Attending the annual horse fair at Athea on Sat. 6th November were Billy White, Pat, Melody and Holly O’Sullivan also Adam Wall. Photo Moss Joe Browne.

Book Launch

Anybody who has lived long enough can remember a time in this area when many of the words and phrases used by the people of the parish were part of the Irish language. As time elapsed more and more of these links with our history were dropped from everyday conversation. It is important that we do not forget this period when  the fusion of both Irish and English added great colour to our way of speaking. It isn’t an easy task but Timmy Woulfe took it upon himself to list all those words and phrases and they are now listed in a book called “As Tough as Táthfhéithleann”.  It is a must read for anybody interested in our history and will bring back many memories to the older amongst us.

The book will be officially launched in the Community Hall, Athea on Friday, November 19th. at 8pm. A night to look forward to.

Traditional Music and Singing Classes

Registration for Athea Comhaltas traditional and music classes will take place at the Top of the Town on Friday next, Nov 19th from 6.15 to 7pm. Beginners and improvers welcome. The guidelines regarding Covid will be strictly observed at any future classes.

Athea Tidy Towns Report    

(click on link below)

ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S CHURCH, ATHEA

2021-County-Limerick-Athea-961

Readers:                                                                         Sat – A. Cafferky        Sun – John Redmond

Eucharistic Ministers:                                             Sat – M. Ahern                  Sun – C. Woulfe

Mass Intentions:

Fri Nov 19th 7.30pm:                                            Jack Stackpoole (Month’s Mind)

Sat Nov 20th 7.30pm:                                          Mrs. Ita Bradley (1st Anniversary). Jack Lynch.

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

https:/churchservices.tv/athea

If you wish to book an anniversary mass, a wedding mass 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 14th December.

November – Remembering the Holy Souls

Parishioners will find purgatorial lists beside the weekly offerings box in the church, these can be returned to the church and those listed will be remembered at all masses during November.

Graveyard Mass at Templeathea was cancelled last Friday Nov 12th due to poor weather conditions – however should the weather be ok this coming friday Nov 21st mass will be held there at 4pm.

Please call to the church during the month of November to remember your deceased ‘loved ones’ and place their names on our Remembrance tree.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

“Look in on your local”  was an ad on TV a few years ago encouraging people to socialise in their local pub. Going to the pub wasn’t always the custom in Ireland, mainly because for hundreds of years the people of the country were subject to the ruling landlords and had very little money to spend. When we eventually gained our independence, and as we became more prosperous, the pub began to play a big part in the social life of the community. People who lived in towns and villages  got into the habit of having a drink when the day’s work was done before they went home to their supper.  It was a time to meet with their fellow traders and workers and discuss the news of the day. There were also a few in the bar who might be a little work shy but none the less had their own opinions on every matter. There were always a few characters who could be relied on to liven up proceedings, never letting the truth come in the way of a good story so a good time was had by all. People from the country did not go to the pub on a regular basis but, if they did have occasion to go to town for any reason, they always had a drink believing it was bad luck not to do so. As one man put it: “you couldn’t take a slate off the roof”. This was true when going to Mass on Sunday as well. After Mass, the women would do the shopping and the men would meet in the pub for a social drink with the neighbours even though it was illegal to be on a licensed premises at that time on a Sunday. There was always a side door or a back door open to accommodate the thirsty few and somebody kept a lookout for the guards who knew well what was going on but most of the time turned a blind eye. That could change if a new sergeant or super came to the district or if a squad car came  from a neighbouring area. If there was a raid, those on the premises, whether drinking or not, would be  summonsed to appear as “found-ons” at the next court day where they would be fined a small amount and then go back to the pub to drown their sorrows. Pubs really came into their own with the demise of the dancehalls at the end of the ‘sixties and the “dancing lounges” took over. People from near and far would gather at the weekends to have a social drink with the neighbours and dance the night away. I think it was great therapy and something for people to look forward to. Some of the lounges were very big but even the small pubs would put on entertainment at weekends. The word local to describe a pub came from England. It was the custom there for people to have a drink in the nearest small bar during the week and then to visit the bigger clubs in the centre of town at the weekends. When I lived in Coventry I was spoiled for choice. Next door to me were two pubs and a few doors down the street the Four Provinces Club catered for the Irish at the weekends.  I seldom went there at the weekend because I played music at the Kerryman’s Club in the city centre on Sunday nights and I also used to visit a club called  The Shamrock owned by a West of Ireland man called Tom Gaughan. Then there was a big club called the Banba that featured the big showbands from Ireland. These were where the Irish met over the weekends and I have very good memories of them. In England at the time there was too much time spent in the pub. Young lads came over from Ireland and got digs in houses. When they came from work there was nothing to do except sit in the room so most of them got into the habit of going to the pub and, not only did it affect their health, it also left them with very little money. Some became alcoholics and died well before their time but there were others who were able to temper their drinking habits and prospered in their adopted country. In Ireland the scene was a bit different but pubs flourished, particularly in the latter part of the last century. Since then there has been a decline in the pub trade with many rural pups closing down. When I was going to St. Ita’s College in Abbeyfeale there were 42 licensed premises in the town. There are now only a handful left. When we started the “Lucky Numbers” lottery in Athea, back in the ‘nineties, there was eleven public houses in the village, each one doing a good trade particularly at the weekends.  At the time the drink driving laws were lax and people had their few pints and drove home. That all changed over time and, with the advent of home entertainment, the numbers going to pubs dwindled. Now we only have a few left and some of them are struggling to keep their heads above water. There is also of course the matter of expense. Back in the last century drink was relatively cheap but that day has gone and the cost of a night out now can be prohibitive. Say a couple agree to meet another couple at a pub one night. If they live in the countryside they will have to get a taxi there and back, A round of drink for four people can cost between twenty and thirty euro and there will be a few of them during the night. A babysitter may also have to be employed so, at the end of the day, a night out could cost  over €100.  That same couple can stay at home and have a few drinks, bought from the local supermarket or off-licence, for a fraction of the cost. So, I think the writing is on the wall for pubs as we knew them. Year on year, more traders are getting out of the market and, as one former publican said to me the other day; “you’d want to be mad to buy a pub now”

There was great sporting activity at the weekend with both the soccer and rugby teams winning their matches. I was absolutely delighted to see the crowds back again and the atmosphere created in the stadiums however I did not like when Irish fans started singing “The Fields of Athenry” when the All Blacks were performing their “Haka” a tribal warrior dance. This is a celebration of their culture and should be respected as such. There was also disappointment for me in the Ireland v Portugal soccer match when Ronaldo was booed by sections of the crowd every time he touched the ball. This is just yobbish behaviour, aping what happens across the water, and is an insult to one of the greatest footballers who has ever played the game. He showed his true nature when he gave his jersey to a young lady who managed to evade the stewards and get onto the pitch at the end.