Who / What is CGI?

The Catholic Guides of Ireland (CGI) is a nationwide uniformed Association open to all women and girls. CGI is one of three Guide Associations on the island of Ireland. The other two are Irish Girl Guides (IGG) and The Guide Association - Province of Ulster. CGI has members both in the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Mission Statement 

"CGI provide challenging, accessible Guiding opportunities within a safe environment to enable girls and women to develop their full potential, instilling leadership skills for the future."


"A world where all girls and women are valued, safe and treated equally."


Citizenship, Equality and Inclusion, Fun and Friendship, Integrity, Respect.


Guiding began in the early part of the 20th century. Robert Baden-Powell, at the time a well known General in the British Army, in the course of his career noticed how willing young men were to be trained to be independent, responsible and to think for themselves. He called these training methods "Scouting". Then of course us girls just had to get involved too! The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are now celebrating 100 years of world Guiding, so there is a lot of fascinating history behind it all!

In 2009 our book was published detailing our 81 years of history entitled In The Spirit Of Adventure.Photograph of a Girl Guide in Uniform taken in 1937

1909 - Lord Baden Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts called a rally at Crystal Palace in London and some girls attended this event saying that they were Girl Scouts. From this he decided that they should have their own name and Movement

1910- Baden Powell started the movement for girls and called it Girl Guides and asked his older sister Agnes to run it

1914- Brownies were started for the younger members

1916- Rangers began and Baden Powell's wife Olave became World Chief Guide

1928- The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts was formed to link Guides all around the world

1928- A Girl Guide Association called Clanna Bride was established in Ireland

1933- The title of our Association (Clanna Bride) was changed to Bantreoraithe Catoilici 
na hEireann - Catholic Guides of Ireland

1935- The Association was reorganised on a Diocesan level, each Diocese having responsibility for its own companies

1972- The federation of the Catholic Girl Guides of Ireland was formed representing initially the Diocese of Cork & Ross, Down & Connor, Dublin, Ferns and Waterford & Lismore. Later they were joined by the Dioceses of Armagh, Clogher and Derry & Raphoe

1977- Our Association was restructured as Banoglaigh Catoilici na hEireann - Catholic Guides of Ireland (CGI) with 10,000 members spread throughout the country

1985/87- Diocese of Dromore, Kerry, Kilmore, Limerick and Meath became involved

1992- In December 1992, it was agreed to establish Comhairle Bantreoraithe na hEireann - Council of Irish Guiding Associations (CIGA) on behalf of the Catholic Guides of Ireland and the Irish Girl Guides

1993- At the 28th World Conference, CIGA was ratified as a full member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), and was recognised as continuing the full membership for Ireland, first gained by The Irish Girl Guides in 1932

1994- Our youngest section - Cygnet Guides - was established

1996- The official launch of our Cygnet section took place

1999- Ireland hosted the 30th World Conference of WAGGGS. The conference was held from July 1st - 9th July in University College Dublin

2003- Catholic Guides of Ireland celebrated their 75th Anniversary with many exciting events

2009- Catholic Guides of Ireland host the World Council of ICCG (International Catholic Conference of Guiding)

2009 - In The Spirit of Adventure by Clare Brophy was published by Veritas. The book detailed a history of CGI and was accompanied by a touring photographic exhibition

Association Logo

  • The Compass: is suggestive of the outdoors and adventure, as well as stressing the aspects of precision and direction. This is an international symbol.
  • The Internal Loop and Arrow: gives the feeling of looking to the future, speed and inspiration. This also represents the internationally recognised symbol for recycling - a worthy trait of any organisation.
  • The Triangle: a symbol of strength, tradition and a sense of hearaldry. It can also be interpreted as representing the Trinity, entirely appropriate to the origins of CGI. In addition, the shape suggests protection and comfort.

Association Badge

  • The badge consists of a Celtic Cross with a shamrock superimposed. The tree of life is engraved on the shamrock. The Guide Motto 'Bi Ullamh' is engraved on the base of the Cross.
  • The Badge of the Association is a very special part of our Guide uniform. You wear it only after you have made your Promise. Before you receive it, your badge will be blessed. It is worn in a central position on your neckerchief, directly under the woggle.


