In July over 30 ladies from the Women’s Institutes all over the province travelled to An Grianan, Termonfechin, Co Louth near Drogheda for a mid week break.
The Adult Resource Centre at An Grianan is run by the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA) and their recently elected President, Marie O’Toole was there to greet the group on arrival.
Elizabeth Warden the Federation Chairman of the Women’s Institutes in Northern Ireland presented a piece of antique lace to Marie to mark the visit.
There were various other members of ICA Guilds who joined the group, many of whom have links with Institutes in Northern Ireland. Among them were a group of ladies from Clifden, Co Galway, who have had an association with the Ballievey Institute in Banbridge for over 34 years, just one year after the Clifden Guild was formed. There were also ladies present from Blackrock who have a long standing link with the Ballyrogan Institute which meets in Newtownards.
During the week there were also guild members who visited from Co Cavan and the neighbouring ICA guild in Co Louth. The ICA Brian Boru group has had a longstanding link with the Lagan area and in 2006 a beautiful wall hanging was crafted to celebrate 10 years of the friendship. Some representatives from the group visited An Grianan during the week to place an interpretative panel alongside the wall hanging.
The courses undertaken during the week were varied some trying their hand at beadwork and some digital photography. Others tried their hands at painting on silk and the more energetic undertook a class entitled “Fit, Fun and Active”. The final two groups chose between aromatherapy and upcyling or wardrobe wizardry to give their favourite outfits a bit of an update.
But it wasn’t all hard work and there was great entertainment enjoyed by all in the evenings. On the last afternoon the ladies visited the neighbouring Beaulieu House, one of the oldest surviving examples of an unfortified house to be found in Ireland which has been in the same family for 11 generations. The family has links with the Montgomery family of Rosemount, Greyabbey.
The summer months are not all rest and relaxation for WI members. Many of whom have been manning stalls at various Agricultural Shows and events throughout the province.The members have been very pleased with the interest shown in the organisation from ladies of all age groups and with varied interests and backgrounds. You are never too young to join the WIA welcome will always be extended to any ladies who would like to join the Women’s Institutes.
Any ladies interested in joining should contact WI Headquarters, 209/211 Upper Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT10 0LL, telephone 028 9030 1506 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.