Archive for May, 2022


Shane Enright, Templeathea, who received his 1st Holy Communion recently, accompanied by his sister Kaliyah and brother Aaron.

End of an Era

Following 45 successful and very enjoyable years in business in Athea I have made the decision to retire, therefore “Griffin Meats” will cease trading on Tuesday 31st May.

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank my loyal customers who have supported me for all those years.

I extend my grateful thanks and appreciation to Tom Enright for his dedication, commitment and friendliness and indeed to all my former staff.

My best wishes and thanks also to my wonderful and kind neighbours.

Finally, I wish the lovely Village of Athea and it’s traders continued success.

Best Wishes to Everyone. Gerry Griffin


The Lost Souls and guests including Donal Murphy and family, church cantors and surprise guests will perform at a concert in the Church of the Assumption Abbeyfeale on Friday, May 27 to show support for Ukraine.

Tickets on sale from the usual outlets and on the door on the night.


Mass Intentions next weekend – Sat 21/5/22

Thomas Broderick. John Pyke. Mary Dalton & Sr. Liam O’Sullivan. Mick McCoy. Mossie, Hannie, Sean & Paddy Fitzgerald  & Maureen Moore.

All mass services can be viewed online via the following link

Readers:                          Margaret Cotter & Mary McGrath.

Eucharistic Ministers:    Majella Dalton & Yvonne Roche.

Weekday Mass Times this coming week:

Tuesday & Thursday Morning at 9.30am – followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Devine Mercy Chaplet on Tuesday morning.

Sacristans Collection:

A sincere ‘thank you’ from Siobhán and Theresa to all who contributed to the recent Parish Clerk’s collection.

Parish office hours:   Mon – Fri 11am-1pm.

Contact Siobhán on 087-3331459 or email [email protected] – if you wish to book a mass, make an enquiry for a christening/wedding date, arrange a signed mass cards and all administration queries. The next baptism course will be on Tuesday June 7th and will revert to the second Tuesday of the month thereafter July 12th & Aug 9th.

Tickets available to purchase from the parish office for anyone wishing to attend the ‘Concert for Ukraine’ which takes place in Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Abbeyfeale next Friday evening 27th May.

A New Springtime In our Parish – A New Beginning

Dear parishioners, as you are aware Fr Brendan Duggan retired from parish ministry on Easter Sunday. We thank Fr Brendan for his years of dedicated service to the people of Athea and we wish him all the best for the future as he takes up his new appointment in Rockwell College.

Under the new Pastoral Area structure in the diocese of Limerick, Fr Tony Mullins and Fr Denis Mullane will be  looking after the pastoral needs of the people of Athea. Athea parish is part of the local Pastoral Area of parishes that also includes the parishes of Abbeyfeale, Tournafulla, Mountcollins and Templeglantine. Fr Denis and Fr Tony are assisted in the overall running of the five churches in the pastoral area by the Pastoral Area Council. The Pastoral Area Council is comprised of representative of the five churches in the area along with the priests of the area. There are 16 pastoral areas in the diocese of Limerick.

Fifteen years ago, there were eight priests working in the five parishes in the pastoral area. Today there are just two.  This will mean some changes in all five parishes. In the parish of Athea these changes include new arrangements for mass times, funerals and baptisms. While there is no longer a priest resident in the parish of Athea, Fr Tony and Fr Denis will provide all the services required by parishioners in Athea. They are supported in this role by an active Pastoral Council in the parish and by many voluntary lay people who assist in a variety of ministries in the church and in the parish community. In this newsletter we outline the services that continue to be available to parishioners. Fr Tony and Fr Denis wish to extend an invitation to all parishioners to join with them weekly in offering Mass as a community. We welcome the involvement of parishioners in celebrating Mass and in particular the children and young people of our parish.

