of some men.

Thanks to Maura Keane, Cratloe for this photo taken in the ’60s at Cratloe School. Some of you may recognise yourselves