Athea Revisited

I love to visit Athea and I particularly like to see progress on Jim Dunn’s mural.

Recently, I had my Cork girls on their Kerry holidays and we were very kindly invited to visit the home of the artist. Before he took us to his home he posed for a photo with the girls.

A great blessing of advancing years is to live long enough to get to know your grandchildren. It is a blessing that has also been granted to Liz and Jim Dunn. They recently enjoyed having their two lovely granddaughters on their first visit without parents.

I asked Liz to take a few special photos for us in listowelconnection. Jim posed with Ellie and Kate, his granddaughters, beside their image, captured forever on a wall in Athea.

These little girls, because of the enormous talent of their grandfather, and his great contribution to his adopted home are now part of Athea’s history.


The Death of the Rural Parish

While we were in Athea we visited the parish church and we ran into Fr. Bohan, the last parish priest of Athea. He is soon to retire and he will not be replaced. This story is familiar today in rural Ireland as more and more parishes are amalgamating or just dying out.

Here Aisling listens, enthralled, as he tells us about his young days as a hurler.

He taught her a new word, a pullet.  He told us that he had visited a school and not one child in fifth class knew what a pullet was. He is determined to put that right and he is teaching every child he meets the meaning of the word, pullet. In case you don’t know, it is a teenage chicken.

I wondered if a future visitor to a class will ask, “What is a parish priest?” and be met with silence.


Little Lilac Studio

This is The Little Lilac Studio in Main Street. It is the most marvellous place to take children who like to do things with their hands. I took my grandchildren and they loved creating a special keepsake from their Kerry holiday.

First you choose your blank canvas, i.e. a ceramic plate, cup, vase, animal etc. This proved a tricky decision for my crew who wanted to paint them all.

Then you set to work painting your masterpiece. The lovely lady who runs the studio is infinitely patient and helpful, encouraging and cajoling the young ceramicists.

You can draw inspiration from some completed works on display, or you can just do your own thing.


Teach a child a skill for life

Colouring is a great creative activity for young people.

This holiday the two older girls learned to knit. They became so enthusiastic about their new craft that they wanted to do it all the time.

Aisling went home with a new jumper for her bunny, all handmade by herself.