The Coke Side of Life ... it's 'Always Coca-Cola' at Lillian's Glanmire home

The Coke Side of Life ... it's 'Always Coca-Cola' at Lillian's Glanmire home
Lillian O'Donoghue, at her Coca-Cola home in Riverstown, Co. Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A GLANMIRE mum-of-two whose home is fast turning into a complete Coca-Cola shrine has just one room left to decorate before her dream becomes a reality.

Lillian O'Donoghue came to prominence for her fascination with the soft drink back in 2012 when her Coca-Cola kitchen featured in the Evening Echo. She later caught the attention of RTÉ who included her in their critically acclaimed 2016 documentary the Collectors.

Lillian O'Donoghue, at her home in Riverstown, Co. Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Lillian O'Donoghue, at her home in Riverstown, Co. Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Lillian most recently bedecked her spare bedroom with Coca-Cola memorabilia and is just one room away from owning Cork's first Coca-Cola house. The 56-year-old said she has to wait for her youngest son Robin to finish college and move out before she can undertake the necessary renovations.

The O'Donoghue residence comprises of a Coca-Cola themed kitchen, utility room, dining room, a bedroom, toilet and an outhouse. 

Lillian in the student bedroom.
Lillian in the student bedroom.

Even the cupboards are inscribed with images of Coca-Cola bottles. Lillian's husband Barry has played a huge part in the transformation. The talented craftsman fashioned a number of handmade additions such as coke bottle chandeliers and signs for the wall. She also has a large glass cabinet filled with Coke cans from across the world.

Her impressive collection is always growing.

The Utility Room.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
The Utility Room.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

"I have French students over every year. One of them brought over a Coca-Cola towel with her. I thought it was a coincidence but it turned out she had googled me before she arrived and realised I'd a love for Coca-Cola. My student's room was the latest part of the house to be done up. The only room left to decorate is Robin's but I've to wait for him to move out before I do that."

She also revealed that she's planning to leave Coca-Cola shares to her grandchildren as part of her will.

"I've asked the boys for Coca-Cola shares for Christmas this year. I don't have grandchildren yet but if I do they will inherit the shares," she said.

Lillian holds a party every year to mark the latest Coca-Cola refurbishments. No expense is spared with a professional band and chef hired especially for the evening.

"This year we revealed my new red cooker," she said. "We also christened our dog Milo. We asked the priest to do it and he was willing but it happened to clash with something he had to go to. I had really wanted to get him christened so we planned to use some holy water from the church. Around 50 people normally turn up for the parties."

Lillian's favorite Coca Cola piece.
Lillian's favorite Coca Cola piece.

Even strangers are weighing in on the craze.

"A woman from Dublin gave me her Coca-Cola memorabilia. I couldn't believe it when I got off the aircoach and spotted her with this big black bag. It was filled with everything from furry toys to little dinkys. Another girl from Millstreet was downsizing and gave me all the items she had collected over the years including shopping bags, a radio, copy books and a camera."

Custom made light fitting.
Custom made light fitting.

Lillian has vowed never to leave her dream home.

"I don't ever want to leave her. I'll die in this house."

Lillian first came up with the idea of starting a Coca-Cola collection after visiting Austria at the age of 22. After purchasing a can there she decided to pick one up as a memento from every country she holidayed in.

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