Book on fifty years of Clara ICA launched

A fascinating book chronicling the first fifty years of the ICA in Clara was launched in Clara Library last Thursday.

A fascinating book chronicling the first fifty years of the ICA in Clara was launched in Clara Library last Thursday.

Clara ICA 50 Years, was written by Mary McRedmond and Patricia O’Meara and was launched on Thursday night, December 15.

Cllr Dervill Dolan, who launched the book, noted, “It is very clear from this book that the ICA in Clara has made a huge contribution to the town for many years.”

He said the book recalls their involvement in many charitable endeavours, including the hosting of Daffodil Days in the town. Another significant role which the local guild played, was the setting up of the Tidy Towns in Clara in 1968, “which made a very important contribution for many years.”

“Another significant aspect was the social element of the guild,” he said, whether it was arranging quizzes, and many other events, or visits to An Grianán or Áras an Uachtaráin .

“For many women who came to Clara, they made their first frinds through the ICA and remained friends to this day,” he said.

He said it was the many photographs featured which made the book come alive, particularly party events. He was surprised to see his own mother dressed up as a nun in one. One photograph from the 1960s, “could have been taken in Hollywood,” he said. “The grand children can now see their grannies with long legs and short skirts.”

Congratulations were expressed to the two authors of the book by Offaly ICA President Mary Scully. “It’s been a hard three years, but its come to fruition tonight,” she said.

|A member of the local guild from its foundation, Bridgie Doyle said she was especially proud at the launch to be a member of the Clara ICA guild and thanked to the two authors and their families for the work.

Co-author of the book, Patricia O’Meara thanked all those who had helped with the book, and the staff of Clara Library for hosting the launch. She added that books would be available the following day in Dermot Kenny’s shop.

Another founding member of the local guild, Ruth Greene said the two authors had done a tremendous amount of work. “There is an article in the book about the friendships you build up, and no one knows better than I the friendships you build up,” she said in reference to over half a century involvement with the guild.