Mem­ber­ship fees

Irish Examiner - Farming - - COUNTRY LIVING -

To al­low for mem­ber­ship fees to be paid in line with all other gov­ern­ment bod­ies and ac­count­ing prac­tices, from 2019, ICA mem­ber­ship year will be from Jan­uary 1 to De­cem­ber 31. In 2018, there will be a tran­si­tion pe­riod, May 31 to De­cem­ber 31, when the an­nual mem­ber­ship fee will be €25 (seven months for the price of six). Af­ter that, the an­nual mem­ber­ship will re­turn to the full amount of €50. Four po­ten­tial new mem­bers turned up to Castletroy ICA’s first guild meet­ing of 2018 — which doesn’t guar­an­tee that t h e y ’ l l a l l j o i n , sa ys E s s ie McGrath, honorary sec­re­tary of the guild.

“I t ’ s ne w y e a r , ne w o u t - look,” says Essie. “They may not all come back and join. One lady emailed me say­ing she’d like to join. She came to our Nol­laig Na mBan break­fast and to our meet­ing two weeks ago. When peo­ple are in­ter­ested, you don’t want to crowd them ei­ther.” Essie joined Castletroy ICA in Septem­ber 2010, six months a f t e r i t w a s s e t u p . G u i ld fo u n d e r , th e l at e M a ur e e n Shee­han, was a Women’s In­sti­tute mem­ber in the UK for many years and had seen the value for women of an or­gan­i­sa­tion like ICA. In her hon­our, Castletroy ICA has the ‘Mau­reen Shee­han Per­pet­ual Tro­phy for Craft’. Essie’s de­ci­sion to sign up wa s p r om p t e d by se e i ng a n o t ic e in M ilf o r d Pa r i s h ’ s news­let­ter.

“I’d taken early re­tire­ment from work,” she says. “I worked in Shan­non De­vel­op­ment. I was think­ing I’d bet­ter get the skids on and jo in some thin g. I’ d al­ways con­sid­ered ICA to be for peo­ple from the coun­try, but I love it. I love the demon­stra­tions and the trips.

“I ’ ve me t l o ve l y fr ie nd s t h ro u g h i t , p e o p l e l i v i n g not far away from me but I’d never have met them only for ICA.”

T he g uild h as o rg a n i sed trips abroad — to Lis­bon and Prague — and last year six mem­bers went to An Gri­anán af ter Ch r is tmas , wh i ch in - cluded a tour of the Coo­ley Penin­sula. Many mem­bers have got en­gaged with craft un­der the men­tor­ship of craft of­fi­cer Soo Ling Howard and they’re look­ing for­ward to wo r k s h o p s c o ve r i n g ba ti k paint­ing, origami and news­pa­per bas­ket weav­ing.

“T wo we e k s a g o , we di d glass paint­ing,” says Essie. “We h a d a C h r i s t m a s cen­tre­piece work­shop and we made a lit­tle pin cush­ion. What Soo Ling shows us is alwa y s ve r y at tr ac t i ve . Sh e makes it easy — she brings the kit and we put it to­gether.” Since Oc­to­ber, Castletroy ICA has done a fundrais­ing raf­fle and walk and do­nated pro­ceeds to Mil­ford Hos­pice. The guild meets at 8pm on the third Mon­day of the month in Monaleen GAA Club — new mem­bers wel­come.

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Castletroy ICA guild mem­bers Mary Mor­rissy-Mur­phy and Essie McGrath pre­sent­ing a cheque to Mil­ford Hos­pice, the pro­ceeds from a walk in sup­port of the char­ity.

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