Official Launch of Healthy Athea Club

There was a large turn out from the community and beyond last Sunday afternoon at Pairc na nGael for the launch of our newly furbished walking track, with the date also marking the first event expertly organised by the newest club to be formed in the parish –  ‘Healthy Athea’ Healthy and Wellbeing Club which aims to make the Club a healthier and more inclusive place for everyone to enjoy. Our aim is to be truly inclusive by living our GAA motto ‘Where we all belong’.

Aaron Gillane with local children

Right corner forward for Limerick, Aaron Gillane, together with his mother Mary,  paid their first visit to Athea to mark the occasion, also bringing with them a range of clothing and hurling gear from AG Sports Collection. Con Colbert Street has become a catwalk since Sunday as men, women and children walk the streets in the instantly recognisable hoodies and t-shirts. As well as the gear, Aaron was a huge hit with all who met him, returning to Patrickswell with a sore hand and a faded marker. Aaron also accompanied Paddy O’Sullivan and Cian Hickey performing the official opening of our newly tarmacadamed track to huge applause.

Declan Dalton and Cummins Tarmacadam have lived up to their promise and good name by having the track ready for Sunday, even having time to stop by St. Bartholomew’s Church to fill eight pot holes at the request of Fr. Duggan.

Healthy foods and drinks were the only refreshments on the menu which were kindly sponsored by Paul Collins at Collins’ Shop, Tesco Abbeyfeale, Twohigs SuperValu Abbeyfeale, Garveys SuperValu Listowel, Pat Sullivan of Bewleys, Athea & District Credit Union and Ballygowan Newcastle West. Huge thanks to all our local businesses who always respond so generously to our requests.

We were also delighted to welcome Chairman of Limerick GAA John Cregan, Vice Chairman and Athea man Seamus McNamara as well as our locally elected representatives Councillor Francis Foley and Councillor Liam Galvin. Billy Collins also made the trip from Knocknagorna to witness the progress of the Hurling Club which he so generously supported together with Thomas O’Mahony.

The Healthy Athea Club would like to thanks all the Marshalls, Caterers, Coaches. Players and Parents and our many supporters who attended the launch. Any event that attracts a crowd on a wet day, is one none of us wanted to miss. Looking forward to the next event organised by our newest Club. Athea GAA would like to wish every track user ‘Laps of Happiness’ in the years ahead!

Athea Drama Group to stage Brian Friel’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ in early 2022

Athea Drama Group’s AGM took place on Thursday last at Con Colbert Hall with a large crowd in attendance, including many new members. A vote of sympathy was offered to the McGrath Family, together with a minute’s silence. It was agreed by all present that Oliver’s legacy would be honoured in an appropriate and respectful way in the future.

The committee remained largely unchanged, but we welcome Linda Hunt on board taking over the important role as PRO of the group, with Damien Ahern stepping down and agreeing to stay on as Assistant – PRO for the year ahead.

We are pleased to announce that we have secured the rights of ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ by Brian Friel, after many years of applying! Tommy Denihan has agreed to direct, with 5 female roles and 3 male roles up for the taking. Reading to commence on Thursday night September 30th at the Hall at 8pm. All welcome.


Readers:                                                   Sat – A. Cafferky                                               Sun – P. Curry

Eucharistic Ministers:                      Sat – M. Enright/M. O’Donoghue                 Sun – Y. Roche/M. Hunt.

Mass Intentions:  

Sat Oct 2nd 7.30pm                                 Jack & Mary Kelly and their sons Denis & Tommy.

Tom O’Halloran.

Sun Oct 3rd 10.30am Pat Collins – Month’s Mind.

Timothy, Margaret & Nicholas Leahy.

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 Siobhán 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 12th October.

Diocesan News

The pastoral outreach team has put together a full and varied programme for the Autumn which we hope will offer support and nourishment for our parishes.  Full details are available on the Church notice board – the flyer provides a summary of the various offerings.  Registration for each of the programmes is essential.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

