NCCWN Blayney Blades Celebrating International Women’s Day
On Monday 7th March, NCCWN Blayney Blades saw over 150 people join them to #BreakTheBias which was the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day.
Opening the event Lorraine Cunningham called on the people attending to stand for a minute’s silence in solidarity with the people from Ukraine and all the other parts of the world dealing with conflict.
Lorraine talked about the importance of acknowledging and recognising this day in our calendar. It is a call to free the world of Bias, stereotyping and discrimination and replace it with a world where difference is valued and celebrated, a world that is diverse, equitable, inclusive and above all, a world of equality. It is an opportunity to celebrate all the great women who have left a trail for us to follow some who lobbied for the right for women to vote, the right to equality, equal pay and just to be recognised for the women we are.
Lorraine referenced the first International Women’s Day and a poem Bread and Roses which was written by James Oppenheim and later put to music by Caroline Kohlslatt and in recent times was recorded by John Denver and Judy Collins. Mary Smith from Blayney Blades read the poem and it was quite evident how this poem has stood the test of time and is used over and over again.
Million Star Project:
Minister Heather Humphreys spoke about the importance of this project and how much awareness it has created. The collaboration between NCCWN/ Dochas, Blayney Blades and Cavan /Monaghan Mental Health Services. The Minister explained that the Minister for Justice Helen Mc Entee has a clear plan to eradicate our society from this ongoing problem of violence against women within our world. Minister Humphreys thanked NCCWN/ Blayney Blades and the Blayney Weavers for all their hard work in promoting and highlighting this very important issue.
Blayney Blades would like to thank Raymond, who made the props to showcase the stars, David who helped to glue them all on. To the Blayney Weavers who made all our stars, we are deeply indebted to all of you, to the staff who coordinated the whole project and to Darren and Hannah who made the space available for them to be showcased in the Iontas reception for us.
The Life and Legacy of Sr. Celine Mc Ardle by Molly Ward
It was with great pleasure that young Molly Ward contacted Lorraine in Blayney Blades in relation to her Classroom Based Assessment Project. Molly chose Sr. Celine Mc Ardle for her project and set about sourcing as much information as possible about this woman who had touched so many lives. Molly’s dedication and sheer determination to make this project the best it could be is very clear in what she has achieved. Molly travelled the highways and byways conducting interviews and taking photos while getting a feel for the woman who contributed so much to her local community. The many groups she set up and the Legacy of the IONTAS building which has played such a big part in our local community and continues to do so.
Blayney Blades would like to thank Molly and say a big thank you to Ms Brennan her history teacher, Mr. Kelly who’s Mam actually was a big part of Blayney Blades, the staff of our Lady’s Secondary School in Castleblayney which in fact was built by the Sisters of Mercy, To her Mam, Dad, Sr. Edel and all the people who agreed to be interviewed for Molly’s project which is now a book.
Molly’s book can be purchased in Iontas for €10 and all proceeds are going to support the people of the UKRAINE.
Martina Quinn Chairperson of Blayney Blades said she was delighted to hear that Molly’s project was about Sr. Celine. Martina said this book is a testament to a woman who did not understand the meaning of Can’t and always told us there is no T in Can Do. When Sr. Celine approached the women who were to be the first Board of Management she had a clear vision and a good plan in place. That original Board set the standard very high under her guidance and it is with this ethos that we continue to deliver our services within the community. I would like to thank them and all the other ladies who have served on the Board since then. It has been the support from the Board and the Staff that had kept NCCWN/ Blayney Blades in the forefront of everyone’s mind on a regular basis. We would not be as successful if it were not for the women and their families who attend all our courses and events. The friendships that have blossomed within the classes between some of the ladies is amazing.
I feel very privileged and honoured to represent NCCWN/ Blayney Blades as their chairperson at this time. As a community organisation we have grown and developed and we will continue to be a strong advocate for the women in our local community that is why celebrating days like today, International Women’s Day is so important. We have been active in Castleblayney and the wider area for nearly thirty years and hopefully, the next thirty will be as successful.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing Muckno Singers who joined us on stage and opened the evening. They sang some wonderful songs reflecting the upbeat mood of the evening later they closed the evening with more of their lovely songs and added their lovely Stars in the Ukraine Colours to the Stars already made by the Blayney Weavers.
I would also like to thank NCCWN/ Blayney Blades, The Iontas Centre, all their staff, Blayney Blades International, The Sisters of Mercy, Our Funders, Muckno / Donaghmoyne, Community Services, Molly Ward who reminded us of all the work Sr. Celine had done. Also a big thank you to Darina who created our Million Star Cake and some lovely buns and Anna who also made some lovely buns. The lovely finger food by the Iontas team. A very special word of thanks to our Board of Management and all the staff who continue to do a great job.