Archive for July, 2020

News – 30/07/2020

Hanging baskets on Athea Bridge (see Athea Tidy Towns)


This week we have contributions from Jer Kennelly (Knockanure Notes), Marian Harnett (Abbeyfeale Notes), Kathleen Mullane (Kathleen’s Corner), Tom Aherne (By Carrig Side) and Athea GAA (Sports).  Athea Tidy Towns Notes by Damien Ahern

St Bartholomew’s Church Athea

Mass Times:

Sunday & Thursday mornings at 10.30am

Friday & Saturday evenings at 7.30pm


Sat 1st Aug – Kathleen Mullane

Sun 2nd Aug – Margaret Cotter

Mass Intentions:

Fri 31st July: Bridie Stackpoole & her step sister Mary Sheehan. Michael O’Connor

Sun 2nd Aug: Timmy O’Keeffe and his mother Lena.  James & Hannie Cleary .

Josie Liston (month’s mind).


Trócaire €2265.00

13/7/20  €2135.00

20/7/20  €1665.00

27/7/20  €1497.00

It’s great to see people coming back to mass and we are very grateful to those in the parish that have volunteered in helping to organise things and make it possible for us to have our weekly masses. There is no doubt that coming to mass is a different experience these days – new seating arrangements and being guided to your seat ,at communion time stewards will direct you to Holy Communion and at the end of mass we ask people to exit the church gradually and safely – always adhering to social distance guidelines. But when working together all goes smoothly. We are very lucky here in Athea because we now have our new webcam, broadcasting each mass to enable those at home and not yet comfortable with coming back to the church to participate in the mass. We also have our speakers outside the church broadcasting mass for people who like to come and stay in their cars and still be able to receive the holy sacrament which the Eucharistic Minister distributes outside during Holy Communion.

Once again Fr. Brendan wants to thank the parishioners for their kind generosity and continued support in these unusual and difficult times and he continues to pray for all parishioners. Contact details 087-2600414. Webcam Link-

Sacristan’s Collection 

The collection for Carol will take place on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th of August. Envelopes are available at the 3 main Church doors. Thanking you for your support as always.

Who to Believe

Domhnall de Barra

The urban rural divide was very evident on the Joe Duffy show last week. Katie Hannon, filling in for Joe, heard from a man who was complaining about farmers using bangers to scare off crows, the smell of slurry and the soiling of the roads. He also described farmers as “tax dodgers”. Needless to say there were many voices from the farming community but there were also quite a good number who supported his views. There is no doubt that living next door to a banger that is going off every 10 minutes all day is disturbing not to mention the awful smell from slurry but, if you choose to live in the countryside, you get used to the inconvenience. The bangers are used for less than a month and are necessary to protect farmer’s crops. Likewise, slurry spreading can only take place at certain times and, though the smell may be strong, it doesn’t last forever. My neighbour, Donal Woulfe, sends a text to Noreen when he is about to spread slurry and she then closes all the windows. The smell is gone in a very short time and things return to normal. Farmers are getting a hard time of it at the moment from animal rights enthusiasts, vegans and those who want to turn the land into wilderness. They also get criticised for the grants they get from Europe which some people say are unnecessary.  Without subsidies farming does not pay. When Ireland joined what was then the Common Market it was agreed that they would be compensated for low prices so that people in Europe would have cheap food. That was the start of the “cheque in the post” . Sometimes there was more food produced than necessary and the  surplus went to third world countries who were in need of support. When it comes to food it is a buyers market. The major supermarkets buy as cheaply as they can and because they buy in such bulk they control the market. If there wasn’t help from Europe we would have no food producers here. At the moment, beef farmers are trying to get a fair price for their animals but the plain fact is that they lose money on every beast they sell. They deserve to make a fair living for all the hard work they put into it. People who build or buy houses in the country should realise the type of environment they are going to live in and adjust to their new surroundings. It’s a bit like somebody buying a house near an airport and then complaining about the noise of jet planes all day and night. One can become used to noises and smells. I remember when I first went to live in England. I stayed with my aunt Nora in Coventry in a house that backed on to a main street. At first I could not sleep with the sound of all the traffic, a far cry from the motorless roads of Athea at the time. After a few nights I got quite used to it and it became background noise that lulled me to sleep, in fact, when I came home I had trouble getting used to the silence!!  It is a two way street. Farmers can help by getting to know their neighbours and explaining to them what they are doing. They can also help by making sure no soil or manure is left scattered on the roads and minimise the use of bangers where possible. The benefits of living in rural areas far outweigh the disadvantages. Let us all try to get along and we will all be happier.

