Members of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA) who protested on Friday last did so because they are “incensed and heartbroken” as a result of what is happening in the association, a former ICA president has said.

Breda Raggett from Kilkenny has been a member of the ICA for 50 years and is a past president.

“It’s 122 years old and something like this has never, ever happened before. There’s no need for it. It’s dividing the association, it’s breaking it down, it’s going to destroy us.

“What’s dividing the association is putting three members off the board. It’s horrific without reason. Bringing those three women into disrepute by not giving a reason why they did it and answering questions,” she told the Irish Farmers Journal.


Up to 30 women held a protest outside the ICA HQ on Merrion Road on Friday last, demanding answers from the association’s leadership as to why three women on its national executive board were removed from the board.

ICA members, including Breda Raggett (left), protesting at ICA headquarters in Dublin on 6 January. \ Amy Forde

“We can presume anything,” Raggett said. “We’ve begged, I’ve written and asked them. Imagine creating a situation like this without mediation.

"The last thing you should do is put people off a board. You should sit down and that’s the position of a national president. No matter what organisation you’re in, you’re always going to have difficulties when you’re at the head of an organisation.

“But when you’re the head, you’ve a responsibility to sit down and work it out and look at both sides. This isn’t happening,” she claimed.


“That’s all we want; openness, transparency and accountability. That’s all we want.

“We’re very concerned at the amount of money being spent on legal fees,” she said, claiming that around up to €100,000 has been spent so far.

“That’s nothing to what the final bill is going to be. Look, we love the ICA, we’re in it all our lives and we want to see it survive for the next generation,” she said.