Huge re­sponse to fundraiser for in­jured Ian

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

A STAG­GER­ING €118,574 has been raised in sup­port of a Kil­lar­ney teenager se­ri­ously in­jured in a cycling ac­ci­dent and his fam­ily.

The Ian O’Con­nell Ben­e­fit Fund was or­gan­ised by Spa GAA club and nu­mer­ous other sport­ing and vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing an­glers and golfers on both sides of the Kerry/Cork bor­der also be­came ac­tively in­volved.

Ian, aged 16, of Pinewood Es­tate, Kil­lar­ney, suf­fered dam­age to his neck and spine af­ter fall­ing from his bike in the Muck­ross area of Kil­lar­ney Na­tional Park, on Au­gust 16 last. He is cur­rently be­ing treated in Dublin’s Mater Hos­pi­tal.

The St Bren­dan’s Col­lege stu­dent is a ju­ve­nile foot­baller with Spa GAA Club, a hurler with Dr Crokes and also plays with Kil­lar­ney Celtic soc­cer club.

Chair­man of the Spa fund-rais­ing com­mit­tee James Glee­son said ‘’some­thing amaz­ing’’ had hap­pened in re­cent weeks and the amount raised had sur­passed all ex­pec­ta­tions. “Start­ing out, we thought around €20,000 might be col­lected, but the way the cam­paign took off was in­cred­i­ble,” he said.

“It showed the ex­tra­or­di­nary level of re­spect for Ian and his fam­ily. It also showed how ef­fec­tive the GAA net­work is and the feel­ing of good­will on both sides of the Black­wa­ter. Many other or­gan­i­sa­tions and schools also be­came in­volved. It was truly stag­ger­ing.”

Speak­ing at a func­tion in the Spa club, Mr Glee­son thanked all who sup­ported the fund and the me­dia. He added that there had also been sig­nif­i­cant anony­mous do­na­tions.

Most of the money was col­lected through a spe­cial lotto fundraiser by the Spa club. Funds have been trans­ferred to a trust fund to be ad­min­is­tered by three trus­tees on be­half of the club.

Ian’s fa­ther, Mike, a driver with Leane’s Tool Hire, Kil­lar­ney, is a native of Bo­her­bue, Co Cork, and Bo­her­bue GAA club also or­gan­ised a spe­cial lotto.

Thank­ing every­body for their sup­port, Mike said Ian is in good form and is in reg­u­lar con­tact with his peers.

Funds are con­tin­u­ing to come in and a bank ac­count has been set up at AIB, Main St, Kil­lar­ney:

Ac­count Name: Ian O’Con­nell Fund Ac­count Num­ber: 64056025

Sort Code: 936332


IBAN: IE24AIBK93633264056025

Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

Jim Glee­son Chair­man Fundrais­ing Com­mit­tee (seated fifth from left) pre­sent­ing the Ian O’Con­nell Trust Fund cheque for €118, 534.89 to the three trus­tees Tadhg Hickey, Deirdre O’Sul­li­van Darcy and Ivor Flynn with Michael O’Con­nell and fam­ily, friends and sup­port­ers at Spa GAA Club­house on Thurs­day.

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