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ICA demonstration kitchen, An Grianán, 1963

The ESB were strongly supported by rural vocational organisations such as the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA) in their promotion of rural electrification.
The ICA is a women’s organisation dedicated to improving rural women’s lives. ICA guilds worked closely with the ESB demonstrators, hosting demonstrations and talks about electricity for their members. The ICA also encouraged running water to be installed on farms, and promoted the idea that young women should not marry a farmer unless he promised to put electricity and running water into his farmhouse.

Listen to Mamo McDonald, ex-ICA President, talk about her experience in the ICA as a young woman:
Mamo McDonald interviewed by Geraldine O’Connor in Clones, County Monaghan, February 2017


Training courses in domestic science and housekeeping were run at An Grianán, the ICA adult education college in Termonfeckin, County Louth. These ranged from one-week courses for members to six-week courses for young women. The six-week courses were sponsored by the ESB and recruited through Macra na Feirme.

Listen to Connie McEvoy describe her experience on a six-week domestic science course at An Grianan in the late 1950s:
Connie McEvoy interviewed by Sorcha O’Brien in Termonfeckin, County Louth, January 2017


The demonstration kitchen in An Grianán was designed to combine the best of modern technology with traditional features. It was furnished with electric appliances from the ESB, and was painted white with orange accents, but also included a fireplace, settle bench and dresser-like shelves, as well as a Brigid’s Cross.

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