Munster meeting for women’s group

Meitheal na mBan, Rural Women Munster, will host a meeting in the Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway, Co. Cork, on Saturday next, August 26 from 2.30pm.

This follows two successful meetings held earlier this year in Adare and Mallow. The group organisers are planning to host meetings in the Munster region over the next number of months with a view to getting as many rural and farming women as possible involved.

The organisers are drawn from counties Kerry and Tipperary. Sheila Crowley, Joan Collins, Eileen Moynihan and Patricia Kelliher have been involved for many years in the Women in Agriculture Group in Kerry.

Catherine Guest and Mary Ryan are involved in New Futures Farming Group and a number of community groups in Tipperary. Together they have identified a need to establish a forum in the Munster region where farm and rural women can come together to share experiences and support each other.

All rural women in the west Cork area are invited along on Saturday. The organisers are open to ideas and will listen to the issues which those in attendance would like to see highlighted at local and national level.

Many issues have been debated at previous meetings, according to Catherine Guest. “They include farm succession, and women not being treated equally to men, which impacts on their access to land.

“The current state pension system punishes pensioners, mainly women, who have left the workforce to care for families.

“Herd numbers not held in joint names is another issue,” Guest said.

The lack of available training for farm spouses who have come from non-farming backgrounds, and who now wish to gain an understanding of the various aspects of the enterprise, including the paperwork, has been raised.

“Isolation is a major problem in areas. Women who are isolated do not access services such as health, and in many cases suffer in silence, not sharing their problems with others. Lack of self-esteem and confidence are sometimes, but not always, linked with isolation.”

Meetings will follow in counties Kerry and Tipperary in the near future as well as a further gathering in Mallow and in Co. Limerick.

The group would also welcome anyone who would be interested in being involved in organising a meeting in their area.

For further details, contact any of the following: Catherine Guest: 086-1575949; Mary Ryan: 087- 7667040; Sheila Crowley: 087-2688989; Joan Collins: 064-6633748; Eileen Moynihan: 087-6932201 or Patricia Kelliher: 087-7651280.