The Ennis & District Soroptimist Club marked the 45 years since their foundation with a celebration lunch at the Old Ground Hotel. Members of the national organisation travelled from all over the country to join in the celebrations.
Guest speaker at the lunch was The Honorable Ms Justice Fidelma Macken, of the Supreme Court, who gave a talk on The European Union and Women.
It would have been difficult for the founder members – Maura Power, Peg Ruttle, Trass Honan, Marie O’Gorman and Ann O’Driscoll – to look into the future and realise the impact that the foundation of this club would have over the next 45 years.
They, like many successful organisations, had a need and a mission and that was to raise funds for a school for children with special needs. These ladies worked hard and grew the club. Fundraising efforts were organised and resulted in the establishment of St Clare’s School.
Over the past 45 years, a number of members have served as national presidents of the Soroptimist Association of the Republic of Ireland. They have also spear-headed national projects and one of the club’s proudest was the founding of the Caring for Carers project. This is now an autonomous organisation.
The Ennis club received the Laureate of Women of Europe Award by the Irish Council of the European Movement. This nomination was made in recognition of the voluntary efforts of the Ennis members at Irish and European level.
Long-serving member Judith Ironside, who identified the need to support those who face the burden of caring for the elderly or infirm at home and who inspired the foundation of the Caring for Carers organisation, collected the award on behalf of the Ennis club, which is still championing causes both locally and at national level.