Nora Burton – National President of the ICA from 1964-1967

Nora (known as “Nodie”)  was born in 1909 in the Square, Millstreet, to Kate and Denis P. Buckley. She married Con Burton of Minehill in 1936, and they lived and farmed in Ballinhassig. She became president of the Ballinhassig Guild from 1954-57, and later the National President of the Irish Country Women’s Association (ICA) from 1964-1967. She has the distinction of being the first woman to be elected on the council of the Irish Agricultural Institute, the national research body set up by the government to deal with all aspects of agricultural research.

As National President of the ICA, Mrs. Burton concluded her presidential address in 1969 with these words:

“Don’t ever forget that one of the main aims of the ICA membership is self fulfilment through self help and mutual help. What better way to attain fulfilment than through the development of our talents?”

This too was the theme of her presidency of the Federation. Every woman had the right to realise her potential, she felt, and every woman should be encouraged to avail of the resources about her – adult education courses, libraries, museums, and art galleries.

An inspiration to ICA members in Cork, her talents received national recognition when she was elected National President and she proved a wonderful ambassador for Ireland during the A.C.W.W (Associated Country Women of the World) Conference, in Dublin, 1965.
Delegates who came from all over the world spoke of her graciousness and resulted in an invitation to accept the nomination as World Vice President. After the conference she toured 7 sates in the USA as guest of the National Farm and Garden Women’s Association, being the Grace Freysinger Scholarship award – of that triennial. The following letter was published in “The Irish Countrywoman”, 1970: 

“The Federated Women’s Institute of Canada (F.W.I.C) wish to nominate you as a deputy President of the Associated Country Women of the World, for the term 1971– 1974. So many of our Directors were much impressed with your ability and charm when they attended the A.C.W.W Conference in Dublin, 1965, that it seems to them, and others to whom they have related their experiences, that you have the qualities needed for those most important international office. The F.W.I.C sincerely hope that they may have your consent to this nomination.”

Unfortunately, Mrs. Burton was unable to accept the honour offered to her. Nevertheless, the proposed nomination was a great personal tribute, as well as a positive recognition of the contribution of the ICA to this worldwide organisation of women.Nora Burton was a member of the following
guilds: Ballinhassig, Inniscarra-Ballincollig, and the Cork Town Associates. Nora was made a Buan Cara in 1982, the highest honour in the ICA. [Women of Duhallow 2004] [2004 Calendar]



America (1965)

“… Mrs. Nora Burton of Cork City, Ireland, will be guest speaker tomorrow for the meeting of the Pennsylvania division of Women’s National Farm and Garden Assn. in the College Club of Pittsburgh. Mrs. Burton, president of the Irish Country Women’s Assn., is on a tour which was organised by the Women’s Farm and Garden Assn. of the United States. The Wexford Garden Club, host for Mrs. Burton, will honour her later tomorrow with a covered dish dinner at the home of Mrs. Russell Connolly. Mrs. Burton’s visit is part of an exchange program in which Mrs. Cazwell J. Page Jr. of Wexford recently visited Ireland with four other Pennsylvania garden club women… [The Pittsburgh Press – October 26, 1965]


In 1975, Nora was appointed to the RTE Authority Advisory Committee [24 Mar 1975].


Nora Burton is in the centre at the 1960 Golden Jubilee of the I.C.A. Annual General Meeting [1]


The Buckley Family

Nora was the youngest of Denis and Catherine Buckley’s eight children. She was born and grew up at the family’s pub / shop in the Square in Millstreet. The Buckley’s also had a thriving coach building shop down the side of their pub / shop, where Nora’s father also worked. He was also noted as a farmer.  In more modern times that building was home to SuperValu (1980’s-90’s), the E-Centre (2010’s), and is now owned by Duggan Brothers.

Parent’s Marriage: Marriage of Denis Buckley of Millstreet and Kate Lane of Curragh on 21 February 1895 at Millstreet Church by Charles O’Sullivan PP; He the son of  Patrick Buckley a shopkeeper (deceased) and Julie Sullivan; She the daughter of Con Lane a farmer and Nora Cronin of Curragh; In the presence of Michael Buckley and Katie Lane.

They had:

  • Birth of PATRICK BUCKLEY on 7 Jan 1898. He went on to found Buckley’s Stores next door. Known locally as “Paddy Din”.
  • Birth of CORNELIUS BUCKLEY on 21 May 1899. He died September 3rd 1899, aged 15 weeks.
  • Birth of DENIS BUCKLEY on 27 January 1901, married Judy Pomeroy, of Mount Leader.
  • Birth of TIMOTHY BUCKLEY on 12 October 1902
  • Birth of CORNELIUS BUCKLEY on 23 November 1903. married at Keale Bridge.
  • Birth of MICHAEL JOSEPH BUCKLEY on 23 November 1903
  • Birth of Hanoria Mary Buckley on February 12th 1909 at Main Street, Millstreet to Catherine (Lane) and Denis Patrick Buckley, a shopkeeper and a farmer.
  • (Missing one: 1911 census says there was 8)

1901 census: Residents of a house 52 in Main Street (Drishane, Cork).  15 in the house!!!