Over the past two years parishioners have had to cope with a variety  of restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has had a impact on all of us. Many have returned to living life as before, others are not as confident as before, especially some of the more vulnerable members of the parish. The pandemic has also impacted on young people and their lives were curtailed in a way that we could never have  imagined prior to the lockdowns. Now as we begin a new era in the life of the parish we invite and encourage parishioners of all ages to reconnect with parish and church life. Pope Francis recently said that “A Catholic parish  is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a center of constant missionary outreach.” It is at Mass that we experience the fulness of communion with God and with each other. In the Eucharist we are fully nourished by the Lord.  Fr Tony and Fr Denis look forward to welcoming you.  Mass times are included in this newsletter.

Weekend Mass

From Easter Sunday onwards there will be just one mass at the weekend in the parish. During the summertime, the weekend mass will be celebrated on Saturday evening at 7.30pm. In the wintertime mass will be celebrated on Sunday morning. The time of this mass will be decided in October.

Weekday Mass

There will be two weekday masses celebrated in Athea each week. The times of these masses will be announced at weekend mass through the church newsletter and through text message to those who regularly attend weekday Mass.

First Friday Communion Calls

Holy Communion will be brought to the sick every month. Fr Tony will be in contact with all who are already on Fr Duggan’s First Friday Communion list.  A lay minister of the Eucharist may also bring Holy Communion to the sick and housebound. This can be arranged  with Fr Tony or by contacting the parish secretary on  087-3331459.

Parish Office – Parish Secretary

Siobhan Barrett is the parish secretary in Athea parish. Siobhan manages all the administration of the parish. If you wish to book an anniversary mass, make enquiries for baptisms/marriage dates, signed mass cards and all administration queries, contact Siobhan Mon to Fri 11am -1pm on 087-3331459 or email [email protected]  Siobhan is also responsible for publishing  the weekly church newsletter and keeps parishioners up to date on news and developments in the church through Facebook and WhatsApp groups.

Emergency Sick Calls

Contact Fr Tony Mullins on 087-2600414,  Fr Denis Mullane on 087-2621911, Fr Dan Lane on 087-2533030. A special arrangement is in place for emergency calls on Sundays.  Details of the priest on call each Sunday will be published in the parish newsletter each weekend.

Sacrament of Baptism

The Sacrament of  Baptism will be celebrated on the third Saturday of the month during the summertime (Apr to end of October) at 2.30pm and the third Sunday of the month in wintertime (October to end of March) at 12noon. Baptisms in Abbeyfeale are at 5.00pm on the first Saturday of the month and at 1.00pm on the second Sunday of the month. Requests for the sacrament of baptism should be directed to the parish secretary  on  087-3331459.  It is advised to give two months’ notice. Parents are expected to attend the pre baptism preparation meeting.

Getting Married

Couples intending to celebrate their marriage ceremony in Athea Parish Church should book their ceremony through the Parish Secretary Siobhan Barrett. Tel  087-3331459. It is advised to give at least 12 months’ notice. Individuals getting married will need to complete all the necessary marriage documentation at least 3 months before the date of their marriage ceremony. Contact Fr Tony directly on 087-2600414 to arrange to meet with him to complete the paperwork. Couples are encouraged to attend a Pre-Marriage Course well in advance of their marriage ceremony. Accord the Catholic Marriage support agency can be contacted at 069-61000 or email [email protected] It is recommended that the pre-marriage course should be completed as soon as a couple get engaged.


After consultation with the Pastoral Area Council, and the parish councils in each of the five parishes, it was agreed, that it will no longer be possible to have funeral Masses on a Sunday. This has been the case in the diocese of Kerry for some years. We are also asking families who are bereaved, where possible, to continue with the practice of bringing the remains of the deceased to the church on the morning of the funeral Mass, rather than the night before.

Over the coming months we will see  a greater involvement of lay people in the leading of the prayers at funerals, such as the prayers for the deceased in funeral homes, in the family home of the deceased and at the burial ceremony. Local Undertakers will also offer assistance and guidance to bereaved families in making arrangements. All details of times and arrangements must be agreed with the priest before details are published.

