New date for AGM 2019

Please note that there is a change of date for the AGM 2019.

Press Release

From Mrs Josephine Helly, National President of the Irish CountryWomen’s Association.


Kite Entertainment is producing for Virgin Media Television, which will explore one possible solution to the accommodation crisis younger people have been

BirdWatch Ireland

I work for BirdWatch Ireland and in a bid to raise awareness about our beloved garden birds I would like to offer my services by delivering illustrated talks


Map of Guilds – History – What's On – Contacts – News

Laois Guilds

View ICA Guilds in a larger map

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Laois History

The Laois federation was formed in 1950 and held its first meeting in the vocational school in Portlaoise. There were 6 Guilds present – Abbeyleix, Castletown, Rath, Stradbally and Graigcullen. The Founding President of the Federation was Mrs Bland from Graigcullen.

The Federation grew from this start to a peak of 35 Guilds. In 2012 we now have 25 Guilds with 365 members. The newest Guild is Portlaoise which was formed on 22nd Feb 2009.

Laois Federation is in the heart of the Slieve Bloom Mountains and has lots to offer both in ICA activities and historical sites including the Rock of Dunamaise, the Round Tower of Timahoe, Brittas Castle in Clonaslee, Emo Court and of course the very beautiful gardens of Clonohill, Gash Gardens and Haywood. One of the best known crafts is Mountmellick Lace which dates back to 1825 and it continues to be taught by ICA members to this day.

Laois Federation has 2 of the oldest Guilds in the Country – Abbeyleix which was founded in 1914 and Castletown in 1915 by the late great Lucy Franks who was the National Secretary of the Association and became National President in 1942 as she loved gardens so much that a garden house was built in her memory surrounded by roses at An Grianan. 

Laois Federation is very proud to have an ICA Choir that performs to sell out audiences all over the Federation and has had the honour to perform at Dublin Castle in the Presence of President Mary McAlese at our Centenary Celebrations.

More recently we are proud to have as National Secretary Kathleen Gorman of the Ballyroan Guild.

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What's On – Laois

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Laois Activities

Our activities include Mountmellick Lace, Line Dancing, Art and any craft that a member wishes to learn, social outings.

We have participated in The Wellness programme, Walking to Support Cancer Care in Laois.

We also look forward annually to supporting Laois Week at An Grianan.

Day Trip, Titanic Museum, Belfast


If you are interested in joining the ICA or wanting to set up a new Guild in Laois or would like any further information please feel free to contact any of the following people in our Federation.

Federation President Anne Payne Portlaoise Guild

Federation Secretary, Anne Breen Spink Guild

Federation Treasurer Noreen Byrne Clough Guild.

There are 8 Information Officers in the Federation - Noreen Byrne, Clough Guild, Betty Gorman Castletown Guild, Stella Harding and Anne Payne Portlaoise Guild, Vivienne Rigley Arles Guild, Maureen Cusack Clonaslee Guild, Mary Ging Ratheniska Guild, and Mai Bowe.

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Castletown ICA Guild Report 2018

Annual reports from Guilds in Laois More

Ballyroan ICA Guild Report 2015

Brief History of the ICA Guild Ballyroan - Laois Federation More

Ballylinan Guild Report

Annual Report of all Activities in Ballylinan Guild in 2015 More

Ballylinan Guild Report

Annual Report of all Activities in Ballylinan Guild in 2015 More

Federation President Vivienne Rigley

Aldi Brown Bread Competition More

Garden Party with the National President ICA Garden Party June 2015

Portlaoise Guild attends the National Garden Party at An Grianan on 26th June More

The Laois Rose cuts the tale Laois Federation Cuishle Walk 2015

The Laos Federation annual walk to support the Cuishle Centre and Cancer Research was started by the Currrent Laois Rose of Tralee AilbheCulleton More

Winner of Laois Breadmaking Federation Brown Bread Competition.

The Laois Federation Bread Competiton was judged at last Federation meting in Clonaslee on June 24th 2015 More

President Ann Cass, Laois Federation AGM 2015

The Laois Federation AGM was hosted by Abbeyleix Guild in Abbeyleix Golfclub on Wednesday 22nd of April which was a great venue. More

National President and Vice President Laois Vivienne Rigley Laois Federation ICA Dinner April 10th 2015

The National President Liz Wall joined members of Laois Federation at their annual dinner at the Manor House Hotel in Abbeyleix to present Long Service Certificates More

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Irish Countrywomen's Association, 58 Merrion Road, Dublin 4,Tel: 01 668 0002 Fax: 01 660 9423 Email:
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