The local fund-raising Campaign to Rebuild Ballinrobe Town Hall has now reached €284,128, and the support has been described as “very heartening” by the committee.
Buoyed up by reaching this figure, 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.
A target of €400,000 in business and private contributions was set in March 2016 as Ballinrobe aims to restore the old Hall, which closed in 1996.
“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 Chairperson Michael Sweeney.
A year and a half later, the committee is confident they will reach the €400,000 target, and have again appealed for support from 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 fund-raising carried out locally, and how we believe this project now warrants significant public support,” added Michael.
Key elements of the fund-raising campaign to date include:
- A team of 40 collectors visiting every house in the parish to seek support through a variety of fundraising options.
- A major fund-raiser – The Kube – held in Ballinrobe Racecourse. This night generated €25,500 and was strongly supported by Ballinrobe Musical Society, 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 Bank and Bank of Ireland.
- Fund-raisers 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, Agricultural Show, Ballinrobe Trout Anglers Association and St Joseph’s Primary School.
- Former residents of the town who enjoyed various experiences in the old hall, and became aware of the campaign, have contributed without even being requested to do so.
“We estimate that we will receive between €800,000 and €900,000 in local and central Government and agency funding. The overall cost has been independently costed at €1.37m,” added Michael.
“We are calling on everybody with a love of Ballinrobe to support this project. If you haven’t donated already, we would urge you to do so now.”
Additionally, a number of fund-raising events are planned in the near future.
The proposal is to build a hall with a gross floor area of 1000m2. It will consist of an auditorium and main hall area with seating for over 400 people.
Anyone interested in supporting this major project should contact Chairperson Michael Sweeney (087 2588 615) or Secretary Siobhan O’Malley (087 207 2307).
Committee: Chairperson Michael Sweeney, Secretary Siobhan O’Malley, Treasurer Sean O’Connell, PRO Liam Horan, Michael Burke (Vice-chairperson), Rory O’Neill, Tony Walkin, Margot O’Shea, Mary Jackson, Marie O’Haire, Gwen Costello, Des May, Sheena Duddy, Clare O’Neill, Aidrienne Gleeson, Liz Kelleher, Cllr Damien Ryan, Cllr Patsy O’Brien.