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Keith and Mary want the penny to drop for fundraising drive

BOYZONE's Keith Duffy joined RTE presenter Mary Kennedy to launch a charity drive to get donations of coppers for worthy causes.

The 'Change for Charity' fundraising project aims to get people to part with their 1c and 2c coins.

The cash raised will go towards a range of charities backed by umbrella organisation the Irish Famine Commemoration Fund, which was founded by philantropist Norma Smurfit.

The idea comes from the Central Bank's rounding initiative, which took place last year in Wexford, to reduce the number of 1c and 2c coins in circulation.

"The campaign is aimed at every demographic across the country from school children to corporate CEOs - everyone has jars, boxes and bottles filled with these coins in their homes and offices and we want them to put them to good use," a spokesperson said.

Collection units will be located in selected retail outlets, banks and schools nationwide.

Ms Smurfit's charity has been supporting worthy causes for more than 30 years.

Funds raised by the campaign will be split six ways.

Groups that will benefit include five charities: the Irish Heart Foundation, Society of St Vincent de Paul, St Francis and Our Lady's Hospice and Care Services, Gaisce - The President's Awards and Irish Autism Action.

The sixth strand of income is to be reserved for smaller charities, community projects, and youth groups who would like to apply for funding at the end of the campaign.


The campaign, which will also be promoted online, has garnered huge support from retailers including Penneys, Supermacs, SuperValu, O'Brien's Cafes, The Bagel Factory, Bank of Ireland and AIB.

Familiar faces lining up to support the campaign include Paddy Wallace, Brendan Gleeson and Ian Dempsey.