Athea Tidy Towns will again take part in the Annual Team Limerick Good Friday clean up. Anyone with a few hours to spare on Friday morning is asked to get involved in order to clean up our roads!

All equipment will be provided, subject to availability. Pre registration essential by texting/whatsapp 087 9042477.

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

The Way I See It

By Domhnall de Barra

I’m back in the country again after my trip to Orlando and, to tell the truth, I am glad to be home again. It is, without doubt, a wonderful place with weather like our best summer and everything is well kept and maintained.  It is very car oriented with  little public transport and, of course, the cars are very big. They can afford to run these gas guzzlers as the price of petrol is about 65c per litre, which is cheap in comparison to here, but you’d have to wonder why they want to drive big trucks all the time. I had never before been to Florida so I was delighted to see the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral and other places I had read about but not seen but the best part of the trip was meeting up with all my children and a couple of grandchildren. Danjoe came from Copenhagen, Daniel from Switzerland, Sean from Seattle and Bríd and Hollie travelled with me. It was such a pity Noreen couldn’t be with us but she is unable to take long flights anymore. I really enjoyed playing music with them, especially on St. Patrick’s Day when we played in a pub called the Harp and Celt for six hours. They really know how to celebrate the holiday over there with everyone dressing up in Irish costumes and making a great effort eating corn beef and cabbage and drinking pints of Guinness. I forced myself to drink a couple of pints as well and It was as good as you would get here. Some were surprised to learn that we don’t eat corn beef over here and I had to explain that when the Irish went to America they couldn’t get bacon like they had at home so the nearest thing to it was corn beef. Anyway, they enjoyed the Irish music and joined in the songs so a good time was had by all. We had another great day on Sunday watching the rugby match between Ireland and England in the pub. Again I felt obliged to take another pint or two, so as not to be unsociable, and there was great craic with some of the English lads there who had been watching the soccer match between Leeds and West Brom beforehand. The owner of the pub is English so he shows all the matches and there is a little club that congregate for that. I got talking to one of them not realising that he was Matthew Lewis, the actor who plays Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies. I discovered later that he had played golf with my son Sean so we got to rub shoulders with a real celebrity!! The only draw back to the trip was the travelling. Airports are a nightmare nowadays as you have to be there three hours before a flight and, if you are going to the USA, you have to go through security twice. Then there is a flight of nearly nine hours sitting in the same seat. It is almost impossible to sleep except in fits and starts so it can be very tiring. Maybe it is my age talking to me and telling me I am not a young fellow anymore when travelling all over the world was no problem but I am happy out in Athea and have no desire to leave it.

I was walking on the greenway in Abbeyfeale yesterday and I was surprised to see something I had never seen before. The tarmac walkway was covered with tiny worms all the way back towards Listowel, well the 2 miles I walked anyway, as if they had fallen out of the sky like rain. They were all dead so I am curious as to how they got there. Has anybody else seen anything like that?

It is that time of year when the spring work, as they called it was in full swing long ago. It was customary to give the dykes a good scouring and cut back the briars and bushes along the ditches. Top dress, or manure, would have been spread on the fields by this time to ensure good grass growth. It wasn’t easy work as the dung had to be piked into a horse car from the heap that had accumulated outside the cowshed over the winter. It was then dumped in heaps a bit away from each other and eventually spread over the surface with a pike. The dung was also used in the garden which would have been prepared in advance. To make a bed for potatoes “taobhfhóds” or sods, had to be turned over with a spade. This was backbreaking work but also required a certain amount of skill to get the correct length and depth. I remember trying to keep up with a very experienced man when I was a young lad. It almost killed me and I finished up with pains everywhere not least in the groin area that I used to push the spade. After that I went at my own pace. There is no doubt that men and women worked extremely hard in those days, sometimes for very little reward. Maybe some of the big farmers were ok and could afford to have a servant boy and girl to help out but most of the smallholders lived from hand to mouth and eked a bare living from the land. There weren’t many pastimes either except a bit of rambling at night to play cards or chew the fat with the neighbours. Those who lived near a river did a bit of fishing. In those days rivers were teaming with trout and salmon and of course plenty of eels. The fish provided meals for Fridays when meat dishes were not allowed by the Church and if one was lucky enough to land a salmon, it could be sold in town for a good price. Some people who did not have land fished for a living along the banks of rivers like the Feale. Their equipment was primitive; long rods with either worms or flies as bait. The first person to use a spinning rod and a minnow was a man called Blenner-Hassett from Tralee. He came to Duagh Bridge and reeled in 14 salmon before he was exhausted from all the playing. It was new bait for the salmon and they went mad for it. When the locals saw what transpired they all got spinning rods themselves and it became easier. Unfortunately the novelty value was gone for the fish and they didn’t always respond to the minnow  just like the worms and flies. Fishing was  a great art and provided a good income for those that were prepared to put in the time. Many of those that fished in the spring and summer went to England to work in the beet factories during the winter. Times were tough and they did what they had to do to survive. In comparison we have it easy now but we would not be where we are today without their sacrifices.

St. Bartholomew’s Church Athea

Mass Intentions Sun Apr 2nd at 11am: Tim Murphy. Michael & Ellen O’Keeffe. Nora Noonan.

Ministers of the Word:               Caroline Pierse & Linda Hunt.

Ministers of the Eucharist:                Betty Ahearn & Margaret Enright.

Weekday Mass this week:  Tuesday Mar 28th & Thursday Mar 30th at 7pm (No morning mass).

All masses are streamed live on https://www,churchservices.tv/athea

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.

Thank You: Fr. Tony and Fr. Willie would like to express their thanks and gratitude to all who

contributed to the recent Lenten Stations collection in support of the clergy

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.