THE local fundraising campaign to rebuild Ballinrobe Town Hall has now brought in €284,128. Buoyed by reaching this figure, the fundraising committee has described the support as ‘very heartening’.
The committee is now pressing the case for public funding with Government ministers and TDs, Mayo County Council and the European Leader fund through the offices of South West Mayo Development Company.
With Ballinrobe residents wishing to restore the old hall, which closed in 1996, a funding target of €400,000 in business and private contributions was set in March 2016.
“At that time, we felt we needed to raise that amount of money to demonstrate the local support for the rebuilding of the hall,” said committee chairperson Michael Sweeney.
A year-and-a-half later, the committee members are confident they will reach the €400,000 target. They are again appealling for support among people living locally, or those connected to the region who now live elsewhere.
“The response is very heartening and will certainly strengthen our case as we try to access public funds to bring to reality the dream of a new hall. We have met with key people in public positions to tell them about the great fundraising carried out locally, and about how we believe this project now warrants significant public support,” added Mr Sweeney.
Over the past 18 months, fundraising efforts have included events and a door-to-door campaign, with a team of 40 collectors visited every house in the parish to seek support through a variety of fundraising options.
Last May, a major fundraiser The Kube, held at Ballinrobe Racecourse generated €25,500 and was strongly supported by Ballinrobe Musical Society, Ballinrobe GAA Club, Rugby Club, Soccer Club, Western Lakes Cycling Club, Tidy Towns, Robeen Rascals Playschool, Kilmaine Ladies GAA, Ashford Castle, Ballinrobe Community School, Town Traders, Tesco, AIB and Bank of Ireland.
Fundraisers were also held by local clubs, including Ballinrobe Musical Society, Ballinrobe Folk Choir, Wilde River Drama Group, Mask Swimming Challenge, No Name Club, Active Retirement, St Patrick’s Gun Club, World Cup Fishing Committee, Ballinrobe Agricultural Show, Ballinrobe Trout Anglers’ Association and St Joseph’s Primary School.
Anyone interested in supporting this major project should contact the committee chairperson, Michael Sweeney, on 087 2588615 or Siobhán O’Malley (secretary) at 087 2072307.