Munster rugby star helps West Limerick school launch huge fundraising drive

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

A WEST Limerick secondary school has urged members of the local community to lend their help to one of the biggest fundraising campaigns in its 20 year history.

Scoil Mhuire agus Ide in Newcastle West is hoping to raise in excess of €30,000 with a ‘who wants to be a thousandaire’ competition next month, as it seeks to protect teaching resources in the face of ongoing funding cuts.

The competition, which was officially launched last week with the help of Munster rugby star Damien Varley, has already seen over €20,000 committed by way of sponsorship from businesses around Newcastle West and further afield.

Sheilagh O’Mahony-Kennedy, principal of Scoil Mhuire agus Ide, said that though the campaign is only in its infancy, the school has already received “absolutely amazing support”.

“From a personal point of view, as principal and a member of the board of management, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support people across the community have shown us so far.

“What we’re asking people to do is buy a ticket, of course, but also come along on the night as well, because anyone who’s been to an event like this will tell you that it’s hugely enjoyable, a lot of fun”.

At a time when central funding from the Department of Education for schools continues to be cut, it is increasingly important for schools to fundraise directly.

Ms O’Mahony-Kennedy said that as the school reaches its 20th birthday, a number of repair works and extension projects have come to light. Likewise, the school is anxious to ensure that subjects with small class sizes, such as physics, chemistry and some languages, can be preserved.

“Our school is open 20 yeas, and in the past few years there are some small repairs that have only started coming to light in the past couple of years.

“But the biggest thing for us by far is to protect the subjects we offer all across the curriculum”, Ms O’Mahony-Kennedy said.

The ‘who wants to be a thousandaire’ event takes place at the Courtenay Lodge Hotel on November 15, and tickets are currently on sale at €15.