Domhnall and Noreen de Barra’s six granddaughters from Copenhagen, Shannon and Rathcahill, on holidays in Cratloe








Athea Tidy Towns

Our Hen Harrier has settled well into his new home, and is being admired by all who pass him by. We have plans to landscape the flower bed behind the hen harrier and also the flower bed at Wrens in the coming weeks to add colour and interest to these areas.

Unfortunately a large amount of rubbish was dumped at the bottle banks during the past week. We continue to monitor the CCTV camera in the hope of identifying the culprits. The message is, unless you want to see your face shared on social media, please refrain from dumping!

The virtual judging of the competition is due to take place in the coming months, with the results due in approx November. With a large number of projects undertaken in the past two years, we are hopeful of a good increase in points.

Athea Community Council “Lucky Numbers” Draw

Our draw is up and running, or should I say “up and crawling”. As was to be expected, the outlets for ticket sales have decreased dramatically with the virus especially the pubs, bingo halls and offices. We had great sales in Pallas Foods but now most of them work from home and will not be returning to the office any time in the near future. There is also the fact that some of our sellers have reach that age when they want to retire and who can blame them. They have done a fantastic job over the years and, through their efforts, Athea is a much better place.

Lal Browne does his best to cover the pubs at the weekend but it is just too much for one person to cover. If there was someone who could cover, say, the Top of the Town it would be a great help. It would only take about half an hour. Also we would welcome anybody in the area who could sell a few tickets to family and friends. If it was only a €5 for three it would help.


Mass Intentions next weekend

Fri Aug 13th 7.30pm: Martin Dalton and Thomas & Bridget O’Sullivan.

Madeline, Paddy & Ellen Mulvihill.

Sr. Anne Ahern and her parents Tom & Johanna Ahern.

Sat Aug 14th 7.30pm: Michael & Sean Quinn.

Sun Aug15th 10.30am: Michael & Mattie Brosnan, Tom & Bridie Moran,

Sr. Molly Sheehy, Brian Sheehy & the Moran twins and the extended Moran & Sheehy families.

Readers: Sat: Angela Cafferky – Sun: John Redmond.

Eucharistic Ministers: Sat: M. Enright / M. Donoghue –

Sun: Y. Roche / M Hunt.

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.

Baptismal Information Any parent who wishes to baptise their child must have the baptismal course completed – for further details please contact Theresa on 087 1513565. Next course date: Tues 14th September.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

The last year and a half has been a struggle for many of us with Covid restricting the very liberties we take for granted.  It was a bit of a novelty at first but then, when some of our more vulnerable in the community got so sick that they actually died, we realised that it was not going to be a nine day wonder and that it would take a long time to get back to some semblance of normality. If someone told me it would take more than a year to get the vaccine distributed I would have despaired but, gradually, time passed by and now, as they say, we are where we are. We are not out of the woods yet but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if people act sensibly we will get there. If we think we have it bad now, imagine what it was like for those living at the beginning of the last century. There was a savage world war that saw thousands and thousands of young men give their lives fighting in the trenches. Ruthless officers, most of whom were the landed gentry and had no military experience, ordered their troops to go headlong into battle against superior forces they had no chance of defeating. They were just ordinary lads and, as such, dispensable. During the last phase of that war, what became known as the Spanish Flu spread throughout the world, a bit like Covid today. It was a particularly deadly virus, the worst the world had ever seen and affected some 500 million people, about a tenth of whom died as a result. Conditions were not as good then as they are now. Most places had no running water or electricity and no toilet facilities at all. The houses were extremely damp which was not ideal for treating somebody who caught the bug. Transport was scarce, especially in rural areas, and hospital facilities were not able to cope with the demand. Add to that the fact that a war of independence was beginning to be followed by the Irish civil war which tore the country apart, sometimes brother against brother and there was abject poverty throughout the land.  Money was scarce and there were no such things as luxuries. Then came the second world war, worse than the first, that devastated Europe and Great Britain. Many Irish men fought and died in that war even though the country was neutral, because they wanted to defeat the Nazis but, in one way, it was to be what put Ireland back on its feet. After the war, many of the cities in the UK were destroyed by the aerial bombardment and had to be rebuilt. This gave work to Irish people who flocked in their thousands to take the boat to Holyhead.  Work was plentiful and the wages were very good in comparison to what they were at home. Soon, letters started arriving in the post on a weekly basis filled with money to keep the home fires burning. In the 1950s there was hardly a family in the parish of Athea that did not have members working abroad, sending home money. Then came the ‘sixties and things began to improve but up to then, living in Ireland was no picnic. I often think of all those who had to emigrate to survive. I did the same myself but it was easier for us, in the early ‘sixties, because we already had relatives living over there who took us in and gave us a good start. Some people, who had never been as far as Limerick City, took the boat with no idea of what was facing them. It was tough, especially for those who were married and had to leave their families behind. They were very brave people indeed. I think of one family in particular, the Herberts who lived in Clash. Tom Herbert took his wife and young family and headed for Coventry. Imagine what a traumatic experience that must have been. I had the good fortune to meet them  when I settled in that city and used to call to their house regularly. Tom used to say to me “was it over the hill you came Barry” when I went in the door. I was great friends with Eddie and Paddy in particular but also Jim and Sean. Paddy and I played a lot of darts together. We were fairly handy dart players at the time and we used to attend the pub league matches. After the matches there would be games of doubles for money and we were seldom beaten. We had great times at the Transport Club, The Shamrock and the Kerrymen’s Club where Eddie was in great demand as a singer. He could have gone professional and it is a pity he did not get more exposure. Alas some of the family passed away at a young age but Sean and his family still come to Athea every year. They were a hardworking family and the way they thrived in England justified Tom’s decision to make the dramatic move from Clash. People still emigrate nowadays but only those who want to so, we should be grateful that we are living now and not in the last century. Compared to then we have it easy.

Will our politicians ever learn?  The party thrown by Catherine Zappone which was attended by the great and the good in Irish politics, shows how out of touch they are with public opinion. After the advice from the Attorney General they were able to say that the gathering did not break the law but it did however break their own guidelines which we were all supposed to observe. It seems like a case of  “do what I say, not what I do” and it gives a very bad example. They should have known better and, sadly, it will now give justification to some in society to go ahead and ignore the advice that is keeping us all safe. Another politician who has blotted his copybook is Danny Healy Rae who was caught on camera serving what can only be described as a mob of drunken revellers in his pub in Kilgarvan during lockdown. He can’t say he did it for the money because he is a multi-millionaire already but I fear that power has gone to the head a bit and, like others in political life, he thinks he is untouchable. The courts may have something to say about that when his licence comes up for renewal.

Finally, the weather. We were  complaining of the excessive heat a couple of weeks ago but now the topic is the rain which never seems to stop. We should not be surprised as this is typical Irish summer weather and is repeated year after year. Now with the global warming scare we can look forward to more extremes of weather unless, of course, we change our ways. Or is it already too late for that?