Waterford Women’s Centre launched its International Women’s Day Programme in Edmund Rice
Youth & Community Multiplex on Monday morning. Despite the snow a good crowd gathered for
the Circle Dance Workshop ‘Focus on the Feminine’ facilitated by Kate Crotty. Alison Langford
Chairwoman of the Women’s Centre gave the opening address and launched the weeklong
programme of events. Alison said that International Women’s Day began over 100 years and this
year of course we are marking the 100 anniversary of Irish women getting the vote in 1918.
Alison went on to outlined the programme of events for the week including a feminist walking tour
on Tuesday at 10.30 leaving from the Women’s Centre on Manor Street. The unveiling of a Civic
Trust blue plaque to Dr Mary Strangman in Parliament St (off Manor Street) at 11am on Wednesday
and Waterford Women in history exhibition launch on Thursday 8th March in the Library at 11 am.
In addition to this exhibition Dr. Christiana Henri will give a presentation on ‘Roses from the Heart’
exhibition remembering Waterford women transported to Van Diemen’s Land in the 19th and 20th century. This year’s exhibition includes bonnets made by members of the Women’s Centre.

The Pink Plaque Campaign

This is a really good piece by Aoife Barry at on Rosamund Jacob, who was a suffragette and feminist born in Waterford.
In 2016 Ann Fitzgerald of NCCWN-Waterford Women’s Centre led The Pink Plaque Campaign to get a Civic Trust Blue Plaque, dedicated to Rosamund, on the house she was born. The Pink Plaque Campaign commits, each year, to sponsoring a Blue Plaque recognising a Waterford woman and this is included in the annual events of International Women’s Day Celebrations. Dr. Mary Strangman is being honoured this year. Below are photos of the poster from the 2016 IWD events and the Rosamund Jacob blue plaque.



NCCWN-ACCESS 2000 Wexford has been shortlisted for the AONTAS Star Awards

NCCWN-ACCESS 2000 Wexford has been shortlisted for the AONTAS Star Awards for our  Bloom Postcard Garden Project – Nurture and Nature the Path to Wonder which shared 1st Prize Certificate in Distinction at Bloom Irelands Largest Garden Festival  held in the Phoenix Park, Dublin in June 2017.

The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) are coordinated by AONTAS as part of the annual Adult Learners’ Festival to acknowledge the fantastic work undertaken by adult education groups in Ireland. That’s why the Star Award categories focus on promoting wellbeing; social inclusion; digital inclusion; and ensuring that the learner’s voice is heard.

Since its inception in 2007 over 1,000 adult learning initiatives across a wide variety of areas – including arts, mental health, addiction and disability – have been recognised through the STAR Awards.

The first phase was completing the application and sending it to Aontas  The second phase of the judging process involved members of the panel meeting with shortlisted initiatives in each category to decide on a wining group.  Our category is Wellbeing.  So on Monday, February 5th, a group from NCCWN/ACCESS 2000 had an informal meeting with a panel of judges to showcase our work and the  difference it made to the lives of the learners who participated in the Garden Project.

The big announcement will be on Monday, March 5th.  All projects shortlisted are invited to the Aontas Star Awards Ceremony where the winners in each category will be announced.   This is a huge achievement for everyone involved and we are keeping our fingers crossed! For that all important Award! Congratulation NCCWN-Wexford Access 2000!

The Centenary of Women’s Suffrage in Ireland

As an awareness-raising reminder for events for IWD, this year is the 1918-2018 Centenary of women’s suffrage. After a long and difficult campaign, women got the right to vote. They had to be 30 years of age and own property. Eventually in 1922 after a strong campaign, all Irish women over 21 were given the right to vote.

Are there names of women involved in the suffrage movement
from your area, that could be included in your International Women’s Day events?.
In Waterford, NCCWN-Waterford Women’s Centre are honoring Dr. Mary Strangman with a Civic Blue plaque. She was elected Waterford’s first female City Councillor in 1912 and the first and only women to be elected in the 1918 local elections. She was an active suffragette and was a founding member of the Munster Women’s Franchise League. She would have been campaigning strongly for women’s political participation and women’s right to vote. She played a vital role in raising awareness of suffrage in Waterford.

Shannon Airport Women’s Peace Camp – Women’s Christmas – Nollaig na mBan

Shannon Airport Women’s Peace Camp – Women’s Christmas – Nollaig na mBan
In October, the Clare Women’s Network hosted a thought provoking and moving Festival of FeminismS called Silence+Voice. At this festival. women spoke of war, violence, trauma, exclusion and many issues through the mediums of song, poetry, music, storytelling, dance, drama and short films.
A need for a feminist solidarity among all women to work across all issues was seen as urgent and imperative. Collectively with an audience of over 250 women, with the provocation of key note speakers, the stories of women’s lived experience were brought alive.
At the very heart of the festival was an informative and passionate presentation from Peace Activist and Raging Granny Margaretta D’Arcy who invited the audience to join her on the 6th of January – Women’s Christmas to a 24 hour women’s peace camp to celebrate and embrace our right to protest about Ireland’s facilitation of war on countries across the Middle East, by allowing the US Military Army refuel and stopover at Shannon Civilian Airport. Women at the festival demonstrated an enthusiastic interest and solidarity in supporting this action and so women began to organise Shannon Airport Women’s Peace Camp.

At the festvial, stories were heard of living in direct provision, from Donnah Sibanda Vuma, of adoption and first mothers, from Christina Breen, on losing her daughter Alicia to domestic homicide from Maria Dwyer. The festival spoke of the frequency of the many violations in society towards women and the importance of collective responses and a move away from divide and conquer strategies which silence women.

Peace Activist Margaretta D’Arcy with support from the Clare Women’s Network is asking women to join them on Women’s Christmas- Nollaig na mBan – 6th of January at 1pm for a 24 hour Women’s Peace Camp.
This event will include performances from musicians and poets who wish to show solidarity with the Women’s Peace Camp to protest against war and the many lives lost and the profound effect on women and children in particular through rape and displacement and the many other atrocities war inflicts upon their lives. Artists performing include Poet Sarah Clancy, Singer Noirin Lynch, Poet Elizabeth Power, Singer Sharon Murphy, Poet/Storyteller Ruth Marshall. ‘A Short History of Feminism – Olympe de Gouge – dramatized by Marja Aqvist, singers Mary O’ Sullivan and Clare Sawtell.Many other artists will be arriving on the day. There will be a cosy marquee, warm drinks, hot food, we are encouraging women to stay or to drop in and out over the 24 hours. We also encourage you to bring warm blankets, clothes, cushions and food to share.
The vein of the protest is the right to peaceful protest to women having their voices heard, whilst celebrating Women’s Christmas through the arts and solidarity with one another.
We hope to see you all there, bring pots, bring pans, there will be an open mic, there will be opportunities to network, and for unique conversations. There may be some sleep – but we seriously doubt it.
TV 3 coverage of the event (at 6 min)