'Not every revolution happens suddenly. Many
revolutions take place slowly, steadily, progressing
quietly. And that's how it was in the ICA.'
1910 Ireland. Women
didn't have the vote or an accepted right to take
part in public affairs. So setting up a women's
movement, in rural Ireland, was a revolutionary
move. But that's exactly what The Society of United
Irishwomen, later known as the ICA or Irish Countrywomen's
Association did in a small Wexford town in 1910.
They were founded to improve the living standards
of rural women and though not a political body,
lobbied successfully for running water and electricity
in rural homes. Through the 1950s, they set up education
schemes and empowered farmer's wives to be financially
independent. But by the 1970s, as women now marched
for the rights of unmarried mothers and the introduction
of contraception, ICA's conservative cohort was
no match for their feminist 'sisters' and they struggled
to remain relevant.
Directed by Mary
Brophy, this four part series chronicles one hundred
years of the ICA. With candid, warm and often humorous
contributions from members past and present, stunning
archive footage and a nostalgic soundtrack, ICA
is also a fascinating look at the sweeping changes
that took place in Irish women's lives through that
century. Broadcast on TG4, Producers Neal Boyle
and Ciara Nic Chormaic .