When Breda Banville was about to become Wexford federation president a few years ago, she visited Anita Lett’s grave in Bree.
Breda, currently Wexford federation’s vice-president, feels the ICA founder is very close to her.
“I visited her grave to ask her for guidance.”
So when a group of 30 Kerry women – members of Moyvane ICA Guild and friends – came on a three-day tour of Wexford earlier this summer, they didn’t need to explain why the ICA founder’s grave just had to be on the itinerary.
Moyvane ICA vice-president Jill McCarthy says seeing Anita Lett’s grave was very important to her guild.
“We wanted to visit it and pay our respects to the work she did. ICA has been invaluable to women over the years.
The Wexford ladies had told us how they often came to Anita Lett’s grave when they were thinking of taking up various federation roles. I was moved standing by the grave — this lady had done so much for us.”
Jill, who heads up Moyvane ICA’s social committee alongside fellow guild member Olive Keane, says Wexford federation “pulled out all the stops” in ensuring the Kerry members had a good time.
Federation sports officer Alice Whitty organised a night of poetry, music and recitation at The Forge, Crossbeg.
“It was fantastic,” says Jill. “All this talent from Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford — we laughed all the way through.”
Wexford ICA officers met the Kerry group at various sites around the county.
Highlights for the Kerry ladies included a visit to the Ros Tapestry to learn about the Anglo-Norman arrival in the South East and a trip to the Kennedy homestead.
“We got the high and lows, the good and bad of the Kennedy stories. Going there was magnificent,” says Jill. The tour also took in coffee at the Dunbrody Famine Ship and a visit to Waterford Crystal.
Moyvane ICA Guild, founded in 1973, has 22 members and has done a lot of fundraising in aid of Chernobyl. Jill has been a member 34 years.
“I came from four miles away in Athea. I wanted to make friends and I was interested in crafts. I wondered would I fit in [to the guild] but I’m kind of vocal so it wasn’t that daunting.”
ICA membership, she says, provides an outlet. “I enjoy the company. I’m a doer. I like organising, being hands on.”
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