Surname Forename Age Sex Relation to head Religion
Buckley Denis 38 Male Head of Family Roman Catholic
Buckley Catherine 35 Female Wife Roman Catholic
Buckley Patrick 3 Male Son Roman Catholic
Buckley Denis Male Son Roman Catholic
Buckley Julia 70 Female Mother Roman Catholic
Buckley Julia 30 Female Sister Roman Catholic
Buckley Maria 34 Female Sister Roman Catholic
Creedon Patrick 16 Male Nephew Roman Catholic
Creedon Hannah 14 Female Niece Roman Catholic
Creedon Julia 12 Female Niece Roman Catholic
Lane Denis 34 Male Visitor Roman Catholic
Murphy Mary 50 Female Visitor Roman Catholic
Buckley John 35 Male Servant Roman Catholic
Forde Jeremiah 20 Male Servant Roman Catholic
Sheehan Catherine 16 Female Servant Roman Catholic

1911 census: Buckley’s of Main Street: Residents of a house 51.1 in Main Street (Drishane, Cork)

Surname Forename Age Sex Relation to head Religion
Buckley Denis P 50 Male Head of Family
Publican and farmer
Roman Catholic
Buckley Catharine 46 Female Wife Roman Catholic
Buckley Patrick 13 Male Son Roman Catholic
Buckley Denis 10 Male Son Roman Catholic
Buckley Timothy 9 Male Son Roman Catholic
Buckley Cornelius 7 Male Son Roman Catholic
Buckley Michael 7 Male Son Roman Catholic
Buckley Hanoria 2 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Buckley John 50 Male Servant Roman Catholic
Lane Catherine 15 Female Servant Roman Catholic

Nora’s mother Kate died on December 18th 1936 at the Bon Secour Hospital in Cork, aged 68. Her father Denis P. died at her home at Woodville, Ballinhassig on October 22nd 1950 aged 90. [grave]

Buckley’s Shop in the Square c1909, where  [NLI] [GMaps (2009)]

Men wanted. Millstreet Coach Factory, bodymakers and painters; constant work. Apply Denis P. Buckley, Builder. Millstreet. [Cork Examiner – Wednesday 16 September 1908]


Cornelius Burton

Nora’s husband Cornelius Burton was from Minehill in Dromagh, where the family have been since the middle of the 1800’s.

His father Timothy John (T.J.) was a farmer and is also noted as the vice chairman of the Rural District Council and Board of Guardians of Millstreet (Guy’s Directory from 1914). His mother was Mary Murphy of Bolomore, and they were married in April 1902. Their children were:

  • Birth of MARY Hanorah BURTON on 04 August 1904
  • Birth of CORNELIUS Joseph BURTON on 24 March 1907. Married Nora Buckley (above) and died in 1955
  • Birth of FRANCIS Joseph BURTON on 01 May 1909
  • Birth of JOHN Vincent BURTON on 07 December 1905. He stayed on the home farm. Married Mary ?, and  died on 25 June 1969 at Minehill.
  • Birth of TIMOTHY VINCENT BURTON on 01 May 1914. He died in 1923.

His father Timothy John died in 1932 in a farm accident.

Marriage of Cornelius Burton and Norah Buckley on December 8th 1936 in Millstreet Church, by M..J. McConnell C.C; He a farmer of Minehill, son of Timothy John Burton a farmer; she from Millstreet, daughter of Denis Buckley, a shopkeeper; In the presence of John V Burton and Teresa Cronin.

Nora’s husband Cornelius died on September 27th 1955 at home at Woodville, Ballinhassig, a farmer, aged just 47.

[1901 census: Burtons of Minehill]
[1911 census: Burtons of Minehill]


There’s another image of her on the Independent Archives HERE.


Credit to a Stephen Desmond, a grandson of Nora’s cousin Catherine Lane of Curragh who initially mentioned here in a comment back in 2016

3 thoughts on “Nora Burton – National President of the ICA from 1964-1967”

  1. Hello, My name is Jack Buckley from Boston. I’m a cousin to the Buckleys from Knocknakilla who would include Bertie and Seamus amoung numerous other siblings still living in the Millstreet area.. My gr gr grandparents were Denis Buckley and Ellen Walsh from Knocknakilla. There were several marriages between these Buckleys and the Kellehers from the next farm .

    I’m trying to establish if Denis Buckley and his wife Kate Lane of Curragh are related to my Buckleys. Denis’s parents were Patrick Buckley a shopkeeper in the Square, Millstreet and Julie Sullivan the daughter of Con Lane and Nora Cronin of Curragh.

    Additionally there is a family connection to the Hare family from the Cloghboola More/ Coole area.

    Any information would be most appreciated.

    1. Hi Jack,
      I have looked up and sadly I can’t find anything to help link the families. The marriage record of Denis Buckley lists his parents and sadly on their marriage in 1855 no parents were listed witnesses look like Andrew Sullivan and Denis Buckley.

      I have looked up to see if I could find any Patrick Buckley baptisms before 1840 and one comes up in 1823.
      Date of Birth 23 March 1823 (BASED ON OTHER DATE INFORMATION)
      Address FLENFIELD
      Mother MARIA (MARY) MURPHY
      Further details in the record
      Father Occupation NR
      Sponsor 1 JACOBUS (JAMES) COTTER
      Sponsor 2 MARIA (MARY) COTTER

      But I can’t find anything to prove any link.

    2. Hi Jack, I have a Dennis Buckley ( mother julia sullivan and father patrick) who married a Katharine Lane ( mother hanora cronin and cather cornelius) in my tree. They had a child dennis. I stem off one of the sisters of dennis hanora Buckley.
      Hes known as dennis p buckley. I dont have much info on Katharines side but lots of dennis p buckley

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