A FUNDRAISING campaign to buy an old national school on Sherkin Island has been launched by a development organisation who want to see it retained for community use.
Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS) is hoping the public will help them raise the €80,000 needed to buy the building as part of their Neart Initiative.
Aisling Moran, project coordinator with SIDS, said they are hoping the old schoolhouse – which had served the community for 128 years up until its closure in 2016 – can be given a new lease of life.
SIDS plans to open a Neart Hub – neart being the Irish word for strength – that could be used by the entire community for educational purposes, as well as cultural and heritage activities.
They are asking islanders, former islanders, visitors to Sherkin, and the diaspora, to help them raise the money needed to secure the building.
‘Sherkin islanders want to keep the school building at the heart of the community, as a place of connections and life for future generations,’ said Aisling.
The organisation has a five-year plan to build a new community hall on the island, but the members believe the Neart Hub will provide much needed physical community space.
‘It will effectively double the amount of indoor space and land available to the community,’ said Aisling. ‘We are also hoping to create a large, seafront garden on the shores of Cuinne Harbour for all to enjoy.’
A series of fundraising events will take place in the coming months, but anyone who would like to make a donation now can go onto the Sherkin Island website – www.sherkinisland.ie – and hit the ‘Neart’ tab.