4 Generations of O’Sullivan’s in Lower Athea. The boys adore baby Jack Con O’Sullivan who was called after their late Father. Connie and Pati both delighted to have the first O’Sullivan great grand child on the Lower road alongside them.


A meeting of the ATHEA FISHING  CLUB  will be held this  FRIDAY NIGHT, 6th MAY, at  THE TOP OF TOWN PUB at 9pm.

Fishing Permits are now on sale in PAUL COLLINS’ shop in the village.

Those purchasing  permits must provide  their  names, addresses & contact details for INSURANCE PURPOSES.

Do look out for upcoming  river competitions in further issues of the ATHEA NEWSLETTER.

Have a great angling  season.



We had a great day’s golfing in Tipperary last Saturday. This is a first class course set in the foothills of the mountains near the Glen of Aherlow and it was a pleasure to play there. After tight competition 1st place went to Tim Enright who just pipped John Redmond into 2nd place. Category A went to Aiden Keogh with Billy Crowley close on his heels.

Longest Drive went to Ger Griffin with Philip Woulfe taking Nearest the Pin.

A sincere thank you to Derek Curtin who kindly sponsored the competition

Our next outing is the big one of the year, the Captain’s Prize in Newcastle West on May 21st.  John Redmond has a glittering array of prizes lined up for the big occasion. These prizes and the prizes for all the competitions up to now will be presented at a special function at the Top of the Town on that Saturday evening. More news on that later.

Please book your spot for the Captain’s Prize as soon as possible.


Mass Intentions next weekend- Sat May 7th 7.30pm

Patsy O’Connor (South Keale) – 1st Anniversary, his parents Ann & William and his brothers

Jack & Joe.  Margaret White – 1st Anniversary.   Mary (Molly) White.

All mass services can be viewed online via the following link https://www.churchservices.tv/athea

Readers of the Word: Denise O’Riordan & Yvonne Roche

Eucharistic Ministers: Betty Ahern & Mary Hunt.

Weekday Mass Times this week change to Tuesday & Friday (First Friday) at 7pm.

Eucharistic Adoration and the Devine Mercy Chaplet after mass on Tuesday evening.

Crowning of Our Lady: The month of May is dedicated to Our Blessed Lady, so at next Saturday

evenings mass we will start Mass with a procession and place a crown on the statue of Our Lady.

We invite the First Holy Communion children to part-take in the procession and to each bring along a

small bouquet of handpicked wild flowers.

Bishop Brendan Leahy will visit the parish on Saturday 14th of May to celebrate the Vigil Mass with

parishioners at 7.30pm. All are welcome.

Parish Office Hours: Monday – Friday 11am-1pm

Contact Siobhán on 087-3331459. or email the parish office at [email protected]

if you wish to book an anniversary mass, make an enquiry about a christening or a wedding,

arrange a signed mass card and all other administration queries.

Thank You. Sincere thank you to all who continue to contribute to the Weekly Offertory Collection and to the Easter Dues Collection. Your ongoing support and generosity is very much appreciated.

Trocaire Appeal: If you would like to contribute to this years Trocaire Lenten campaign we ask you to do so by next weekend. Just put your donation into an envelope and write Trocaire on the front. We thank all who have already returned their Trocaire boxes. We plan to forward the entire Trocaire Collection to Trocaire after next weekend.

Pastoral Council meeting Thursday evening at 7.30pm in the church – open meeting.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

