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CHARITY ART AUCTION IN AID OF THE NIALL MELLON TOWNSHIP TRUST In the Blue Haven Hotel Café, Kinsale, 15 August, starting 20.00. {Viewing earlier) A unique auction of work by over twenty of Ireland's top artists will help raise money to send volunteers to South Africa to build houses for shack-dwellers. The work will be available for preview on http://www.flushauctions.com and on-line bidding will be possible. This is a rare opportunity to buy an original work of art and provide a home for an African family living in dreadful conditions in a shack. Artists include Tim Goulding, Sarah Walker, Majella Collins O'Neill, Gillian Lawler, Siobhan McDonald, Ian Humphries, Beth O'Halloran, Dearbhail Connon, three sisters Ailbhe, Ester & Louise Barrett, Monica Boyle, Mark Baker, and Anna St George. Kinsale Auctioneer and Estate Agent Kevin Murphy will conduct the business of the auction and there will be a celebrity guest to open the event. The Building Blitz will be the sixth to South Africa in as many years, with a record number of 2008 volunteers flying out in November as part of the largest ever overseas volunteer force out of Ireland, or perhaps anywhere. Auction organizers Clem and Jonathan Cairns will be participating for the fifth successive year, and Fiona Brophy for the sixth, and all three continue to be impressed with the project. "The Township Challenge is truly impressive. It's elegant in its conception, professional in its execution, gratifying in its results," says Clem, "It is an edifying experience to help replace by the sordid little shacks with proper, safe houses for families to live in. You get to know some of the people there, you love their humanity, admire their indomitable spirit, and you want their children to survive into adulthood. Owning a house with proper sanitation and shelter is a difference we can make to them that will last all of their lives," according to Fiona. Apart from the annual influx of latter day Irish navies, there are almost 2,000 township people in full-time employment in the project and the target for houses this year is to complete 5,000. www.irishtownship.com has all of the information. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a great friend of the Naill Mellon Trust from the beginning. He has paid the Irish volunteers this tribute – "The speed your volunteers are changing our communities is breathtaking; your volunteers have the love of all our people." And Nelson Mandela maintains – "Your extraordinary efforts in bringing housing to our people clearly shows your unwavering support and belief in the future of South Africa." Nelson Mandela - November 2007
 

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