NOT every organisation can boast two garden parties in the one week.
However, last week President and Dr McAleese held a garden party at Áras an Uachtaráin to honour the ICA in its centenary year.
Beautiful surroundings, food, drink and entertainment with Julie Feeney, the Crystal Swing Family Band, Schola Cantorum, St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast, ICA Tallaght Choir, ICA Ballybrack Choir, Ballymartle guild and Lusk guild set dancers and Johnny McEvoy.
The MC for the afternoon was Katherine Thomas of No Frontiers fame.
President and Dr McAleese were so generous with their time and had a photograph taken with everyone who attended, all 400 ICA members.
On Friday there was a centenary garden party at An Grianán, and in spite of the inclement weather 350 women partied from 3pm until the early hours. The ICA was delighted with the kind sponsorship of Glanbia who also provided a barista serving coffees, etc.
During the afternoon there was a fashion show styled by Brendan Courtney from Off the Rails and Colm Corrigan with models from Ist Options. Brendan and Colm were also the judges for the Most Suitably Dressed for a Garden Party and the very worthy winner was Patsy Beades of Roscommon Federation with Eileen Murtagh, Meath Federation and Patricia Larkin, Mayo Federation second and third respectively.
The ICA was also delighted to have the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith, as guest of honour.
Raffle Prizes of a 42” flat screen television, laptops, weekend breaks and numerous other articles went to delighted winners. The very efficient manager at An Grianán, Ann Flanagan, had obviously been checking the weather forecast and had organised a huge marquee in the grounds and this is where a lunch was provided.
There was also a little retail therapy — jewellery, handbags, scarves, cup cakes, you name it we had it, also the services of a fortune teller as well as a tombola and bottle stall. The ICA ladies danced late into the night to music from the Man in Black.
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