No more monkey business in Athea’ 
Fr Duggan has asked us to share with you all the newest addition to the church yard – a monkey puzzle tree. The tree was kindly donated by Gene & Noreen Brouder and expertly planted by Gearoid Collins and Maurice Lenihan of Beechgrove Landscapes. Fr Duggan is already planning the Christmas tree lights!

This Bronze Medal was found in a house in Athea recently. It is awarded by the Catholic Scouts of Ireland (C.S.I.). The Bronze was usually awarded for personal achievement by individual members or associates of the C.S.I. This would include but was not limited to overcoming a severe illness, exceptional effort in fundraising and other circumstances which required effort above and beyond the norm. If anyone knows of someone that this medal might be belong to please let us know.

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.

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

Re: Trócaire Appeal 2021 for South Sudan in Africa

To my dear brother Parish Priests

In a few days your Trócaire Boxes will arrive for you to give to all the people of your congregation. As your brother priest, today I extend my hands to you.

South Sudan, where I call home and where the two families on your Lent Boxes this year are struggling to survive, is going through deep pain.

The dangers of the spread of Covid-19 are still very high, because of the security risk. Our health facilities are what they are. We are still in the situation of conflict. In the situation of violence. Our children cannot go to school and they pay the highest price. Their parents don’t know a way out of this situation – but when I go into the streets to eat my meals with the children, someone will always run to buy me tea. They say, “You deserve it Father”, and they give me hope.

These are my people in South Sudan today. These precious children, women and men.

In their poverty, in their fears of the consequences of war, in their traumatised spirits, they are still trying their best to come out of it.

My appeal to you is, please don’t leave South Sudan alone.

Ask your parishes to give this Lent. Tell them our story. Give us that blessing. We need your prayers. We need your support. It’s my cry to you.

This partnership here with Trócaire and Cafod, it goes beyond partnership. It is joining, holding our hands together. Staff are always on the frontlines. They leave their good life to walk with us through these minefields of South Sudan.

It is faith in action. I know this because I am also the beneficiary of support from the Catholic Church through Trócaire & Cafod.

I am a priest because of it. Because of the books, the chalks, the pens. People from Trócaire supported me to go to school. Supported me to study. Supported me even to travel to Maynooth, where I did my courses. Maybe the Lord called them to give this support.

So Please, I beg you to help South Sudan. Please fill your Trtócaire Boxes This Lent.

Father James Oyet, South Sudan

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea

Mass Intentions next weekend

Friday Feb 12th 7.30pm         Celia Gleeson (Month’s mind). Michael Ambrose.                                                                                                                            Conor Hayes.

Saturday Feb 13th 7.30pm             Ned O’Keeffe. Nan Hurley.

Sunday Feb 14th 10.30am             Michael Enright. Tom & Stephen Casey.

Start of Lent

Ash Wednesday Feb 17th – Mass will be live streamed at 10.30am. The ashes will be blessed at this mass and will be available at the church and local businesses afterwards.

The Rosary & the Devine Mercy Chaplet

The Rosary will be recited before mass on Friday and Saturday evening at 7.15pm and on Sunday morning at 10.15am. The Devine Mercy Chaplet will be said each Thursday evening at 7.15pm.

All masses 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. If you wish to book an anniversary mass, a wedding or baptism date or get a mass card signed please contact

Fr. Brendan on 087-0562674 or Siobhan on 087-2237858.

Fr Brendan is not making his normal monthly calls at present due to Level 5 restrictions – but please feel welcome to make contact with him at any stage.

Fr. Duggan has asked that people do not allow their dogs into the Church yard as they are fouling the yard and footpaths. He does not wish to have to put up signs on the Church Gates to this effect.

