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 – Welcome – History – What's On – Contacts

 – News

Wexford Guilds

View ICA Guilds in a larger map


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Welcome to Wexford Federation

Wexford ICA is the largest women’s organizations in Co Wexford with 600 members in 32 guilds. Our guilds are from Oylegate at one hundred and four years old to Enniscorthy founded in 2012 and Gorey in 2013. We provide educational and recreational opportunities on a voluntary basis for our members at local and county level, and have been doing so for one hundred and four years. Our founding principles as articulated by Mrs. Anita Lett, our Founder, are “Better Living” and “Deeds not Words” and these principles guide all our work for the improvement of life for women and their families.

At county level there are regular Federation Meetings (five per year), One Day Craft Schools, Irish Evenings, Trips to Shows. There is also a three day holiday organized each year.

At local level guilds organise outings and classes to suit their individual requirements from First Aid to Flower Arranging, from Painting to Pilates and Pottery and from Bowling to Ballroom dancing.

Twice a year we travel as a group to our Adult Education College, An Grianan, in Termonfeckin, Co Louth where we meet up with old friends and new to learn crafts and other new skills and dance the night away. There is a bar in the College and a well-stocked Garden Centre in which to buy a memento of our visit. Members and guilds also organise their own individual visits at other times.

We completed the Making IT Even Better computer project and we had beginner computer classes for 160 members in various venues throughout the County.

In 2012 we launched our History Book “102 Years of Wexford ICA” a book of photos and guild highlights from guilds both past and present. The book was written by our members and compiled by Mary Somers our Competitions Secretary.  The book was launched at the National Ploughing Championships which were held in Heathpark, outside New Ross, Co Wexford in 2012.  It is available by contacting any committee member at a cost of €10 plus postage.

As 2013 was the year of “The Gathering” – ICA in Co Wexford got involved and invited a group of Women’s Institute members from Pembrokeshire Federation in Wales to visit us for a short break.  The ladies stayed with ICA hosts and travelled each day to many of the tourist attractions we have in Co Wexford including visits to Hook Lighthouse, the beautiful village of Kilmore Quay, Ros Tapestry, and a walking tour of Wexford Town.

Recent Projects include the launch of a new cookery book featuring Wexford Creamery products and four evenings of Opera in the Community with Wexford Festival Opera. This Opera project is continuing this year, with two evenings being held in Bree and New Ross.  We also had a collaboration with New Ross Piano Festival Committee hosting two evenings of piano music to highlight their festival.

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Wexford History

A conversation on a train journey from Dublin to Enniscorthy in 1908 was the starting point that was to led to an all Ireland Organisation whose objective was the social and economic development of rural Ireland. The conversation was between Mrs Anita Lett and Mrs Alex Rudd and the organisation to emerge was the United Irishwomen later to become known as the Irish Countrywomen’s Association. 

The Irish Countrywomen’s Association was founded in May 1910 by a small group of well educated women in Bree, Co Wexford. Its aim was “to improve the standard of life in rural Ireland through Education and Co-operative effort”. The organization was non-denominational and non-party political, principles which continue to this day.

At that time, life for women in rural Ireland was one of hardship and drudgery and the ICA set out to offer friendship, hope, support and leadership. Early initiatives of the organization included encouraging and educating members in vegetable growing, poultry and egg production, bee keeping, fruit bottling and cheese making. This aim improved health through better diet and nutrition, with the added benefit of an opportunity for women to generate an income from their surplus produce.

There was a strong focus on health, an area of major concern in rural Ireland. ICA members were sent to England to do basic courses in nursing and Nurses’ Cottages were set up to demonstrate health care, hygiene, nutrition and patient care. To help combat high levels of tuberculosis, goats’ milk depots were set up, goat’s milk being TB free, and by the 1920’s the society had a goat farm in Co Wexford which supplied goats to other districts.

In 1935 the Society of the United Irishwomen changed its name to the Irish Countrywomen’s Association and by the late 1940’s the ICA and the Irish Homespun Society had jointly organised Country Markets. This was an outlet to help Ireland’s small producers and traditional craft workers organise the co-operative marketing of their home produce and crafts. 

At a time when women tended to have little or no formal education, the ICA hosted annual summer schools in different venues across Ireland, until in 1954 when the ICA Adult Education College at An Grianán was established. A wide variety of activities took place at An Grianán, everything from practical classes in dressmaking, winemaking, cookery and dairy farming to workshops in public speaking and performance of music and drama. In 1968 An Grianan set up a co-educational Horticultural College which taught a wide variety of demand led courses such as green keeping, floristry, and the use of pesticides. 

In the 1950s life in the farmhouse and in rural households revolved around daily chores. Heating and cooking was dependant on solid fuel or timber and turf and water had to be drawn from an outside source. Rural electrification was rolled out and its availability in the home and on the farm eased the workload of many women. The “Model Farm Kitchen” a labour saving kitchen with modern electrical appliances, was the culmination of a series of kitchens designed by the ICA to help women to adjust to cooking on an electric stove.

