Double firsts for ICA Wicklow Town Guild

Mary Finlay and Susanna Braswell

The Wicklow Town Guild of the ICA is a member of the Wicklow Federation of the ICA. The ICA is the largest women’s association in Ireland, with more than 10,000 members in over 500 Guilds.

For the first time in its short four year existence Wicklow Town Guild has achieved two first places in the national contests of the Irish Country Woman’s Association.

First Place for Black and White Photography, the theme ‘A person at work’, went to Mary Finlay for her portrait of a lady making lace in her doorway captured during a trip with Wicklow Historical Society to Bruges in Belgium.

First Place for Colour Photography, the theme ‘Fun in the Sun’, went to Susanna Braswell for her shot of three young women jumping at the Bridges of Ross in Co. Clare. Susanna also took Third Place in Black and White with her portrait of a ballet dancer warming up in and was Overall Winner, bringing the Inter Federation Cup for Art (Photography) to Wicklow.

As well as Photography, and traditional crafts, ICA runs competitions at National level for such varied skills as Set Dancing, Choral Singing, Creative Writing, Reporting, Painting and many others.

There are many activities at Guild, Federation and National level for ICA members. Each Guild has a monthly meeting with a talk or demonstration and a chance to meet up with and form friendships with likeminded women and enjoy the almost obligatory tea and cake.

Four times a year Federation meetings are held and this is a chance to meet and share ideas with members from all the other guilds in the county. These meetings may incorporate other events such as the Wicklow round of the national Table Quiz or the annual Federation Arts and Crafts competition. This evening is always well attended with competitions for flowering arranging, baking, illustration, decoupage, quilting, knitting, crochet, and many others. The public speaking competition is always popular. Entrants draw a topic at random and speak on their subject for two minutes, judged by a representative from Toastmasters. While this can be an ordeal for the participants, it is always great entertainment for the rest of the members.

There are ICA guilds in Ashford, Aughrim, Avoca, Ballycoog, Ballymorris Bray, Blessington, Delgany, Donard, Hollywood, Inbhear Mór, Kiltegan, Moneystown, Newtownmountkennedy, Roundwood, Tinahely and Wicklow Town.

If you would like further information or wish to join any of these guilds you can find it on the Wicklow Federation website at www.icawicklow.org.

Wicklow Town Guild meetings are held in the De La Salle Pastoral Centre, Wicklow Town on the second Monday of every month, September – June, at 7.30 p.m. See the Wicklow Town website at www.icawicklowtown.org for more details.

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