Pictured at the launch of the Mid-West Press Ball were ball Chairman Ron Kirwan, Cllr Joe Leddin, Mayor Kieran O' Hanlon and Press Ball committee member Fergal Deegan Picture: Michael Cowhey
THE hugely popular and long-running Mid-West Press Ball was launched in The Strand Hotel on Wednesday and is expected to raise up to €15,000 for charities and local voluntary groups.
This year’s press ball will take place in The Strand Hotel on October 1 and will be in aid of the Children’s’ Ark, the Neonatal Unit in Dooradoyle and CARI (Children at Risk in Ireland) – all of which work with children in the Mid-West region.
Launching the event, Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon said: “I have a particular fondness for local media as it provides such a public service, keeping people up to date with what’s happening in their communities.
“Tonight, we see a side to media that backs up my belief that stereotypes of journalists being indifferent, hard-nosed or insensitive are certainly wide of the mark when it comes to my experience in Limerick and the Mid-West.”
He also said that the ball is “a declaration that media very much care; to the extent that you are willing to put voluntary time into pulling together the Mid-West Press Ball, to raise money for local charities”.
Chairman of the popular black-tie event Ron Kirwan also spoke of the great impact this event can have on local charities.
“As we are a body of people working in all areas of the media industry throughout the Mid-West, we feel that the money we raise should primarily benefit the communities that we work and live in.
“These three beneficiaries are three perfect examples of this and the work they do is extremely necessary and highly valued right through the Mid-West.
“We also hope to be able to support other charity, community and voluntary groups with smaller sums of badly needed funding and hopefully the usual generous support of sponsors, business and all the people in the industry will allow us to do this,” he said.
The press ball started in Limerick in 1951 and after fading out in the 1970s, it was revived in 1999 as a fundraising event and has raised over €100,000 for local charities since.
It has a huge appeal for members of the media, supporters and guests and is considered a highlight on the social calendar each year.
It will begin with a reception at 7.30pm on October 1 and following dinner, the Mid-West Media Merit Award will be presented. The contributions of a number of media people will also be acknowledged on the night.
Anyone wishing to support the Mid-West Press Ball as a sponsor or who wishes to buy tickets can contact Ron Kirwan on firstname.lastname@example.org or 086 2265696 for information.