First Communion and First Confessions

A parish preparation programme for the children preparing for First Communion, First Confession and for the Sacrament of Confirmation and their parents will be offered by the parish from October to April. Details and dates of the programme will be announced in September. Dates for the celebration of these sacraments will be announced in October. We encourage all parents to bring their children to weekend Mass regularly.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will continue weekly. Details will be announced weekly through the Church Newsletter.  Adoration provides an opportunity to parishioners to spend time in quiet prayer and reflection. A time to rest and renew one’s spirit.

Lay Led Liturgy

There is no reason why parishioners cannot gather in the church for a formal Prayer Service led by a trained lay person. Details of such services will be announced at weekends through the Church newsletter.

Role of Retired Priests

We are blessed to have the assistance of Fr Dan Lane and Canon Jim Ambrose, both  retired from fulltime ministry. Fr Lane resides in Abbeyfeale and Fr Ambrose in Newcastle West. Fr Jim Ambrose was ordained in 1962 and Fr Dan Lane was ordained in 1971. Both men are willing to help out and are delighted to be of assistance whenever it is possible for them to do so.

Pastoral Council

The Parish Pastoral Council is a leadership group through which priests and people work together as co-responsible partners in furthering the mission of Christ in the parish. As a group, they think and plan for the parish on an ongoing basis, responding to present and future pastoral needs. In the autumn we will be asking more parishioners to join the Athea Pastoral Council. There is much work to be done and parishioners of all age groups have a contribution to make to our faith community. For more details contact Theresa O’Halloran.

Pastoral Area and Pastoral Area Council

Following on from the Limerick Diocesan Synod held in April 2016 the sixty parishes in the diocese were divided into Pastoral Areas. Our local Pastoral Area consists of the parishes of Athea, Tournafulla/Mountcollins, Templeglantine & Abbeyfeale. In November2019  Bishop Leahy announced the introduction of Team Ministry throughout the diocese. As part of this new structure there is one Pastoral Area Council made up of members of each of the parishes of the area. Each parish will continue to have its own smaller Parish Council. In introducing these new structures Bishop Leahy stated:  “The main goal in establishing Pastoral Units and Team Ministry is greater co-operation between parishes. The hope is that there will be a greater critical mass of energy, competencies and lay volunteers at the service of a number of parishes. As the Irish saying puts it, Ní neart go cur le chéile – our strength lies in unity.” Athea parish is represented on the Pastoral Area Council by Pat Higgins, Theresa O’Halloran, Siobhan Barrett and Michael Hayes. Pat Higgins is the chairperson of the Pastoral Area Council. As part of this structure two or three priests minister together as a team to the pastoral needs of the parishes in their pastoral area. Each of the priests is a “Co-Parish Priest,” that is, we no longer have one single Parish Priest per parish but several priests working in all of the parishes that are linked together as a pastoral area.

Parish Finance Committee

The role of the Parish Finance Committee is to assist the priest in the administration of the Parish Finances. The committee advises on all matters financial and act on behalf of the parishioners in the overseeing of parish accounts. The priest consults the committee on exceptional and significant expenditure in the parish. The Athea parish finance committee will meet shortly to review parish finances.

A New Journey Has Begun

Many will mourn the passing of a structure of parish life that we are all so familiar with and that served us so well. But  we set out on this new journey together against the backdrop of the  month of May – one of the most beautiful months of the year – when all of nature so vividly comes to life after winter.

We set out on this journey together, priests and people, young and not so young, in the full light of Easter and with the hopeful message of new life and infinite possibilities echoing in our hearts. On the day of his inaugural Mass Pope Francis said,  “Today amid so much darkness we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others” Homily at Inaugural Mass, Rome 19th March 2013

We ask the Risen Lord to strengthen us for the journey ahead and to give us all the courage and wisdom that we need to be a light of hope to one another in these challenging times.

