Crat­loe re­sumes

Irish Examiner - Farming - - COUNTRY LIVING -

Crat­loe Guild in Clare met on Septem­ber 5, fol­low­ing their sum­mer break; an ICA high­light of their sum­mer was an out­ing to Gal­way, where they toured on an open-top bus, had lunch and went shop­ping. The guild’s Oc­to­ber meet­ing fea­tured a health/well­be­ing talk from Siob­hán O’driscoll of Car­rig­o­ran House. Guild pres­i­dent and Clare Fed­er­a­tion craft pro­moter Caro­line Quinn is host­ing a craft day on No­vem­ber 17 in Doora Hall. Caro­line won the Oc­to­ber guild com­pe­ti­tion for the most “old say­ings”. Crat­loe ICA plans to start go-for­life ac­tiv­i­ties this month. Guild meet­ings are on the first Wed­nes­day of the month; new mem­bers wel­come. Newly-elected ICA re­gional pres­i­dent for the South West Ena How­ell loves a chal­lenge. And she loves think­ing up new ideas and see­ing them through.

Ideas like hav­ing a Cork Fed­er­a­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tive at last year’s lo­cal heat of the Rose of Tralee — this idea was so suc­cess­ful, the fed­er­a­tion is set to do it again this year. For Ena, ideas like this are all about keep­ing ICA at the fore­front of peo­ple’s minds. Her lat­est project is a com­pe­ti­tion to find the Ideal Lady.

“Ev­ery guild in Cork Fed­er­a­tion — and there are 50 to 60 of them — has the op­por­tu­nity to se­lect a guild mem­ber and put her for­ward. It could be the woman who opens the door of the hall ev­ery meet­ing night, who puts the heat­ing on, or boils the ket­tle. Or it could be the pres­i­dent who gets the fund­ing or the lit­tle quiet one who takes the money at the door or the one who’s a great sto­ry­teller,” says Ena, adding that with the Rose con­test last year ICA gave some­thing to the younger gen­er­a­tion. “Now it’s time to give some­thing to our­selves, to our gen­er­a­tion. Mem­bers love com­ing out to see some­thing, for a night out, so there will be a stage el­e­ment — all the con­tes­tants will do a party piece and the week be­fore the com­pe­ti­tion they’ll bring some­thing for judg­ing: a craft, some art or pro­duce.”

As South West re­gional pres­i­dent, Ena’s re­mit cov­ers all the Mun­ster fed­er­a­tions. “It’s a chal­lenge and I love a chal­lenge. I’m look­ing for­ward to my three years in the role, to spread­ing the word, meet­ing ladies in new fed­er­a­tions, bring­ing new ideas and lis­ten­ing to theirs and bring­ing those back to Cork. That’s what it’s all about — shar­ing ideas,” Ena said.

“I love ICA. I’m in it over 36 years. I joined when my youngest child was a week old.

“I was liv­ing in an un­fa­mil­iar area of Cork, very ru­ral at the time, and to be asked by Fion­nu­ala Uí Chonaill in Gre­nagh Vil­lage to come along to a meet­ing, to get out at night, it was Heaven — I didn’t care where I was go­ing,” says Ena, who over the years has been Cork ICA Fed­er­a­tion vice-pres­i­dent, fed­er­a­tion sec­re­tary, com­pe­ti­tion sec­re­tary, pro­ducer pro­moter, as well as an in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer for 20 years and na­tional PRO, a role she held for three years. Ena’s still a mem­ber of Gre­nagh Guild, which meets at 8pm on the first Wed­nes­day of the month in Rath­duff Hall.

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Newly-elected ICA re­gional pres­i­dent for the South West Ena How­ell, on right, with in­com­ing Cork Fed­er­a­tion trea­surer Deirdre Hickey.

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