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Grange Parish Blog

Article from the Grange Parish Book suggested for reading this week (week 6)


Grange Guild - Irish Countrywomen's Association

This week (week 6) our suggested reading from the Grange Book is an article titled Grange Guild - Irish Countrywomen's Association written by Gretta Purcell, President and Public Relations Officer of the Grange Guild.

Gretta charted the history of the ICA nationally as well as the foundation and history of the Grange Guild. The activities of the guild over the years are set out in some detail. The article is both interesting and informative.

The following are extracts from Gretta's article:

"In April 1965, Sheila Dillon, (now Mrs Sheila Fitzgerald) was appointed assistant teacher at Grange National School. She had previously worked in Clogherhead, Co Louth and, during her time there, she joined Termonfeckin ICA. After arriving in Grange, she was encouraged by Mrs Fraher to join Bruff ICA Guild. After the closure of Grange School in 1967, she was asked by Sarah Walsh (a cousin of Annie O’Keeffe, Grange), Doon ICA Guild, if she would consider forming a guild in Grange.

In June 1968, following a local advertising campaign, a group of women from Grange met in the old schoolhouse and discussed the formation of a guild in Grange. Grange ICA Guild was formally registered at national level on 18th September 1968 and its aim was to enhance the lives of the women of Grange and surrounding areas. A total of forty ladies were enrolled on the opening night.

In 1968, permission was obtained from young Count John de Salis for a proposed Grange ICA Guild to use the schoolhouse at Grange to conduct its affairs and the ICA has used the building extensively over the intervening years.

The first officers of Grange Guild were the following: President – Sheila (Dillon) Fitzgerald, Secretary – Peg Madden and Treasurer – Catherine Casey."

"On the very first weekend away, members travelled to Donegal and stayed at the Abbey Hotel in Donegal town. They visited Kincasslagh to have afternoon tea at the Viking House Hotel, where they were lucky to meet Daniel O’Donnell, renowned singer, who at that time owned the hotel.

During our visit to the Blarney Golf Club, we met George Hook’s (well-known TV and media personality) son who was the manager there.

We met the late Joe Dolan (renowned entertainer) in Killarney in 2013 and visited the Park Hotel in Kenmare where we had afternoon tea with Francis Brennan from the RTÉ series “At Your Service”. Francis and his brother own the said hotel and in the TV series they provide professional advice and encouragement to proprietors of similar enterprises to their own."

The article may be read in full HERE.

Next week (week 7) we will suggest another article for reading.

Kind Regards to All.


#ICA #IrishCountrywomensAssociation #GrettaPurcell #SheilaFitzgerald #GrangeGuild

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