Archive for 2023

News – 19/12/23

Happy Christmas and a Bright and Prosperous New Year

Nora’s Retirement

After 33 years service, Nora White has retired from her post at O’Riordan’s Pharmacy.  There was a  party to mark the occasion at the chemist’s on Friday evening last when family and friends gathered  to wish her a long and happy retirement.

Nora White with Diarmuid and Aine O’Riordan

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

First of all let me wish you all a very Happy Christmas and bright and prosperous New Year. Thank you all for supporting this newsletter each week and to the organisations and clubs that send notes. A special thank you to our columnists, Kathleen Mullane, Tom Ahern, Peg Prendeville, Marian Harnett and Jer Kennelly who never fail to get their copy in on time. I also take this opportunity to say thank you to Lillian O’Carroll who worked on the newsletter until she retired in June. I really miss her input especially as she used to check my typing which can be hit and miss at times. I still ask her to have a quick look at articles if she calls into the office and she always obliges. I wish her a long and happy retirement. I am indebted to Collins’ Shop in Athea and Moloney’s in Carrigkerry for selling the newsletters every week free of charge. It is really appreciated. As I have said before, I don’t know how long more I will be able to keep going and I had intended to pack it in at the end of 2023 but I will continue for a while longer if God spares me.

Another year gone by and it seems like only yesterday we were taking down the Christmas decorations at the start of 2023. There is no doubt that, the older you get, the faster the years fly by. It was a good year and a bad year. The scientists tell us it was the hottest year since recordings began and this was to be seen in the many droughts and forest fires throughout the world. There was also heavy rainfall and high tides driven by violent storms that caused a lot of damage to property, especially along the sea coast. We certainly had our fair share of water from the sky. It started raining  at the end of June and we have had just a few dry days since then. While dairy farmers got the silage and hay in June, the tillage farmers had great problems trying to harvest their crops due to the very wet conditions. One farmer told a radio reporter that he had to abandon 10 acres of potatoes and I am sure there are many others with the same problem. There could be a scarcity of vegetables and fruit due to the weather conditions all over the world. It was a year when we got used to news of terrible acts of war in Ukraine and in Gaza.  Ukraine isn’t mentioned much these days but there are still battles going on and people dying every day. What is happening in Gaza is much worse. Hamas started the fighting and committed terrible crimes but the retaliation by Israel cannot be justified. Two wrongs don’t make a right and the targeting of hospitals and residential areas where the most vulnerable, who have no hand in the war, are the victims. The super powers of the world, especially America, have to take a big part of the blame for backing the Israelis regardless of the war crimes committed. Also, on the other side, countries like Iran  are culpable because of their support for any group that will try to wipe out Israel. They really have to get their act together and find a way to end the senseless killing. It was a bad year for our reputation as a warm and friendly nation. There has been a big upsurge in opposition to the housing of asylum seekers throughout the country. Just lately a hotel in Galway was set on fire because it was to be used for these unfortunate people. The locals had objected and blocked access to the premises and this gave the green light to the far right extremists who are only looking for an excuse to create havoc. This is not an isolated incident, it has happened too many times throughout the year. The government must take some of the blame for this because they do not consult with the local population before moving large numbers of people into small rural areas. Proper dialogue would put people’s minds at ease and there wouldn’t be the fear of the unknown that is very easy to exploit. On a lighter note it was a year when Ireland, once again, failed to make it to the European Song Contest final. There was a time when we were  the favourites every year but that day is gone and, the way voting goes now, we have no hope of ever getting on the podium again regardless of how good a song we have.

On the plus side, it was a great year for sport with our own Junior Ladies winning the County after a long time in the wilderness.  Katie Taylor is back as World Champion in more than one weight while our golfers, especially Leona Maguire and Tom McGibbon, were among the best in the world. It was also a good year for Irish rugby with Munster coming out on top in the major European competition and the national team, even if they didn’t win the World Cup, gave us great entertainment and were the only team to beat the eventual winners, South Africa. Limerick hurlers continued on their winning ways and there were gold medals won in swimming and world records broken for the first time. Our gymnasts and boxers also had a good year and gave us all a reason to be proud of our small country The ladies soccer team performed really well also and the future looks bright for them. They created history in Windsor park by beating Northern Ireland by six goals, each one scored buy a different player but the real history maker was the singing of our national anthem for the firs time in Windsor Park. It was a great moment and greeted with respect by all in the stadium. I have noticed hat this is the norm with our soccer and rugby teams but, alas, I can’t say the same fro the G.A.A.   The anthem is only three quarters of the way through when the players start jumping about and the crowd start cheering. It is an insult to the flag and I feel it would be better if the national anthem wasn’t played at G.A.A. Matches at all.