There is a big difference between the layout of graveyards in Kerry and Limerick. I have many relations buried in both counties due to the fact that my father came from Brosna and most of his family are now buried in various burial grounds in The Kingdom while my mother is a native of Athea so we also have graves in Limerick. I must say that in comparing both counties, Kerry comes out on top. Their design is simple; narrow walkways divide the rows of graves with the bottom of each grave towards the path.. There is no room wasted and each headstone is visible from the path giving easy access to each grave without having to cross another one. Today I had a good look at our own graveyard (new one) and I could see where mistakes were made. Paths were put in in advance and sometimes they run at angles to the lines of graves. There is very little access to some graves and  a lot of room is wasted by the paths. We haven’t reached it yet in this area but in other parts there is a scarcity of ground for graves so it would make sense to avail of every bit of ground available to put in as many graves as possible. Another huge problem in graveyards is the surrounds that make it difficult to cut grass and keep the place clean. We all do it as it is the custom now but, in other areas surrounds are prohibited and large mowers can be used to keep the graves well mown and tidy. Some headstones are also not suitable being too big and ostentatious. There is a limit to height now but  before that law came into being many huge headstones were erected. The bottom end of the graveyard in Abbeyfeale is an example of what I am complaining about. Huge headstones of the most expensive marble, rise up towards the sky surrounded by smaller statues and tablets making the grave look garish. Surely a simple headstone giving the names, addresses and ages of those buried there, is sufficient. I suppose there is a bit of “keeping up with the Joneses” involved too with people trying to show how much they  remember their loved ones by spending a lot of money on their graves. I remember a story I once heard about the sales pitch of an undertaker. When a family called to him to choose a coffin for their departed mother, he showed them the cheapest first, then the next most expensive and finally the dearest one. Then he said to them; “I suppose ye will want the best for ye’re mother”. How could they say  they didn’t despite the fact that the finest oak with gold handles is still going into the ground.  The best way to remember those who have gone before us is to keep them in our hearts and pray to them every day. Pay a visit to the graves as often as possible and always remember that we are not far away from the graveyard ourselves. We know not the day nor the hour.

We weep over the graves of infants and the little ones taken from us by death; but an early grave may be the shortest way to heaven.          Tryon Edwards

Athea Tidy Towns

Damien Ahern

We received some good news this week from Limerick City & County Council. They have chosen our Town and Village renewal project proposal to go ahead to the department to be assessed for funding. It is not guaranteed that the funding will be granted, but it is a step in the right direction. Our project proposal involves the sandblasting and repainting of the Footbridge and the upgrade/painting of some vacant houses in the village. Fingers crossed.

Our hanging baskets in the village have never looked better. We are now claiming to have the best baskets in Ireland – we are yet to be challenged on this! Many thanks to all who help care for them.

Work on replacing the fence at the Graveyard is set to commence in the coming weeks. A recycled plastic fence will be erected here which will be completely maintenance free. This project will be funded by a grant from Limerick City & County Council with the shortfall of funding made up by the Athea Graveyard Fund. This is a joint project with Athea Community Council. 

Following review of our heritage trail, it has come to our attention that the water pumps in the village should be included. Both of these pumps still survive – one in front of the Butchers and one on the Abbeyfeale Road. These pumps were installed in 1935, with water coming down from Matthews’ Mountain. Indeed an important time in Athea’s history that should also be remembered. All going well, we hope to start printing the leaflets this week.

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Sports – 30/07/2020

Athea G.A.A.