A Catholic Parish “It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a center of constant missionary outreach.” Pope Francis –

Parish Office Hours: Mon – Fri 11.00am to 1.00pm

Tel 087-3331459 or email  [email protected]

Fr Tony Mullins on 087-2600414

Fr Denis Mullane 087-2621911

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

The front page of the newsletter today carries the sad news that Griffin’s Butchers are closing down at the end of the month. It is sad because it is the end of the line for a great family business that has served the people of Athea for many decades. It is just another example of the effects of big business on small retail outlets. I wrote lately about the many trades that once were thriving in our community but have now become just memories. The big supermarkets have hoovered up most of the small businesses in our rural towns and villages. It is no longer viable for specialist outlets to compete with the multi-nationals who can sell produce at a lower rate than  would make a profit for the shop on the street.  At one stage I thought that, by concentrating on supporting local enterprise, we would be able to reverse the trend but now I am not so sure. Times have changed and habits have also. Younger generations are not cooking dinners like their parents and grandparents used to and there is a strong move away from  eating meat to vegetarianism. We just have to accept the fact that village life, as we knew it, has come to an end and we are extremely lucky to have  a really good shop, Hairdressers, Garage, the chemist and a doctor’s medical centre here in Athea. I am retiring myself in the near future and that will be another business gone. I would love to have something to pass on but, again, the big boys have cornered the market and it is no longer a viable concern. It is a new world and I hope  we can adapt and future generations will enjoy a totally different way of life. On a personal note I would like to wish Gerry a very happy retirement. His family have served us well and I know there are many of you out there who will miss his smiling face behind the counter.

As many of you know, I do a bit of walking most days and during those rambles I meet a lot of people. We always salute each other and then we do the Irish thing; talk about the weather!. Nothing wrong with that and it is a great opener to further exchanges if people are that way inclined. I was thinking lately about the different ways we use to describe the climate and how funny some of them are. The weather conversation consists of stating the obvious and the other person agreeing with it. “Isn’t it a glorious day” –  “absolutely beautiful”  We have so many ways to describe a wet day. It is raining, raining heavy, bucketing down, teeming out of the heavens, lashing down, pissin’ down, drizzely, squally, a squib, “dirty”, rotten, and one I could never understand: “raining cats and dogs”. If anyone knows where that came from, please let me know. My neighbour, Johnny Woulfe, or Johnny Patsy Mick, as we knew him, used to describe a wet day as “middlin’ damp outside” . On the other hand, if the climate wasn’t too hot, it might be described as perishing, freezing, cool, chilly, hard, skinning cold or arctic. You might be told: “there’s a nip in the air” or “ there are no flies out today”. One man in Abbeyfeale, Peter Healy who ran a very successful car dismantling business, was a great wit and one day when a man told there were no flies out he replied: “one thing’s for sure, any fly  you will meet out today, ‘tis home he’s going”. Describing a hot day was no different. There were various descriptions such as : glorious, beautiful, scorching, sweltering, too close and “a fine day thank God”. Isn’t it great that we have such diversity of  terms that enrich our vocabulary and I know there are many more than I have included here.  What is important is to continue exchanging pleasantries and telling each other what we already know! I have lived in other parts of the world where people don’t salute each other and, if you attempted to do so to a stranger, you would be looked on with apprehension as if you had some ulterior motive. So, “’tis a fine soft day, thank God” is music to my ears.

The County Fleadh Cheoil is almost upon us and you might even say it kicked off last Friday night with the launch at the Top of the Town. Over twenty musicians turned up to entertain the locals and visiting dignitaries and a great session ensued. There were many singers who also added to the atmosphere and the Top of the Town provided very tasty food for everyone. Now that the mood is set we look forward to next Wednesday night when the festival starts with the story-telling night at the Top of the Town. This proved to be a great success last time we ran the event as was the singing night which will be repeated on Thursday night at the same venue. These bring back memories of the past when people had to make their own entertainment and sat around the fires at night, telling stories and singing songs. Athea was always a great place for singing, mostly songs composed by the many poets and ballad makers who lived in every townland. Most of those songs have survived and are being sung by young singers today. Traditional songs are an important part of our heritage because they paint a picture of a point in time when life was very different to what it is today. The one thing that has not changed is human emotions and we can empathise with the stories of  emigration, unrequited love, war, comic happenings and all the other topics described in verse many years ago. It is important that those traditions are kept alive and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann are doing their best through events like the Fleadh Cheoil to ensure they passed on to future generations. We, here in Athea, are proud to play our part.









