This week we have contributions from Jer Kennelly (Knockanure Notes), Peg Prendeville (Knockdown News), Marian Harnett (Abbeyfeale Notes), Kathleen Mullane (Kathleen’s Corner), Tom Aherne (By Carrig Side) and Athea GAA (Sports). 

Included in this section is an article by Johnny Quaid and Athea Tidy Towns notes by Damien Ahern

A view of Fr. Duggan saying Mass in Athea on the new Web Cam

St Bartholomew’s Church Athea

Goes Live 

A permanent web camera has recently been installed in St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea allowing services to be streamed live all over the world. The picture and sound is of high quality and we are extending the invitation to all to join us for mass online. The webcam can be accessed by following the link – 

https://www.churchservices.tv/athea.

Athea is one of nine parishes in the County who have signed up for live streaming, joining Abbeyfeale in West Limerick. 

 

Ar Ais Arís

Domhnall  de Barra

It is great to be back again with the weekly newsletter. Since the lock-down we have kept it going online but I know that there are several of you who prefer to get the hard copy, especially those of you who do the crossword on a weekly basis. The price has risen to €2 because the cost of production (ink, paper etc.) increased a lot since last year what with Brexit and other factors. We would love to have it free but my pockets are not deep enough and advertising has been cut back due to the Covid pandemic. As long as it breaks even I will be satisfied. A limited edition will be available online at Athea.ie especially for all the Athea people living away from home. Please let me know if you are getting it and any changes you might like to suggest.

A sincere thank you to all our correspondents who sent in copy every week during the lock down. It can’t have been easy to find news every week but you did it and kept us all abreast of what was happening, not only in Athea but, in Abbeyfeale, Knockanure, Moyvane, Knockdown, Ardagh and Carrigkerry. An amount of work goes into compiling notes on a weekly basis so we are indebted to all of you.

New words appear in the English language as time goes on. Some of them I don’t mind or couldn’t care less about but the latest one to get under my skin is “staycation”.  I suppose it means a stay at home vacation.  When did we start having a “vacation”.  It is an American term for what we call holiday and of course there are those amongst us who try to ape everything they do and say on that side of the Atlantic. It can ne heard every day, especially on Irish chat shows, where the salute is “hey” and people are all “guys”. It shows the power of TV and also a kind of inferiority complex that I thought had been educated out of our population. The saying goes “life ain’t worth a damn ‘till I can say I am what I am”. There is nothing wrong with our own native accents as long as we annunciate and pronunciate properly. The purpose of language is to be understood so, please, have a bit of backbone and forget about imitating other nations.

I was thinking the other day about how strange current times are. If you wrote a book a couple of years ago saying that in 2020 the world would be brought to its knees by a pandemic, that a bumbling, scruffy-haired prime minister would take Britain out of the European Union, that a lying, cheating, womanising bully, without any diplomatic or political skills who can barely string a few words together, would be the President of the USA and that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael would bury the hatchet and go into government together, you would be laughed out of every publisher’s office. There is no doubt that “life is stranger than fiction” and “there’s nowt as queer as folk”.

The new webcam in Athea Church gives a very good picture that can be enjoyed by people all over the world. I know, from living abroad myself, how important it is to keep the links with home so to be able to share in what was always one of the biggest events of the week is a treat for many. It is also a great boon to those who are not able to physically attend the church. Maybe some older people might need a little help in tuning in to the Mass so please look out for your neighbours and make sure they get online. I don’t know if there are any out there who haven’t got the use of a PC, tablet or other device but, if there are, something should be done to help them. Maybe a scheme could be set up to provide tablets to the deserving in our community. I leave it with you.

Passing the GAA pitch on my way from golf last Sunday, I was delighted to see all the young people playing football and hurling. For too long they have been deprived of exercise that is so necessary for their development. As long as they are properly monitored there is no fear of them out in the fresh air. We do not appreciate how much time and effort is put into organisations like the GAA and the Soccer Club etc   They do a fantastic job on our behalf.  Long may they continue. I leave you with a saying by P.T. Barnum

“The foundation of success in life is good health: that is the substratum fortune; it is also the basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick”  

Going forward – A thought to bear in mind

By Johnny Quaid

We are all aware of the situations that arose at the first stages of COVID19 in this country regarding the government’s stance. The packed pubs in Temple Bar in Dublin city, the beaches mobbed even though we knew a virus was in our communities, the Italy v Ireland rugby match due to be played that was eventually cancelled but flocks of Italian supporters were still let in to the country and of course the Cheltenham races debacle.

