Local charity got €341k from charitable lottery fund

St. Mel's Cathedral. Photo: Joe McDonagh.
Just over €341,000 has been allocated to Longford Cathedral Circle under the Charitable Lottery Fund 2007-2013.

Just over €341,000 has been allocated to Longford Cathedral Circle under the Charitable Lottery Fund 2007-2013.

The details were confirmed in the wake of a Department of Justice audit report which was conducted in 2012 into the performance of 20 charities involved in the running of lotteries.

The audit found that most of the charities examined were barely making a profit because the cost of running the lotteries in terms of wages, administration and prize funds was so high.

The results subsequently prompted the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to announce the phasing out by 2016 of the compensation scheme which was established in the 1990s after charity lotteries complained about the dominant position of the National Lottery.

Speaking to the Leader, Fr Tom Healy, ADM, said that The Cathedral Circle was founded in 1962 as a fundraising avenue to cater for the pastoral and material needs of Longford Parish.

“Cards are sold in a number of local outlets and by some volunteers,” he said, adding that the weekly draw was managed by a voluntary committee with the kind support of our promoters and patrons. “Another voluntary group, the Parish Finance Committee lend further support as required.”

Fr Healy went on to outline how the proceeds from the charitable lottery fund is utlised by the Finance Committee.

“Proceeds from the Charitable Lottery Fund are designated by the Parish Finance Committee to assist with the costs associated with pastoral, youth and religious services in the parish of Longford,” continued Fr Healy.

“Monies are also designated towards the support of relationship/family/addiction/bereavement/counselling services in the parish and publications in support of these activities.

“Where available, any surplus after funding these activities, is applied toward the maintenance and running costs of the parish Churches.”

According to the local ADM any funding received under the Charitable Lottery Fund has served as a huge benefit to the local community.

“These grants have greatly assisted the provision of facilities for many community groups whose outreach has benefitted many in the local community,” Fr Healy added.

“Each year’s grant is spent in the following year; on hand now is last year’s grant of €30,604.55 and this will be spent in 2014 according to the criteria of the scheme.”

In 2012 the Cathedral Circle celebrated its 50th anniversary and to mark the occasion, a commemorative booklet was published alongside the launch of new branding and a logo.