Kirby brings festive support for charities

Kirby Group Engineering has announced details of its Christmas donation programme for 2023, which will see €130,000 in funds directed to charities in Ireland and abroad. Staff at the Limerick-headquartered company are involved in charity campaigns all year round, but the firm makes a special effort to support those in need during the festive period.

Kirby, which employs over 1,500 people in Ireland, the UK, mainland Europe and South Africa, has selected partner charities for 2023, which help a wide variety of good causes in society. The Irish Cancer Society will receive €50,000, UNICEF and St Vincent de Paul (SVP) will receive €25,000 each, and Irish Red Cross and BirdWatch Ireland will benefit to the tune of €15,000 each.

Kirby Group Managing Director, Mark Flanagan, was joined by Alison Reynolds, Corporate Partnerships Officer, from the Irish Cancer Society for the announcement. The charity’s Head of Fundraising, Rosemary Simmons, said: “On behalf of the Irish Cancer Society and all of those whose lives will be touched by your generosity, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude for your incredible Christmas donation of €50,000. This invaluable contribution will make a significant impact on our mission and bring hope, support, and comfort to cancer patients and their families, when they need it most. Thank you.”

Executive Director at UNICEF Ireland, Peter Power, says donations such as Kirby’s make a real difference: “UNICEF greatly appreciates Kirby’s generous donation, which provides support to the world’s most vulnerable children before, during and after emergencies through the deployment of expert staff across all programme areas, scaling up of solutions worldwide, leading and pioneering new ideas for children and meeting their needs throughout childhood and adolescence. UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories defending the rights of every child. This vital work would not be possible without the committed and consistent support of loyal partners like Kirby.”

Mark Flanagan says the determination to support good causes is at the heart of Kirby: “The Christmas donation programme is an important part of our calendar and we’re happy to support some really incredible organisations tackling important issues at this time of year. I also want to pay tribute to our fantastic employees who run successful fundraising activities all year round, including our second annual Kirby Way Cycle raising €40,000 for Milford Hospice and The National Breast Cancer Research Institute, as well as supporting Focus Ireland’s ‘Shine a Light’ event raising €34,000 for homeless services throughout the country. I am truly proud to lead a group that’s so dedicated to continually supporting good causes. We look forward to continuing our involvement with worthwhile organisations into 2024”.

The National President of SVP, Rose McGowan, says the donation is welcome at a very busy time for their organisation: “We are very grateful to Kirby for its generous donation, especially as we enter a period where calls to SVP increase considerably and the winter months being difficult times for those in need. The donation will be used effectively by our members in our East, West and Mid-West regions to help those in need, particularly providing support for food and energy costs.”

Head of Fundraising of Irish Red Cross, Charlie Lamson says, “The Irish Red Cross is grateful for Kirby’s ongoing and crucial support of our work in some of the world’s most challenging situations. The past few years have been marked by the outbreak of war in Ukraine and Gaza to name just two – however additional and historic disasters have also occurred in Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Morocco, Libya and elsewhere. In all of these cases the Red Cross has been there on the ground supporting those most in need.  We simply would not be able to do this without the support of Kirby and other like-minded donors. Thank you.”

CEO of BirdWatch Ireland, Linda Lennon, says donations are vital at a time when their conservation work is so important: “BirdWatch Ireland is extremely grateful to Kirby for its wonderful donation of €15,000. This contribution will make a significant difference, supporting our vital efforts to conserve Ireland’s wild birds and wider biodiversity. Irish nature is in trouble, with the survival of 63% of our bird species now under serious threat. We applaud Kirby for helping us in our work to redress the balance and to ensure that Ireland’s birds and the habitats that they depend on can be protected for future generations.”

These latest donations follow a year in which the firm also supported an additional 80 local, national and international charities to the tune of another €225,000. The beneficiaries included Galway Hospice, Cliona’s Foundation, Cope and Lust for Life, as well as a number of charities in Sweden and Italy, countries where the company has a strong presence.

€5,000 each has been donated to Swedish charities Hela Människan – a local community support group to fight homelessness, mental illness and addiction, Julhjälpen Gävleborg, which helps local families at Christmas, Alla Kvinnors Hus, which provides sheltered housing for female victims of domestic violence, and Matakuten, which helps struggling families to receive weekly supplies of groceries. Kirby is also donating €5,000 to LILT charity, The Italian League for the fight against cancer through prevention.

Pictured above: Kirby Group Managing Director Mark Flanagan with Alison Reynolds, Corporate Partnerships Officer from the Irish Cancer Society.