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6000 Irish Girl Guides To Descend on Thurles

Irish Girl Guides

Report by Catherine O’Connor, (Communications Officer – Irish Girl Guides.)

On Saturday next May 7th 2011, the Irish Girl Guides (IGG) will hold the largest celebration fun day in it’s history, to celebrate 100 years of changing lives here in Ireland.

Over 6,000 girls and Leaders will descend on Thurles, Co. Tipperary to join together for a day of great fun activities including a Guinness Book of Records attempt.

The Irish Girl Guides are a voluntary organisation for 11,000 girls and volunteer leaders countrywide. The Irish Girl IGG’s mission is to enable girls and young women to develop to their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world. IGG was founded in 1911. It provides an environment where girls from all backgrounds can grow in self-confidence and develop a variety of skills in an unpressurised atmosphere.

All the branches will be joining in the celebrations – the Ladybirds who are aged between 5 – 7 years, the Brownies from 6½ – 11 years; the Guides 10½– 15 years and Senior Branch 14½  – 26 years.

The day will begin with a parade which will be led by 85 teenage girls, who are Guiding Stars, as each will be receiving the prestigious Gold Award, the highest achievement that a Guide can achieve.  Then IGG will take on the challenge of breaking the Guinness Book of Records for the longest string of reef knots ever.

After this the girls will break into their different age groups to try activities such as Drumming, Circus skills, Dance, Animal Roadshow, Science workshops, Reptile village, Gospel Singing along with time to enjoy the free flow area, which will include Large Scale Inflatables, Helter Skelter, Carousel, Giant Paint by Numbers and Street Entertainers.

As the day comes to a close there will be a presentation of 30 year service pins to many dedicated leaders, by special guest Mary McPhail, CEO of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. This is especially significant as 2011 has been designated the European Year of volunteering.

Emer O’Sullivan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Girl Guides, said, “This is a great opportunity to thank all our volunteer Leaders but an extremely special
chance to thank the leaders with 30+ years of service. Today we will remember with pride and gratitude, the work and efforts of those who have gone before and those who strive today to make Guiding the wonderful organisation that it is.

To end the day on a high, the girls and leaders will party to an ABBA tribute band concert as IGG continues to celebrate their centenary for the rest of 2011.

In essence the day is all about celebrating 100 years of an association that has grown from strength to strength, and continues to meet the needs of girls and women in Ireland, through a programme of fun and friendship that enables them to develop their full potential as responsible citizens of the world.

Well known former members of the Irish Girl Guides include Sonia O’Sullivan, Olympic Medallist; Catherine McGuinness, former President of the Law Reform Commission,  judge of the Circuit Court (the first woman to serve on the Court), justice of the High Court and Supreme Court of Ireland, Róisín Ingle, Irish Times Journalist and Una Healy of the band The Saturdays to name but a few.

Girl Guides – Welcome to Thurles.

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