Church Notices

Ide Naofe Pastoral Area (Athea, Abbey Feale, Mountcollins, Templeglantine and Tournafulla).

Canon Tony Mullins 087 2600414, Fr. Willie Russell 087 2272825, Fr. Denis Mullane 087 2621911 and Fr Dan Lane 087 2533030 (retired).

Masses this coming week: Tuesday morning 9.30am and Thursday evening 7pm.

Confessions: Tuesday morning after 9.30am mass and Thursday evening after 7.00pm mass.

Baptisms take place on the fourth Sunday of the month at 12noon. Contact parish admin for further details. Eucharistic Adoration and The Devine Mercy Chaplet on Tuesday morning after mass.

Christmas Eve Vigil Mass 5pm and 7.30pm.  Christmas Day Mass 11am.

We welcome you and your family to all our Christmas liturgies

Sacristans Collection: Theresa and Siobhan wish to thank all those who contributed to their recent collection – your generosity is kindly appreciated.

Parish Administration: Tues-Fri 11am-1pm. call Siobhan on 087-3331459, outside these hours text or email [email protected]

Intentions – Sun Dec 31st – Margaret & James McCoy. James Culhane. John Timmes.

All masses are streamed live on

Comhaltas Christmas Party

Pupils of Athea Comhaltas Classes performing at the Comhaltas Christmas Party with their tutors Liam and Eibhlín Broderick


Some of the audience at the Christmas Party by Athea Comhaltas in the hall on Sunday.


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By Carrig Side 19/12/23

by Tom Aherne

CHRISTMAS CEREMONIES: The Coolcappa/Kilcolman Christmas ceremonies are as follows: Christmas Eve Mass will be celebrated in St Kyran’s Church Coolcappa at 5pm and in St Colman’s Church Kilcolman at 6.30pm. Christmas Day Mass will be celebrated in Coolcappa at 9.30am, and in Kilcolman at 11am. The Ardagh/Carrigkerry Christmas ceremonies are as follows  The Christmas Eve Mass will be held in Ardagh at 6.30pm and the Christmas Day Mass in Carrigkerry at 11am.   Confessions Ardagh Friday December 22,from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, Saturday December 23, from 12 noon to 1pm. Carrigkerry Saturday December 23, 11am to 11.45am.

MONTHS MIND: The Months Mind Mass for Patsy Madigan, Lisgordan Ardagh will be celebrated in St Colman’s Church Kilcolman on Friday December 22 at 7.30pm.

ANNIVERSARY MASS: The first Anniversary Mass for the late Patrick Flaherty Glenbawn, Carrigkerry, will be celebrated at St Mary’s Church Carrigkerry on Thursday December 21, at 7.30pm.

JIMMY CAHILL: The death has taken place of Jimmy Cahill formerly of the Post Office Main St Ardagh. He passed away on Friday December 15, in London,  aged 89 years. Jimmy played in goals for the  Ardagh Hurling team in the early 1950’s before he left to work in England. He had a good puck out of the sliotar. Funeral details later, sympathy to his relatives, and may he rest in Peace.

MUNSTER AWARD: Congratulations to Roisin Ambrose Ardagh and Old Mill Ladies football club on receiving the 2023 Munster GAA Ladies Footballer of the Year Award at the Muckross Park Hotel Killarney on Saturday December 16 at the Munster GAA Awards night.

UNIVERSITY AWARD: Neil Johnson from Reens Ardagh was conferred with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws (LLD) in recognition of his exceptional leadership of the charity Croi, since his appointment as its first CEO in 1993. It is the highest possible award from the University of Galway for his contribution  to the fight against  heart disease and stroke. Neil steps down at the end of December and will move to an international  role as executive director of the Global Heart Hub. We thank him for his leadership at Croi and wish him well in his new role.

