The Laois federation was formed in 1950 and held its first meeting in the vocational school in Portlaoise. There were 6 Guilds present – Abbeyleix, Castletown, Rath, Stradbally and Graigcullen. The Founding President of the Federation was Mrs Bland from Graigcullen.
Laois Federation is in the heart of the Slieve Bloom Mountains and has lots to offer both in ICA activities and historical sites including the Rock of Dunamaise, the Round Tower of Timahoe, Brittas Castle in Clonaslee, Emo Court and of course the very beautiful gardens of Clonohill, Gash Gardens and Haywood. One of the best known crafts is Mountmellick Lace which dates back to 1825 and it continues to be taught by ICA members to this day.
Laois Federation has 2 of the oldest Guilds in the Country – Abbeyleix which was founded in 1914 and Castletown in 1915 by the late great Lucy Franks who was the National Secretary of the Association and became National President in 1942 as she loved gardens so much that a garden house was built in her memory surrounded by roses at An Grianán.
Laois Federation is very proud to have an ICA Choir that performs to sell out audiences all over the Federation and has had the honour to perform at Dublin Castle in the Presence of President Mary McAlese at our Centenary Celebrations.
If you are interested in joining the ICA or wanting to set up a new Guild in Laois or would like any further information please feel free to contact any of the following people in our Federation.
- Federation President Anne Cass Portlaoise Guild
- Federation Secretary, Anne Breen Spink Guild
- Federation Treasurer Noreen Byrne Clough Guild.
Our activities include Mountmellick Lace, Line Dancing, Art and any craft that a member wishes to learn, social outings.
We have participated in The Wellness programme, Walking to Support Cancer Care in Laois.
We also look forward annually to supporting Laois Week at An Grianán.