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The practical patriotism of the ICA

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I was fortunate to have been invited this week to give a talk on the history of Castlebar to the local branch of the Irish Countrywomen's Association (ICA). The evening went well, and my thanks to Maura McGuinness, Patricia Larkin, and all the membership for their hospitality. It was in preparing for that talk to an all-female audience that I was reminded of how devoid our local history is of women and women's groups, when compared to their male counterparts. In the 400 years I covered, only five women featured publicly and briefly. We know the reason for this was because a male dominated society had structured a degraded role for women which was almost impossible to break from. For those women who wanted to express themselves, the ICA was and remains an important outlet since its inception in 1910.

 

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