A Tullamore-based recycling company which recently purchased 7,500 mostly unused e-voting machines from the State has made a generous donation to a children’s charity. KMK Metals Recycling presented Barretstown with a cheque for €10,000 today after it decided to go ahead with the donation despite not being allowed to sell any of the machines for the cause. Kurt Kyck bought the machines last month with intentions of selling 100 of them to raise funds for the Kildare residential camp for children with serious illness. However, he was advised by the Department of the Environment that the machines should be put entirely beyond functional use and could not be sold. “My staff were disappointed and so when we looked at the figures it was agreed that we were in a position to go ahead with the donation to Barretstown,” he said.
Kyck and his wife have been involved with the charity for a number of years and Edeltraud Kyck has volunteered at the camps on a number of occasions. CEO of Barretstown Dee Ahern said, “This donation will give more children and their families the chance to experience the magic of Barretstown and to look to the future.” Barretstown offers a break from hospitals, white coats and medical treatment and a chance for sick children to be children again. Children get to participate in a range of adventurous and challenging activities, supported behind the scenes by safe, medical attention and care and always for free.
E-voting machines were purchased by the State at a cost of €51 million back in 2002 but were only ever used in three constituencies at the 2002 general election – Dublin North Dublin West and Meath – and the second referendum on the Nice Treaty later that year. Since then storage of them has cost the State around €4 million and led to much ridicule including from the Finance Minister Michael Noonan who suggested earlier this year that they could be put in pubs as the machines were “valueless”.