A 'Holy Irish Hooley'

The McNamara Hall in Camden Town, north London was packed to capacity last Thursday, as 300 Irish Chaplaincy supporters, young and old, gathered to raise funds for the charity. The event was billed as a 'Holy Irish Hooley', beginning with a reflective Mass of Remembrance and culminating in a night of ceili dancing and performances, which will be remembered for some time.

Philomena Cullen, Director of the Irish Chaplaincy, said: “ We were heartened by the support we received from those who turned out in number to support our fundraising efforts. It’s been a great year in the Irish Chaplaincy and our hard work of modernising the charity is now beginning to reap rewards. More Irish prisoners, Travellers and Irish older people used the services of the Chaplaincy during 2009, and so there is a greater need in this financial climate to raise funds so that the Chaplaincy’s valuable work with vulnerable Irish people can continue”.

Over £1,000 was raised during the course of the evening, and the audience heard from staff and service users about the difference that the charity makes in people’s lives. Joe, an older Irish person, told the audience: “ I’d been through a tough time and was facing homelessness when I first came across the Chaplaincy. They were a lifesaver and supported me to find a new home. I’m sorted now”.

Jane Leek, who attended the event says: “ It was an incredibly enjoyable night, and the evening was really well put together with beautiful involvement of those the Chaplaincy serves. It was a real community event to be very proud of. I’m already looking forward to the next one!”

The Irish Chaplaincy in Britain also launched its 2009 Annual Report at the event. If you would like to know more about the work of the Chaplaincy it can be read online at: www.irishchaplaincy.org.uk/AboutUs.asp

The Irish Chaplaincy in Britain provides high quality services and support to excluded, vulnerable and isolated Irish emigrants in Britain. One of the oldest Irish charities in the UK it continues to work under the auspices of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. For more information: www.irishchaplaincy.org.uk

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