Farewell Fr. Brendan
Saying goodbye is never easy so we are sad that the Mass on Easter Sunday will be the last time Fr. Duggan will officiate as our Parish Priest. Since he came to Athea he has endeared himself to the community and worked tirelessly on behalf of the parish. We wish him the very best in a retirement he richly deserves after all his service to the Church throughout the world. We hope he won’t be a stranger and call back to see us in the future.


Athea Tidy Towns will again take part in the Annual Team Limerick Good Friday Litter clean up. Anyone with a few hours to spare on Friday morning is asked to get involved in order to clean up our roads. All equipment will be provided. Pre registration essential by texting/whatsapp 087 9042477.

Athea Utd A.F.C.

A grand total of €3,865 has been raised so far this year in Athea in aid of Milford Hospice. This has been achieved in part from the annual St. Stephen’s Day soccer tournament held at the Vales, but largely through a pub quiz organised by Sharon Reidy and family in memory of the late Pa Walsh. Great credit is due to all the organisers, volunteers and hosts who gave their time to make both events a success for this very worthy cause.


Easter Ceremonies

Holy Thursday -Mass at 7.30pm

Good Friday – Stations of the Cross 3pm.

The Passion of our Lord 7.30pm

Easter Vigil – Sat 16th Apr 7.30pm

Easter Sunday Apr 17th – Mass at 11am

Lenten Programme (All services available through the webcam)

Wednesday 7.30 pm: Lenten Prayer Service.

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

Easter Mass Bouquets available in the church – inside main front door.

All masses/services are streamed live on https://www.churchservices.tv/athea

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


Fr. Brendan will be leaving the parish this Easter Sunday after nearly six years with us. We will be sad to see him go and want to wish him the best for the future as he takes up a new position with his own religious congregation in Rockwell College, Co Tipperary. Fr. Tony and Fr. Denis will be taking over responsibility for the parish from Easter Sunday onwards.

We will be having an extra special mass on Easter Sunday to ‘Thank’ Fr. Brendan for his time with us and will be making a presentation to him on behalf of the parish – however if anyone wishes to make a personal donation to Fr. Brendan you can place your envelope in the offertory box and it will be passed onto him.

Changes to Weekend Mass Times

With effect from the weekend after Easter (April 23/24) our weekend masses will be reducing from two to one. Mass during summer time will be on Saturday evening at 7.30pm and will switch to Sunday mornings during the winter time. This is in conjunction with other changes happening in our pastoral area. More information on this over the coming weeks.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

I had to pinch myself today to see if I wasn’t dreaming when I heard, on the radio, that the distribution of turf was to be outlawed from September 1st.  The important word here is “distribution” because it means that, not only can a person not sell turf but, they can’t even give it away free to a family member or neighbour. This is happening at a time when there is likely to be a shortage of oil and gas next winter due to the war in Ukraine and when the price of those commodities is going through the roof. It is ok for somebody with a “green” agenda to sit in Dublin and subject the people of rural Ireland to this tyranny but it shows how out of touch they are with the rest of us and how little they understand how we live. I heard one pundit say that this was to remove a big health hazard yet I remember a time when we had nothing else but coal, wood and turf to keep us warm and provide heat for cooking. Funny thing is; there were no people on trolleys in our hospitals or on long waiting lists to be even seen back then. Coal has gone from most of our houses for a while as more and more houses use oil and gas boilers as well as heat pumps. As for the pollution of the atmosphere; how much damage can the few turf fires that are left in rural Ireland do in comparison to what is happening in China, Russia, Africa, India and the Americas, north and south?.  Yes, a person can cut turf and save it for their own use but what about the older people who are living in remote places and depend upon buying a load of turf every fall to see them through the winter.  My uncle-in-law, Martin O’Keeffe, once said to me when we were discussing the fate of rural Ireland; “remember Danny that Ireland finishes at  The Red Cow”,  I now know what he meant and how much we don’t matter. This is why we have to get on to our TDs and let them know, in no uncertain fashion, that, if this proposal goes ahead, their seats in the Dáil will be in jeopardy. I know bogs are important and we need to preserve what we have left but there is no need for such drastic action. Year on year, the number of homes using turf are reducing and with the rules that ban chimneys in new houses it is only a matter of time before turf fires will be a thing of the past anyway. It is time for a common sense approach but  I’m afraid that our politicians are not endowed with a great deal of that. Turf was the life blood of this area after World War 2 and still plays a big role in our economy. I wonder what my late father would say if he were here now. He spent his life buying turf and transporting it down to County Limerick where it was badly needed.. From September on he could be jailed if the greens get their way. We cannot be silent on this so, please,  get on the phone, lap top or smart phone and let our representatives know exactly how we feel about a law that will leave vulnerable people without heat for the winter.

This Easter sees the end of an era. Fr. Duggan is retiring and, unfortunately, we will not have our own priest in Athea anymore. We are going the way of so many other villages in rural Ireland who will now have to depend on clergy from outside parishes to tend to their spiritual needs.  This is a huge change from when I was growing up. In those days 99% of the parish was Catholic and the most of them  attended Mass and took the Sacraments. The church would be full for two or three Masses on Sunday. Those days are gone however and now the congregation has dwindled and, even if it hadn’t, vocations have dropped and there simply aren’t enough priests to go around. The way things are going, it won’t be long before there won’t even be a church in the village because there won’t be a need for one. Even though I wouldn’t describe myself as a practising Catholic, I think it will be a great loss to the community and will leave a gap in many people’s lives. I wish Fr. Brendan every happiness in his retirement, He certainly made a difference during his time in Athea and made many necessary improvements. He was always approachable and ready to engage with new ideas. It is a great pity we did not have priests like him a few years ago when they did not embrace change and lost the confidence of some parishioners. I, for one, will miss him and the many chats we had. He will be remembered for his goodness and kindness and, sadly, for being the last priest in Athea.

I went to see “The Righteous are Bold” in the Glórach Theatre in Abbeyfeale last Friday night. I had intended to go the previous week but the death of my aunt Mary put that plan on the back burner. I have been watching and taking part in amateur drama productions for more years than I care to remember but I have never been so moved as I was on Friday night. This was down to the outstanding acting of Therese Prendeville who took the main role of a country girl who was possessed by evil spirits and had to be exorcised. Her delivery, movement and her total grasp of the character was spellbinding. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Therese is the granddaughter of Mary Jo Prendeville who starred in many a production throughout her lifetime. I think the play has finished in Abbeyfeale but there is a performance in Tournafulla and one in Rockchapel. It is well worth seeing as the other cast members give great performances a well.