A MOTHER of two, who owns Cork's well-known Coca-Cola house, is including a condition in her will to ensure the home is kept as a shrine to the soft drinks giant.
Lillian O'Donoghue from Glanmire found herself caught in a media whirlwind back in 2012 after her Coca-Cola kitchen featured in. In the years that followed her passion for the drink spread through the whole house and is now the theme of each room.
She has found local fame after appearing in a number of media outlets and was even the focus of 2016's widely acclaimed RTÉ documentary The Collectors.
Since the first Covid-19 lockdown started back in March, the 58-year-old has found herself even more deeply immersed in her love of home decorating.
She told of how her entire garden is now dotted with red and white flowers as a tribute to the Coca-Cola brand. Her decking also boasts the fizzy drink's colours along with a Coca-Cola outhouse that takes pride of place on the lawn. While Lillian plans to leave the house to her grown-up sons Robin and Patrick, she is determined to make sure the house is kept in its current condition.
"I love this house," she said. "If I won the EuroMillions in the morning and could afford to live in a mansion, I still wouldn't move. It's not just the house I love, it's the area. The people are so nice here. I plan to leave the house to my sons.
"However, I'm going to make out a will soon that says that the house can't be changed even when there is someone else living here."
She praised her children for always being supportive of her quirky hobby.
Son Robin demonstrated an artistic flair similar to his mother's after he managed to fashion her a Coca-Cola birthday cake during the summer.
"He managed to create a cake with a can above it that appeared to be pouring Coke on to the icing. Every Mother's Day, birthday and Easter time the boys gift me [Coca-Cola company] shares so I can feel like I own a bit of Coca-Cola too."
Christmas won't be any different for the O'Donoghue household. Lillian even has a collection of Coca-Cola Christmas decorations to brighten up her tree this year.
However, she admits there will still be somethingmissing this year. Lillian's Coca-Cola parties are a calendar highlight for many of her friends and neighbours.
"Hopefully, there will be an end to this and we'll be able to have the parties again," she said. "I'm lucky that I was able to get a lot done since lockdown but I do miss the parties. My next one is meant to be in June so I'm hoping they'll have found a vaccine by then."
Coca-Cola themed household items are difficult to come by which means Lillian often has to get creative.
"I had Coca-Cola pyjamas that ended up being too big on top. I brought them to a dressmaker and had them made into cushions."
Lillian has one Pepsi can in her house as a nod to the rebel in her. In a previous interview withshe had proudly revealed.
"The can is intended to be symbolic. It represents the rebellious streak in me."