The major door-to-door fund-raising drive now underway in Ballinrobe to rebuild the local Town Hall is proving successful, the committee has reported.

“There has been a great reaction from people all over the parish, and, indeed, beyond,” said Ballinrobe Town Hall chairperson Michael Sweeney.

“We have approximately 40 people out there collecting money from local householders and businesses, and despite the difficult economic times, people are being very generous.

“There is a clear realisation that Ballinrobe needs a Town Hall facility. It is 20 years since the last one closed down.”

Collectors are now making their return calls to homes and businesses.

“Some people have indicated their strong willingness to support, but have not been there when our collectors have called back, and we would urge those people to make contact with any member of the committee,” said Michael.

Surprise donations from people formerly connected with Ballinrobe have given everyone involved “a huge lift,” he added.

“Every few days, someone else gets in touch with a donation. Last week, a woman who spent part of her childhood in Ballinrobe contacted us out of the blue with a donation of €500. Locally, people are pulling out all the stops too. Every euro will help in this major campaign.”

A target of €400,000 in business and private contributions has been set as Ballinrobe aims to restore the old Hall, which closed in 1996.

“We estimate that we will receive between €800,000 and €900,000 in local and central Government and agency funding, which will require Ballinrobe to come up with approximately €400,000 to fund the project. The overall cost has been independently costed at just short of €1.3m,” added Michael.

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.

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