In the 1960’s water was still a major concern for women living in rural Ireland. Many homes still relied on outside pumps and there was opposition to extending water systems into homes. In 1961 the ICA organised a successful “Turn on the Tap” exhibition at the Mansion House and a Conference on rural water supply at An Grianan Co Louth. Group water schemes became ICA’s primary focus for discussion and action in the early 1960’s with the onus being shifted from central government to local authorities.

The ICA has been instrumental in providing practical support in the development of basic utilities in Ireland, such as water and electricity, and in influencing policy in health, education, adult education, agriculture, horticulture, arts & crafts, and on a range of other issues. Today there are 700 local Guilds throughout Ireland in towns, villages and rural areas.


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What's On – Wexford

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Telephone No.



Deirdre Connery

087 6219623

Vice President/


Breda Banville

053 9240625

087 9270327

Vice President


Mary Fitzgerald

087 6887769


Mary Nolan

087 7632399



Mary D'Arcy

087 4183180

An Grianan

Anne O'Connor

087 9109649


Anne Kehoe

087 1514009

Womens Refuge/


Joan Furlong

053 9124258


Development & Information

Dee Devereux

087 1472452

053 9122818


Alice Whitty

087 6558776

Produce Officers

Gretta O'Connor


Mella Winters


051 562287

086 3759938

087 2090778

Arts and Crafts/


Eileen Creevey

053 9129751

086 0760056

Water Quality

Geraldine McCarthy

053 9235305

Tours Breda Whelan

053 9129681

086 3258386

International  Eleanor O'Connor

086 2885316

Federation PRO


Joe Whitmore


087 9586965

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Meeting Place



Adamstown Community Centre

2nd Wed 8pm


Rathergarogue Community Hall

2nd Tues 8pm


Ballyfad Hall

2nd Tues 8pm


Clough Hall, Leskinfere Gorey

2nd Thurs 8pm


Boolavogue Hall

1st Mon 8pm


Bree Community Centre

3rd Tues 8pm


Pastoral Centre, Bunclody

2nd Mon 8pm


Camross Hall

1st Mon 8pm

Carrig on Bannow

Bannow Community Centre

3rd Mon 8pm


Castlebridge Community Centre 3rd Mon 8pm


Clonroche Community Centre

2nd Wed 8pm


Cushinstown Parish Hall

1st Mon 8pm


Band Room, Davidstown

2nd Tues 8pm


St. Louis Day Care Centre

2nd Mon 8pm


The Bailey, Enniscorthy

2nd Tues 8pm


Loch gCarman Arms Hotel, Gorey

2nd Tues 8pm


Horeswood Parochial Hall

1st Tues 8pm


St. Mogue's Hall, Inch

3rd Tues 8pm


Shamrock Hall, Kilanerin

2nd Mon 8pm


Scout Hall, Ballymore

1st Mon 8pm

Kilmore Quay

Stella Maris Centre, Kilmore Quay

1st Wed 8pm


Community Hall, Kilmyshall

1sr Wed 8pm

Kilrane/Rosslare Harbor

Community Centre, Kilrane

1st Wed 8pm


Kiltealy Hall

1st Thurs 8pm


Marshalstown Community Centre

1st Mon 8pm


Ballykelly Hall

2nd Thurs 8pm


Myles Byrne Memorial Hall

1st Wed 8pm


Piercestown Community Centre

2nd Tues 8pm


Cooney's Lounge, Oulart

2nd Thurs 8pm

Our Lady's Island

Our Lady's Island Centre

2nd Mon 8pm


Oylegate Community Centre

1st Wed 8pm


Scout Hall, Taghmon

3rd Wed 8pm

Wexford Town 

Coolcotts Community Centre

3rd Thurs 7.30pm

End of year for 2016 - Wexford Federation

Here is the report of another busy year with Wexford Federation Committee being asked to take on running the National Competitions for the coming three years. More


2017 Table Quiz winners and Charity Cheque presentations More

End of Year report 2015

2015 was a very busy year for Wexford Federation members. More

Annual Bowling Competition 2015

A great crowd attended the annual competition More

April News

ICA has Got Talent competition, Craft Day and new Guild in Castlebridge. More

Wexford Table quiz winner 2015

Camross go forward to National final. More

Februrary Federation meeting sees cheques presented to 2 local charities

Wexford Federation Members donate €3000 to Wexford Hospice Homecare and The Alzheimers Society. More

Long Service Certificate Lunch - February 8th, 2015

There were over 350 ladies in attendance at the celebration lunch for the presentation of long service certificates at The Talbot Hotel. More

Training for Officer


Bree Guild host a great night's entertainment - "A Taste of the Opera"


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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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