Farm Ireland
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Saturday 23 September 2017

West women in farming find their voice

Ciara Shiels, Loughrea, Roberta McDonald, Sligo, Laura Starnes, I.C.S.A., Laois and Paula Mullen, Ahascragh, County Galway at the West Women in Farming conference in the Clayton Hotel, Galway. Photo: Ray Ryan
Ciara Shiels, Loughrea, Roberta McDonald, Sligo, Laura Starnes, I.C.S.A., Laois and Paula Mullen, Ahascragh, County Galway at the West Women in Farming conference in the Clayton Hotel, Galway. Photo: Ray Ryan
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

Moments before the official launch of West Women in Farming Ireland (WWFI), MEP Mairead McGuinness voiced her support for the current nationwide farm movement aimed at "breaking through the grass ceiling".

Martina Calvey, co-founder WWFI, told the gathering of farm women from Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath, that Ms McGuinness had phoned to offer her "congratulations and support" and to remind the farm women of Ireland that she is a "channel to Europe".

Speakers at the launch in Galway last Saturday, included: Dr Monica Gorman, lecturer in agriculture at UCD; Sheila Crowley of Women in Agriculture Kerry; Ann Stenning, retired farmer and midwife; Catherine Guest, of Meitheal na mBan - Rural Women of Munster; Suzanna Crampton of South East Women in Farming and Catherina Cunnane of WWFI.

"Women from all farming backgrounds are coming together across the country to give women in agriculture a louder voice," said Ms Calvey, from Achill Island.

"There is a catch up, we're not where we could be. It's not that there is a policy among men to exclude us, it's us ladies, we just don't show up," she said.

Ann Stenning, from Wexford, stressed that together the groups will give farm women more education, knowledge and confidence to effect change.

"Every woman has a voice. Be awake, be involved," she said. Find out more via the West Women in Farming Group Facebook page.

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