Donie Lucey from The Irish Community Air Ambulance accepting a cheque for €8,400 from Mairead Langan, Carol Noonan, Patrick Langan and Dave Noonan  knockdown Vintage Club. This was the proceeds of the Vintage Run, Raffle and Auction held on March 27th. 

Athea National School

Are celebrating 100 years on Friday, 10th June at 12:00pm. There will be a mass at the school, followed by light refreshments and all are welcome, past pupils, staff or anyone connected to the school down through the years. Come along and celebrate with us!

Launch of the Fleadh

This year’s County Fleadh Cheoil will be launched at the Top, of the Town on this Friday, May 20th at 8pm. The purpose of the launch is to publicise the event so there will be representatives of all the local newspapers in attendance on the night. There will also be a bit of a music session and there is even a danger that someone might sing a song or two!!  The Top of the Town will provide some light refreshments so it promises to be an enjoyable occasion. It is important that we have a good crowd on the night as it shows support for the Fleadh in Athea, an event we have hosted on nine other occasions since the branch was formed fifty years ago. We will be celebrating that milestone later on in the year so, as they say, “watch this space”. Hope to see many of you on Friday night.


Athea Parish Church Notices

Mass Intentions next weekend – Sat 21/5/22

Denis (Denny) Barrett.  John Byrne.   Paddy Enright – 1st Anniversary

All mass services can be viewed online via the following link

Readers:                          Linda Hunt & Caroline Pierse

Eucharistic Ministers:       Eilish Geoghegan & Pat Higgins


Weekday Mass Times this coming week:

Tuesday Morning 9.30am – followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Devine Mercy Chaplet.   Friday Evening 7.00pm – Mass Intention – Marian White.

Sacristans Collection:

A special word of thanks to Siobhán and Theresa our parish clerks for their time and commitment to the church and to the parish. No matter what the occasion they are always available to prepare the church, to tidy up after the ceremony, to decorate the sanctuary for the special feast days throughout the year and to open and lock the church every morning and evening. Their role involves 365-day commitment and we are most grateful for all that they do for us. A collection will be taken up at next weekend’s Mass (Sat 21st May) in appreciation of their service to the church and the community. We know you will be generous in your acknowledgement of their services.

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 card 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.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra


Josephine O’Connor receiving her retirement cake from Mary Egan at the GAA in Abbeyfeale on Saturday night last 

I was invited to a surprise retirement do on Saturday night last at the GAA  Club in Abbeyfeale. It was for Josephine O’Connor from Gortnagross who had been teaching set and social dancing in West Limerick and North Kerry for many, many years.  The advent of the pandemic put an end to the classes for a couple of years so Josephine decided not to return when they resumed recently. I had been one of her pupils at the set dancing sessions at the GAA on Thursday nights until my knee started to give me trouble a few years ago. I used to look forward to those classes because I spent most of my life on stage, playing for  dancers and didn’t get a chance to use the “heel and toe” myself. Josephine had a great way of getting her message across. It was all done through fun and laughter and everyone was so relaxed and happy. There was great camaraderie amongst the group attending and I was delighted to see most of them, one more time, on Saturday night. It was fantastic to see the floor full of dancers to a band from Dunmanway but with connections to this parish. Patrick O’Sullivan came to national prominence a few years ago when he was successful in the Glór Tíre competition on TG 4. He is a fantastic accordion player and singer and has his son Conor with him who is one of the best banjo players in the country and another great singer. Patrick’s mother is a sister of James (Jobber) O’Connor, Josephine’s husband. Anyway, it took me back to old times when dancing was the main form of entertainment throughout the country.  Every town and village had a dance hall which was packed every Sunday night.  Many couples met at the dance and stayed together for life. Dancing was so popular that, with the advent of the showbands, huge dancehalls were built all over the country. The showband era saw bands criss-crossing the island bringing their own brand of magic to the thousands of dancing enthusiasts. There were bars in those dance halls but they only served soft drinks. If you had a dance with some girl you liked and wanted to know if there was any hope for you, the acid test was to ask her if she wanted to have a “mineral”.  If she refused you knew you were going nowhere but if she accepted there was a chance you might be able to see her home that night. Eventually the big dance halls lost their appeal due to the dancing lounges that sprung up  beside the bigger pubs. They had the advantage of supplying alcoholic drinks and they soon took over completely. I spent a lot of my time playing in places like The Railway Bar and Jack Riordan’s in Abbeyfeale where couples came out at the weekend to have a dance and a social drink with the neighbours. In my opinion, it was a great boost to put on the best clothes and have a couple of carefree hours with friends. In Athea, there were two venues, The Top of the Town and The Gables. They were buzzing on Saturday and Sunday nights and the craic was great. Nothing seems to last forever  and the dancing lounges gave way to  the Discos. It was a complete change of scenery with dancing becoming a solo exhibition of rhythmic movement with no physical contact necessary. The dancing lounges either adapted or closed. In most small places they had no option but to close and it was such a pity. So, Saturday night brought it all back to me and I even graced the floor myself, endangering Noreen’s toes, and had a whale of a time. A big thanks to Josephine who passed on her knowledge of dancing to us over the years. It is no wonder that she taught dancing because she is one of Jack Hannon’s eight daughters, all great dancers. Jack was the best set dancer I ever saw on the floor so, as the saying goes, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”  I remember well, on the occasion of Jack and Nell’s Golden Jubilee, the eight sisters giving an exhibition of set dancing during the celebrations, something we probably will never again see. Happy retirement Josephine but I wouldn’t be surprised to see you on the dance floor again.

