Ever since she can remember, ICA has been a household word for Limerick girl Bríd Madigan, who represented Scotland in this year’s Rose of Tralee.
Bríd’s mum, Anne, has been a member of Drombanna ICA since 1973, just a year after the 21-member guild was founded. And many of Anne’s ICA colleagues travelled to Tralee to support Bríd.
“Breda Flood, who’s contests secretary with the guild and big into craft, altered five or six of my dresses for the Rose,” says Bríd, adding that ICA means her mum — a former Drombanna Guild president — has a better social life than Brid does.
Anne says she was thrilled when Scotland got though to the Rose final. It was her birthday on the night Bríd was on stage with Daithí Ó Sé. “Daithí presented me with a cake.
That was a huge surprise. I’ll never get a birthday present like it again,” comments Anne, who says the cake was gorgeous and every bit as good as one an ICA member would make.
Over the years, Bríd has contributed much to her mum’s ICA life. “She’d take part in fundraising table quizzes and sponsored walks.
She’d make sandwiches and help me bake. She always came to bring and buy sales. We have a guild competition every month, for things like the oldest penny, the strangest button, the nicest perfume bottle. She’d root out stuff like that for me.”
Bríd, who travelled as a volunteer helper to Lourdes with Limerick Diocese on three consecutive years, is grateful for Drombanna ICA’s fundraising efforts, which helped with the financial cost of the trips.
“I’ve thought about joining ICA, if I could get a few more of the girls to come along. We’re a really community-based village and I think there’s a big group of girls that would be interested. My generation has lost skills like sewing but we’d be very interested in sharing and exchanging recipes.”
Anne joined ICA when her oldest daughter was just six weeks. “My neighbour, Kay O’Riordan, suggested I come along. My late husband and I were new to the area, we didn’t know anyone.
That first meeting was in the old schoolhouse in Donoughmore, I remember the small desks. They were talking about how St Enda’s Secondary School was going to be built soon. That school closed this year,” recalls Anne.
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