Two well-known Cork businessmen have pledged to build an orphanage in Sri Lanka for tsunami victims and fund it for the next 20 years. The total cost of the project will be €350,000 and follows a visit to Sri Lanka by the businessmen.
Robert McCarthy and John Hickey, who own McCarthy’s Bar and Bistro, the Briar Rose Bar and Bistro and Penn’s Bar and Bistro, said the orphanage in Negambo, Colombo, will cater initially for 20 girls. But they hope that will rise to 40 girls within a few years.
The duo also unveiled plans to build a Montessori school for 120 children as part of the €350,000 project.
The sod has already been turned on the projects and details were unveiled last night of a range of fundraising activities over the next few months. The men plan to raise €250,000 to cover construction costs for both buildings and, incredibly, the remaining €100,000 will cover the facilities’ €500-a-month running costs for the next 20 years.
The men experienced first-hand the devastation caused by the 2005 Asian tsunami when they visited Sri Lanka last May. Mr McCarthy said once they got home, they could not get the images of suffering out of their minds.
It prompted them to set up the Sri Lankan Orphanage Charity project, which will feed into the work of the Irish Sri Lankan Orphanage Fund, set up in Arklow in 2005 by hotelier Brian Brennan.
Cork senior hurler Tom Kenny has agreed to be charity patron. The charity will hold a Kidz helping Kidz fun-run event for schools on March 15 and 16, a July 4 banquet in the Capella resort in Castlemartyr, and a golf classic in the Lee Valley Golf Club on September 5 and 6.