Congratulations to Michael & Kit O’Connor, Low Rd., Athea who celebrated their wedding anniversary recently

ICA group from many years ago with Fr. Mike Cussen

Athea Tidy Towns Parish Litter Pick Up 

Athea Tidy Towns will again take part in this year’s Team Limerick Clean Up. Unfortunately all roads in the parish have been visited by Litter Bugs and Fly Tippers, but it is hoped this clean up day will assist us in our efforts in cleaning up the roadsides. The Clean Up will take place on Good Friday, April 2nd from 9am – 1pm. Bags/Litter Pickers/High Visibility Jackets and Gloves will be distributed on the days leading up to the clean up by Athea Tidy Towns Volunteers where required – subject to availability. Our volunteers will also have a van available on the day to collect bags of litter collected. Please register your interest by texting/whatsapping  Damien Ahern on 087 9042477 by Wednesday March 31st . Also we are appealing to anyone in the parish who may have litter pickers from previous years to please return them to Athea Tidy Towns. Many thanks for your continued support.

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea

Mass Intentions next weekend

Friday Mar 26th 7.30pm              Tim Murphy.

Saturday Mar 27th 7.30pm              Con O’Connor-Cratloe (2nd Anniversary)

Sunday Mar 28th 10.30am              Jimmy Kirby (1st Anniversary). Ellen & Michael O’Keeffe.

This Sunday is Palm Sunday – If you have your own piece of palm at home with your holy water, Fr Brendan will bless it ‘virtually’ at both masses on Saturday and Sunday.

Lenten Pack

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

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 Siobhan on 087-2237858.

Easter Mass Bouquet cards are available in the church now – please add your intention to the book provided and leave you donation in the box.

Outreach to Frontline Healthcare Workers

Fr Chris O’Donnell and the Pastoral Outreach team are offering another opportunity for front-line healthcare workers to take time out on Thursday 25th of March. There will be two sessions on the day, one at 3pm and another at 8pm. You can register on this link to receive the Zoom link:

Please feel free to share this invitation with any of your colleagues that might benefit from it.

Names and Races 

By Domhnall de Barra

Last week I wrote a bit about  the name Patrick, a name that is so common throughout the country, due to our patron saint, and the variations of that name that we use. It got me thinking about the names we call each other and the terms of endearment, or worse, that we use. We are seldom satisfied with our proper names. Take the name Michael for instance;  very few christened in that angel’s honour are known by the proper name. We have Mike, Mikie, Micheál, Haulie, Hauleen Mickeen, Michealeen etc. A bit like my own name, Daniel. I am called Dan, Danny, Donie, Domhnall but never Daniel except for my mother, on occasions, when she might not be too pleased with me. She always called me Dan but if she wanted to emphasise something or tell me off she would refer to me as Daniel P. –  Patrick is my middle name. Then there was the custom of calling people by their middle name instead of the first one. This was often done because a child had to be named after some relation  who might not have been too popular with one of the parents. They could pick any name they liked for the middle one and nobody raised an eyebrow when that was the preferred title. Sometimes people avoid using names altogether. A husband might refer to his wife as “the missus” or “herself” or a caller might ask a woman “is himself at home”. This drives my wife Noreen mad. She says every one has a name and is entitled to be properly addressed. She also hates being addressed as “darling” – don’t blame her. Some of these terms of endearment are kind of ridiculous and come to us via films and television.. Why anyone would want to be called “baby” is beyond  me and the  abbreviated version “babes” is even worse. Honey, sweetheart, sweetcheeks, lovie,  dearie, are all nauseating to me. I particularly find the term “honey bunch” laughable. Honey might come in a lot of ways but in a bunch?- give me a break!  Our children are not spared either as we often call them by animals’ names. Kids is more used nowadays than children. A kid is a young goat, not a human being. We also use “pet” but they are not dogs or cats. Adults don’t escape either. A woman who complains a lot may be described as a “bitch” although most female dogs are very placid creatures. She might also be referred to as a “cow” again one of the quieter animals. A “gligeen” was a young skittish girl A pretty woman could be referred to as a “fox”. Stupid people were referred to as “apes”. They could be a fierce ape, an awful ape, a desperate ape or, most comical of all a “printed” ape! A big man was often called a bear or a bull. There was one of these in every Murphy’s or McAlpine’s gangs in England long ago, the most famous being  “The Bear O’Shea” who featured in the ballad “McAlpine’s Fusiliers”. The old folk had some very funny phrases for describing a particular type of person, especially in a derogatory fashion. A smaller offending person might be called “a little sparrow fart” or even worse “a little shitty-arse”.  One who misbehaved was a “pup” or a “caffler”, a silly woman was an “óinseach” and a foolish man was an “amadán”. A strong man  might be referred to as a ”hoor” of a man.  John B. Keane always maintained this word had nothing to do with the one that describes a lady of the night, hence the different spelling. It could be used  almost as a compliment.

There was the story of the tourist who was standing on the pier in Dingle one morning as two fishing boats pulled out to sea. A man on one of the boats shouted to a man on the other boat; “hi O’Hara, O’Hara you hoor you  how’re you”. The tourist was convinced that they were speaking Japanese and said he never thought that they would be fishing so far from home.!  Times are changing and we are losing a lot of the terms and names that were once so common. I suppose, at the end of the day it does not really matter as long as the persons themselves are happy with their titles and our loved ones are reassured by how we address them so take no notice of me and my ranting.

It was a fantastic week of sport culminating in the great win over the English rugby team on Saturday.  Horse racing took centre stage during the week with the annual Cheltenham festival dominating the airwaves. This festival is the highlight of the jumping season, the champions league and the world cup all rolled into one. Not that long ago an Irish win at this meeting was a rarity and we went there more in hope than anticipation. The tables have now turned with most of the winners at the meeting going to Irish horses, trainers and jockeys. The icing on the cake was twofold; Rachel Blackmore, leading Jockey and Henry De Bromhead, leading trainer. Rachel grabbed all the headlines, not just because she was the first lady to win the title but for her ability as a master jockey. She has opened the door for young girls all over the country who can now see themselves  in the winners enclosure. I have mixed feelings about this. Of course it is great that women are treated as equals in sport but being a jump jockey is a very dangerous occupation.  I listened lately to a leading jockey listing the amount of bones he had broken falling off horses. I would not like to see a grand daughter of mine putting herself in such danger or a grandson either.  Anyway it was a great occasion and I want to compliment the producers of the programme each day on  Virgin Media 3. It was light-hearted, informative, entertaining and you didn’t need to know much about racing to be caught up in the excitement of the moment. They did all this despite the fact that there were no crowds to create an atmosphere, especially in the winners circle. Then came Saturday and I don’t think any of us anticipated the performance of the Irish team as they took England apart. Any victory over England is good but this was especially pleasing because it finished the season on a high note and gave a great send-off to C. J. Stander, a rugby player who has been phenomenal both in the jerseys of both Ireland and Munster. He will be sadly missed but I think he is right to go now, while he still is relatively injury free. This is another sport that can be dangerous due to over physicality. Head injuries are a major worry with many past players, who are now in their middle ages, showing signs of brain damage. We all love sport but we have to ensure that we look after the welfare of those who give us so much entertainment week after week.