MAIRE Gallagher has been collecting green shield stamps and sending the proceeds to help missionaries in South America and Africa for the last 25 years.
Maire, 72, is from the parish of The Mother of Divine Grace in Ballygall, Glasnevin in Dublin and receives stamps from all over Ireland and England. A widow with three children, Maire has never had a career, but she has worked indefatigably for the Church through her stamp collection.
After she collects the money from the stamps she sends it to the Augustinian missionaries from St John's Priory, Dublin.
The money is used to support the missionaries and to finance projects such as the establishment of two Nigerian dioceses in Ullah and Madugri and a health clinic at Shuwa, which is run by the Augustinian Nursing Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus, an order based outside of Liverpool.
Maire estimates that she has raised about £25 000 over the last 25 years – solely through her own efforts. She says that she has already sent £1500 to the missionaries this year. Maire says " Its great to be able to do something for those in the Third World, and even when money is tight people never mind sending me stamps."