The fund-raising Campaign to Rebuild Ballinrobe Town Hall has reached €341,000 – just €60,000 short of the ambitious target set by the committee two years ago.

“Support for the project continues to come through from Ballinrobe people at home, around Ireland and abroad,” said Michael Sweeney, chairperson, Ballinrobe Town Hall committee.

“But, given that the project will cost approximately €1.5m to complete, we need extensive support from local, national and European funds.

“At the outset of our fundraising campaign, Mayo County Council acknowledged the need for the facility and has committed to supporting the project. Our application to LEADER has been submitted and we are very hopeful that there will be a successful outcome in early autumn.

“Our dialogue with central Government has been very encouraging and we are now preparing documentation required by the relevant department for the purpose of  availing of funding from that source.”

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.

“Now that we have raised €341,000 of our €400,000 target, we are able to look people in the eye and say ‘here is a community which has clearly demonstrated it really wants this project to proceed’ – it is a powerful statement of support,” added Michael.

“The recent successful Queen of the Lakes festival – which saw the once-off Big Red Barn full for a number of nights – is further illustration of the local appetite for a place where the community can hold celebrations and events of all types”.

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.

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