The ICA (Irish Countrywomen’s Association) is the largest women’s association in Ireland with almost 10,000 members and over 500 guilds across the country.
Since its inception in 1910, the ICA, then under its original name the Society of the United Irishwomen (UI), has existed with the aim of improving the standard of life in rural Ireland through Education and Co-operative effort.
Once recognised as one of the most powerful organisations in the country having been the first to provide access to adult education and campaigned for “better living” during the 1950’s, the ICA continues to provide an outlet for women of all ages and backgrounds to come together, socialise and learn from each other.
However, the ICA does not hold the same power in today’s society so that begs the question, is the ICA still relevant in today’s age?
Have they rolled with the times and changed their ways in order to appeal to today’s generation and if so, what does the future hold for the ICA?
Reporter Patrick Earley paid a visit to Gort ICA Guild in south Galway, one of only two Guilds in the entire country to own its own hall, to speak to some of the Guild’s 34 active members and to find out how they continue to grow and prosper as the years go by, just one year on from their 70th anniversary.
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