Damien Ahern

Our Junior Ladies Team played their first game of the championship on Sunday last in Monaleen against a strong Groody Gaels side. Athea led for much of the first half with Groody Gaels gradually building up their scores to finish with a draw – 2.10 to 2.10. The next day out for the ladies will be on August 30th against Ahane which will be played in Athea. Many thanks to all who travelled to Monaleen on Sunday last to support our ladies.

Tickets are now for sale for our Club Development Draw 2020. Tickets are priced at just €50 which covers entry into all 5 draws. Tickets can be purchased online through clubforce by following the link – Tickets can also be purchased by contacting any of the following sellers; Kevin O’Keeffe, Roger Ryan, Paul Curry, Matthew Tierney, Neddie Hunt, Pat O’Sullivan, Mossie Ahern, Gerard Ahern, John Hunt, Ger Collins, Liz O’Sullivan, Dan McMahon, Martin Chawke, Podge Reidy, Mark Reidy, Oliver McGrath, Ned Mahony, Majella Dalton, Declan Dalton, Pa Ahern, Kathleen Mullane or Timmy Enright. Tickets also available to purchase at Athea & District Credit Union. Many thanks to everyone for your continued support, allowing us to continue to invest in our facilities at Pairc na nGael. 

Our July Newsletter continues to be available in local outlets. Make sure to pick up your free copy before they’re gone! Alternatively, you can email [email protected] to receive a copy by email. 

Our next project is to kit out our dugouts with seating. We are currently looking into options – preferably long lasting and maintenance free. The improvements continue. 

Under 14:

Our U14 footballers had their first game since the lockdown on Monday night last against Monagea in Athea. The boys played very well, dominating throughout the game, and kicking many fine scores.

Team: Tomás Ahern, Ciarán Hunt, Tadhg Ahern, Jack Sexton, Calum Buckley, Peter Coolahan, Evan Curry, James Hunt, Alex Quinn, Rory Cleary, Louis O’Sullivan, Timmy O’Keeffe and Jim Ahern.

Best of luck to Micháel Dalton and T.J. Hunt who are on the Templeglantine U21 Hurling panel who have qualified for the county U21B Hurling semi-final.

Under 12:

The U12 footballers played Shannon Gaels in a challenge match last Saturday, in which they played very well especially in the first half.

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 Kathleen’s Corner – 30/07/2020

by Kathleen Mullane

Wasn’t it great to have the Athea Parish Newsletter back on the shelves for the first time since March last week. Hopefully now that as many as possible will buy it each week thus enabling  it to be printed, it’s especially welcomed by the elderly and those who don’t have Internet etc and keeps everyone in touch with what is going on in our parish and beyond.

The collection for our parish clerk Carol O’Connor will take place on the weekend of August 15th/16th, envelopes will be available at the church doors this weekend, or you can use your own and put your name on it. Now we all know the immense amount of work Carol has done in recent times especially during the Covid, opening and closing the church, doing the altar, arranging flowers every week, taking mass bookings and a lot more, so we all need to show our continued appreciation.

Tuesday  evening’s mass has been cancelled  for the time being, as now there’s Saturday evening mass at the usual time of 7.30pm. Therefore all masses now are at the weekend Thursday and Sunday mornings at 10.30am and Friday and Saturday evenings at 7.30pm. Any day will cover you for Sunday. 

Well today (Sunday) we took a drive to Ballybunion, and thankfully it’s great to see a buzz around the place, with people queuing outside restaurants and shops etc. They need the business moreover now having been closed all along, and their season is so short anyway. If you haven’t taken  a trip out to Bromore Cliffs just outside the town on the Doon road it’s well worth the visit. For €5 at the gate you get to walk around the Cliffs and view the breathtaking scenery, and if you are lucky you may get to see the dolphins swimming and the seals who live in the caves. Tim Flahive, the farmer who owns the area of land, gave us a low down on the walk and told us the funny story of the fox that tried to eat all his hens and the job he had to catch him eventually getting stuck in an outhouse chimney and photos to prove it.

It’s  great to have such scenery so near us with tourists raving about it. And with just a few weeks left of the extended school holidays  it’s as well to make the most of it before getting back to our daily routine  of watching the clock etc for schools. 

Thought for the week —gratitude is the best attitude.

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