Wednesday 16 October 2019

Countrywomen hold Autumn Federation meeting

The public speaking competition prizegiving,from left: Mary D’Arcy (Federation President), Marie Kehoe, Anne Howlett, Nola Farrell and Catherine Dunleavy (Competition Secretary).
The public speaking competition prizegiving,from left: Mary D’Arcy (Federation President), Marie Kehoe, Anne Howlett, Nola Farrell and Catherine Dunleavy (Competition Secretary).

Simon Bourke

The Wexford Irish Countrywomen's Association (ICA) has held its Autumn Federation meeting in the Riverbank Hotel.

In advance of the meeting proper, a public speaking competition with a difference took place. Asked to imagine themselves as members of the animal kingdom competitors from nine different guilds were given one minute to speak about this alternate reality.

Entitled 'If I were an animal I would be..' the competition saw all manner of exotic species take to the stage but after some lengthy deliberation it was Anne Howlett from the Maudlins Guild who took top prize for her description of life as an elephant.

Marie Kehoe from Duncannon fancied herself as a giraffe and took second place as a result, while in third place, Gorey's Nola Farrell impressed the judges with her depiction of the life of a doe.

Other competitors were Anne O'Connor (Hedgehog), Linda Thorpe (Blue Whale), Breda Banville (Race Horse), Myriam Duggan (Dachshund), Betty Kelly (a Lioness) and Margaret Murphy (Siamese Tom Cat). The event was organised by Competitions Secretary Catherine Dunleavy.

After this light-hearted fare came to a conclusion Federation President Mary D'Arcy ran through the latest and upcoming events in the ICA calendar (see below).

New Timire, Eilís McCann, encouraged members to promote our native language by speaking a few words at meetings, for example, Céad Míle Fáilte or Slán Abhaile, just to get started.

Produce Promoter, Gretta O'Connor, donated lots of cooking apples ensuring plenty of tarts are currently enjoyed around the county. Geraldine McCarthy, the ICA representative on Water Quality, gave a detailed report of board events and encouraged members to apply for well grants if needed. PRO, Breda Banville, encouraged members to promote their activities in their local notes and thanked People newspaper group for their continued publicity.

She also congratulated Davidstown Guild on celebrating its 50th Anniversary recently and for inviting Mary D'Arcy and herself to the event.

Sean Reidy, Chairperson of The O'Neill Ancestral Trust, was guest speaker at the meeting, and he gave an in-depth account of the upcoming events at the Eugene O'Neill Festival, which will be held in New Ross from October 10-13.


• Tickets are on sale for the ICA'S 110th anniversary lunch which will be held on Sunday, February 9 in Clayton Whites Hotel. They can be purchased from Treasurer Anne Murphy.

• The ICA's National AGM will be held in the Midlands Court Hotel, Portlaoise on Saturday, November 23, if interested in travelling contact Mary D'Arcy who is organising a bus.

• Any members interested in travelling to Italy next June on the trip being organised by International officer, Anne Kehoe, please contact her before end of October.

• Joan Furlong gave a report of Wexford Weekend in An Grianan and it will be held in October in 2020.

• Alice Whitty gave an up to date account of the Women's Refuge and thanked members for their ever generous donations.

• Ann O'Connor thanked all for partaking in the Fun Walk/Run on Sunday, September 22 in terrible weather conditions and asked that all sponsorship be sent to Anne Murphy, treasurer, as soon as possible as cheques will be presented at November Federation meeting to Tagoat Day Care Centre and Lourdes Assisted Invalid Fund.

• Anne has a bowling competition arranged for Friday, November 8 at 7 p.m. in Leisure Max.

• She also congratulated the Pitch and Putt team who did very well in the National Final held in Seapoint on Saturday, September 14.

New Ross Standard