Following from the announcement from the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar regarding the closure of schools, preschools and further and higher education settings to support effects to contain the spread of Covid-19, Waterford Women’s Centre and Childcare Service will be closed until the 29th March 2020 or further notice. Please see our Facebook page for updated information.

Re: Coronavirus – Covid 19

Waterford Women’s Centre & Childcare Service are following the HSE guidelines and advice in relation to stopping the spread of the Coronavirus:

Protect yourself and others from coronavirus

Wash your hands properly and regularly

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.

Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Wash your hands

  • after coughing or sneezing
  • after toilet use
  • before eating
  • before and after preparing food
  • if you are in contact with a sick person, especially those with respiratory symptoms
  • if your hands are dirty
  • if you have handled animals or animal waste

If you are travelling or have travelled please follow the advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs before returning to our service so as not spread the virus:

Follow the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs

The Women’s Centre and Childcare Service will continue to keep up to date with information and advice from the HSE and will adhere to recommendations. 

ACCESS 2000 CLG – Waterford Women’s Centre Board of Management

The ‘Well Girl’ walk – celebrating International Women’s Day

MEP Grace O’Sullivan and Olympian Kate Veale lead the walk

Photo John Power

The final event of the International Women’s Day Festival was the ‘Well Girl’ walk on Sunday 8th March, International Women’s Day, a fundraising event for the Women’s Centre. 

Local singer and member of the Mount Sion Choir, Angel, entertained the large crowd that gathered in the WIT Arena Greenway car park from 10 am onwards.  Local MEP Grace O’Sullivan addressed the gathering and praised the work of the Women’s Centre over the past 25 years and was delighted to launch the first ever ‘Well Girl’ walk on International Women’s Day.  Grace and Olympian walker, Kate Veale, World Youth Champion, Irish record holder and European Cup medallist, together led the walkers on the 7 km walk from the car park to the Greenway on to Mount Congreve Gardens and back.

Grace O Sullivan MEP cuts the ribbon for the ‘Well Girl’ walk

Photo: John Power

In excess of 300 walkers registered in the WIT Arena Greenway Carpark on the day.  Thanks to WIT Arena Manager John Windle for supporting the event.  It was a social occasion and a walk for all the family with sunshine all the way.   Many used it as an opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day with a walk together with friends or other groups they belonged to.  Many current and past participants, staff and parents of the Women’s Centre and Childcare Service along with family and friends, turned out in numbers to provide very welcome support.  The weather was in our favour and remained dry and sunny almost till the end.  The donation of gazebo, chairs and tables were much appreciated, and thanks to Clem Jacob Hire for keeping the team dry at the end of the day. 

A big thanks to all who made the day such a success; the fundraising team: Maureen Tobin, Liz Heffernan, Catherine Drea, Catherine McNena and Alison Langford;  to those who helped on the day, Pat Tobin, Ann Kavanagh, Tony Grey, Mary Langford and John Grey. 

All were kept safe and sound by the presence of Civil Defence which was much appreciated.  When the walkers returned to the car park drinks were provided compliments of Lidl and beautiful fresh fruit from Iverk Produce, Piltown. 

Thanks to Graphic Image and Claire O’Donovan Design for the Well Girl poster.  WLR FM and BEAT 102-103 gave great coverage before the walk and all the Festival events as did Waterford in Your Pocket.  Thanks also to the RSC for the Hi-vis vests and to the staff from Apple who along with team leader, Niamh Ivory, volunteered on the day. A massive thanks to all who walked in this the first of what we hope will become an annual event. 

Some images from IWD Festival 2020

This year the Women’s Centre celebrate our 25th anniversary (1995 – 2020). There was full attendance at the International Women’s Day weeklong Festival from the 3rd – 8th March. 50 attended the launch on Tuesday 3rd March in Waterford Institute of Technology, College Street Campus, with an International Circle Dance workshop, led by Kate Crotty, Women’s Centre.

On Wednesday 4th March the Women’s Centre in partnership with Waterford Civic Trust unveiled a Blue Plaque to the Daly Family, Mai, Debbie and their mother Margaret who ran a café for the poor of Waterford, better known as ‘the shop’, at no 5 Arundel Lane.  It was attended by over 100 people. Des Griffin, Chair of the Waterford Civic Trust, was the MC on the day and welcomed the Mayor of Waterford Cllr. John Pratt.  The Mayor acknowledged the kindness of the Daly’s in providing a place where the poor of Waterford were treated with compassion and kindness.  Breda Freyne, niece of Mai and Debbie Daly unveiled the plaque and nephew Robert Lanigan spoke on behalf of the Daly family, many generations of whom were in attendance.  Robert paid tribute to his aunts and his grandmother’s kindness and generosity and said they would have not wanted the notoriety of the Blue Plaque as they were very humble women.  Eleanor Murphy, Women’s Centre History Group, spoke about the history of the Daly Family and gave examples of how these resilient women treated everyone who came to their café equally and without judgement.