Into the Future

By Domhnall de Barra

For a good few years I have served as chairman of Athea Community Council Ltd. and I must admit to taking a certain amount of pride in our achievements.  In conjunction with the Tidy Towns committee, who have done fantastic work in recent years, we have made many improvements around the village including, stone walls and footpaths, the roadside garden, the footbridge, tree planting, the Library, graveyards and the purchase of our own building that once was a thriving shop owned by Pa O’Connor. In the summer the place is awash with flowers and people who pass through have commented on how beautifully kept the village is. We have lost a lot of businesses in recent years but we are lucky, in comparison to other local villages, to still have a good shop, butchers and chemist. This is in no small way due to the successful medical practice owned by Dr. Kieran Murphy at the top of the village. The patients who attend this service on a daily basis also come down the village for their prescriptions and while there are inclined to do a bit of shopping as well. This is why the loss of the creamery was such a blow to local shops. Those who brought milk to the creamery kept the shops going by buying small quantities at regular intervals. We can’t turn back the clock but the loss of the Post Office was a further blow and one we could have handled a bit better. It was clear from the time An Post announced its plans for closures around the country that we had no hope of retaining the service in Athea. We did not tick any of the required boxes being too close to other post offices and having a population well below the required figure. That did not stop us trying to keep it open encouraged by local politicians who knew in their hearts there was no possibility of doing so. Instead of preparing for the worst we had meeting after meeting making protests and of course we lost in the end but we actually lost more than the post office. We should have got in touch with all those who got paid through the post office and make it possible for them to open a bank account and  use their cards to get their weekly pensions etc at a cash point in the village. By the time the closure came it was too late and most of those people had moved to post offices in neighbouring towns.  Because they are getting their money in post offices that are mostly now attached to super markets they more than likely do their shopping there as well. At least Paul Collins is supplying a limited postal service and he has made vast improvements in the shop but we did take our eyes off the ball and let an opportunity slip.

Where does Athea go now; what does the future hold? Back in the ‘seventies we were talking about a land bank trying to lure some industry into the area to create employment. Alas the assembly line jobs are now performed by robots or by workers in far eastern countries who are prepared to work for a couple of dollars an hour so that the billionaire owners and their shareholders can get even more wealthy. We will have to think differently in the 22nd century. What are our strengths?  We are centrally situated, less than 15 minutes from the surrounding towns who do have employment opportunities, 40 minutes from  Tralee, less than an hour from Limerick and  one and a quarter hours from Shannon Airport. We are also just 10 minutes from the River Shannon and 30 minutes from one of the finest beaches in the world, Ballybunion. We have very vibrant sporting organisations who have some of the finest facilities in the country. The G.A.A. pitch featured on to the national airways last week highlighting the pathway around the field that is proving so popular with those who want to exercise in safety. They have done an amount of work on the pitch itself bringing it up to the highest standards.  The soccer club have also invested heavily in their facilities out the Glin Road  and provide all year round training facilities. The sports hall, attached to the Con |Colbert Memorial Hall, is the home of the local Basketball Club and has one of the best floors in the country. We have a fantastic school that has been added to and modernised in recent years, a vibrant drama group and a host of other organisations that provide outlets  for art , exercise and  socialising. The new water treatment plant on the Glin Road has given more capacity and the possibility of more housing development. Added to that is the fact that we now have decent broadband so it is ideal for people who want to work from home.

With no main road going through and very little crime in the area, the village is a quiet, safe place to live and raise a family. With this in mind I am looking for ideas as to how we can attract families into the area. Extra people will create extra businesses, will bring new blood into our organisations and ensure that  Athea prospers in the years ahead. Just before the pandemic, we had hoped to develop the  Community Council building and had secured funding for feasibility studies into creating hubs that would be available to encourage start-up businesses. Alas, everything has been put on hold but the facility is still there and we look forward to getting back on track after the pandemic is over.

Our endeavours are funded by our weekly lotto which also fell to the pandemic so I am also looking for ideas on alternative methods of financing our operations. If we are to succeed we have to help ourselves; there is no cavalry waiting to ride over the hill to our rescue.

So, please, if you have any ideas at all , let me know through this newsletter or in person. We are blessed to have a number of very talented individuals who devote their time and energy to keeping the local organisations ticking over but we can’t leave all the work to them. It is up to everyone to play their part, no matter how small the role, in promoting our parish, a place we all love so much.

Ní  neart go cur le chéile.