Supporting Local News

Grab a bargain and help a school to thrive

A host of bargains – from weekends away to a PlayStation and art to sporting goods – will be up for grabs when one of West Galway’s most vibrant primary schools runs its big fundraising auction the weekend after next.

Scoil Bhaile Nua is aiming to raise much needed funds to upgrade facilities with its first major fundraiser since 2018. The auction, under the hammer of broadcaster Páidí Ó Lionáird, takes place in Wildlands at 8pm on Saturday week, June 24.

This small, vibrant Gaeltacht school boasts a list of past pupils that would almost fill a county team – along them the Kelly brothers, Galway captain Sean and his fellow maroon stars Eoghan and Paul, as well as their team-mates Dessie Conneely and James McLoughlin.

League of Ireland striker Vinnie Faherty, Galway ladies footballer Aine McDonagh and world dancing champions Sylvia and Anna Carroll also make that stellar line-up.

The school now has pupils spanning from Maigh Cuilinn to Oughterard, helped as well by the introduction of two new bus services – one from Maigh Cuilinn and the other running from Oughterard and Rosscahill.

That has seen the school expand over the last number of years, according to School Principal Áine Ní Fhórgartaigh – adding two classrooms, office spaces and a resource room.

“We have also purchased an adjoining pitch. We hope to repay the remainder of our loan for these additions and develop them further to provide the best education facilities for our 81 pupils,” she said.

“It’s also important to note that we have also decided to team up with children’s charity, the Children’s Health Foundation in Crumlin. Ten per cent of the proceeds of our event will go towards this worthy cause – and in doing so we hope to help support the care of critically-ill children,” she added.

Speaking ahead of the Auction Night, the chairperson of the fundraising committee Cóilí Gavin Sr explained how special the school, which goes back to 1900, was to the area – with many of today’s pupils being the third or fourth generation of their family to go there.

“We are very proud of the school’s history and of our pupils, both past and present,” he said.

“The community has really backed us with this venture and while I can’t disclose all of the items up for auction, I can say that there will be lots of craic, loads of bargains – from bales of hay to club membership to a PlayStation, hotel getaways, pieces from local artists, a bespoke designer headpiece and perhaps a sporting item or two,” he added.


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