The Big Upcycle Pop Up sale held at Áras Contae an Chláir on Friday raised €2,250 towards the development of a women’s building project in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
Clare County Council, supported by Ennis Tidy Towns volunteers, hosted the charity sale in aid of the project which is being promoted by Inagh native and Columban Sister Mary Neylon.
Sr. Mary, affectionately known as Mary Ann, has worked for the last 25 years with the people in Lima to establish self-help groups for women to educate, support and sustain their local indigenous crafts including sewing and crochet traditional dressmaking. Sr. Neylon has set her sights on putting a permanent building in place to afford shelter, dignity and self-worth to the women of Huaycan City in Lima, and her fundraising target is €10,000.
The Big Upcycle Pop Up sale was followed on Saturday by a cake sale and church gate collection in Inagh which yielded a further €900 for the women’s building project. Meanwhile, an Upcycling Pop Up Sale will be held in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, on 1st June.
At a special ceremony held in the Council Chamber following Friday’s Big Upcycle Pop Up, Mayor of Clare Cllr. Joe Arkins paid tribute to Sr. Mary Ann Neylon.
“In Clare, we are a proud people and we are particularly proud of individual members of our community who have made such a mark on the world, and especially somebody of Sr. Mary Ann’s calibre, who 52 years a nun, has worked tirelessly for the past 25 years on this project with the people of Huaycan City in Lima. This event gives us an opportunity to demonstrate how proud we are of Sr. Mary,” stated the Mayor.
He continued: “Despite recent scandals surrounding certain charities, Irish and Clare people are proud to support projects such as Sr Mary Ann’s, because they know that every cent will be very well spent and, indeed, that it will be very good value for money. I wish Sr. Mary Ann and her project every success in the future.”
Addressing those in attendance, Sr. Mary Ann Neylon stated she was “stunned” by the level of public support for the Big Upcycle Pop Up.
She added: “I’d like to thank people most sincerely. The women’s centre project is about leadership and training for women, youth and families and to help them to train others. It’s not about handouts, it’s about empowering people. Funds raised will help to construct a permanent building and re-roof the existing one. I am very proud of the people of Clare and all those who organise and support these worthy events”.
More than 290 people attended the Big Upcycle Pop Up sale, which saw over 870 pre-loved items getting a new home.
“A selection of items for sale on the day were featured in an entertaining and good humoured mini fashion show to encourage customers to take a look. Items on sale ranged from children’s books to gold necklaces and designer dresses,” explained Council staff member and event organiser, Mary Mackey.
“I want to thank all of the volunteers for their hard work over the last several weeks and months. A wide range of people helped to make the day a success including many local volunteers from the Inagh/Ennistymon area, members of Ennis Tidy Towns, and a number of Council staff,” Ms. Mackey added.