Jenny Liston, Daughter of Kay and John, on her wedding day to Liam Kavanagh at Christmas

Con Colbert Hall AGM

Con Colbert Memorial Hall AGM will take place on Wednesday January 26th at 8pm at the hall. New members are especially welcome. All those attending are asked to bring a mask and maintain social distancing at all times.

Graveyard’s Collection

Envelopes can still be dropped in to the Community Council Office or to the Collection Box at the Credit Union.



Golf Society AGM

The AGM of Athea Golf Society will be held at the Library on Thursday, January 20th at 8pm. This will include election of officers and programme for the year. Please bring your masks. New members especially welcome.


Mass Intentions next weekend

Fri Jan 21st 7.30pm:    Joe Brouder. Sat Jan 22nd 7.30pm:  Liam & Noreen Mullane and Kitty Danaher. Timothy O’Donoghue. Mary Leahy. John & Catherine Leahy and Joan Phelan. Alice O’Sullivan (Knocknagorna).                              Sun Jan 23rd 10.30am:   Doris Horgan (Anniversary & Birthday). Maurice & Eileen Cotter, Sr. Benedict, Margaret & Aidan O’Reilly.

RIP: Your prayers are requested this week for Michael (Mickey) Flaherty, Moyvane and formally of Blaine, Athea – recently deceased.

All masses are streamed live on

If you wish to book a mass etc., text/phone Siobhán on 087-2237858 or email the parish office at [email protected]

Ministers of the Word and Ministers of the Eucharist

Sat 22/1   Patsy Hayes / Mary Sheahan Sun 23/1   Maireád O’Donovan / Eilish Geoghegan.

Baptismal Information: Any parent wishing to baptise their child must have completed the baptismal course. Next course Tues Feb 8th – Please contact Theresa for further details 087 1513565

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

I often wonder about life after death, more so now since I am in my twilight years and somehow the future doesn’t seem to stretch that far ahead. It was simple long ago when we got our religious education at home and at school. There was heaven, purgatory and hell. Heaven was never really explained except that it was “up” and we would be happy there for eternity. Purgatory, or limbo, was a place where those who had to do penance for their sins waited for the all clear to be called into heaven. Nobody knew where it was.  Hell, on the other hand,  had a much more vivid description; it was a place “down” there somewhere reserved for people who had the misfortune to die in mortal sin where they were cast into raging fires to burn forever.  Can you imagine what effect that information had on a five year old. It certainly frightened the living daylights out of me and I lived in fear of dying in mortal sin for years. This is just one religion’s version of the afterlife and they all have the concept of reward and punishment to look forward to. Some believe in reincarnation where we die but come back again in a different body. I have thought about this and my idea of hell is to be reincarnated as a woman. This is not because I do not like women, on the contrary, I have every respect for them but I think they have been treated abominably by society and religious organisations since the dawn of time. They weren’t just treated as second class citizens; they were ignored as citizens and had no rights at all. Even the Bible tells us that God created woman as an afterthought  and  made her from one of Adam’s spare ribs because he thought  it wasn’t good  “for man to be alone”. Wives were the property of their husbands, to do with as they wished and that was enshrined in law up to the latter part of the last century. The wedding vows told her to “love, honour and obey”  and if the husband did not like what she was doing he had a legal right to “chastise”  her. That meant a man could beat his wife with the blessing of the church and state!

It is not that long ago since matches were made for women to marry into farms. Can you imagine the scenario. A young innocent woman is married to a complete stranger who usually was a good few years older than her because he had to wait to inherit the farm before bringing in a woman. Both are without any form of sex education, except what they have seen farm animals do, and are expected to share a bed from the word go. I know some of these matches worked out ok but many did not and the women lived in misery for the rest of their lives. They were there to produce children, run the house, prepare meals as well as helping out on the farm and always be willing to afford the husband his conjugal rights. They were nothing more than slaves and most of them never had money of their own. Those who were not “lucky” enough to be married into farms could choose their own partners, This did not always work out well either and company keeping had its own pitfalls. The worst thing that could happen to a woman was to get pregnant. This would bring shame on the family so, more often than not, they were sent into a mother and baby home and we all know now what went on there. The unmarried mother was looked down on but the unmarried father wasn’t. He was just “one of the lads” sowing his wild oats and was almost lauded for it. Even in modern times women who had sex outside marriage were called sluts, jezebels, easy and many other names that I cannot put into print while the “lady’s man” was looked up to. During my own time going to the dance, the main place where boy met girl, it was left up to the woman to stop the man from having sex with her. Most of the men took the hint but others did not and many women were sexually assaulted on a regular basis. Indeed many were raped but would not report it through being ashamed and risking the accusation of somehow leading the man on. This was thought to be “normal” behaviour and again highlights the position of the female in society.

Not that long ago women were not allowed to vote and it took years of campaigning  to force the male dominated political world to accept them as equals. In this country, up to the middle of the last century, a woman who worked for the government as a clerical officer, nurse, teacher etc, had to give up her job when she got married. A woman’s place was in the home, bearing and minding children and pandering to her husband’s needs and wishes. The church’s view on women does not help either. They will not allow priests to marry because the woman might be a bad influence and would distract them from their duties and they refuse to countenance the ordination of women to the priesthood.  In my humble opinion, a married priest might have a far more rounded view of life and have more understanding of his parishioners problems and I also think women would make far better ministers than men.

Over 25 years ago I was in Lourdes with Noreen for our 25th anniversary. At one of the Masses a priest, a friend and musical colleague of Fr. Tony Mullins, gave a sermon advocating the ordination of women to the priesthood. He pointed out that women are more caring and understanding than men and he asked a question; “when you were young and had a fall, who did you run to for comfort, your father or your mother?”  Think about it. That was 25 years ago and things have not progressed a lot since then.

This maltreatment of females was brought to my mind by the savage murder in Tullamore of Aislling Murphy. If you were asked to design the perfect Irish woman, you couldn’t improve on Aisling. She was beautiful, intelligent, a much loved teacher, traditional musician and a member of her local GAA club since she was old enough to handle a camán. That she could be attacked in broad daylight highlights the fear that women have to live with every day. This is so unfair and it is an indictment of my own gender and  the attitudes we  hold. Men think it is ok to pass lurid sexual comments and, unfortunately that view is shared by too many. I was once in the company of a few lads when one of them passed a comment as to what he would like to do to  a young lady who was serving behind the bar. I asked him if he would like to hear that remark passed about his sister or mother and he told me to relax, that he was only joking. Well it is no joke to the recipient of those obscene remarks  and should be called out on every occasion. Young people nowadays are far more knowledgeable about sexual relations than we were in our day  but both parents and schools are still not  doing enough. Most young men get their views on sex from pornographic sites which are freely available on smart phones and tablets. They depict women as mere sex objects that deserve no respect and have nothing to do with a loving, giving relationship.

This has to change. Women should not be afraid to walk on their own, but they are. Sometimes the way they dress is given as an excuse for a sexual assault. This is mere rubbish. A woman should have the right to walk stark naked if she likes without attracting unwanted attention.  We, men, are the problem. I am not saying that all women are saints, far from it. There are some vicious females out there as well but nearly all sexual crimes are performed by men on women. Things have to change and it is up to us all to play our part. Don’t tolerate any comments that are degrading even if meant as a joke. Start sexual education at a young age and impress upon young boys the necessity to show respect for the opposite sex. What happened to poor Aisling is a wake up call but if somehow, through her horrific ordeal, the plight of women will be improved, some good will have come of it and maybe I might not fear coming back as a woman after all.