This week, Athea Community Council Ltd. has resumed the weekly “Lucky Numbers” lottery. Because of the pandemic we are in a very different situation to when we last did the draw. There are now fewer people in pubs and all the bingo halls are closed. We used to sell a lot of tickets in places like Pallas Foods but now most of them are working from home so we are appealing to anyone who could sell few to family and friends to give us a hand. There is also the option of monthly, half-yearly and yearly tickets as outlined via the link below or contact [email protected]

Lotto vouchers



Well done to our U8’s and U10’s who played so well against Fr.
Casey’s on
Sunday morning last.

Well done to our U8’s and U10’s who played so well against Fr. Casey’s on Sunday morning last.

Cake Sale in aid of Ronald McDonald House

A year on from the incredibly successful “Athea runs Faster in Stripes Fundraiser”, a cake sale in aid of Ronald McDonald house will take place at Athea GAA grounds on Friday 2nd October from 9.30am to 12pm. A range of delicious treats will be for sale and there will be complimentary takeaway tea and coffee.

Public health measures in relation to social distancing will be applied in full.

Donations can be given at Collins shop and O’Riordans Pharmacy throughout the weekend for those who are unable to attend the cake sale but would like to contribute.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

St Bartholomew’s Church Athea

Mass Times:

Sunday & Thursday mornings at 10.30am

Friday & Saturday evenings at 7.30pm


Sat 3rd Oct – Tom O’Keeffe

Sun 4th Oct – Yvonne Roche

         Eucharistic Ministers:

Sat 3rd Oct –  Mary O’Donoghue

Sun 4th Oct – Yvonne Roche / Mary Hunt

         Mass Intentions this week:

Saturday Oct 3rd

Tom & Mary O’ Halloran


Sept 26th /27th  €905.00

Harvest Dues:  The Harvest Dues (which form part of the priests income) will be taken up this week and next, the envelopes which are in your box can be handed in at any mass over the weekend and if you are not back attending mass yet and use our webcam services you can also drop your envelopes in to Fr Duggan at the parish house. This year has been unusual as due to Covid 19 Fr Duggan did not get to have a Lenten or Easter dues collection, therefore your kind generosity is greatly appreciated.  We are very lucky to have Fr Duggan in our midst as some parishes around do not have a resident priest and are not having their priest replaced when he retires.

Milford Hospice:  The annual coffee morning is the main fundraiser for Milford Hospice, however this year due to Covid 19 it cannot take place – local ladies Ann O’Keeffe & Peggy Casey usually organise this – so this year instead donations may be given to Ann or Peggy, O’Riordan Pharmacy or Collins Shop. All donations greatly appreciated.

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. If you need to book an Anniversary mass, a wedding date, a baptism date or get a mass card signed please contact Fr Brendan on 087-2600414 or Siobhan on 087-2237858.

Please always remember to sanitise your hands upon entering and leaving the church.

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

Living with the Animals

by Domhnall de Barra

There was a time, not so long ago, when our part of rural Ireland was inhabited by two types of people; those who had land and those who did manual labour for a living. Some of the labourers were skilled in their chosen professions such as stone masons, carpenters, plasterers etc. but the majority earned their living working for local farmers or being employed on the roads by the county council. The council also provided accommodation to labourers. If they could provide an acre of land, the county council would build a cottage on that site. There were also a handful of professional people such as teachers, doctors, lawyers, who built their own houses but most of them lived in the towns and villages. The proviso that the site of a cottage was at least an acre in size was important because it provided enough land to keep a cow and have a garden  to supply vegetables for the household. In those days , living with animals was the norm. The majority of homes had a cow that provided milk every day and a calf once a year. This calf would be sold at the market in the local town and provided  a  bit of revenue for the essentials that had to be bought in the local shops. During the months when the cow was providing milk, the excess that was not needed for the house was sent to the creamery.  The cheque came in once a month and, though it was small, it was a necessary source of income at a time when there wasn’t much money about. Most people kept a pig or pigs. The custom was to raise a few bonhams, keep one for slaughter to provide meat for the family and sell the others when they had grown sufficiently. A sow might also be kept  and it was not uncommon for that sow to be brought into the kitchen when she was close to farrowing. It is hard to imagine now but a bed of straw or rushes was made for the animal under the window and the household had to live with the  smells that ensued.. If the sow was farrowing for the first time she had to be watched carefully because she might eat the bonhams as they were born. Sometimes the litter would be too big and there wouldn’t be any teat for the weakest to suckle on so these were given away to be reared on a bottle. They were known as “pet” bonhams and were usually kept in a tea chest by the fire. They had a peculiar screech that was high pitched and very loud. My wife Noreen told me about a time when they had a pet bonham in the house. With her sisters, she used to go dancing on Sunday nights and on Monday morning their mother Nell would ask them what time they got home the night before. One of them might be doing a bit of courting so it could be quite late but they always said they were home at a reasonable hour. That all changed with the arrival of the bonham. No sooner had they opened the door to creep in than the bonham started screeching, waking everyone in the house. They were caught!!

