Birmingham’s Limerick Association, raise over £3,000 for SIFA/Fireside Centre

Presentation cheque

Presentation cheque

At the last Birmingham Limerick Association’s AGM (April 2014) it was decided unanimously that the chosen charity for fundraising would be SIFA/Fireside Centre, Allcock Street, Digbeth, Birmingham.

The Birmingham Limerick Association have worked tirelessly since that meeting and efforts to fundraise kick-started with a Ceili at the Irish Centre roping in the support of the very talented Reel Note Trad’ Band. This was soon followed by a fish supper at Hollywood Golf Club plus many other events included a Summer Ball dancing to the very popular Eamon McCann.

The work carried out by SIFA/Fireside Centre daily is an arduous task, Secretary of the Association, Mary Fealy said, “From preparing 90 breakfasts and dinners for the homeless and those with alcohol and drug problems is just the tip of the iceberg.

“The centre houses an IT centre, holds art classes, mathematic lessons and has talented artists among its clients whose work is displayed around the centre. The base also has meeting rooms and provides clothing, washing facilities and help, advice and assistance to all those who walk through the doors.

“Most of the work is carried out by volunteers with food and clothing being donated from many resources.
“We wanted to support the Centre, especially now funding is being reduced and withdrawn from certain areas and they rely on even more support from the public.

“For the first time we organised a double-decker bus to take a large group to St Mary’s Catholic Club in Cannock for a carvery meal. The entertainment that night was spectacular; Michael Clancy the manager of the club organised a local secondary college to play for us before and during the meal. There were about 25 people on the stage and they were absolutely magnificent!

“We brought with us Vince Jordan and members of the Reel Note Ceili Band, Peter Collins, Billy Martin, the Tomlinson family and Michael Feerey not to mention our own committee members Pat O’Neill and Chris Grimes.

“All of these people gave up their time for free and we would like to acknowledge their support.
“Our very fit and competitive treasurer, Pat O’Neill ran the Birmingham Half Marathon, completing in 2 hours and 20 minutes; not bad for the granddad of eight who is also partially sighted! He also put a big chunk into the pot for SIFA/Fireside too.”

Mary continued, “Another event was a dance at St Patrick’s Club in Rotton Park Road, Edgbaston. This is a wonderful club and Olivia and Phil McMenamin made us very welcome. The Stephen Doyle Duo played on the night and they were very entertaining and lively; the dance floor was busy all night!

“Our final push for fundraising was our annual ‘Get together’ event, which was held in the Connaught Bar at the Irish Centre; this was a very informal affair and wonderful Little Jimmy played for us.

“It has been very busy year fundraising and we were very proud to be able to present a cheque to the sum of £3,150.00 to Sister Sabina for SIFA/Fireside which we know was very much appreciated.”

So, what does the future hold for the Limerick Association, Birmingham?

“We have yet to hold our AGM to decide who were are supporting next year, but already we have events planned, the first being a Valentine Dance at St Mary’s Catholic Club in Cannock; there is great interest in this night, so get in touch early if you are interested. There is another set dancing Ceili booked at St Anne’s Centre, Digbeth on 11th April- a Fish Supper at Hollywood Golf Club on 24th April and a dance at the Irish Centre on 5th September. I am sure we will be able to slip a few more in somewhere during the course of the year!”

For further details, information or tickets please contact- Pat O’Neill on 07775 420232, Michael Collins 07941 250362 or Mary Fealy on 07557 520145.