Since 1993 CGI (on behalf of it's members resident in the Republic of Ireland) has been a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) through the Council of Irish Guiding Associations. The World Association is an educational organisation based on spiritual values, and open to all girls and young women, without distinction of creed, race, nationality or any other circumstance. National Organisations belonging to WAGGGS must adhere to the Fundamental Principles of the original Promise and Law laid down by the Founder, Lord Baden- Powell, although they may adapt the wording.

Mission Statement

WAGGGS mission statement is "to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world".

WAGGGS Objective

The objective of WAGGGS is:

(a) to promote, throughout the world, unity of purpose and common understanding based on the Fundamental Principles
(b) to further the aim of the Girl Guide/Girl Scout Movement, which is to provide girls and young women with opportunities for self training in the development of
character, responsible citizenship and service in their own and world communities
(c) to encourage friendship amongst girls and young women of all nations within countries and world wide.

World Conference

The World Conference is the policy-making body of WAGGGS. It determines the policy and standards of Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting throughout the world, and approves National Organisations as Associate and Full Members of WAGGGS. It elects the World Board, which acts on its behalf between meetings.
• The World Conference meets every three years in a different area of the world.
• The Conference is composed of not more than two delegates from each Member Organisation.
• The delegates may be supported by appointed observers from their organisations, the number of observers being in proportion to the size of the organisation.
• Visitors and guests may be invited to attend sessions of the Conference as observers at the discretion of the World Board, and in cooperation with the hosting Member Organisation.

World Board

The World Board - previously known as World Committee - is composed of 12 elected members and acts on behalf of the World Conference between its meetings. Members do not represent their own National Organisation or Regions, but consider the interests of the Movement as a whole.

World Centres

WAGGGS has five World Centres which welcome Girl Guides/Girl Scouts from around the world. Each offers very different activities which reflect the characteristics of the countries in which they are located. The Centres offer special opportunities for international friendship and education and the chance to learn about WAGGGS. All members of WAGGGS are welcome to stay at the World Centre - assuming they satisfy the age requirements - either to attend an event, or just for a few days to experience the international dimension of Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting.

  • Our Chalet is set amongst the Alpine peaks in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland.
  • Our Cabana is in Mexico.
  • Sangam is in Pune, India.
  • Pax Lodge is an international gathering place for WAGGGS in Hampstead, North London.
  • Kusafiri changes locations around the Africa Region for each of its events.

World Thinking Day

World Thinking Day is observed on 22nd February each year, the joint birthdays of the World Chief Guide, Olave Baden-Powell and Founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell. On World Thinking Day, Girl Guides/Girl Scouts around the world remember each other and the World Movement. Members of WAGGGS give as much as they can to the World Thinking Day Fund to support the development of Guiding in less well developed countries.


In the 1970s CGI expressed a wish to become members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. At that time membership of WAGGGS for Ireland was held by the Irish Girl Guides. So, with assistance from the World Board, The Irish Girl Guides and the Catholic Guides of Ireland, began working towards coming together. In December 1992 it was agreed to establish Comhairle Bantreoraithe na hEireann or Council of Irish Guiding Associations.

In July 1993 at the 28th World Conference held in Denmark, the Council of Irish Guiding Associations was ratified as a full member of WAGGGS and was recognised as continuing the Full Membership first gained by the Irish Girl Guides in 1932. The Council consists of the Catholic Guides of Ireland on behalf of their members who reside in the Republic of Ireland and the Irish Girl Guides.

The aims and objectives of CIGA are to:

Enable membership of WAGGGS to be held by the Irish Girl Guides and the Catholic Guides of Ireland on behalf of their members resident in the Republic of Ireland
Promote and further the objects of the World Association as expressed in Article 111 of the Constitution and Bye-Laws of WAGGGS
Encourage strong dialogue and close cooperation amongst the family of Guiding in the whole of Ireland
Facilitate participation at international events and activities
Work towards a single movement

The CIGA logo represents the interlinking of the two Guiding Associations and the sharing and cooperation that is taking place.

The CIGA Committee consists of four members of CGI and four members of IGG, with two members of CGI resident in Northern Ireland as observers and two members of Girlguiding Ulster as visitors. The Chairmanship of the Committee rotates biennially between the two Associations, each of which nominates either the Secretary or the Treasurer. The Committee meets on a regular basis. It promotes joint activities and work between the two Associations and encourages strong dialogue amongst the family of Guiding in the whole of Ireland.

In 1999 CIGA hosted the WAGGGS World Conference illustrating the close ties between the two Associations.