The story behind Carrickmacross Lace

The story behind Carrickmacross Lace

Carrickmacross Lace was introduced by Mrs. Grey Porter in 1820

The St. Louis Sisters founded a convent in Carrickmacross in 1888 and took an interest in Lace making. Local ladies were tasked to make the lace in their own homes and Louis Sisters had a Lace Department in the Convent which was extremely popular with the locals and especially the tourists to the area.

A corner stone in the history of our wonderful town’s heritage a group of proud Carrickmacross people took action when the imminent retirement of the nuns faced the town with the dreaded fate of losing this wonderful craft. A committee of dedicated volunteers created the Carrickmacross Lace Co Op in 1984 which was situated in the Toll House. Lace makers from the surrounding areas worked with the Committee to help stock and get the Co-Op up and running and in 1988 with the closure of the Lace Department in the Convent some of their lace makers joined the Gallery.

Video courtesy of Nuacht TG4

As the lace was produced the pieces were displayed in the headquarters, known locally as the Lace Gallery.

From 1990 the home of Carrickmacross Lace has been situated in the Market Square area of the town. In recent years the lace gallery underwent a major renovation project which saw them move from a small premises, to a much larger spacious one, known locally as the old library building. The current premises allow the volunteers of the Co-Op to display their craft to a much wider audience and also allows for some live lace demonstrations to tourists (pre Covid!).

Since the Covid-19 pandemic has hit, like many other organisations the Lace Gallery brought their skill to the online platform to keep the pieces available to those near and far. As we return to our premises, we look forward to welcoming visitors from all over Ireland (and hopefully not to long before visitors from abroad) to our premises to enjoy a special piece of the history and tradition of Carrickmacross Lace.

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