Many people will know the story of the US Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks. But have they ever heard of Rosa Patterson? I hadn’t until tonight when I broke for the border, as it were, and landed in Clones where I was the guest of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association. The County Monaghan Federation held their quarterly meeting at the Protestant Hall (kindly granted). I addressed the crowd of about sixty women about publicity. Thank you for the invitation and the tea afterwards; keep up the good work and hopefully you will continue to provide the local media with news of your many activities.
Maureen Gavin from Aghabog won the contest for the best poem to celebrate 60 years of the ICA in the county. It told the story of Rosa Patterson, a teacher in Ballybay, who set up the first Guild in county Monaghan. The Clones Guild is well organised. One of its most famous members is Mamo McDonald, who went on to become ICA President in 1982 for a three-year term and is now an Honorary President of the Association. The group has over 10,000 members throughout the Republic of Ireland, in 500 Guilds.