St. Bartholomew’s Church Athea

Mass Intentions next weekend Sun Mar 26th at 11am: Billy & Kathleen Casey, Paddy McCoy and all deceased members of the McCoy family, Margaret O’Connor (Lower Road). Thursday March 23rd 7pm (Mass Intention- Phil French & Willie Kiely- recently deceased UK)

Ministers of the Word:               Kathleen Mullane & Tom Denihan.

Ministers of the Eucharist:  Pat Higgins & Majella Dalton.

Weekday Mass this week:  Tuesday Mar 21st 9.30 am followed by Eucharistic Adoration and the Devine Mercy Chaplet and Thursday Mar 23rd 7pm.

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

Baptisms. on the 4th weekend of the month. Sunday at 12noon until the end of March and

Saturday at 2.30 from April to Oct incl. Next baptism course on Tues evening April 11th at 8pm.

Our weekend mass will be switching to Saturday evening on April 15th for summertime

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

Church post box just inside the main church gate (on the pier) for any church related post.

Lourdes Youth Pilgrimage 2023 (22nd – 27th June). For booking details contact Karen at 061-350000 or email at [email protected]

Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2023. Led by Bishop Brendan Leahy.  Direct return flights from Shannon to Lourdes. For booking contact Joe Walsh Tours, Telephone 01-2410800 or email [email protected] €879 per person, full board, all taxes included. Full religious programme.

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

We are going to have a referendum soon asking us to change some articles in our constitution. One of these refers to the family unit and the place of women in society. It is hard to believe that such a clause could be included but there is a big difference between now and 1937, the year the constitution was written. Society was very different in those days relying heavily on the Catholic Church’s beliefs, indeed the Church gets pride of place in its own right. The state recognised a family unit that was a man married to a woman so there was absolutely no protection for single fathers or mothers or those who choose to live together outside wedlock. Homosexuality wasn’t just frowned upon, it was a crime punishable by the courts. The roles of men and women were clearly defined in those days. The man was the breadwinner who provided for his wife and family while the mother’s duties were confined to the home and children. The constitution even mentions the fact that no woman should be forced to work outside the home to the neglect of her children. It wasn’t a good time for women who, when they got married, had to promise to obey their husbands in all things. The husband had the right to “chastise” his wife if he felt she wasn’t being obedient or neglecting her duties. This meant he could beat his wife with the protection of the state from prosecution. Then there was his conjugal rights. He was entitled to demand sexual relations with his wife whenever he wanted and she was legally bound to submit to him. In the days before contraception this led to very big families which was extra work for the woman of the house. Along with looking after the children she might have to milk cows, feed hens, ducks, geese or turkeys and give a hand in the bog or the meadow. Educating females was seen as a waste of time. Teaching and nursing were the most sought after positions but there was a rule that a woman who filled one of theses posts had to give it up if she got married so what was the point in wasting money on education when a “good match” could be made. The women of Ireland were treated appallingly by both the Church and the State and it is surprising that those clauses in the Constitution were not removed years ago. Today we have a society that is more equal and tolerant and recognises the contributions of both sexes without favour. We should be ashamed of the way we acted in the past but we cannot go back, we can only look forward and take a small step by getting rid of some of the more outdated clauses in our constitution. No state should have its foundation in any religion but should be tolerant of all. After all what religion a person pursues is more an accident of birth than a conscious decision. Many regions are not kind to women who see them as second class but this is patently wrong and discriminatory. We do not ever want a state like those in the Middle East who will not allow girls to be educated. While we can’t influence those countries we can use our votes here at home to give us all equality before the law.

I am writing this during Seachtain na Gaeilge so it is only right that I should mention our native language. I was going to write a bit “as Gaeilge” but it so long since I did that, 60 years, that I’m afraid nobody would be able to understand it.  Irish is one of the oldest languages in Europe and was spoken widely in this country until just over 100 years ago.  Although it is a Celtic language it has little in common with Welsh, Cornish and Breton, other Celtic areas. There is a great similarity between Irish and the Scots Gallic but that is no surprise since Scotland is only a very short sea voyage from Northern Ireland and the peoples of both countries regularly intermingled. Irish is very different to English in the way it is pronounced and phrased. It is probably derived from a mixture of other languages and you will find Irish words used in other tongues. The word “dó” which is the number 2, can be found in many languages such as Urdu and I found that the word for rabbit, “coinín” is also used to describe the same animal in Danish.  Why did we stop speaking Irish in the most of the country?  The British invaders passed laws that forbade the education of Catholic children and outlawed the teaching of the Irish language. These laws went much farther and basically Catholics had no rights to property, votes and could not be elected to Parliament. It did not immediately achieve its objectives as the clergy used to say Mass in remote areas, usually by a rock  This became known as the Mass Rock and was kept secret from the powers in control at the time. Some teachers opened “hedge schools” in remote areas so the education, basic as it was, continued. When Ireland got her independence much of the buildings like police barracks and such, were handed back to the state. There was one such building in Abbeyfeale  which was handed over but with the provisos that it would never be used to house the Catholic clergy or educate the Catholic youth.  Years down the road there was a fire in the local presbytery and while it was being restored, the priests lived in that house. A few years after it was acquired by Jim Kelly who opened his Secondary School, St. Itas College which continued to educate the Catholic youth until it was amalgamated with the Convent school and the Vocational School a few years ago The suppression of the language meant that people had to learn English if they had to have any dealings with the state at the time. Gradually the use of English became more widespread until, for a time, people were speaking a mixture of both languages. I remember when I was growing up we used an awful lot of Irish words in our day to day conversation and this was decades after the war of independence. Timmy Woulfe has produced a fine book of these words  called “As Tough as táthfhéithleann It lists all the words and phrases used in everyday life in the middle of the last century and is well worth a read. (some copies are still available ag Cairde Duchais).  As time went on these words were left behind as were the rural accents.


The band who have recently performed on TG4 and RTE 1 return home to help raise funds for Fleadh by the Feale which is held annually on the May Bank Holiday weekend here in Abbeyfeale. The group will be joined by the young lassie with the gorgeous voice, Eileen Broderick, and also by the Sliabh Luachra Musician in Residence Eoin Stan O’Sullivan and you are guaranteed a great night’s entertainment. The fundraising concert will be held at the Glórach Theatre on Saturday, March 25.Tickets €15. Booking 087 1383940.

Scrap Metal Fundraiser

Athea GAA Spring into recycling mode.What we need:

Household items. Bicycles, go-karts, goal posts, swing sets, pots, pans, cutlery etc. Stoves, coal buckets, shovels, radiators, sinks, tanks, taps, copper & brass products.

Farmyard & other items (examples)

Gates, feeders, metal wiring, wheelbarrows, tanks, barrels, buckets, engines, scrap parts, batteries, RSJs, metal sheeting, & other scrap metal, old cars, farm machinery.  Contact: Tina 087-9355667, Diarmuid 087-6986798. Liz 087-6699783