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05 Jul 2022

Laois ICA join international craft campaign against domestic violence

Laois ICA join international craft campaign against domestic violence

The women of the Laois ICA Federation are uniting in support of an international campaign against domestic violence.

Ladies in ICA guilds across Laois have been quietly busy for months weaving colourful paper stars, as part of the One Billion Stars Stars Ireland campaign to end violence.

This week their combined creations will be launched in an uplifting exhibition at Portlaoise library, in partnership with Laois Domestic Abuse Service.

The Laois group was inspired to support the campaign that begun in Australia after the death of an Irish woman. 

Anne Payne, Laois Federation Vice President and member of Portlaoise ICA Guild explains further.

"This is a major event for Laois Federation ICA. We will have Guest speakers Siobhain Mc Quillan from the Amber Refuge in Kilkenny who brought the project to Ireland from Australia. That is what caught my interest in the beginning. Marna Carroll from Laois Domestic Abuse Office will also speak about the situation in Laois. 

"ICA is supporting the project as we are the largest women's organisation in the country. Laois ICA Federation is very pleased to be supporting the One Million Stars Project in partnership with Laois Domestic abuse," Ms Payne said.

Laois ICA Federation came together and started weaving the stars in many different colours and have created many different displays. Each star woven represent hope light and solidarity with person experienced any form of abuse or violence.

Their County Exhibition is in Portlaoise Library from Tuesday 28 June from 2.30pm. The exhibition is in partnership with Laois County Library, Healthy Ireland Offaly, Mental Health Ireland and Laois Domestic Abuse Service.

The One Billion Stars worldwide project aims to increase awareness of the presence of domestic abuse and violence in local communities.  The project began in Australia when Maryann Talia Pau began weaving stars as a response to the rape and murder of an Irish woman living in Melbourne and is now a global movement.

It was brought to Ireland in 2019 by Siobhan McQuillan, an Art Therapist with Amber Women’s Refuge in Kilkenny, with the aim of getting people in Ireland to make one million stars to contribute to the one billion stars goal.

Follow Laois Federation's Facebook page to help raise awareness.

For more on One Million Stars to End Violence Ireland, follow irelandstarweavers on Instagram and Facebook or visit www.onemillionstarsireland.ie  

Anyone in distress can contact Laois Domestic Abuse Service on 057 86 71100. Email: lina@laoisdomesticabuseservice.ie
Website: www.laoisdomesticabuseservice.ie. National Helpline 1800 341 900

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