Brown envelopes back in ‘Bridge

If you thought that brown envelopes stuffed with cash have been eradicated from Ireland by a litany of tribunals, you’re wrong. The community in Bennettsbridge are encouraging their revival. It’s nothing to do with corruption or bribery but a new fundraising effort to pay for the renovation of the village hall.

If you thought that brown envelopes stuffed with cash have been eradicated from Ireland by a litany of tribunals, you’re wrong. The community in Bennettsbridge are encouraging their revival. It’s nothing to do with corruption or bribery but a new fundraising effort to pay for the renovation of the village hall.

Bennettsbridge community hall will be 100 years old in 2014 and is getting a substantial renovation. The Community Hall Group successfully applied for a LEADER grant to conserve and renovate the building and works commenced on site in mid-October. However despite successful events, they still need to raise over €40,000 to meet the cost of the renovation. They decided brown envelopes are the answer.

Mike Shields, Chairman of the Hall Group knows that many would like to contribute financially to the project. “We came up with the Brown Envelope collection. Volunteers will visit homes throughout the community over the coming weeks and ask people to put whatever spare cash they can manage into a brown envelope and give it to us,” he said.

“While times are tough, particularly coming up to Christmas, we believe that many realise the importance of having a community hall that is available for all groups in the locality. The renovated hall will have a new heating system, new electrical system, new toilets, upgraded windows, new interior and exterior paint, upgraded roof, new insulation, new floor coverings, a new kitchen, a new PA system and new fire and intruder alarms. While the target of €40,000 sounds a lot, it is a small cost for the amount of work being done and a fraction of what neighbouring communities have raised in recent years’.