Roger Ryan, Ned Mahony Mike O’Connor and Ciarán Griffin in good mood before the pandemic at the Top of the Town

Friends of St. Ita’s Community Hospital TEAM

Taking part in our 7km sponsored Walk/Run (Virtual) over week 7th/13th June 2021 in aid of our Fundraising Campaign towards ongoing improvements and facilities for the residents and patients in St. Ita’s Hospital.

Your support for the Friends of St. Ita’s team would be greatly appreciated, as always.

You can contact Peggy Casey and Kathleen Mullane if you would like to donate. Every little helps a lot.

Community Council Draw

Hopefully we will be able to resume our Lucky No’s Draw when the pubs open indoors on July 5th. We look forward to getting back to some semblance of normality again after a very tough year.

We would welcome any new sellers to help us out and we thank everyone who has supported us throughout the years.

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea

Mass Intentions next weekend

Friday 11th 7.30pm:             Sr. Eileen Barrett & her parents Michael & Margaret                                                                                                                                                                                      Barrett.

Sat June 12th 7.30pm:                             Golden Jubilee Mass for Father Michael                                                                                                                                  (Mike) Moroney.

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

The Church is open daily for private prayer. If you wish to book an anniversary mass, a wedding or get a mass card signed please contact Fr. Brendan on 087-0562674 or

Siobhan on 087-2237858.

Prayers for the deceased

Your prayers are requested for the following.

Mrs Eileen McCarthy, Kilmeedy – sister of Hannah Scanlon Dirreen.

Denis Mullane, Scotland – brother of Nora Hogan Templeathea and

Catherine Forde (nee Hayes), native of Glenagragra Glin & Dirreen Athea – niece of the late Buddy Furey and daughter to the late John & Josephine Hayes of Dirreen, Athea.

Sacristans Collections:

The sacristan’s collection will be taken up at all masses next weekend – envelopes are available in the church.

Leaving Cert Students:

We pray for all Leaving Cert students who start their exams this week. May God grant them the gifts and graces they need to help them during the days ahead.

Virtual Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2021

For the second year, due to the restrictions in place, we cannot have our usual pilgrimage to Lourdes this month.  Lourdes holds such a special place in our hearts and this year Fr Frank and his committee have created a virtual pilgrimage for us. Each pilgrimage session will be broadcast on our Diocesan Facebook page through our Diocesan website.

If you would like your petitions to be included at Masses during our virtual pilgrimage please email them using this email address: [email protected] 

Baptismal Information: Any parent wishing to baptise their child must have the baptismal course completed – for further details please contact Theresa on 087 1513565.

Course Dates:   Tues 8th June/ Tues 13th July/ Tues 10th August.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra 

I walked past Cratloe School the other day and it brought back memories, not all good. I hated every day I had to go there except for the days when we were getting holidays or when there was a Station Mass on. The Station Mass was a means of getting the people of the area together to pay their dues. The priests were not slow collecting money in those days and ensured a generous contribution from the faithful because the amount given would be read out from the altar at Sunday Mass. It was a type of blackmail and forced some who could barely afford it  to part with their hard earned money or be thought mean by their neighbours if the donation was not big enough. Anyway, on those days we were free to go across the road to the field and play football or hurling. As a matter of fact we played more hurling than football due mainly to the influence of the lads from Sugarhill, who were in the parish of Templeglantine, a hurling stronghold. When I say we played hurling, it wasn’t much like the game played today. For a start none of us had proper hurleys so we fashioned our own from bits of boards and furze roots. The furze had a lovely turn down near the root that was the same shape as a hurley and it could be cut to the desired length. This meant ground hurling was the order of the day because it was impossible to lift the ball off the ground with the improvised stick and, if you were lucky to catch a ball in the air, it took a fair bit of skill to hit it with any degree of accuracy. We did however become quite adept at the game and had many a good match on that patch of ground. We had no sliotar either of course and relied on the “sponge” ball which was light and could travel a long way. If the ball got lost we improvised by rolling up rags and tying them in a ball with string. There was always string in young boy’s pockets along with penknives, nails, marbles, elastic bands and various other items deemed necessary for survival. If we couldn’t find rags old newspapers did the trick but they didn’t last long and if they got wet they just disintegrated. We didn’t have a proper football either and used a rubber ball instead. It was the custom at the time for people to kill a pig to provide meat for the family. We would take the pig’s bladder, blow it up and use it as a football. The problem was that it was very light and easily got punctured so we were lucky if we got a few minutes out of it. There were no goalposts either. Two coats or jackets were placed on the ground  at a set distance apart. This could cause problems because the goalkeeper could pull in one of the coats making the goal area much smaller when the opposition was not looking. There was also the arguments about the validity of scores. “A point”, someone would shout, as the  ball sailed over an imaginary crossbar only for the opposition to reply, “no, it was over the coat”. The argument often went to fisticuffs and, on more than one occasion, we returned to the classroom with bloody noses.

Our first real football was bought for us by the Master, Johnny Leahy. Athea G.A.A. ran an inter-school competition and he wanted us to hold our own against Clash, Knocknagorna and Athea. I remember well our first outing, which we won, mainly because I was chosen as captain and I couldn’t have been more proud if I was picked for the county. We actually won that tournament and that created a renewed interest in football to the detriment of the hurling. In those days most of us played in our ordinary footwear, the price of football boots being outside our budget. As time went on we did start to get proper gear and we used to club together to buy an O’Neill’s football. Our heroes at the time were the inter-county players we heard on the radio. Radios were scarce at the time so, on Sundays, a big crowd would gather wherever there was a set and the kitchen of the house would be full with the overspill listening from outside the windows to the exploits of the great Kerry football teams or the Limerick hurlers.  These were the days before rural electrification so the radio had to be powered by battery. I should have said batteries because there were two involved, a dry battery and a wet one. The dry one was a big rectangular shape, like a tin of biscuits and the wet one was a glass box filled with liquid that had to be recharged at regular intervals. This had to be done at a garage in the nearest town or village where electricity already existed. People even made special carriers for the battery on the back of the bicycle. Along with the two batteries there was also an aerial to be erected, usually to the chimney of the house and connected to the back of the radio. This magic box kept us in touch with our heroes and the great commentator, Micheál O Hehir, made the match so exciting that you could almost imagine you were there. My trip past Cratloe School brought all theses thoughts to my head and even though they were nostalgic, I never want to go back to those days. These were the good thoughts of school  but they are in the minority when I think of all the suffering and hardship we went through but, that’s a story for another day.

The terrible news that a little baby had been killed by the family dog in Clashmore, over the weekend, highlights the dangers of treating pets as human beings.  Dogs and cats were never meant to be indoors and certainly not in a bedroom. I love dogs and until lately we always had two. They never came indoors and were happy out in their cosy kennels. There was one exception. One of the dogs, Sheeba, a cross between a red setter and a Labrador was one of the most gentle, clever animals I have ever known and could understand every word we said to her. As I said, she was quite happy outdoors but on occasion she would rush in the back door and hide under the table. That was a signal that thunder and lightening were on the way. My mother had a pet terrier long ago who was like one of the family however, one day when he was getting old he turned on her and attacked her. Luckily I was just on my way in with a hurley in my hand so I was able to beat him off. I dread to think what might have happened had I not been there. Pets are lovely and great company but always keep in mind that they are animals in an environment that is not natural for them and be very careful with them around small children, especially when they get old and cranky.