Christopher, Anna and William O’ Neill outside the Sherkin Island National School with Deirdre Ní Luasaigh, chairperson of the Neart Hub initiative fundraising committee. Photo: Robbie Murph

We Sherkin see why!

A fundraising initiative has been launched to purchase Sherkin Island’s historic national school buildings and gardens so that they can remain at the heart of the community.

Sherkin Island National School closed its doors for the last time in 2016 after 128 years educating the island’s children.

Established by Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS), the Neart Initiative is asking for public donations to cover the initial purchase of the school to create a Neart Hub for the people of Sherkin.

The Irish word for strength, the name Neart was taken from the Irish saying “Ní neart go cur le chéile”, which means “there’s no strength without unity”.

The fundraising target is €80k to cover the purchase of it, after which a decision will be made by the community regarding its upgrade, development and future use as a hub for diverse use such as educational, heritage or cultural activities.

Aisling Moran, Project Coordinator with SIDS, said: “Schools are full of connections, hopes and dreams. Sherkin Islanders want to keep the school building at the heart of the community as a place of connections and life for future generations. The Neart Hub will be for the Sherkin Island community, diaspora and friends of this much-loved island. “We are asking people to be part of this journey and connect with the island, its heritage and its future by supporting this initiative to create a wonderful additional resource for Sherkin Island.”

Under its five-year plan, SIDS hopes to build a new community hall on the island with the Neart Hub hoped to provide an additional physical community space, doubling the amount of indoor space and land available to the community.

It is hoped that part of its development will include a large, seafront garden on the shores of Cuinne Harbour. The community will also be organising a series of fundraising events in the coming months to help them to reach their fundraising target.

Donations can be made via