CHURCH NOTICES: Mass readers this weekend are: Saturday evening 7.30 pm Kathleen Mullane. Sunday morning 11am John Redmond. Eucharistic Ministers Saturday evening Mass 7.30pm Majella Dalton and C Wilson. Sunday morning Mass 11 am Sean Barrett and Pat Higgins. 9am Mass on Sunday will be celebrated by Canon Patrick Kelly. First Holy Communion for the children of the Parish will be at Athea Parish Church on May 18.
PILGRIM HILL: The film written and directed by Gerard Barrett of Knockanure has been widely acclaimed throughout the country during the past few months. It has been screened on television and in several cinemas and has become a major hit with film viewers. The rural theme which is the basis of the film portrays the often lonely and unfulfilled lives of farmers whose youth has passed them by and who find themselves more or less isolated as they gradually slip into middle age and all prospects of ever changing their rather dull and uninteresting lives slowly but surely starts to fade away. It has taken a young intelligent far-seeing visionary to confront the myths that had grown up about the secure life that single farmers enjoyed or were supposed to have enjoyed and which Gerard Barrett’s Pilgrim Hill explores the downside of such a life. This film is on the way to becoming a classic in its own right because it portrays a way of life in Ireland that has long passed us by. Perhaps when there was a time when a 54 year old bachelor farmer could very easily and confidently propose a marriage with an 18 or 20 year old girl in the full bloom of her youth and her parents would approve and consent to often perhaps against their better judgement but attracted by the lure of rich green pasturelands and acres of golden corn what did a few decades of age between the farmer and his young wife matter in the eyes of her parents when she was well settled and secure for the rest of her life and if she had children they would be secure as well. These were some of the reasons that in the old days many young girls were married into farms where the husbands were old enough to be their fathers. This was the theme in one of the late Sean McCarthy’s greatest poems “Darling Kate” and also in one of my own poems “King of the Windy Acres”. Gerard Barrett’s “Pilgrim Hill” is above all based on reality and shows up the hazards of loneliness and regret that rural farmers experience when they start to realize that their time has flown. Of course it would be totally wrong to conclude that this is true of everybody who lives alone on his house and land. There are many bachelor farmers who live very happy and contented lives and would have no interest whatsoever in changing their lives. In the meantime best wishes to Gerard for continued success with his.
DOUBLE BEREAVEMENT: My near cousin Jimmy Brosnan died recently in hospital after he became ill a few days previously. Jimmy, who lived with his wife Gretta and family in Ballybunion, had just turned 80, but had been in good health up to the few days before he died. At one stage back in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s Jimmy was well known around Athea when he used to do bread deliveries to the local shops here from the family bakery in Ballybunion. On the night of Jimmy’s wake at his home in Ballybunion his brother-in-law John Stack from Abbeydorney attended. The Stacks, John and his wife left his sister Gretta Brosnan’s home to drive to their home in Abbeydorney. However a short while after leaving with his wife driving the car, John Stack collapsed and died from a heart attack. Gretta Brosnan and her family, the Stack family, the mourners at the wake and local people in Ballybunion and Abbeydorney, other areas of North Kerry and Jimmy Brosnan’s native Castleisland were all shocked when they heard about the double bereavement. My sympathy is extended to Gretta on the death of both her husband and brother, to their six sons, Jimmy’s brothers, sister, in-laws and other relatives also to John Stack’s wife, family members and relatives. May the Lord comfort and console them all and grand eternal peace to Jimmy and John.
FIANNA FAIL COLLECTION: Fianna Fail Athea Cumann members are grateful to all those who contributed to the recent Fianna Fail National Church Gate Collection.
RECENT WEDDING: The marriage took place recently at Templeglantine Parish Church of Michael Fennelly and Anne Flavin, Glenagragra, daughter of Timmy and Bridget. The ceremony with Nuptial Mass was performed by Fr O’Gorman. The best man was Tommy Fennelly and the groomsmen were Mickey and Kieran Fennelly. The bride was assisted by her sisters Carla Flavin and Maria Flavin Brouder. The pageboys were Conor Fennelly and Kane Brouder. The reception was held at the Ballyroe Heights Hotel, Tralee, where an enjoyable time was had by the family and guests. Congratulations and best wishes are extended to the young couple for their happiness in married life.
ATHEA GOLF SOCIETY: Athea Golf Society’s latest outing was to the Manor Park, Adare. It was a team competition and although it was rather cold it was mainly dry. The prize winners were: _ 1 Ned Mahony, Jason Cheung, Iarla, O’Mahony and John Burke. 2- Michael O’Connor Senior, Michael O’Connor Junior, Domhnall de Barra and Dylan Griffin. Nearest the pin – William O’Sullivan. Jeremiah O’Mahony had the Longest Drive. The Observer Cup Inter Society Competition takes place on June 28 this year earlier than the last few years. Athea Society was the first winner of this competition and came 3rd last year. Anyone interested in being considered for the team are asked to contact the Secretary or any member of the committee as Athea Society may be able to field two teams.
GAA RESULT: Athea Intermediate footballers defeated Cappagh/Kilcornan in the 4th round of the League at Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale. The final score was Athea 2-18 to Kilcornan 4-8. ATHEA TEAM: Gerard Collins, Shane Tierney, Martin Chawke, Raymond Brouder, Padraig Reidy, Paul Collins, Denis Greaney, Morgan O’Connor, Michael Reidy, Sean McGrath, Gerard Ahern, Kevin O’Keeffe, Patrick Kiely, Liam O’Brien, Timmy Enright, Pat Aherne, Jamie Collins and Conor Mullane.