RECEPTION: The Adare-Rathkeale Electoral Area of Limerick City and County Council hosted a civic reception to honour the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Weekly Observer at Áras Seán Finn Council Office Rathkeale on Friday December 8.  Hosted by Cathaoirleach  Adam Teskey and attended by the owners Jerry and Mary Morrissey, staff members, and contributors. It was a very enjoyable occasion as it also remembered the part played  by past people associated with its success. This great achievement was marked by the presentation of a scroll from Adam to Jerry and Mary.

HERITAGE NEWS: St Kieran’s Heritage Association held a Christmas get together at Neary’s Bar Ardagh on Wednesday December 13. Members and friends attended to mark the end of the 2023 activities and to mark their 7th year in existence. A lot has been achieved  and lots more to be addressed and new members are always welcome to join  the group. A limited number of calendars are on sale at the usual outlets. Happy Christmas to all and looking forward to more events in 2024.

SOCCER NEWS:  In Division 3 of the Desmond League Carrig Celtic lost 1-0 at home to Glantine on Sunday December 10. Creeves Celtic and Kilcolman  Rovers had no fixtures. In Division 1 of the Desmond Ladies League Creeves Celtic defeated Shountrade 5-2 at home with goals from Grace O’Shaughnessy 2, Caoimhe O’Connell, Leah Kelly and  Aisling Coleman. Kilcolman Rovers had no match.

CLUB DRAW: The Limerick GAA Club draw for December was held on  Saturday December 16, and announced during the Limerick Live 95fm sports show.  The St Kieran’s club had no winner. The final draw will be held on Saturday January 6. The news that the club will benefit from the allocation of funds from the J P Mc Manus donation to Limerick County GAA Board was greeted with delight  around the locality.

GAELIC GAMES: St Kieran’s GAA Club held their Bord Na Nóg annual general meeting at Coolcappa on Friday December 15. The following were elected to run the club for 2024. Chairperson: John Lynch, Vice-Chairperson: Cormac Walsh, Secretary: Mikey Mahony, Ass-Secretary- Brendan Mulcahy, Treasurer: Deirdre Hough, Ass-Treasurer: Stephanie Downes, P.R.O. Linda Clifford. Best wishes to all in the year ahead. St Kieran’s GAA Club will hold their annual general meeting  in Ardagh Parish Hall on Friday January 12 at 8pm.

LOTTERY DRAW: The Ardagh Development Association and Saint Kieran’s GAA joint weekly lottery   draw took place on Monday December 11.The numbers drawn were 3,11,18,28, and  there was  no  winner of the € 15,800 Jackpot. Congratulations  to the five lucky dip winners who received  € 40 each,  Aileen Mc Mahon Duncaha, Jim Mc Mahon Knockaderry, Pat O’Grady Knockfinisk c/o Moore’s Bar, John Loughane Askeaton, Lorraine Walsh Kilrodane, Ardagh. Next Monday night’s jackpot will  be € 15,900. People can play online using club force on the club’s Facebook page, with 6pm on Monday evening the deadline. The tickets are also on sale at the usual outlets, and all support will be appreciated.  Both organizations wish to thank all the people for their continued support.

RADIO DRAW: Congratulations to Nora Reidy Newcastle West, who won € 310 in the West Limerick 102fm 50/50 draw, held on Friday December 15.The tickets cost € 2, or 3 for € 5 and they are available from volunteers, in local shops, (including Moloneys Carrigkerry, and Denis Greaney’s Shop Ardagh) or from the radio station. The Christmas Hamper raffle is ongoing, and tickets are on sale for it costing € 5. The draw  for it will be held also on Friday December 22, during the Exchange programme.  All support will be appreciated. The station can be contacted at 069-66200 if people have news of interest to the West Limerick area.

OSKAR FUNDRAISER: The Calendar Girls have a slot in the Newcastle West Tesco  Blue Tokens Community Fund at present. They are asking customers shopping there in the coming weeks to donate tokens towards their Oskar fundraising  in aid of the St Kieran’s New Field Development.

ARDAGH BINGO: The Ardagh Community Centre Fundraising Bingo  takes place this Wednesday December 20, at 8pm sharp. There is € 2,000 in prize money with lots of prizes on the night. All support will be greatly appreciated.

