Happy 80th Birthday Catherine

Pictured with Kathleen Atkins (Niece) David, her husband and their 2 sons Dylan and Jamie – we sang Happy birthday from outside the window to her.

Catherine Goulding celebrated her 80th birthday on February 8th. She is recovering after surgery on 14th December, having spent 8 weeks in U.H.L.

She is now in the outstanding care of St. Ita’s Respite in Newcastle West. She wants to thank all her outstanding neighbours and friends for all their support and phone calls and for all those who prayed for her, lit candles and sent Get Well wishes while in hospital and for all the birthday cards, presents and flowers for her 80th. She thanks family in the U.S.A. and U.K. for all their support.

St. Ita’s staff made her day so special for her and were kept busy bringing up all the cards and presents that were dropped for her. Just a special thanks for everyone’s kindness, generosity and support at this time.

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea

Mass Intentions next weekend

Friday Feb 26th 7.30pm   Dan & John Hanrahan and their parents Jeremiah & Eileen Hanrahan.

Lenten Pack

There are still some Lenten Packs available in the church which includes a Lenten prayer card and the Trócaire box.

Offertory collection & Lenten stations

Sincere thanks to all who supported our collection last Sunday afternoon.

The Rosary, The Devine Mercy Chaplet and The Stations of the Cross.

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 and the Stations of the Cross will take place each Friday evening at 7pm before the rosary and mass.

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


Church opening

The Church is open daily 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 Siobhán on 087-2237858.

Diocesan Events

1   Breather session for Healthcare Worker

The February session for healthcare workers will be on Thursday 25th of February, there will be a session at 3pm and another at 8pm, please encourage any family members or parishioners working in any capacity in healthcare, to avail of this short time out to nourish themselves.  You can register for this event here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/healthcare_breather.


By Domhnall de Barra

It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Joe Burke over the weekend. Joe, from Athenry in East Galway, was one of the greatest and best known traditional musicians of all time. Paddy O’Brien is credited with devising the B/C method of playing the two row accordion but it was Joe that perfected it. Back in the middle of the last century, it was he who set the standard for all of us who were learning at the time. Sadly, try though we did, we never reached  that plateau on which he reigned supreme. I first met him when he adjudicated me at the All-Britain Fleadh Cheoil in Glasgow in the early ‘sixties. We met afterwards for a pint and a chat and we have been friends ever since. The well worn cliché “larger than  life” has been attributed to many people but Joe did indeed fit that description. He had a tall, stately bearing with that distinctive beard of latter years and a smile that endeared him to all in a room when he made an entrance. He spoke in his beautiful, soft East Galway accent and though he never raised his voice, when he said something he commanded attention. He had a ready wit and was a great story teller. I remember one time, in the early ’seventies, when there was an All-Ireland in Listowel and Joe was due to perform at a concert there. I was living near Listowel at the time, on the Tarbert Road not too far from where Lyons’ Funeral Home is situated now.

A couple of days before the fleadh a knock came to the door and there stood Joe with his accordion in his hand. He had been making his way from Galway and as he drove along he noticed a noise, or as he said “a growl” coming from the back axel. As he put it “ the growl got worse but the car was going fine until I came off the ferry and was heading towards Listowel. All of a sudden the growl stopped and I was delighted until I realised the car had stopped too.”  He hitched a lift to my house and we soon got the rest of his belongings, he wouldn’t leave the accordion, and got the car to a garage to be ready for when he wanted to go home which could be any day of the following week depending on how well the fleadh was going. We soldiered together through many a fleadh cheoil and shared the stage on numerous tours of  America, Ireland and Britain. In recent years we haven’t met up so much but I have great memories of the nights we spent together, drinking and telling yarns with the odd tune thrown in.

It is a pity, due to the pandemic, that we aren’t allowed to give him the send off that he truly deserves but it may be a blessing in disguise because it would be a huge ordeal for his wife Ann and their relations to try and deal with the thousands of people who would flock to pay their respects. We are left with great memories of a mighty man and musician who will always be remembered whenever the subject of traditional music is raised. We owe him a great debt for the wealth of music he has left us  and the joy he gave us over the years. I will never again hear “the Bucks of Oranmore” played without shedding a silent tear. Farewell Joe, you left a huge footprint on the traditional scene and we will not see your likes again. May you rest in peace.

I am always encouraging people to contribute to this newsletter and I will publish any letter or email received as long as the author attached his/her name and address. If the writer does not want to have the name published we will respect that wish and just say “name and address supplied”. If however there is no name attached, it is our policy, and a long established journalistic principle, not to publish the letter. It is a pity therefore that I cannot include a very good letter I got last week in reply to my article “into the future” which asked the question about the future for Athea. The write agrees with a lot of what I had to say and makes a few suggestions and while I will not include all the letter I would like to share the following excerpt

The main issue here is the lack of housing in Athea. Upon conversing with a local Estate Agent recently, I have been reliably informed that  they have in fact six families on their waiting lists seeking a home in Athea, mostly made up of young families with the required mortgage approval in place. This is direct evidence of the current attraction towards living in Athea. I’m sure other agents have experienced similar demand.

I invite your readers to take a walk down Con Colbert  Street at their next opportunity – observe how many buildings and overhead living spaces remain vacant?  One must ask themselves the question – is this fair on our youth who are so desperately seeking to be part of our community. Having these buildings occupied would result in a vibrant village centre injecting life into the village. I would plead with the owners of these buildings to consider selling, renting or renovating these spaces to make them into liveable spaces. The local authority also need to step up here with regard to enforcing the Derelict Housing Act, the neglect of owners of these properties has gone on long enough.

Similarly, many of the housing stock in the countryside is under occupied. If provided with the opportunity I am sure there are many elderly living in the countryside (myself included) who would be more than willing to sell their house in return for a small suitable house near all the services in  our village, reducing the feeling of isolation.”

Food for thought there and many thanks to the writer of that letter for giving us the benefit of his/her observations. Please keep sending in correspondence but remember to include name and address. We will respect your privacy if you so wish.