The yard was also filled with fowl; hens, ducks, geese, guinea hens and, later on, turkeys. Before the advent of the turkey, the goose was the preferred meat for Christmas dinner. A gaggle would be fattened up in time for the Christmas market  and sold, again to make a few bob. It wasn’t unknown for some people to feed them castor oil to swell them up just before the market so that they would look fatter than they really were. The hens provided the eggs and also food when they were past their laying stage. Day old chicks would be bought and reared. They started off their lives in the kitchen as well until they were big enough to look after themselves. There were always cats and dogs about the place to keep down the rats and mice who were never far away. Many homes also had a greyhound. It was the custom at the time to go “hunting” on a Sunday afternoon up the local mountainy land. If they happened to kill a hare or a rabbit there would be a feast of meat and soup that evening. The air was also full of creatures. A  great variety of birds lived in the trees and hedgerows. I remember the field across the road from our cottage being full of plovers or “pilibíns” as we used to call them.  Alas they are no more. Grouse and snipe were also plentiful as was the corncrake, the pheasant, the woodcock and the cuckoo. The ditches were home to rabbits and stoats and there was always a fox in the locality ready to raid the henhouse. In the summer the air was full of flying insects; butterflies, bumble bees, wasps, dragonflies, daddy-long-legs, horseflies and many more I haven’t a name for.  Spiders were everywhere spinning their webs wherever they could to catch the flies that were there in abundance. Many of these  creatures made their way indoors because doors and windows were left open all the time. The half-door might be closed to keep out some of them  but we learned to live with all this wild life around us. Black beetles that we called “clogs” would come in with the turf that was left by the fire. One of them might make an appearance when we were on our knees saying the rosary. We used to have bets as to which way the clog would turn and there was much mirth until my mother noticed and we got a smack that brought us back to our prayers.. The biggest nuisances of all were the midges and the bees. By bees I mean the common house fly that invaded every home at the time. An essential piece of equipment was the fly paper. This was a strip about 2 inches wide by over a foot long that hung from the lamp shade or in the window. It was coated with a very sticky substance on both sides that made prisoners of the flies as soon as they landed on it and after a while it would be coated with bodies on both sides. The midge only appeared in certain weather conditions but it was no joke when they attacked us in the bog or the meadow.

Living with the animals was normal for us at that time. I have noticed a change this year with hardly any bumble bees or wasps to be seen and also less midges. It is sad to see the decline in the wasp and bee population because they do a very important job for the flowers and plants. People have an unnatural fear of wasps and getting stung by them. The immediate reaction, if a wasp comes into the house, is to roll up a newspaper and kill it. I wait until they come to rest on a window pane and trap them underneath a glass tumbler. I then cover the glass with a card and take the wasp outside to be released back into the wild. Wasps don’t want to sting us, they only do so if they are under threat. The animals and insects are a vital part of our world and we should let them be as much as possible. There is room for us all and I really don’t want to be part of the generation that changed the balance in the animal world.