To Mark International Women’s Day 2020 The Women’s Centre Waterford in association with Waterford Civic Trust Unveiled a Heritage Blue Plaque in Arundel Lane to The Daly Sisters Pictured are part of the large crowd that gathered for the event.Photo:John Power

Paddy Ryan and Jim Casey, Trado, provided the music in the Lane before the unveiling, with appropriate songs like ‘Skibbereen’ ringing out.  Billy McCarthy and Davy Walsh, in attendance at the event, are two of the original organisers who supported the sisters to oppose the attempted eviction in the early 1970s, and were instrumental in organising the community of Waterford City to come out in mass to successfully prevent the eviction taking place. The Gingerman provided tea and sandwiches for everyone, a welcome respite from the cold and rain.   

Celebrating 25th anniversary
Attending were Emma Sinnott, Karen Power, Maureen Tobin, Women’s Centre, Chloe Miskella and Chloe Westlake. Photo:John Power

On Thursday 5th March over 100 attended the launch of the annual Women’s History Exhibition in Waterford Central Library.  The exhibition was launched by Jane Cantwell, Waterford City and County Libraries, who said how delighted they were to be trusted with this important exhibition and acknowledged its popularity.  Jane said it was important that this exhibition is somewhere that is open and accessible to everyone, and the library provides such a space.   Ann Fitzgerald, Women’s Centre History Group, acknowledged the support received for the new and improved exhibition stand from Creative Ireland Waterford.    Ann also acknowledged the collaboration between the History Group and Andrew Kelly in the ongoing work of recording women’s history in Waterford.  This year’s exhibition, which will remain in the library until the 27th March, also celebrates 25 years of the Waterford Women’s Centre.  Maeve O’Grady, founder member of the Women’s Centre, spoke about the growth and development of the Centre since 1995 and attributed its successes to working collectively both at a local level and national level, as one of 17 Women’s Centre under the National Collective of Community Women’s Networks (NCCWN). 

Group at exhibition launched by Jane Cantwell Waterford Library

 Launched also at the event was the exhibition of beautiful handmade bonnets, by women from the Women’s Centre ‘Bonnet Project’ facilitated by Liz Heffernan and funded by the WWETB.  The bonnet exhibition is part of the larger ‘Roses from the Heart’ exhibition remembering Waterford women who were transported to Tasmania in the 1800s. Michelle Tyler, Women’s Centre, read a letter from Christine Henry, founder of the Roses from the Heart Project, appreciating the continuation of this work in Waterford. 

Jane O’Brien-Moran leading the Women’s Centre Choir

Music was by the Women’s Centre singers under the direction of local musician Jane O’Brien-Moran who led the audience in a rendition of Happy Birthday to the Women’s Centre to end the festival. 

Thanks to all who attended the festival and to those who supported it; the Central Library, Waterford Civic Trust, WIT, WWETB, Creative Ireland Waterford & Waterford Council Festival Grant. 

International Women’s Day Festival

Waterford Women’s Centre, celebrating 25 years, since 1995, working with women and children in Waterford, presents the annual International Women’s Day Festival 2020.  The festival hosts a number of free events beginning with an International Circle Dance workshop, led by Kate Crotty and festival launch on Tuesday 3rd March in Waterford Institute of Technology, College Street Campus, Dance Studio from 9.15 – 11.15

On Wednesday 4th March a Civic Trust Blue Plaque will be unveiled to the Daly Family at 11am in Arundel Lane where Mai, Debbie and their mother, Margaret Daly provided what was commonly known as a ‘Poor Man’s Café’.  Their clientele were the homeless men of the city, the out-of-work dockers and other marginalised members of society. For a few pence these men were not only fed, but were welcomed and given respite from walking the streets on cold winter days. In the early 1970s, when the sisters Mai and Debbie faced eviction, the community of Waterford City came out in mass to prevent a great social injustice being carried out and were hugely instrumental in preventing the eviction of these two selfless women from their home and business at number 5 Arundel Lane Waterford. 

On Thursday 5th March the launch of the annual Women’s History Exhibition will take place in the Central Library, Waterford city at 11am to raise awareness of women’s contribution. The exhibition represents years of collaboration between Andrew Kelly, Kilmacthomas and Women’s Centre’s History Group Chairwoman, Ann Fitzgerald.  This year’s exhibition also celebrates 25 years of the Waterford Women’s Centre along with; the Daly Family, the Cockle Women, Rosemond Jacob, Dr Mary Strangman and photos from the ‘Women at Work Collection’ which was exhibited for the first time in 2019.  Included in the Exhibition are beautiful handmade bonnets, by women from the Women’s Centre ‘Bonnet Project’ facilitated by Liz Heffernan.  The bonnet exhibition is part of the larger ‘Roses from the Heart’ exhibition remembering Waterford women who were transported to Tasmania between 1788 & 1853.  The exhibition will remain in the Library until the 27th March. 

On Sunday 8th March International Women’s Day the ‘Well Girl’ walk will take place on the Greenway to raise funds for the Women’s Centre.  Starting at 11am from the WIT arena Greenway entrance and walking to Mount Congreve and back.  Registration is €10 for adults (children are free) available on line, through our facebook page; Waterford Women’s Centre NCCWN or at the event on the day.  Sponsorship cards are also available from the Women’s Centre. 

Thanks to all who support this festival: Waterford Civic Trust, Waterford Council, Creative Ireland, Waterford, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford Central Library and Waterford Wexford Education & Training Board.