Athea Utd A.F.C. receiving a First Aid Kit kindly sponsored by Diarmuid O’Riordan
of O’Riordan’s Pharmacy, Athea.

Annual Going Strong Party

The Athea Annual Going Strong Christmas Party will be held at Top of The Town on Wednesday 7th. December with Mass at 12.30 sharp.

Everyone is welcome and age is immaterial!! Names to be in by 1st December by contacting any of the following :

Eileen:                 087 9848247

Peggy:                 087 9416223

Mairead              087 6407026

A deposit of €5 is required. A great day is assured.


50th Anniversary Celebration

Athea branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann will celebrate 50 years in existence at the Top of the Town on Sat. Nov. 26th starting at 8pm. Everyone is invited to join us for a night of music and song with a bit of food for good measure.


Santa and Mrs Claus will visit the Square on Friday, November 25 at 6pm and our new Mayor, Councillor Francis Foley will switch on the lights this year.


There will be a Market at the Barnagh Hub on Sunday, December 11 and 18 and the Christmas market is back on November 27th in Knocknagoshel with doors open at 12pm and proceeds going to the local meals on wheels service.

To book a table phone 086 3487298 or [email protected]


In Knockanure Community Centre on December 18th there will be a ‘Sale of Work’/Table Top Sale.  Further information from 068 49799.

St. Bartholomew’s Church Athea

Mass Intentions next weekend Sun Nov 27th at 11 am Larry & Nora McAuliffe and deceased members of the McAuliffe & Tierney families. Kit Flynn.   Fr. Gerry Roche, Tony Barrett & Johnny Collins.  Catherine Woulfe – 1st Anniversary.   Phyllis Murphy – 1st Anniversary.

Ministers of the Word   Margaret Cotter & Mike Hayes.

Ministers of the Eucharist             Margaret Ahern & Eilish Geoghegan.

Weekday Masses this week Tuesday morning at 9.30 and Thursday evening at 7pm.

Eucharistic Adoration and Devine Mercy Chaplet on Tuesday morning after mass.

All masses are streamed live on https://www,

Baptisms on the 4th Sunday in November and the 3rd Sunday in December at 12noon.

Parish Office: Mon-Fri 11am-1pm. Call 087-3331459 or email atheapa[email protected]

RIP We remember in our prayers this week Ann Molyneaux who passed away last Friday. Ann was housekeeper to Canon Kelly for many years. May she rest in peace.

Boxes of Offertory Envelopes are being distributed this week. If you don’t have a box currently and would like one or if you would like a receipt for offerings made during 2021/22, please contact the parish office on 087-3331459. We are grateful for and appreciate all the contributions that we receive. Your ongoing support is very much appreciated.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

To what extent should governments involve themselves in the personal choices of ordinary people?  We, rightly, condemn the likes of Muslim countries who have strict laws regarding women and the gay community, sometimes going so far as to give the death penalty for breaching these laws but, we have or own ways of deciding what we should and should not be doing. The latest is the attempt to stop gambling, or at least to make it extremely difficult for people to place a bet. I know there are those who become addicted to gambling but the vast majority of those who have a flutter get great enjoyment from it and don’t put themselves in financial risk. Look at the thousands who go racing everyday. Most of them create a budget for themselves and stick to that so their day out is going to cost them the same as if they went to see a show or had a good night out and if they have a win as well it is a great bonus and they come home happy. Most of us buy a scratch card now and then or a “quick pick” on the lottery knowing our chances are very low indeed but someone does win and we can dream, can’t we?.  For years there are those who want to ban alcohol, again because a percentage of those who drink become alcoholics. They cut down on the times when off licences and pubs can open and, year on year, they hike up the price. This does absolutely nothing to prevent alcoholics from getting what they need, it just means they will have to get more money for their addiction any way they can.  Lessons have not been learned from the days of prohibition in America. It just made booze more popular and created the gangs that rule the  underworld today who started off smuggling alcoholic drinks from over the border. The same applies to drugs. They are banned completely but every town and village in Ireland is full of them. My grandchildren tell me they can get them in school if they want to so would it not be better to legalise them and at least have control over the quality of the product for sale. It would also take the gangs out of the equation. Of course drugs are wrong as are excessive drinking and gambling and every help should be given to those unfortunate people who fall into addiction but the answer is not trying to remove temptation altogether. We all know how sweet forbidden fruit is. When pubs were forced to close their doors at 10pm on a Sunday night there was actually more drink consumed after hours than before. Getting back to the proposed  anti-gambling laws, I would support the banning of online gambling because it is very easy to spend money you do not have when you just have to click a button. I have a couple of friends, one who almost went broke and one who actually did, gambling money they had borrowed online. Banning that might help matters but please let the vast majority of people who get great enjoyment from it continue to have a flutter even if we know “the house always wins”.

This Saturday Night, at the Top of the Town, Athea Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann will celebrate 50 years in existence. Little did I think when I started the branch in 1972 that it would be going as strong as it is half a century later. The first meeting was held in the Riverside Ballroom and, on the night, there was a very big attendance. That is no surprise because Athea was always a great place for music song and dance. When I was a schoolboy, I remember standing outside a pub in Athea, on the day of the fair, listening to Denny Enright (Raymond Enright’s grandfather) singing “The Lovely Banks of Blaine”.  This was followed by many more local singers as was the custom at the time. The parish was full of musicians; there were even enough in Coole West, a small townland, to form the Dalton Memorial Band. Mass emigration and the advent of modern dance bands saw a decline in Irish traditional music and song in the middle of the last century so Comhaltas Ceoltóirí was formed in 1951 to stem the tide and promote our native culture. I joined the movement as organiser for Munster when I came back from England in October 1992. One of my duties was to form branches throughout the province so I thought I should give a good example and start in my own place first. There was great enthusiasm so we started on a high and have not looked back ever since. We had our first County Fleadh in 1975 and have hosted 9 more since then. We also had the Munster Fleadh in 1977. We were the first branch to extend the Fleadh beyond the competition days and were also the first to produce a full programme with extra articles  of interest. For a couple of years we ran Tradféile which proved to be a great success. We can also claim credit for bringing set-dancing workshops to this part of the country. Our then secretary, Noreen Barry, went to Tipperary and invited Connie Ryan, the set-dancing “Guru” at the time,  to teach sets at a workshop we organised at the Devon Inn. There was a huge crowd at that first workshop eager to see all the “new” sets. Up to then we had only been familiar with the local polkas and slides. We ran that  workshop annually for a number of years until it was taken over by the newly formed West Limerick Set-dancing Club. The rest, as they say, is history. We can be justly proud of our achievements over the past fifty years and we would like to invite you all to come along on Saturday, 26th at 8pm for a bit of music, singing, dance, craic, food and maybe a small drop thrown in!  Unfortunately, many of our members and officers have passed to their eternal rewards over the years but we will never forget their contribution to our native culture and the great times we all had together. May they rest in peace.

Today our branch is thriving with many young musicians joining us at our regular sessions. There is a great bond between all the members and we have great craic, not to mention the music, song and dance which is now as strong as it ever was in our parish. Here’s to the next 50 years.