Beautiful picture of our village
taken from Kathleen Mulvihill’s selection of photos


In these dark, depressing times I was wondering could I put some great news into the newsletter.

Sending huge congratulations to Dick and Marian Chawke who became grandparents 2 times over the past 2 weeks. Their son Patrick and his wife Sarah  had a baby girl Amelia Chawke and their daughter Joanne and her husband James had a baby boy Jake  Collins.

All parents and babies well and healthy only problem the grandparents can’t visit and hug them.

Steve O’Rourke

Athea Graveyard Collection

Envelopes can still be handed in to the box at Athea Credit Union or they can also be dropped in to the Athea Community Council Office.

Stay Safe

At the moment we have a lot of people in the parish who have contracted Corona Virus so it is of the utmost importance that we do everything in our power to prevent any further spread of this dangerous enemy. The incidents had been so low that I think we got lulled into a false sense of security and relaxed too much around Christmas with parties, house gatherings etc. If we observe the medical advice re: social distancing, staying at home as much as possible, wearing masks, washing hands regularly and avoid unnecessary travel we can reverse the trend and look forward to the day when we can once again get some sort of normality into our lives. Treat everyone you meet as if both you and they were infected.

If you have any photos, articles or news please send it on to us via email to [email protected]

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea 

Mass Intentions next weekend

Friday Jan 29th 7.30pm                    Sean (Batt) Fitzgerald

Saturday Jan 30th 7.30pm              Patrick & Hannah Enright and Nora Dillane

Nora Ita Hunt.

Sunday Jan 24th 10.30am              Martin Riggs – 1st Anniversary

John F. Timmes – Month’s mind.

The Rosary will be recited before each mass commencing next Friday night Jan 29th and

The Devine Mercy Chaplet will be said each Thursday evening at 7.30pm commencing next Thursday evening Jan 28th.

All masses and prayers are live streamed on the Church Services TV network via the following link

Church opening

The Church is open daily from 9.30am – 2.30pm for private prayer and to visit the crib.

Before Christmas the children of Athea NS wrote some letters to those residing in Nursing Homes under the ‘Comfort Words Initiative’ launched by Nursing Homes Ireland earlier in the year. Recently a lovely thank you letter (below) was received from a gentleman resident of a nursing home in Co. Sligo who was the recipient of one of these letters.

Dear Children,

Thank you all for your kind letters. Yes, I am certainly looking forward to Christmas, not because Santa is coming, but because I will be going out to stay with my daughter and her family in Ballyshannon.

I am in good health and 82 years of age. I taught in National School before retiring. My first appointment was in Co. Galway where I taught 2nd, 3rd and 4th classes. Later became principal teacher in Co. Clare. Had to retire a bit early due to hardness of hearing.

Congrats on Limerick’s success in the hurling final. I never played hurling but grew up in a football area.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas. God Bless.

From Nazareth Nursing  Home, Church Hill, Sligo Town, Sligo.


By Domhnall de Barra

Just a week gone by since Donald Trump’s reign came to an end and I am missing him already!   On waking every morning I would turn on the radio for the early morning news wondering what new tweets he had issued the day before or what other ridiculous comment he had to make about Covid, China or members of his own staff.  He never failed to deliver and got more airtime than any other president. I miss him on television as well, the pouting face with pinched mouth and narrowed eyes looking menacingly at us from underneath the bale of straw that he called his hair. He is a great loss to impersonators as well who had a field day imitating him. They didn’t even have to make up jokes because his limited ability to string a sentence together along with the ludicrous comments gave them ready material to exploit. To be fair to him he did prove that you do not have to be a politician to become president but he also proved that you do have to be a politician to be an effective president. He did have one of the necessary traits for politicians; the ability to lie, well, maybe not lie so much as avoid telling the truth. How many times have we listened to our own ministers, being questioned by seasoned reporters, avoid giving simple answers to straightforward questions by waffling for minutes on end without ever dealing with the subject matter. When they start with “I’m glad you asked me that” you can be sure they are getting ready to kick for touch. Interviewers try their best to trip them up with questions that cannot have a yes or no answer like “have you stopped taking drugs” but they are too slippery to be caught out and usually end the discussion with a satisfied smile. To be fair to them  we have to understand that most journalists are not really interested in the national good but rather in getting sensational headlines for their programmes so the game of  cat and mouse between themselves and the politicians will continue.  In the meantime we will have to look elsewhere for entertainment since the main character in the biggest pantomime of all time has exited stage left.  There is a lot of sweetness and warmth around the new regime in the White House at the moment and the sounds are good but never judge them by what they say,; judge them on what they do. The jury is far from reaching a verdict. Time will tell.

January is nearly over and it is no loss. There is something depressing about this month which is probably the one that has the longest and coldest nights and the grey miserable days. Coming after Christmas, it is bound to be an anti-climax with the revelry gone and many pockets empty. It was especially depressing for us long ago when we came home for Christmas and had to return to our exile away from family and friends. The build up to the holidays was great beforehand and while we were at home we were treated like kings. Because we had money in our pockets we were welcome everywhere at a time when the locals had very little. We managed to give the impression of being rich with money that we had scrimped and scraped together for months or even borrowed from the job or some friendly pub landlord. It was of course a very false impression and reality dawned as we came off the boat at Holyhead to go back to our digs. It took a while to get back into the routine again but we always had the next holidays to look forward to.

Everything passes and we are now almost into February, the start of Spring. With a bit of a stretch in the evening there is light at the end of the tunnel and it won’t be long until the earth awakens and growth begins. The daffodils will raise their heads and open their golden leaves to the sun, crows will begin to pair off and start the task of building nests. How skilful birds are at building abodes for themselves. We think we know everything but if we were asked to construct a home, without the benefits of tools or machinery, would we be able to do so?   Some birds even plaster the nests when they are formed into a perfectly circular structure. Nature is a wonderful thing and we are approaching the best time of the year to observe it. Any farmer will tell you about the satisfaction of seeing a new born calf struggle to its knees for the first time and eventually stand up on its own. Hope springs eternal and we sorely need it at the moment. Bad enough that the weather is cold and the fact that we are in lockdown makes it so much worse but there is an end in sight even if it is a good bit into the future.

What is a decent week’s wages?  Eamon De Valera once said that no man was worth more than £100 a week. Now this was back in the middle of the last century when average wages were about £10 so it can be put into perspective for today. A report today showed that, at a time when most businesses and individuals are losing money, our billionaires have increased their wealth in the last nine months. It is a crying shame that so much of the world’s wealth is owned by such a small group of mega rich people.  I often wonder what motivates those who already have more money than they can deal with to continue accumulating more wealth. Do they really need another private plane, yacht, or mansion to make them happy? I am not advocating communism, which was a miserable failure, but something needs to be done to ensure a fairer distribution of the world’s wealth. There is enough there for everyone. We could start with RTE who pay some of their presenters a way more than our head of government. How can this be justified at a time when the station is losing money year on year?  We, the tax payers, are footing the bill and our representatives in Dáil Éireann should have something to say about how our money is spent. I have no objection to them being paid well for the job they are doing but, let’s get real: are they that good?  There is a lot of waste at the station. Let’s take the news for instance; an announcer comes on and introduces two presenters –  why two, wouldn’t one do the job ok? Then they tell us a bit of news and immediately go to one or two special correspondents to tell us the same thing again. At one time they thought they couldn’t do without the services of Pat Kenny but, when he walked away to Newstalk, the sky did not fall. To call a spade a spade, most of the top earners at the station are vastly overpaid when you look at the wages of nurses on the frontline or all the other workers who put their lives on the line for us every day.