New ICA craft museum opens in Louth

THE Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA) opened the new Muriel Gahan Museum at their Louth-based life-long learning facility, An Grianán on Thursday, April 7.

THE Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA) opened the new Muriel Gahan Museum at their Louth-based life-long learning facility, An Grianán on Thursday, April 7.

The museum, in Termonfeckin, showcases 100 years of traditional crafts, and is accompanied by a café. Both will be open to the public from Saturday, April 16.

Muriel Gahan was a pillar of the ICA and is best known for opening The Country Shop, on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin in 1930.

She set up Country Markets Ltd, which was an outlet for women to sell farm excess and earn extra income in tight economic times.

Country Markets Ltd, over time, grew into the country markets we see in our towns across the country today. The Muriel Gahan Museum is packed full of 100 years of Irish history.

The Museum contains traditional Irish crafts and tools, such as lace and homemade clothes, carding implements, spinning wheels, and a selection of Sugán chairs.

It displays a full kitchen from the time of rural electrification in Ireland, as well as the preserved contents of The Country Shop on St Stephen’s Green.

Clothes worn by Maeve Hillary (wife of late President Patrick) on many state occasions are also on display in this museum.

ICA National President Anne Maria Dennison said: “We are delighted to open the Muriel Gahan Museum here at An Grianán.

“Dr Muriel Gahan was instrumental in the development of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association and we’re pleased to honour her with this collection.

“On the occasion of opening the Muriel Gahan Museum, we are proud to say that the ICA still lives by her motto: Deeds not Words.”

Meanwhile, An Grianán hosted its first ever Wedding Fayre on Sunday, April 10. The event was deemed a huge success due to the large turnout and wide variety of exhibitors. The guests were greeted with a champagne and canapé reception. O’Brien’s supplied the wine tasting while Cake-a-Licious and McConnons Cakes offered guests tasty cake samples.