Launch of Final Fundraising Drive and Project Business Plan

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Launch of Final Fundraising Drive and Project Business Plan

Sr. Mary Minehan, Eimear Quinn & Sr. Phil O’Shea

mary_eimearThe Final Fundraising Drive and Project Business Plan for the new Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages was officially launched by renowned singer Eimear Quinn on Friday, September 30th in the Irish National Stud. Eimear is renowned for her Eurovision Song Contest win in 1996 with Brendan Graham’s ‘The Voice’ as well as for her albums ‘Gatherings’ and ‘O Holy Night’.

(PHOTO RIGHT: Sr. Mary Minehan , Eimear Quinn and Sr. Phil O’Shea)

Geraldine Hayden; Cairde Bhride, Sr. Mary Minehan weaving a St. Brigid’s cross & Sr. Phil O’Shea

geraldineAfter formally welcoming all present Sr. Mary wove a St. Brigid’s cross while Sr. Phil recalled some significant moments of Solas Bhride since the Brigidine sisters first set up a small Christian Centre for Celtic Spirituality in Kildare in 1992 and she outlined the reasons why there is a need for the new Centre. From early days pilgrims/visitors began to arrive at the small Centre Sr. Phil said, “seeking to find out more about the spirituality of Brigid of Kildare and asking to be led in pilgrimage to the sites associated with her.

(PHOTO LEFT: Geraldine Hayden; Cairde Bhride, Sr. Mary Minehan weaving a St. Brigid’s cross & Sr. Phil O’Shea)

We are amazed at the variety of people of all faiths and none who come to our door from all over Ireland and almost every country in the world searching for spiritual nourishment for life’s journey.” As Mary wove the final rush into the cross Phil stated that it represented the new Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages which is needed to consolidate the past and shape the future.

Michael Haslam, of Solearth Ecological Architecture, giving a brief presentation

michaelMichael Haslam, a Partner in Solearth Ecological Architecture, gave a brief presentation on the design of the new Centre which is inspired by the evocative imagery of St. Brigid’s legacy and legends and is centered on ecological concerns.

(PHOTO RIGHT: Michael Haslam, of Solearth Ecological Architecture, giving a brief presentation)

Ann Riordan, Chairman of Tourism Ireland, the Dublin Regional Tourism Authority and the National Standards Authority of Ireland, and a member of Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages Development Team in speaking to the Business Plan, stated that great encouragement can be taken from the fact that in the region of 70% of the necessary funding is already in place.

annAnn Riordan speaking on the Business Plan

She thanked all those whose efforts and generosity have raised €2,820,000 to date – the Brigidine Congregation, Individual and group donations, the Community of Kildare, Friends of St. Brigid, the sponsor a ‘brick’ campaign and Capital grants.

(PHOTO LEFT: Ann Riordan speaking on the Business Plan)

She then went on to state that the Fundraising Target was now €1,050,000. In order to commence development on February 1st 2012, €500,000 is required before the end of 2011 with a further €500,000 needed by September 2012.

She went on to state that “any assistance, support and ideas to help us meet the commencement date, would be extremely valued and appreciated.”

eimearOfficially launching the Business Plan Eimear QuinnIn officially launching the Business Plan Eimear Quinn, spoke about the inspiration St. Brigid has been for her in her life and how she felt privileged to have been invited to launch the Plan. She stated that what she really liked about the Business Plan was that it retained its ethos, remained true to the core values of the spirituality centre, while at the same time presenting a very professional business project.

She said a “Centre such as this is needed more than ever in our world today.” She complemented the Brigidine sisters and all associated with the project and wished it every success in the future. After formally launching the Final Fundraising Drive and Project Business Plan, Eimear delighted all present with a beautifully chant written by Hildegard of Bingen.

(PHOTO RIGHT: Eimear Quinn, officially launching the Business Plan)

Sr. Mary thanked each one for their support and all those who had made the Launch so successful especially Mary Kane, County Kildare Leadership Partnership for her invaluable support in helping draw up the Business Plan and John Osborne, Manager of the Irish National Stud, for providing the lovely setting for the launch.