REVIEW/PREVIEW NIGHT: St Kieran’s GAA Club are holding a review of the 2023 season and a preview of the 2024 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship at the Longcourt Hotel Newcastle West on Saturday January 20, 2024. The  panel of guests  are  Brendan Maher from Tipperary, Richie Bennis from Limerick Aislinn Connelly Galway, Tom Condon Knockaderry, Mark Landers Cork and Anthony Daly Clare and the MC will be T. J.Ryan. The tickets € 25 are on sale from local businesses and committee members and would make an ideal Christmas gift.

SET CÉILÍ: The end of season class Céilí will be held in Monagea Hall on Thursday December 21, from 8.30pm.  A Raffle will be held, and the proceeds will go towards sending 2 local student nurses  volunteering to Uganda next summer. Bring some treats that can be shared at the break and your  own drink. Recorded CD Music and all are welcome for a night of great dancing fun and craic.

READING MATERIAL: On sale in the local shops are the 96-page Limerick Yearbook published by the Limerick Leader costing € 5.95, and the 164-page Cork Holly Bough published by the Echo costing €6. The annual contains a look back at events over the year, with articles, photos, sport,  quiz sections etc. The Holly Bough contains the usual mix of seasonal fare relating to our neighbours in  County Cork.  It contains lovely articles, poems, photos, Crossword, Diffney Quiz, fashion, sports and children pages. Both come highly recommended for over the Christmas reading, and either would make a nice gift for that special magazine reading friend. Ireland’s Own and Ireland’s Eye magazines have also published their Christmas Annuals which contains lots of seasonal reading. Old Moore’s Almanac 2022 € 6.90 is a must buy for many of the elder generation involved in farming and rural activities. It contains the usual mix of the fairs, marts and horse fixtures around Ireland. Monthly Calendar, weather predictions, Eclipses, Sunrise and Sunsets, Hints and Tips, Crossword, Horoscope, gardening and lots more articles to enjoy.

CHRISTMAS DRAW: Carrigkerry Playground and Sensory Garden committee are holding their Christmas draw on Saturday December 23, at Moore’s Bar Carrigkerry and tickets are available from members at present. First Prize: Overnight stay with dinner for 2 at the Mustard Seed Ballingarry sponsored by Neilus Brouder. Second Prize: € 100 voucher for Moloney’s Carrigkerry. Third Prize: € 50 voucher for Brown Joe’s Bar Athea. Fourth Prize: Food Hamper from Dooley’s Supervalu. Fifth Prize: € 25 voucher for the Devon Inn Templeglantine. Sixth Prize: Bottle of Red and White wine from M and K. Seventh Prize: Bottle of Wine and a candle gift set from Tom Ahern Autos. The lines are € 2 each or 3 for € 5. Thanks for the continued support for the development and happy Christmas to everyone.

CARRIGKERRY WRENBOYS :  Carrigkerry Wrenboy Group weather permitting, instead of their usual house to house visits have decided to perform outdoors again this year at various locations on St. Stephen’s Day.  Their opening performance will take place in Carrigkerry at 10.45am , followed by Knockdown Arms  at 11.45am,   Kilcolman 12.45 pm. Creeves Cross 1. 45 pm. Ardagh at 2.45pm. with a final performance in the Square, Newcastle West at 3.45 pm.  Hopefully the weather will be favourable, and people will get the opportunity to visit one of these locations.

CHARITY ROAD HURLING: The St Kieran’s  annual charity road hurling will once again take place on Wednesday December 27 around the  traditional 4km route in Ardagh starting and finishing at the Bottom Cross. This event has grown from strength to strength since its inception and the support and generosity of the entire community is greatly appreciate by all concerned. The event is open to participants of all ages. Teams of three. €10 per person. All you need is a high Viz jacket, Hurley and a few sliotars. They have announced  their chosen charities who will benefit from  the 2023 edition as Milford Care Centre, and The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association. The club look forward to seeing you all on December 27 at 11am. People who are unable to attend can donate through the Go Fund Me page.

SET CÉILÍ DANCING: A  set Céilí will be held at the Marian Hall Moyvane on Wednesday December 27, from 3pm,  Music by Taylors Cross and admission is € 10. Teas served and all are welcome. Later at 9pm a set Céilí will be held at the Community Hall Ballyhea 5K South of Charleville (Eircode P56KA44. It’s a fundraiser for the hall and a raffle will be held. Music by Johnny Reidy, teas served, admission is € 12, and all are welcome. A set Céilí will be held at the Community Hall Meelin Co. Cork on Monday January 1, 2024, from 3pm. Music by Tim Joe and Anne and admission is € 10. Teas served and all are welcome.

