Askeaton Arts Group celebrates golden windfall

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

BUYING a bottle of cider has left Askeaton Community Arts Group a whole lot richer, thanks to a scheme run by Bulmers called Doing Our Bit and a generous local donor.

BUYING a bottle of cider has left Askeaton Community Arts Group a whole lot richer, thanks to a scheme run by Bulmers called Doing Our Bit and a generous local donor.

Under the scheme, Bulmers hid 17 golden apples each worth €5000 in promotional packs of Bulmers cans and longnecks. Finding a golden apple entitled the winner to a cash prize of €2,500 for themselves with another €2,500 to be given to the community project of their choice.

In Askeaton, William McCarthy found the golden apple – and nominated Askeaton Community Arts Group as his community project of choice.

Anita Guinane, who is chairperson of the group described the money as “a windfall which would make a huge difference” to their members and they were absolutely delighted. “It was absolutely magic to get this generous gift from Billy and from Bulmers, This money means we can now forge ahead with our plan to create our own art space,” she said happily.

The space they hope to transform into art studios is on the floor above the library in Askeaton. “We had a target of €5000 to raise ourselves and we had run pub quizzes, sold a calendar and so on . We had €2,500 to go when we heard from Bulmers,” she explained to the Limerick Leader this week.

The money, they hope, will now help them leverage other funding so that work can begin on their new space, transforming it into a comfortable place for artists to work as individuals and in groups.

Meanwhile, the 13 artist members of the group continue to meet in the local community centre where they are all working hard at developing their art – and at clocking up qualifications. “There are eight of us working to get FEETAC Level 5 qualifications,” Anita explained. In addition, some members of the group have been accepted by third-level colleges.

“We are all completely dedicated to Askeaton Community Arts Group,” she said.

adding that the group has had a very positive impact on the individual members but has also helped to unlock incredible potential for the community.

Explaining the background to the scheme, Stephen Kent, director of marketing at Bulmers said they wanted to recognise and reward the vital role that local communities play in Irish society. Doing Our Bit is a series of initiatives, some small, some more significant, all intended to make a contribution toward making life in Ireland that little bit better.

“We appreciate that times are tougher than ever for many people, which is why we want to do our bit by giving something back,” Mr Kent said.