'This fundraiser uplifted us': Cork family raise tens of thousands in memory of son who died in accident

All the money raised is in aid of the Irish Community Air Ambulance, which provides a vital lifesaving service in the Munster area. 
'This fundraiser uplifted us': Cork family raise tens of thousands in memory of son who died in accident

Rory O'Connor, who died in a car accident on February 6, 2011, aged 19. 

A GoFundMe page set up to mark the 30th birthday of a young Cork man who tragically died in a car accident has raised almost €30,000 for charity since the page was established.

Rory O'Connor died in a car accident on February 6, 2011, aged 19. Rory was a keen sportsman. He was a member of the Lyre GAA Club as well as the Duhallow U20, Cork U21, and Tralee IT football teams at the time of his death. Tuesday, November 9 would have marked his 30th birthday.

On that date, in his memory, his parents Bernie and Pat had hoped to hold a coffee morning fundraiser for the Irish Community Air Ambulance, but due to Covid restrictions, this fundraising initiative could not proceed. The O’Connor family instead set up a GoFundMe campaign with help from Mark Lane to raise funds in Rory’s honour for a worthy cause.

Rory O'Connor, who died in a car accident on February 6, 2011, aged 19. 
Rory O'Connor, who died in a car accident on February 6, 2011, aged 19. 

Ms O’Connor said the success of the fundraiser has given a family a nice lift. 

“November 9 would have been Rory’s 30th birthday. It was a poignant day, but this fundraiser uplifted us and it gave us a positive vibe,” she said.

The O’Connor family also ran a fundraiser to mark Rory’s 21st birthday when they raised over €25,000 for Build4Life after they held a table quiz.

The amount they have raised to date this time around has surpassed all expectations, said Ms O’Connor. 

“I thought we would do something small for his 30th. I planned to hold a coffee morning but due to Covid restrictions we were unable to have one. 

"I then decided to run a GoFundMe campaign where people could donate the price of a cup of coffee and a sticky bun."

“€2,000 was the initial target. Within two hours this was reached and it just took off. We started the page on Thursday, November 4. Mark Lane helped me with getting the campaign up and running. We are very near reaching a figure of €30,000 which is a great figure,” she added.

All the money raised is in aid of the Irish Community Air Ambulance which provides a vital lifesaving service in the Munster area. Ms O’Connor is pleased Rory’s legacy lives on and the money raised will help make a difference to people’s lives. 

“The reason I picked the Irish Community Air Ambulance is that we are on the flight path. If it is going in our direction we will see it in the air. It always strikes terror in my heart as I think there is somebody in trouble. This money is vital for them. They depend on donations. People remember Rory positively and he used to do small things for people. This keeps his legacy going.” 

To donate to this fundraiser click here.

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