United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



Mothers’ Union Autumn Council Meeting Highlights Members’ Work and Witness

Mother’s Union branch members from all over Dublin and Glendalough gathered in St Brigid’s Parish Centre in Stillorgan for the organisation’s Autumn Diocesan Council. Reports were delivered from each MU diocesan section and diocesan President, Joy Gordon, urged council members to spread the news of what they had learned with their branches.

“It always surprises and saddens me when I meet members and they don’t know what’s going on in the diocese or in Mothers Union in general. Our All Ireland Mothers Union President, Phyllis Grothier at the All Ireland Council meeting last Saturday described, Mothers’ Union as a ‘Best kept secret’, so please don’t let our work and witness be a secret, please disseminate and share what you hear tonight,” she stated.


As an active campaigning organisation, Joy said that Mothers’ Union would be speaking out against gender based violence by joining in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence which continues until December 10. In Dublin and Glendalough, she stated, Mothers’ Union offers practical support to women experiencing violence by providing food, toiletries and clothes for local women’s shelters.

MU Autumn Council
MU Autumn Council

Social policy representative, Sylvia Graham had organised short reflections and arrow prayers to be read at various stages throughout the evening to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

Reporting on the Action and Outreach Unit, Daphne Townsend, said knitting for the maternity hospitals continued to be very popular and their work continued for Crumlin Hospital with Freddie Bags and Take Home Bags. Members are also supporting Darndale Children’s Project Christmas Boxes.

At Spring Council members were introduced to the concept of Fiddle Blankets for people with dementia and Daphne said that the Greystones branch had received terrific feedback and requests for blankets from a local nursing home, Wicklow Dementia Support and individuals. She introduced a variation on the theme – Fiddle Muffs and said that the pattern would be available on the website soon (


Daphne highlighted a number of projects being undertaken by local branches. In Tallaght, St Maelruain’s Branch supports SAOIRSE women’s refuge. Skerries Branch is organising a six week hand craft course. Raheny with Coolock Branch supports the women’s refuge in Coolock. Castleknock and Consilla Branch supports the Older Persons Unit in Connolly Hospital and the women’s refuge in Blanchardstown. Arklow/Inch/Kilbride Branch held a Beetle Drive for 8 – 80’s for the community. Christchurch Cathedral Branch knit hats, gloves, scarves and mittens the Simon Community. Athy Branch went carol singing in their local nursing home.

“These are just some of the ways MU members show their love, care and support for others in their Parishes and communities… thank you all for keeping the spirit of Mother’s Union alive in your parishes and locally,” she said.

MU Autumn Council
MU Autumn Council

Delivering the marketing report, Sandra Knaggs, gave an account of the Mothers’ Union General Meeting which took place in Belfast in the summer. She said the Mums in May would be running again in 2015 and would take a similar format to 2012. The monies raised will again be used to give grants to the dioceses to help fund new projects. 

She urged members to use the Dublin & Glendalough Mothers’ Union website ( and use the “contact us” section to send photos and information on future events which can advertised on the site.


Sandra also highlighted the forthcoming women’s breakfast which will be held on Saturday February 28 2015 in Springfield Hotel, Leixlip with motivational speaker, Jacqui Armstrong. It will run from 9.30 am to 11.30 am and will cost €5 for scones/pastries tea and coffee. You don’t have to be a member to attend.

Sylvia Graham turned the spotlight on Social Policy with her report and spoke of the range of local, national and international social policies on which Mothers’ Union was lobbying. Issues include gender equality, gender based violence and domestic abuse and the exploitation and commercialisation of children, for example, with child beauty pageants.

Jean Thompson delivered the finance report and outlined the changes brought about by the Charities Law and insurance issues. She said there would be a small increase in subscriptions for 2015 and each member would be asked to pay €24. Of the subscription, €19.50 is sent to All Ireland with the remaining €4.50 being used to run the diocesan organisation.

She also said that Joy’s term of office as President would come to an end on December 31 2015 with a new President taking over on January 1 2016.

The MU theme for 2015 will be ‘United in Prayer” which continues from this year’s theme of ‘Sowing the Future Together’.

Photo captions:

Top – Dublin and Glendalough Diocesan Mothers’ Union President, Joy Gordon, gives her address at Autumn Council. (Photo: Karen Nelson)

Bottom – Fiddle Muffs knitted by MU members for use by people with dementia. (Photo: Karen Nelson)


This site uses cookies for general analytics but not for advertising purposes. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.