We have many reasons to be angry and bitter towards our leaders and you have a right to be, no more so than a family that lost a loved one due to the corona virus. However, we must not let this anger and frustration move forward with us as we are coming to the end of the lockdown. The so called “new normal” will be difficult enough to manoeuvre besides having that extra baggage of bitter emotions going with it.

We can only hope that we, as a country, can learn from our mistakes, because we did make them, and be critical enough that we are well equipped, physically and mentally, to be able for any situation similar to this arising in the future.

We can be sucked into a certain way of thinking about our approach to the pandemic. Negative, angry, resentful. We might not even realise we are in the middle of it until it is too late and your head is spinning, lying awake at night looking at the ceiling, stressed to the max. We can go the other way. Thankfully we were not affected directly by the virus, our family and loved ones are safe and if your job is safe, incredibly positive outcome.

If you are to question the government or the local councillor/TD and expressing your dissatisfaction about the entire process, is understandable and quite frankly should be done. Like any business or corporation, people should be held accountable for the areas we could have done better.

“Positive Anything Is Better Than Negative Nothing”.    – Elbert Hubbard

 

Athea Tidy Towns

Damien Ahern

A warm welcome back to all the readers of the Athea & District Newsletter and a special welcome back to Danny and Lillian who have resumed the weekly publication. The newsletter allows us to interact with the Athea Community and keep everyone up to date on our projects. There is no doubt in saying that much of our publicity work is now carried out online, but we must remember that there is a large proportion of our community who are not on social media, we have a responsibility to keep these residents informed also. We would encourage everyone to continue to purchase the newsletter to ensure its survival.

Although there is no National Tidy Towns Competition this year, our group are continuing to work away as normal by erecting flowers, progressing projects and thinking ahead to next year’s competition. Our flowers were erected in late May and are looking magnificent at the moment thanks to ideal weather conditions with a mix of damp/warm weather. Timmy Kelly has also been busy constructing a mobile watering unit on wheels complete with a pump which will make watering the flowers easier and safer for everyone. Huge thanks to Timmy for working on this over the last few weeks. We are currently looking for a name for the Watering Unit, the most popular name so far is ‘Daisy’!

Rachael Grainger has also been busy adding the final touches to the Heritage Trail leaflets and street sign board. We have also produced a Kids Activity Booklet to accompany the heritage trail featuring a Heritage Trail Quiz (encouraging parents & children to visit each point), colouring page, ‘How to Draw Athea’s Giant’ Page, spot the difference, word search etc. It is hoped to distribute these booklets in the coming weeks.

Many hours of work have also been spent at the Glin Road on our Riverwalk Project. The laying of the concrete path is now complete as well as the planting of a community orchard.  Two small picnic areas are also being prepared. We have also ordered the construction of an Arch which will be a welcome addition to the walkway and would be a lovely backdrop for Wedding Photographs with the Athea countryside providing the perfect backdrop.  Many thanks to everyone who has volunteered their time and skills on developing this project under the watchful eye of project leader – Colin Mumbray. We would also like to portray our thanks to Tim & Margaret Scanlon for their kind donation towards this project.

John Scanlon and Thady Hunt celebrating their birthdays with Athea Tidy Towns 

We held our first socially distant meeting on Wednesday last at Con Colbert Hall, the first meeting since early March. It was a good opportunity to meet up and discuss plans for the coming months. It also allowed us the opportunity to mark the birthdays of two valued members of our team. Birthday wishes to Thady Hunt & John Scanlon.

In a year where our annual church gate collection is no longer an option, we have been forced to think outside the box with regard to fundraising. We made the conscious decision to continue to erect our flowers to bring some much needed colour and joy to the street. We have also invested in our River Walk project which has greatly reduced our finances. For the month of September, we plan to place collection boxes in all establishments in the village seeking donations towards the upkeep of the village. The Athea community have always been 100% behind us, we are confident that this year will be no exception. More details to follow.