Athenry Women’s Group – Spring 2004

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Workshop on Environmental Issues with Sinéad Ní Mhainín and Mark Molloy

Athenry Women’s Group was started in 1991. It is a community based social group and can be political when the need arises. The ethos of the group is to make friends, exchange ideas, learn new skills and contribute to the community in a practical way. The first meetings were held in the Western Hotel and then transferred to the Canton Hall where we now meet every Tuesday at 1O.3Oam.

Creche facilities were provided but as this did not work out, the Mother and Toddler Group was formed, and this group also meets in the Canton Hall each week. The first year we had a very successful fundraising dance with Matt Cunningham to fund a Children’s Programme for Lay Day. This turned out to be a huge success and the Athenry Medieval Festival mushroomed from it. The Women’s Group ran the festival each year for ten years and a sub group also ran the Padraig Fallon Festival in 1992. In 1996 we wrote and produced a comedy play, “Five Years a Growin” and in 1997 we produced a variety “Christmas Crackers” in which we joined with the Céilí Dancers, the Church Choir, the Medieval Orchestra and the Musical Group singers. We ran the Halloween Disco for children for a tew years and we always take part in the St. Patricks Day Parade.

Over the years, we ran courses under the umbrella of health, conventional and alternative. We had courses and workshops on communications, physical and spiritual maintenances, environmental and gardening issues. Arts, drama, painting, poetry, song, yoga, computers, French and creative writing, book clubs and European mornings. We gathered petitions on community issues. We went on annual outings to Wesport, Lissadel, Birr, Ballintubber, the National Stud, Japanese Gardens, the Tralee Geraldine experience, National Museum and places of National and Local interest. We visit the theatre and cinema regularly, have a meal out each term and regular local nights out

We have hosted lots of European groups, Western Health Board workshops and Western Woman’s Link workshops. Funding for some of the courses was received from the Department of Family and Community Affairs and the Western Health Board.

We are involved with the Tidy Town Committee in maintaining the flower beds at Swangate and at the Church Car Park. We have volunteered to visit the new residents in Athenry and give then the Failte information pack. Our members are also involved with Community Games, Athenry Cancer ‘Care, Retired Active Club, Bowling Club, Creative Writing, Book Club and Flower Club.

Our spring Programme is a talk on Organic Gardening by Cait Curran, Yoga with Shradda Burke-Pren, Stress Management by Bernadette McGowan and participation in the St, Patrick’s Day Parade which is one of the highlights of the term. We will also be spring cleaning the flower beds at Swangate and at the Church Car Park. We will take our usual walk to Our Lady’s Well, Clarinbridge and Renvyle and also have our night out.

The group has gone from strength to strength and will have an open morning on Tuesday 27th of April at 10.30 Newcomers are always welcome.

Members over tehe years include: Peggy Walsh, Mary McGovern, Ena O’Grady, Olive Coffey, Peggy Healy, Ann Fahy, Patricia Kelly, Maura Hardiman, Ann Rabbitte, Geraldine O’Dowd, Breda Kelly, Joy McNamara, Stephanie O’Regan, Carmel Farragher, Madelyn Brody, Ann Quinn, Maureen Lawless, Terese Walls, Aideen Rynne, Teresa Ruane, Catherine Brady, Evelyn Grealish, Agnes Kelly, Antoinette Judge, Bridie Finn, Eileen Hardiman, Marie McNamara, Helen Reidy, Terry Callinan, Mary Quinn, Margaret Ruane, Pat Collins, Elizabeth Maloney, Nora Loughnane, Terry Cannavan, Eileen Holian, Claire Moran, Mary Cunniffe, Christina O’Reilly, Bridie Cheeseman, Kathleen Forde.

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About this record

Written by Stephanie O'Regan

Published here 22 Aug 2023 and originally published Spring 2004

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