Almost €300,000 is need to provide emergency repairs for one of Donegal’s most iconic churches.
According to a local spokesperson, water is seeping through the stone facade of St Aengus’ Church in Burt, Ireland’s ‘Building of the Millennium’ award winner.
Designed by the late and widely renowned Liam McCormack, the church is arguably one of the country’s most iconic landmarks.
Built in 1969, it has endeared itself to the people of the parish of Burt, Inch and Fahan, and indeed to many beyond.
Revealing the problems at the church, the spokesperson said: “Countless busloads of international visitors, on their way to the round fort at Grianan of Aileach, which provided the inspiration for Burt Chapel’s circular construction, stop off to marvel at Ireland’s building of the millennium, an accolade of which local parishioners are rightly proud.
“As a place of worship, and indeed as a local tourist attraction, Burt Chapel is held in the highest possible esteem by locals and visitors alike.
“It is for this reason that a committee of dedicated volunteers has been established to raise funds for essential remedial works which must urgently be carried out in order to protect this heritage landmark as it journeys into the third millennium.”
Part of the building has become tired and water has begun to seep through the stone façade and windows.
Areas of the interior are so badly affected, they are rendered entirely unusable.
The cost of repairing this and a number of other serious structural problems is in the region of €300,000.
The Fundraising Committee, comprising people from throughout the parish and chaired by Fr. Gerry Sweeney, is currently engaged in organising a parish draw which will begin this month.
This draw is limited to 500 people and entry costs €20 per calendar month. On the last Tuesday of each month, a draw will take place in St. Mary’s Hall, Burt with a first, second and third prize of €1000, €500 and €250 euro.
The draw will remain in place for a period of three years and should yield the vast majority of the required funds.
A dedicated bank account has been opened in AIB , Buncrana.
The spokesperson continued: “The Committee is very aware of the financially straitened times in which we are now living and would like to assure prospective participants in the draw that every effort will be made to ensure that maximum value for money is achieved in the discharging of monies raised.
“While the raising of these funds is indeed a mammoth undertaking for a voluntary committee, it is no greater than the generosity of our local parishioners, nor of the regard in which Burt Chapel is held.”
Other fundraising events will be held over the three year period and details of these will appear in the parish bulletin, as will details of the progress of the fundraising campaign.
Anyone who would like to help, either by acting as a draw promoter or by assisting with any other aspect of fundraising, is asked to contact Fr. Sweeney.
It is not too late to sign up for the draw but only a few places remain; anyone who would like to take part is asked to contact Fr. Sweeney on 074 93 68155.