Archive for January, 2022


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.














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Kathleen’s Corner-18/01/2022

By Kathleen Mullane


These are the words that were to be seen and heard in so many places over the last few days, as the death of the young teacher Aisling Murphy stunned our country, and not only in Ireland but in many parts of the world where Irish Communities held Vigils for the young woman.

Here in Athea our Vigil was held at the GAA Pitch on Friday night. Paul Curry welcomed and thanked everyone for coming, and Fr Duggan said a decade of the rosary for the repose of her soul. Well done to all Athea organisers who had candles lighting, music playing in the stand and posters throughout the track. In all it was a memorable gathering by our community in her memory. May the light of heaven be hers.

Sympathy is extended to Maurice Stack of Beenanaspug and the Stack family of Gale Bridge in Moyvane on the death last week of John Stack brother of Maurice. R.I.P.

The death also occurred in Moyvane last week of Mikey Flaherty formerly of Blaine Athea. He was laid to rest following Requiem Mass on Sunday in Holy Cross Cemetery here in Athea.

The deaths have also occurred in England of Harry Windle formerly of Glenagragra, Athea, who died in Birmingham recently, and also Denis Browne our uncle formerly of Kileedy a regular visitor to Athea in times past who died in London. May they all rest in peace.

The wedding took place after Christmas of Jenny Liston, daughter of Kay and John of Upper Athea, to Liam Kavanagh. They were assisted on their special day by Eleanor Liston, Kieran Liston, Grace Hough and Abbie Galvin. Everyone had a great day at The Dunraven Arms in Adare. Congrats to the newly weds and all the best for the future.

Can you believe it, the Christmas SHOEBOX APPEAL this year had a total of 178,479 boxes sent by Team Hope from Ireland to countries all over the world this year to children who may have had little for Christmas. The shoeboxes from the Limerick Area went to Romania, so all of you who were so good yet again to fill your shoebox be Super Proud that you have made some little Boy or Girl very Happy. Well done.


Obstacles are what appear when you take your eyes off your dreams.


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Knockdown News-18/01/2022

By Peg Prendeville

There isn’t a person in Ireland who has not been touched or affected by the murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore last week. The whole country is in sympathy with the Murphy family as they bury their talented daughter today Tuesday 18th January. It has been the topic on many radio and TV programmes during the week. One comment stood out for me which was “It’s not ALL men but it’s ALWAYS men.” I am not against men – I am happily married to a good man, I have two good sons and I had a good father. But I did a little private survey yesterday and find that a large percentage of the women in my life, both family and friends, would have had reason to feel threatened by a man at some point in their lives. Doesn’t that make sad reading. I had to run for cover walking home from work after overtime one night while working in Dublin because a man kept following me. We should be able to live in a world where we do not have to be afraid of being mugged or raped or even jeered at. Many think that Ashling’s murder will change society and it would be nice to think so but, sadly, there will always be some bad apples in the world. But it would be nice to think there would be less from now on. “Incredible good can come from unspeakable evil” -a line from a book called “The Shack.” We also have to keep in mind the suffering of the family of the man who did the evil deed. They cannot be feeling good at this time. Neither can the perpetrator.

On a much more pleasant topic Jim and I and other family members took a walk on the Limerick Greenway from Abbeyfeale towards the Kerry bounds on Sunday last. It was a most beautiful day with clear blue skies. I could not believe how full the car park was at the Station house in Abbeyfeale. It seemed that everybody was out for the day. Thankfully the wheelchair space was free and we had a most pleasant walk along a spotless track, apart from one discarded mask by the verge. It was great to see so many happy faces, children on bikes, toddlers on trikes, all enjoying the freedom. We are lucky to have such an amenity close by. It was Jim’s first trip on a motor chair and it lifted his spirits also, although I had to force him to come out for the day. Sometimes we have to be cruel to be kind!

We look forward to the easing of the restrictions of Covid 19 soon.


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