Women flock to join the Freemasons

It took 300 years for the second woman to be initiated into an Irish Freemason lodge, but now it appears the floodgates are to open.

A little over a month ago Caroline Wollk, a retired teacher from Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, became the first woman in Ireland to be initiated into a lodge since Elizabeth St Leger, daughter of Viscount Doneraile, in 1712.

Since then, lodges in Ireland were a male-only preserve, until Wolfe Tone Lodge No 3 in Ballincollig, Cork, changed all that.

Another woman, Melanie Meyer, has just been admitted to the lodge, an affiliate of the Grand Orient de France.

Stephen Murray, master of Wolfe Tone Lodge No 3, said a third woman will be initiated on Nov 17 and a fourth soon after. He said that, following an Irish Examiner feature on Freemasons, they had received a lot of email enquiries from women and had asked them to attend a meeting, while he said another six women have indicated they want to be initiated.

* For more information on the Ballincollig lodge, email corklodge3@gmail.com

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