This week we have news from Abbeyfeale, Knockanure, Carrigkerry/Ardagh and Knockdown along with Kathleen’s Corner and Sports featuring GAA results. Don’t know how long we will be able to keep going, the way things are at the moment, but we live in hope !

St Bartholomew’s Church Athea

Mass Times:

Confirmation at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea, on Saturday last

Sunday & Thursday mornings at 10.30am

Friday & Saturday evenings at 7.30pm


Sat 5th Sept – Caroline Pierce

Sun 6th Sept – Mairead O’Donovan

  Eucharistic Ministers:

Sat 5th Sept –  Betty Ahern

Sat 6th Sept –  Mary Dalton

Mass Intentions this week:

Sun Sept 6th – Nellie Ahern (months mind). Peggie Barrett.  Thurs Sept 10th – James Smith & Molly & Seamus. Fri Sept 11th – Jim O’Sullivan and his sisters Maureen Keane & Nan O’Sullivan. Sat Sept 12th – Patrick Hayes. Bill & Mary Hayes. Tom & Michael Hayes. Tommy Danaher.

Collections: August 29th & 30th   €1135.00

Confirmation – The third and final of our confirmation sacraments in the parish took place last Saturday morning Aug 29nd. Again it was a lovely ceremony, small and personal. The children were well prepared and a great 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. Twelve children were confirmed by Fr. Brendan Duggan.

On next Saturday Sept 5th we will have the sacrament of First Holy Communion when fifteen children will receive the sacrament. May God bless all the children as they start back to a new school year.

Appreciation – Fr Duggan and the Pastoral Council wish to sincerely thank Carol O’Connor as she steps down from the sacristan role, for her commitment and service to our parish and church over the past four years.

Church Opening Hours

– Due to the recent increase in the COVID 19 Virus the church will only be open

during mass times for the next few weeks – we are taking this measure on health & safety grounds to protect each other.

Please always remember to sanitize your hands upon entering and leaving the church. Once again we thank you sincerely for your patience and understanding.

Fr. Brendan Duggan – Contact details 087-2600414

That Time of Year

by Domhnall de Barra

I have had mixed reaction on my piece in last week’s issue  regarding the “golfgate” scandal and the subsequent fall-out. Some of you disagreed with me on my apparent leniency towards those who attended the dinner while others thought it was blown up out of all proportion. Just to be clear, I do not condone what went on and those prominent public figures should have had more sense than to do what they did. I do not, however think that they went out to deliberately flout the laws of the land, which they did not do, but they did not abide by the guidelines that we all must adhere to. Yes, they should be brought to account and maybe it would have been better to give them a hefty fine leaving them to get on with their livelihoods and using the money collected for good causes. Contrast what happened here with what happened a few days ago in America. Donald Trump, the most prominent leader in the free world, deliberately flouted all his own government’s guidelines by packing 1,500 people into the south lawn of the White House for his speech accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency. There was no attempt at social distancing, no mask wearing or any signs of measures to avoid the spread of the Corona virus. There was hardly a murmur about it while our miscreants, on this side of the ocean, are expected to fall on their swords immediately. All I am saying is; let the punishment fit the crime.

We are into September and the Summer is officially over. It was not a good season apart from a couple of weeks in early June with August bringing some of the worst wind and rain we have seen for years. The weather is definitely worse now than it used to be  when I was growing up. Yes, we had storms and rain but there were more prolonged periods of dry weather, especially in July and August. Remember that, in those days, all the farm work was done by hand with the aid of horse-drawn machinery. Silage hadn’t been invented so the hay had to be saved. This involved having three or four very good days from the time it was mown to the time it was piked into cocks.  It had to be done one meadow at the time so a lot of fine weather was needed and we got it most years. There was the odd  summer when the weather did not oblige but they were few and far between. I would hate to be trying to farm in that manner nowadays, especially during July and August. September was a very important month in this neck of the woods. It was the time for digging the spuds and storing them in pits for the winter and also the time when the farmers took their yearly holidays in Ballybunion. When all the work was done they gathered enough food for the week and went to one of the boarding houses that catered for them in a special way. They were allowed to bring their own spuds, bacon, eggs, cabbage and other vegetables thereby cutting down the cost of staying for the week. They relaxed for a few days after working hard all the year and most of them had seaweed baths. For years I hated the idea of going into a bath with oily seaweed but Noreen kept coaxing me and eventually I gave in. Despite my preconception it turned out to be one of the nicest experiences of my life and I now go regularly. The silky feel of the seaweed oil on the skin is soothing and I come out feeling refreshed and vibrant. So, the farmers looked forward to September, the seaweed baths, the walks on the shore and the odd dip in the water, if the weather wasn’t too cold. At night the men would gather for a pint or two in one of the local hostelries and they came home ready to face the winter. September was also the month of the Listowel Races. People who knew less than nothing about racehorses flocked to the town for the three days of racing, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and then the horse fair on the Friday. There was a real carnival atmosphere in the town for the festival and we all longed to be there. Picking blackberries was a great way of getting the few shillings together to fund the annual outing so, as youngsters, we could be found at this time of the year, scouring the hedgerows  for the little black fruits that stained both our fingers and tongues (you couldn’t pick blackberries without tasting a few, could you”). Then of course September was the month for picking apples. There was an orchard attached to most farms and the apples were divided into those for cooking, the green ones, and those for eating, the red ones. “Robbing” orchards was a great pastime on the way home from school. We climbed stealthily over ditches, our young hearts pumping with trepidation in case we got caught, and hastily picked a couple of apples before legging it. It was more of a challenge than anything else and I am sure the farmers knew we were doing it anyway and turned a blind eye.

September was the month of the All-Ireland finals in Croke Park. There was great excitement when either Limerick or Kerry appeared. Alas Limerick’s appearances were few and far between but Kerry were never out of the limelight for too long.  Televisions didn’t make an appearance until the 1960s and radios were scarce before that so it wasn’t uncommon to see a group of people gathered outside the open door of a house listening to the final on what might have been the only radio in the locality.

This September we will have no finals to look forward to, Listowel races behind closed doors with no festival in the town and hedgerows full of blackberries that nobody wants to pick. How times have changed.