GALWAY brothers Luke, Brian and Billy Comer have thrown their weight behind a community project in their home county which will equip schools with the technology to assist the students who need it most.
The Glenamaddy-born siblings, who head up one of Britain’s largest property firms, The Comer International Group, worked as plasterers in Ireland in the 1980s before coming to Britain and making their fortunes.
But they have always remained closely connected to their roots, and recently returned to Galway with Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ireland to announce their latest partnership.
The scheme will see every single national school in the county of Galway receive an upcycled Apple iPad over the next few weeks as part of Variety - Ireland’s Heart of Learning Programme.
The Charity sent their ambassador Miss Ireland, Pamela Uba along to schools in Galway wth the brothers, who are funding the project, this week to hand over iPads to St Joseph’s National School in Glenamaddy, where the Comer brothers themselves went to school.
Ms Uba then continued down the road to visit Scoil Naisiunta Gort Na Leime, where she presented an iPad to pupils where Billy Comer’s daughter Sabrina and his sister Bridie Comer Dolan are both teachers.
Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ireland’s Heart of Learning Programme will see 244 upcycled iPads delivered to every single national school in Co. Galway over the next few weeks, which will be given to Special Needs Assistants within each school for teaching children who require a little more extra help with their learning.
In a statement on behalf of The Comer family, Billy Comer said: “We are so happy to be able to provide funding for iPads where we know 100 per cent of our donation is going to helping children of all abilities in Co. Galway.
“We are a family that likes to help other people and we are so happy to be working with Variety Ireland to ensure that all of our donation in paying for these iPads is used to help so many children of school-going age in a county that we hold so dear to our hearts.”
He added: “To us, transparency and accountability is an essential factor in the way that any organisation should operate.
“The fact that Variety in Ireland is a charity that has no paid directors reassures us that 100 per cent of our donation has been spent in helping children with learning disabilities across Co. Galway.
“It’s was a privilege to have their wonderful ambassador Miss Pamela Uba here when presenting the iPads to a school where we all went as children, as well as a school where my own sister and daughter are both teachers.
“Pamela is a fantastic role model for any child and we wish her all the best as she goes off to represent Ireland next month in Miss World 2021.”
Head of Marketing for Variety in Ireland, Kevin O’Brien added: “The Comer family are great people who have done so much for Galway down through the years.
“From supporting Galway United FC to privately helping families in need without any publicity or thanks, the Comers have always been there to provide financial support and assistance to programs that have benefited the people of Galway and surrounding counties.”
He added: “We at Variety Ireland are grateful to be working with Billy, Brian and Luke on this specific project that will be of huge benefit to the younger generation of Galway people with disabilities. “
Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ireland continue to make progress by improving their contribution to climate change.
Every IPad they supply to children as part of their Heart of Learning Campaign has been upcycled, saving 69kg of carbon per unit supplied.
To date they have already distributed upcycled iPads to national schools in Roscommon, where the iPads were sponsored by businessman Sean Mulryan of Ballymore Group.
The project in Co. Mayo saw 155 upcycled iPads delivered to schools, sponsored by businessman Tim O’Leary.