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: We are lucky to be at home for Christmas but spare a thought for those who are unable to come home because of other commitments and for those who will never again come home. Since last Christmas the sadness of death has struck many a home. On Christmas Day many a tear will be shed when loved ones look across the room and see the empty chair, never again to hear the stories, laughs, and caring word.  Many a cemetery will be visited  to say a little prayer to cope with the loss, and to ease the pain. We think of the many lonely people in our midst, especially those who are alone and may not see anyone this Christmas Day. For those who are sick in hospital, nursing homes and their  worried family at home. For the many people in distress, due to illness, job loss, debt, etc,  who are worried about what the year ahead holds for them.

We have come through another year, which has been lucky for some but more difficult for many others, including the people of Ukraine. Despite the few joys, and all the trials, we struggle on to another new year with courage and hope. We have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas as it is the time of the year that unites us by the message  it gives, about peace, joy, happiness, caring, and love. Happy New Year to all.

WISHES: These are the final notes for 2023, I would like to thank everybody involved in the newsletter and all who assisted me in the task, and wish all a happy and safe Christmas, and a bright and  stress-free New Year.


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Kathleens Corner – 19/12/23

by Kathleen Mullane


It’s beginning to feel a lot like Xmas as the saying goes and it only seems a short time ago that we were repeating these same words. Anyway we can’t hold back the clock ,and can I start by wishing each and everyone a truly Happy and Peaceful Christmas. And we must not forget that its not all about giving presents at this time of year, its much better to give of one’s time. We must not forget those who have lost a loved one this year ,and families who may have worries or anxiety around this time of the year.  Don’t forget to pay a visit to someone who may have no one to talk to or give them a phone call, it means a lot. And can you believe this Thursday is the shortest day of the year. From now on there will be a stretch in the days ahead no doubt looked forward to by one and all. And the Daffodils are already peeping up which so early is very unusual .

A great crowd attended the lighting of the 3rd Paschal Candle in the church grounds on Sunday evening last and, despite the rain, it was a lovely gathering. Santa came along too much to the delight of the kids present. There was the usual Mulled Wine —non alcoholic— sweets and of course the carol singing with the added accordion playing from Fr Willie Russell which went down a treat, accompanied by Margaret Carroll and her group, Well done to all.

Congrats to both Clodagh Scanlon and James Broderick, both of Templeathea, who celebrated their 18th birthdays on Saturday last at Brown Joe’s  along with family and friends all having an enjoyable time.

Sincere sympathy is extended to Birdie Collins of Knocknagorna on the death of her sister Peig Murphy  in Newcastlewest last week. She was laid to rest following Requiem Mass there. May the light of heaven be hers.

Sympathy also to the family of Mary O Gorman, formerly McCoy of Templeathea , and to her brother Mike in Manchester on Mary’s passing last week also in Newcastlewest .Go Ndeana Dia Trocaire le na hAnam.

News of Nora Lynch’s death in Glasha at the wonderful age of 103, the oldest in Athea Parish, reached us this morning having passed away peacefully at her home. Funeral arrangements  to be announced at time of writing these  notes . May her gentle soul rest in peace.

Well a great crowd came along to O’Riordans Pharmacy here in Athea on Friday evening last ,to wish long time employee Nora White a very Happy Retirement having served the Athea Community and beyond  for many years. There was refreshments provided by Diarmuid and Áine  and a lovely retirement cake which Nora cut followed by a speech from Nora thanking everyone, especially her employers and staff over the years. A very special man sent her a video wishing her the very best, no other than the man himself Daniel O Donnell  who Nora adores and a little birdie told us she has photos of him beside her bed, Anyway Nora is wished all the best and I’m sure she will be missed by everyone who she came in contact with and helped over the years.

Great news on JP McManus generosity to all the sporting clubs. We must realise that sport is so good especially for our youth and it gives them something to concentrate on and get up for, it will be a great bonus for clubs .

     A very Happy Xmas to everyone and a Great New Year full of Happiness  good Health and Peace .


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