Members of the Castlebar ICA (Irish Country Women’s Association ) guild met for a celebratory dinner at the Welcome Inn hotel earlier this month to mark 60 years on the go.
A new drive has now been launched by the ICA nationally — which also celebrates a major milestone with its centenary anniversary this year — to recruit new members to the body, which has supported women in rural Ireland over the decades and provided a wonderful meeting place and social network for members.
The association has also been involved in numerous charity events over the years, raising valuable funds for some of the more needy elements of society. A completely new departure for the association this year has been the recent appointment of a man as chief executive officer, John O Callaghan, formerly of Postbank.
The ICA is Ireland’s largest network of local women’s groups and works to ensure that women’s interests and community values are represented on a national level.
As part of its growing attraction, the association has developed a comprehensive adult education training programme covering everything from traditional home baking to computer skills. Efforts are also made to keep the ancient crafts alive such as lace-making, crochet, and quilting while interior design, gardening, and horticulture also attract a big following. Courses are also available on a residential basis in the association’s special training centre at scenic An Grianan in Co Louth, where course participants can enjoy meeting up to learn new skills and socialise together in a peaceful and tranquil environment.
In Mayo the ICA boasts 11 separate guilds which meet regularly and these are based in Attymass, Ballina, Ballyhaunis, Behy, Brickens, Castlebar, Crossboyne, Kilkelly, Meelick, Mulranny, and Westport.
In Castlebar the group is now looking to meet new women interested in getting on board. If you are interested in meeting new people, sharing knowledge, learning, and putting your energies to good use, you can be assured the ICA will provide you with a wonderful new back-up of friends and contacts to share your interests.
Further information on www.ica.ie