Somebody said to me the other day: “Isn’t there awful changes in Athea”.  I had to agree but I think the changes are not confined to any one place, they are universal. There are big changes in the way people make a living with some of the jobs that were there when I was growing up, now gone forever. On the other hand we now have jobs we had no names for  a few years ago. The biggest changes can be seen in rural areas. Up to the 1960s there was at least one or two horses on every farm. Most of them had two because they were needed to pull the heavy machinery that was necessary all year round. In springtime, the horse drawn cart would be used to draw the farmyard manure that had built up over the winter on to the fields where it was used as top dress  fertiliser to boost the growing of grass. Then they had to take the milk to the creamery, go to the bog to draw out and, later on, bring home the turf. There was always a bit of spring ploughing and harrowing to do as every farm had a good garden and  oats had to be grown for the horses. Ploughing was hard work and required two strong horses working in tandem. The ploughman also had to be skilful and there was great pride in leaving a straight furrow. In the summertime the meadow took over with two horses again needed to pull the mowing machine and one to pull the turner, raker and tumbling jack or slide. The horse did not even get Sunday off because the family had to be taken to Mass in the trap. So the horse was central to farm life and had to be well cared for. To connect the horse to the cart and various machinery, special harness had to be made. Most of this was made from leather and it provided a good living for a harness maker in every locality. They also made bags and stuff but their main employment was the winkers, collars, straddles, bellybands and breechings that made up the uniform of the work horse.  It was a skilled profession but alas with the advent of the tractor, the horse gradually disappeared from farms and there was less need for the skills of the trade. Another profession that suffered from the loss of the work horse was the blacksmith. Horses had to be shod at regular intervals and there was also repairs to the farm machines. The common horse cart was made of  wood with two big wheels. These wheels were protected by an iron band that was made and fitted at the forge. Every village had at least one blacksmith who made a good living but, again, that day is gone.

Another profession that has gone by the wayside is the making of clothing. We had tailors and dress makers who were busy sowing cloth together to make outfits. When I was growing up you could not walk into a shop and buy a suit of clothes. You had to go to the draper, choose a  “suit length” from a type of material  and take it to a tailor who would then measure you and make it into a suit for you. It took time and you had to go back to him a couple of times for fittings when he had so much done. The same procedure took place for women who wanted a dress or a costume made. Clothes were really expensive back then so it is no wonder that great care was taken of the “new suit”. It was worn for Mass on Sunday and immediately taken off and put away as soon as you got home. The “new suit” would be called that for years and years. Tailors were always portrayed as sitting cross-legged on a table, sowing away. I always thought this was only a myth until I actually saw the real thing. This was in the early ‘seventies while I was working as Munster organiser for Comhaltas. The secretary of Scartaglen branch was the daughter of a tailor and I used to call on her each month as part of my rounds. One day I called and when I knocked on the door, a male voice bade me come in. I did so and there was the tailor sitting cross-legged on the table, working away. This was coming to the end of the tailor era as shops now had off the peg clothes that could be bought at a very reasonable price. There are still some tailors in operation but they provide clothes for businessmen and other professionals that wear clothes to impress. The rest of us are happy to shop in Dunne’s and Penny’s for our outfits.

The shoemaker has also almost disappeared. As with the suits, ready made shoes were not available so the shoemaker was busy shaping leather over his last to provide cover for the feet. Working men got tough boots made with rows of studs imbedded in the souls. They were called “hob-nailed boots” and were very heavy. They were laced with leather thongs which we pronounced “fongs”.  There was an expression in our part of the country that could be heard if somebody who had transgressed in some way needed to be punished. “he’d want a good “fonger” up in the arse” meaning, a kick in the backside with a hob-nailed boot. They were durable and heavy but were ideal for working on the land. The shoemaker was also busy repairing shoes and boots that had become damaged by wear and tear.  Only a few remain today as shoes are relatively cheap and most of them are not made from leather anymore. Those are just three professions that have been lost to modern advances and we will never see them again. Our villages are fast becoming places to sleep rather than business hubs and it is a great pity. We are all the poorer for it.


Desmond Cup semi-final Result:

Athea United 1 Newcastle West Town 2

Our junior team came very close to pulling of a major shock result in the Desmond Cup semi-final last Saturday night in Desmond league headquarters in Clounreask. Having taken the lead through Dylan Griffin early in the second half after a scoreless first half.

2 late goals from Newcastle West Town left us just short of what would have been a major cup upset, but to get this far alone was a great achievement by Shane and his squad. Still plenty to fight for in the coming weeks with the possibility of promotion to division 1 still up for grabs as well as two more cup competitions to fight for. No doubt this cup run will spur our boys on to finish the season strongly and maybe even pick up a bit of silverware for our trophy cabinet.

Team: In goals Mark O’Connor, across the back, Steven McEnery, Ger Collins, Jamie Sheehan, Ronan Hayes.
Middle of the park, Andy Ahern, Ger Ahern, Dylan Griffin, Mark Horgan and up front Andrew Riordan and Kevin Murphy.
Missing from the picture from the starting 11 is Dylan Griffin and team manager Shane Mulvihill