Athea U12 football team from late 90s – Who can name them all ??

 Athea GAA 

Our Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday 20th December 2020 at 7.30pm by MS Teams. Nomination papers and Club Motion forms have now been e-mailed to all registered members. Club Nominations and Motions should be emailed to [email protected]  by Wednesday December 2nd.

Our next Club Draw is due to take place on Saturday December 5th outdoors. The draw will be streamed live on facebook for anyone who would like to tune in!

Ballyhahill NS Parents


Our annual school raffle is coming up. Lots of

great prizes are up for grabs so we would very much appreciate any lines bought. €2 a line and cards are in all local shops and with all school kids also. Thanks.

Graveyard Collection

We will be unable to hold the Graveyard Collection as usual but we will distribute envelopes to everyone in the parish in the coming weeks.

More on this at a later date.

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea

Mass Intentions next weekend

Saturday Dec 5th 7.30pm              Ellen Tierney

Sunday Dec 6th 10.30am               Patrick & Julia Kelly.

Nora McCoy (1st Anniversary)

Church opening for Parishioners to attend Mass

The Church will resume Mass with parishioners present from next Friday evening Dec 4th at 7.30pm. We look forward to welcoming you back to Mass again. Please note that Sunday Mass time will revert back to 10.30am from this weekend onwards.

The obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended. While people are welcome to attend, we suggest that attendance at Mass once a week is sufficient. Any person who is unwell, carrying an underlying health condition should only attend if necessary.

Numbers allowed in the church are restricted and social distancing applies. People attending Mass must wear a face mask, sanitise their hands both entering and leaving the church. We ask for your co-operation in following the guidance of the stewards at all times. During communion we ask people to remain seated until directed to come forward by the stewards. Finally, we advise parishioners who plan to attend Mass to wrap up well, as some windows will have to be opened during mass to allow for ventilation.

Fr Duggan will return to the parish on Thursday next. We look forward to welcoming him back. We also wish to thank Canon Tony Mullins and Fr Dan Lane who looked after our spiritual needs in his absence during the lockdown.

All Masses are live streamed on the Church Service TV network via the following link and broadcast on the parish radio system. You may also listen to the mass in the church carpark area via the outside speaker system.

The church is open daily from 9.30am – 1.30pm.

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

The Importance of the Common Bike

By Domhnall de Barra

I mentioned last week that I went to secondary school  in Abbeyeale on an old girl’s bicycle, probably left behind by one of my aunts when she left Cratloe. It got me thinking about the bicycle and the important role it played in the development of this country. At that time there was very little transport in rural Ireland. After the second world war you might find a  few motor cars in any parish, usually owned by the local doctor, parish priest or teacher. The average family couldn’t dream of affording one at the time as poverty was widespread and employment was scarce. Roads, apart from the main thoroughfares, were not tarred as they are today and the going, to say the least, was rough. People walked to the nearest towns and villages to do shopping or attend religious services. The better off used  horse and donkey cars (we never used the term “cart”) . The advent of the bicycle brought a kind of freedom to the ordinary public. There were two main bicycle manufacturers, Raleigh and Rudge, and they came in  two different frames, one suitable for women and the other for men. Apart from size, the main difference between them was a cross bar on the man’s bike while the women’s variety made it easier to mount the bike without having to lift the leg too high!  At first they were very basic but gradually they came with accessories such as; carriers over the back wheel or a basket on the front  and  a light. The normal light was the “flash lamp” which was operated by a battery that had to be replaced every so often but there was also a light powered by a dynamo that was attached to the back of the bike near the tyre. The top of the dynamo had a little wheel that turned when it was touching the tyre on  the moving wheel and the light was very powerful when going fast. The problem was that there was no light when the bike wasn’t moving. It was great to get any kind of a bike but even if we couldn’t afford one, our friends would give us a lift on the cross bar or on the carrier. It wasn’t uncommon  to see a cyclist with two passengers, one on the crossbar and one on the carrier. The bike brought great scope for travel. It was now possible to attend a football or hurling match in the next parish or cycle a few miles to meet a girlfriend or boyfriend. Cinemas and dance halls would have rows of bikes along the walls outside and there was great fun on the way home late at night. Postmen had special bikes with large carriers to bring the parcels from America and the letters from all those who had to emigrate at the time. In the cities, delivery boys also had a specially designed bike to accommodate all the goods they needed to carry. The bike enabled students to attend secondary schools around the country. As I outlined last week, many travelled well over 10 miles each way. It would not have been possible without the bike. Because the roads were so rough at the time it was necessary to have a good pump and a puncture repair kit at the ready as punctures happened fairly frequently. Every bike owner had to learn to fix a puncture with the minimum of equipment. Two forks were necessary to lift the tyre off the rim, using the handles as levers,  so that the inner tube could be pulled out and examined for holes. At times it was necessary to dip the tube in water where a small hole could be detected by  air bubbles. Once located, the area around the puncture was cleaned, dried and a patch put over it with the help of a  solution that set quickly. As time went on we advanced to the “ 3 speed gear” which made it easier to cycle up steep hills.  At that time, cycling clubs from England would come to Ireland and cycle around the country in the summertime. For some reason we referred to them as “hikers”, maybe it was a variation of  the word “bikers”  but they stood out for two reasons; their clothes and the type of bicycles they had. They had cycling costumes that seemed skimpy to us and their bikes were totally different. They were much slimmer with gears on the back wheels, narrow saddles and the handlebars were turned down. We all wanted to get a “hiker’s bike” but, even if they were available locally, we couldn’t have afforded them. I eventually got one when I went to England. I was working in an electro-plating plant, at the other side of the city from where I lived,  that took two bus rides to reach, one into the centre of town and the other out to the job.. By getting the bike I was able to cut across, avoiding the city centre, and get to work in half the time. I’ll never forget the feeling of riding that bike for the first time, I thought I was on top of the world. I forget what it cost exactly but it was so expensive that I had to pay for it in instalments. When I was buying it, the salesman asked me if I wanted to insure the payments for an extra six pence an instalment and though I thought it a bit much, I took him up on the offer. Little did I know how wise that decision was because, not long after, I ended up in hospital for six months. The insurance kicked in and by the time I got out, my bike was paid for. Alas, it was stolen in the city centre about twelve months later but I will never forget it.  Yes, the bike opened up our small world, helped us get an education, go to work and attend  matches and dances. For a while with the advent and affordability of the motor car, the use of the bike went into decline but in recent years it has made a big comeback. There is a huge difference between the machines of today and the boneshakers we had and riders are now wearing proper dress and protective gear. It is great to see groups of them  cycling through the countryside on Sunday mornings, enjoying the fresh air and keeping fit at the same time. I would like to see more of the younger children cycling to school instead of using cars and buses as it would greatly improve their health and fitness.  I know that roads are dangerous but, with the right training, children can be taught to cycle in safety and motorists can be extra vigilant at school times. We all need more exercise.