Fifty lacemakers from the four corners of Ireland were joined by lacemakers from England and Scotland for a week celebrating the beauty of, and skill in, making lace. The guest speaker and teacher was the renowned bobbin lacemaker, Jacqui Barber.
While Jacqui shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for this ancient craft in an exciting modern way, other laces studied and practiced during the week included, Youghal Needlelace, Carrickmacross, Limerick Needlerun, Limerick Tambour and Irish Crochet.
On the Wednesday afternoon we all enjoyed Jacqui’s account of how she came to develop her style of lacemaking and marvelled at some of her colourful creations.
Tribute was paid to the tradition of lacemaking in Kinsale on Thursday afternoon when an antique piece of Kinsale lace was unveiled and presented to St John the Baptist Church in memory of the lacemakers of Kinsale. Sr Mary Theresa, the oldest Mercy Sister living in Kinsale, and Alanna Clancy, our youngest lacemaker, performed the unveiling. Pat Todd spoke movingly about the recently deceased Thelma Goldring, founder and Life President of the Northern Ireland Guild of Lacemakers, a number of whom were attending the lace week. During the service, the Parish Priest, Fr Robert Young, wore a surplus of Kinsale Lace belonging to the Mercy Convent – a fitting way to honour the memory of those who have gone before us.