I was disappointed with the Eurovision Song Contest and the way Ireland was treated. You didn’t have to be an expert to see that some of the songs that were chosen ahead of us were, to put it mildly, rubbish, but, despite a great performance from the Derry girl and her group, other European countries ignored  us and voted for each other. I was delighted to see Ukraine winning the event and it wasn’t just a sympathy vote, they had a good song but I think it is now time for us to seriously think about not entering the competition in the future until a fairer way of judging is found. While I am on the subject, how ridiculous is it to have Australia represented in the show. European, they are not. What next – countries from South America?  Nothing would surprise me at this stage but the competition needs a serious overhaul if it is to keep its appeal.

Community Notes May 10th. from West Limerick Resources CLG

SICAP – Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme: The SICAP team is available to assist individuals and groups across West Limerick who feel that they could benefit from our support. If you would like more information on the programme and the supports available, please email SICAP Co-Ordinator Dearbhla on [email protected].

BUILDING CHILDREN’S SELF ESTEEM & RESILIENCE FREE WORKSHOP:  Join Dr Mary O’Kane for practical advice on how to support your child to face challenges and develop solutions. 7:00 to 8:30pm May 19 Askeaton Community Centre.  Places are limited and registration is essential on  For further details contact Stefanie Jaeger Liston [email protected]  0873982925

OFFICIAL OPENING:  West Limerick Resources with Limerick Youth Service & Foroige invite you to the official opening of The Solar, the community hub room at Askeaton Community Centre at 4pm on May 19

SICAP RURAL EMPLOYMENT SERVICE (RES) / YOUTH EMPLOYMENT SERVICE (YES):  If you are currently unemployed or work part-time, the Employment Service offers 1:1 support and career planning around education, training, and employment opportunities.  To find out more contact Finn 087 759 1951 or email [email protected],  Eddie 087 653 5156 or email [email protected]

SICAP SELF EMPLOYMENT SUPPORTS: If you are considering Self Employment and would like to know more about the process involved you should contact our Enterprise Support Officer Brenda Heath 087 766 9952 or email bheat[email protected]

WEST LIMERICK JOBS: Follow for daily posts on job vacancies and training opportunities throughout West Limerick.

SICAP FAMILY SUPPORTS: For free support and guidance for parents and caregivers contact Mary O’Connor 087 938 2883 or email [email protected],  Stefanie Jaeger Liston 087 398 2925 or [email protected]

SICAP LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS: West Limerick Resources provides ongoing support to Local Community Groups in the West Limerick area. Should your group require any support, guidance, or training contact Damien on 087 904 2477

SOCIAL INCLUSION AND COMMUNITY ACTIVATION PROGRAMME (SICAP):  The SICAP initiatives are funded by West Limerick Resources CLG under the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022, which is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Rural and Community Development and co-funded by the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.


Social Farming is the practice of offering activity on family farms as a form of Social Support service. In Social Farming the farm remains a working farm at its core but invites people to participate in the day-to-day activities on the farm. Interested farmers & farm families who would like to hear more about Social Farming please contact Eadaoin, at West Limerick Resources CLG, on 087 366 3842 or email her [email protected]

LEADER OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS:  The LEADER Transition and EURI Programmes are now open for applications for eligible community and enterprise projects.  Grant aid for capital works is currently available to all at a rate of 75% to a maximum €200,000 however funding is limited and will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Funding is also available for eligible training and A&D projects.  Please note conventional retail, agriculture, childcare, healthcare and on-going running costs are among the areas ineligible for LEADER funding.  For more information or to discuss your ideas please contact one of our development officers:  Caitriona Scully (Enterprise, Tourism and Food Projects) – [email protected]  or Aimee Grigg (Community Projects) [email protected]


As Part of Rathkeale Pre Social Cohesion Project Lillian Doolan has been appointed as

Community Support Officer. Lillian is available by appointment to Help and Support all Rathkeale Residents with Information on Rights and Entitlements in the following areas:


This is a Free, Confidential, and impartial Service              

Appointment Times: Mon to Wednesday 9.30 to 4.30 (Closed 1pm to 2pm)

Call, Email, Text, or WhatsApp  [email protected] 0873986814

THE JOB CLUB:  We work with ‘job ready’ people who seek training and advice on job seeking skills and is open to unemployed people of all ages.  It is a free and confidential service to help you plan, actively seek and secure realistic work opportunities by providing individual or group support and guidance sessions in all areas relating to looking for a job, particularly the preparation of CVs, cover letters and interview techniques. The Job Club is funded and contracted by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.  For further information please contact Helen, at West Limerick Resources CLG, on 069 77664/087 147 2330 or email [email protected] or Nicole on 087 095 7653 or email [email protected]

Further information on all our activities and projects is available on or check out our Facebook page: