Saturday, Mass, 7.30pm: Siobhan O’Malley, Secretary
Sunday, first Mass, 9am: Liam Horan, PRO
Sunday, second Mass, 11.30am: Michael Sweeney, chairperson
In November 2014, Canon Conal Eustace was kind enough to invite members of the Ballinrobe Town Hall committee to address you with an outline of our plans for the rebuilding of the Hall.
At that time, we undertook to come back to update you on progress and we are very happy to do so today. Planning permission was granted by Mayo County Council in January of this year on the site of the old one on Cornmarket/The Neale Road.
It will consist of an auditorium and main hall area with seating for over 400 people, along with balcony seating at first floor level. Additional ancillary facilities will cater for a wide range of community needs. There is provision for a kitchen, a lighting gantry, incorporated sound systems and acoustic ceilings.
The main auditorium can be sub-divided to facilitate a variety of uses at any one time.
The plans were drawn up by Ballinrobe-based chartered architectural and planning consultant Donal McCormack. The project has been independently costed at just short of €1.3m.
Building is expected to start in late 2017 / early 2018 with an 18-month building timeline.
All of which leads to the key question: how will it be paid for?
We expect to receive between €800,000 and €900,000 in local and central Government and agency support.
This will require Ballinrobe to come up with approximately €400,000 to fund the project.
It is not going to be easy – but hopefully it will be worth it.
This is an opportunity for the community to leave a legacy for future generations.
We are conscious that this is a difficult time economically in our country and, indeed, we have taken that very reality into account when designing the building.
Today, we are calling on everybody with a love of Ballinrobe to support this project financially.
We would also ask you you to prevail upon members of your family and friends who live elsewhere to lend whatever support they can.
As a community, we have this opportunity now to invest in our town for current and future generations. Let’s not miss it.
The project has already inspired the formation of a drama group in the town, namely The Wilde River Drama Group. Part proceeds of their productions, the first of which will be in October, will be donated to the Town Hall fundraising campaign.
Major projects have been done before in Ballinrobe, some in very trying economic times, in fact:
- The redevelopment of Ballinrobe Racecourse;
- The purchase and development of Ballinrobe Golf Club;
- The redevelopment of Ballinrobe Town Park;
- The restoration of the Harry Clark Windows;
- And the building of the Lakeside Sports and Leisure Centre, to name but a few.
At our fund-raising launch on Wednesday night, we outlined a number of ways in which people can support.
These include five key packages designed to suit a wide variety of income levels:
1 Be a Supporter: Donate any amount up to €500 over the next three years – up front or by standing order.
2 Be a Patron: €500 – donate in full up front or €250 now and the remaining €250 next year.
3 Buy an Honorary Seat: €1000 – donate in full up front or €500 now and the remaining €500 next year.
4 Be a Sponsor: €5000 – donate in full up front or staged payments over the next three years.
5 Be a Cornerstone: Help to give the project the early impetus it needs by making a substantial donation now.
Various benefits in terms of exposure in the new Town Hall are included with each package. We would urge you to support the Town Hall in whatever way you can so that together we can create a hub of community, cultural and artistic life, a place where, as we said the last time we were here, we can sing, dance, play music and engage in countless other community activities for many years to come.
Thanks to Canon Eustace for again affording us this opportunity to address you and thank you for your kind attention.