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Kathleen’s Corner-25/05/2022

By Kathleen Mullane


Well it was a week of many happy events this past week in our parish for one reason or another.

Last week it was the turn of Grace Ryan, daughter of Claire and Roger, Lower Athea, who celebrated her 21st birthday along with family relatives and friends at her home. Sincere congrats to Grace on this happy occasion.

Another Big Birthday this past week for Anne Scanlon of Upper Athea who celebrated her 60th birthday and had a lovely time with her family, and then headed off to England to continue the celebrations with relatives and friends, congrats to Anne on her special day.

Congrats to Sarah and Keith Reilly who now reside in New York and who were blessed with their first baby a little girl they are naming Siomha. It’s the first little grandchild for Teresa and Mike Flavin of Dirreen who are super excited so much so that Nana Teresa hopped on a plane to visit her new granddaughter.

Supposedly there are now another 2 more Covid variants floating around, and someone was just saying the other day that kids aren’t getting out and about and building up their immune system. God be with the days when children would eat their breakfast and head off out and about for the day around the fields playing and making their own fun, and using their imagination to build cubby houses as they were called, and only get home when the Hunger would hit them, maybe as Black as the ace of spades as they would say, maybe not even washing the hands half the time. They were immune in those days to a lot more.

If you haven’t had the chance to hand in your envelopes for the Sacristan’s collection ,you can still do so anytime. Siobhán and Theresa can’t be thanked enough for all they do day after day in our church .

The FLEADH is fast approaching on the June Bank Holiday weekend. It should be a great time for music lovers and indeed our whole community and visitors who will come from far and near for the occasion. All that’s needed now is some lovely SUNSHINE.



How EMPTY would the man’s world be Without them.  







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Knockdown News-25/05/2022

By Peg Prendeville

As I said last week, Mass times will change in the parish of Loughill/Ballyhahill from next weekend June 4th when Mass will be in Foynes at 6pm and in Kilcolman at 7.30pm. From Sunday June 5 Mass will be in Loughill at 9.30 am, Shanagolden at 10.00 am and Glin at 11am.

I had a lovely pleasant visit from a few neighbours recently and we were discussing how good it is to be able to visit in comfort again; without masks or the fear of contacting or passing on Covid. Hopefully, even though we hear of a new strain, that easiness will continue. There is no doubt that the lockdowns put angst into people who are still recovering from the isolation and the fear. I realise that these measures had to be taken but they took their toll on people’s mental health also. It is good to hear of people’s plans to travel this year; hopefully they will all enjoy the freedom of holidays whether abroad or at home.

Ballyhahill school is having a party on the 10th of June at 12 noon to celebrate Mrs Hartnett’s retirement and is inviting anybody who wishes to join them.

It is bog weather. I admit I only went to see the turf and have not done any actual work as I am leaving it to the next generation but I came across this poem which I wrote in 2014. The grandchildren consider it a great adventure when they go and they have fun but, to be fair they help out too.

A day in the bog

Today I took my grandson to the bog;

the same bog in which my ancestors spent

their lives scraping a living; backs broken

from bending over stooks of heavy turf.

I showed this toddler how to build a “foot”

He watched and then he placed two upon two

“Is it like this?” he asked with eager eyes

And I could almost hear my father say

“Good man you are; you can’t bate the breedin”.

I stood to arch my back against the strain

And smiled as another generation

Left his mark on the soft brown mountain soil.

For in my heart I knew to him ‘twas fun

And for him the drudgery would be gone.


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