This week we have contributions from Athea Tidy Towns (Damien Ahern), Knockanure Notes (Jer Kennelly), By Carrig Side (Tom Aherne), Abbeyfeale Notes (Marian Harnett), Knockdown News (Peg Prendeville), Kathleen’s Corner (Kathleen Mullane), Sports including G.A.A and Athea Golf Society and News and views from Domhnall de Barra.

St Bartholomew’s Church Athea

                                                                 Athea Confirmation Day 15/08/2020

Mass Times:

Sunday & Thursday mornings at 10.30am

Friday & Saturday evenings at 7.30pm


Sat 22nd Aug –        Tom O’Keeffe 

Sun 23rd Aug –      Margaret Cotter

Mass Intentions:

Thurs 20th Aug:     Mary Stack .

Sun 23rd Aug:         Eileen Tierney. Ned & Delia  Langan.

Collections: August 15th & 16th  €1230.00

Confirmation – The first of three confirmation sacraments in the parish took place last Saturday morning Aug 15th. It was a lovely ceremony, small and personal. The children were well prepared and a credit to their families and their school.

Each child participated in the ceremony and a special word of thanks to the children and their parents. Thirteen children were confirmed by Fr. Brendan Duggan and the mass was concelebrated by Canon Tony Mullins. The second confirmation day will take place this coming Saturday Aug. 22nd at 11am. May God bless all the children as they start back to a new school year very shortly.

Flowers – Many gardens are currently in bloom with wonderful colours of flowers, if you would like to donate some flowers to the church please contact Carol (Sacristan).

Church Seating Arrangements – Every second seat has been sealed off and this is to adhere to regulations under current Covid 19 guidelines. Two people can sit in the centre aisle seats – one at either end, and three people can sit in the side aisle seats. Families/those in the same household can sit together in the one seat.

Please sanitise your hands upon entering and leaving the church.

Communion Arrangements – We would ask people to remain seated until directed to come forward by the stewards. Within each aisle we administer communion to each section separately in row order starting at the front working towards the back. The Euchartistic Minister will bring communion outside to those who may be listening to the outside speakers.

Once again we thank you sincerely for your patience and understanding.

Fr. Brendan Duggan – Contact details 087-2600414

Means of Communication

to Donal Woulfe, Cratloe, and his bride Carmel O’Connell on their Wedding day in Gougánbarra Church
on Thursday last.

by Domhnall de Barra

One of the first things we learned to do at school was the art of writing. We struggled with our pencils trying to imitate what the teacher had drawn on the blackboard, keeping our strokes within the guidelines. My first teacher, Mrs. Collins, who not only taught all my family but all my mother’s family as well, had s great method of making it easier for us by making the numbers we were trying to draw relevant to familiar objects. The number 1 was described as a stick, the number 2 as a walking cane with a line back and so on. We continued on to letters and eventually were able to put words together. Writing was very important because it was the only means of distant communication for most people at the time. In the 1940s there was very little employment, outside of farm work, in rural Ireland so most of the young population emigrated mainly to the UK and America but others  went to countries all over the world. I can only imagine what it was like for those early emigrants, arriving on foreign shores without a clue as to what was going to happen to them. In some countries there was even a language barrier but that did not deter them. They did not get the best of jobs to start with but gradually they worked their way up and made good lives for themselves in their new surroundings. There was no such thing as holidays and even if there was, there is no way they could have afforded to come home so writing letters was the only way to keep in touch with the families they had left behind.

As soon as they found accommodation, they put pen to paper and sent on their addresses to those at home. When they got on their feet they always put a bit of money in the envelope to help with the rest of the family. Those letters, and the occasional parcel, were eagerly looked forward to and we kept an eye out for the postman when one was expected. I remember well watching our postman, Jack Mahony from Knocknasna, coming up the road with his basked in front of the bike laden with parcels. There was great disappointment when he turned at Cusack’s and freewheeled away down the road. Eventually the letter or parcel would come and it was like Christmas all over again. The letters brought us news of strange places and wonderful things, things we could only dream of. Those letters were a vital link between those away and the ones at home. There were those, of course, who went away and never wrote home. Some of them were unable to write having skipped most of the days at school or had left after a bitter argument and wanted no more to do with the family. That was sad, especially when they got older and had no one to care for them.

The writing of letters followed certain rules. You always started by asking the recipients how they were and explaining that you and yours were in good health, or not as the case may have been. The body of the letter contained whatever message  you need to convey and the end contained more good wishes and loving phrases.  This is how we were taught to do it and was the only way we knew how. Though the grammar and spelling wasn’t always the best, nobody noticed or minded; it was just great to hear from them. On the other hand some people were very good writers whose handwriting was exemplary. Mairéad McGrath R.I.P. who wrote many articles for the Parish Journal, had beautiful handwriting. Another man who has mastered is Tom O’Keeffe. As for myself, I can hardly read my own scrawl.  When I was in secondary school, the headmaster, Jim Kelly, said of my writing; “I hope you have leanings towards the medical profession, Mr. Barry, because that is the only place your writing will be understood”!!

 The advent of the telephone brought better communication because now we could hear each other talking and were able to ask questions there and then. The only trouble was the scarcity of telephones for many years and the high cost of international calls. Back in the 1970s, when I took up a job as a national organiser for Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann, I needed a phone for work but there was a long waiting list. Even though the President of Comhaltas at the time was also a member of the Senate and was championing my cause, I had to wait nearly three years to be connected. It was only when Albert Reynolds got the ministry that he did a big upgrade and got telephones for anybody who wanted them. It also became less expensive and opened up another avenue for those abroad.

Fast forward to today and the sky is the limit. We can converse with anyone in the world and see them on our screens at the same time. We take it very much for granted but when you think about how far we have come in such a short space of time, it is mind boggling


More Limericks

There was a young man from Athea

Who went out riding one day

While passing Derreen

A fair maiden he’d seen

She’s expecting a baby in May! 



There was a young man from Athea

Who insisted on walking each day

The climb up Tooradoo

Only gave him the flu

So in Cratloe he now plans to stay!



Comhaltas Ceoltóirí  Éireann


During these rather difficult times arising from COVID-19 many people are reverting more and more to television and online media like Facebook and Instagram to find entertainment as live music performances have stopped. There has been a remarkable growth in the practice of musicians, singers and dancers uploading their home recordings to social media platforms.

Comhaltas has been very fortunate this year in having access to national TV especially TG4 in hosting FLEADH2020 and an upcoming series beginning on Sun in having a look back at Fleadh na hÉireann from 1995 to 2000.

Apart from social media and TV we are also extremely fortunate to have our very own platform in COMHALTASLIVE  hosted on . We are indebted to the continued work of WILLIE FOGARTY in making this happen over several years. Willie has been recording our musicians without any fuss at every Fleadh and festival including several Conventions in North America since he first purchased a camera in 1989, over 30 years. He has established an amazing archive of quality performances.

Perhaps what is needed in these times is to get the message out there that traditional Irish content of an extremely high standard is available at our fingertips and because of the popularity of other platforms like Facebook these clips might be forgotten. Willie has laboured week in week out to post these clips for our entertainment and as members I feel we need to spread the word among our membership..

So, I would very much appreciate your assistance in spreading the word and even re-posting some clips and sharing on Facebook and among your cohort of friends.