The word “crisis” has been used on the airwaves recently to describe the state of the health service, housing shortage and the state of the country in general. I heard today that, in the UK, petrol pumps are running dry and supermarket shelves are not as full as they used to be because of a crisis in the haulage business. Apparently, there is a shortage of  lorry drivers to deliver goods to outlets. There are a few reasons for this but the problem goes back a few years to the time when hauliers employed cheap labour from northern and eastern Europe to the detriment of  British drivers who saw their wages eroded and quit the business. They now want to give temporary  visas to continental drivers again  but it won’t be easy because there are strict rules in the profession and it will take time to train personnel. I am interested in this subject because one of the jobs I had while in England was long distance lorry driving. Back in the early ‘sixties, a driver could pass a test in a mini car today and drive a huge lorry tomorrow. That stopped with the introduction of the HGV licence and a very stringent test was introduced. I was one of the first to get one and they were so scarce at the time that truck driving became a very well paid job. It should be well paid because it requires a great deal of skill manoeuvring long trailers in tight spaces and requires 100% concentration while on the road. I remember replying to an ad in the paper for a driver with a firm that transported dangerous chemicals. I had been driving for some years but I had to undergo a special test. On the appointed day I turned up at the depot and was told to get a tractor unit that was parked down the yard, bring it up and pick up a trailer that was at the other end of the ground. I sat into the cab of an old AEC tractor unit that I wasn’t familiar with and, looking at the dash, I could see no keys or even a place to insert one if I had it. Down by my left hand side I spotted a panel of switches with a couple of black buttons as well. I figured that one of the black buttons was the starter and one of the switches was to turn on the ignition, but which one?  Nothing for it but to start at the first one, flick it on and try the two buttons. As I went from switch to switch I could see headlights, warning lights and side lights reflected in the office windows up the yard. Eventually I hit the right one,  there was a growl as the starter turned and I was away. I picked up the trailer and the tester sat in with me. He told me where to drive and we reached an industrial estate where I had to reverse around corners and into tight spaces.  We came back through the town of Runcorn which has narrow streets and you needed all your wits about you to get a long trailer through traffic. Back at the yard he told me to  park up the trailer while he went into the office to report to the transport manager. When I was finished I was called into the office where the transport manager offered me the job and asked me if I could start on Monday. I was delighted and of course said I would be there. Before I left he said to me: “do you know what impressed me about you?   You checked that all the lights and signals were working before you started the truck”  Little did he know that I hadn’t a clue what I was pressing but it was a stroke of good luck and got me the job. To get back to today’s problem; it wouldn’t exist if drivers were paid a decent wage. The same can be said about the “crisis” in the health service. There are so many vacancies for doctors, nurses and consultants that can not be filled because wages here are too low in comparison to what can be earned overseas.  It comes down to money and living conditions. Even if the money was greatly improved the cost of living in Ireland, especially in the Dublin area , is so high that it will be impossible to attract people from abroad and keep the ones we have here. Accommodation is the biggest problem with the price of buying  or renting a house now outside the range of most middle professions.  How did we get ourselves into such a mess and how will we get out of it?   It won’t be easy in the short term but we need to start acting on housing straight away. I would suggest that another look should be taken at the planning system which is cumbersome and delays the building of houses for  no good reason sometimes. Build smaller houses that will be affordable to couples starting out. Nobody needs four or five bedroom houses when starting off. All you need is a roof over your head and a place to be warm and safe. There will be plenty of time to trade up when bigger premises are necessary. Bring back the building of one off cottages in the countryside by local authorities. A person should be allowed to build on their own land as long as the construction does not interfere with main roads etc.  Some of the council charges should also be reduced. Heavy charges for connections to services are putting tens of thousands of Euros on house prices. People are going to be paying for them as they go along anyway. Put a limit on the cost of renting. Lack of supply means that landlords can ask what they like at the moment and it isn’t fair to those who won’t have enough money left over to save for a mortgage. Even if the housing crisis was fixed we need to pay medical professionals the going rate for the job. Some will want to go abroad after qualifying anyway but I think that, if the state has invested heavily in their education, they should be obliged to spend a certain amount of time in the Irish health service  before emigrating to greener pastures. These problems will not be fixed overnight and we will have to put up with waiting lists and trolleys in corridors for the foreseeable future.

Sláinte Care is also in crisis mode with the retirement of the two main people on the board. Free health care for all sounds very good and politicians who promote it are looked on very favourably by the electorate but, did they ever really want to create it?  My guess is no. The idea is very good but the actual cost would be so much that some very unpalatable decisions would have to be made to the tax regime. If we want better services we are going to have to pay for them and, at the moment we just do not have the money. With what we have lost through the Covid pandemic in the last couple of years, will we ever again be able to afford anything?


Denny Mulvihill, Colbert Street on his Malin to Mizen cycle

For the 2nd time in 12 months Denny Mulvihill of Colbert St. did the journey from Malin to MIZEN on his own over 4 days with an average of 170k each day. Last year the trip had to be cancelled due to Covid.

What an achievement for a 76 year old. This year 2021 Denny did the same trip only this time he had a group of 45 riders with him. Some of the riders who completed the journey, which was an arduous task to say the least, had themselves suffered from Cystic Fibrosis which the cycle was in aid of.

Denny is very appreciative of the donations he has received over the years, for the many charities he has cycled for and donated to.. He has received donations from as far away as New-York, Chicago, Canada, London and especially from his own Athea community.

Denny had a target of €2000 but finished up with the magnificent sum of  €8,000 which indeed will be a great help to the CYSTIC FIBROSIS CHARITY.

Denny cannot be stopped and has done untold work fund raising for so many charities over the past 38 years. He is to be admired and complimented for his Trojan work. We wish him well for many more years of Fund-Raising on his bike covering the Length and Breadth of Ireland.