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#BraveLikeEmmeline campaign raises over €600k

A fundraising campaign set up in memory of a six-month-old girl who passed away last year has raised almost €600k after her parents appeared on Friday's Late Late Show.

The show's Crumlin special, which invited viewers to donate by text, has so far raised €120,000 to go towards vital services at CHI at Crumlin in Dublin, while a GoFundMe campaign set up by Billy Holland and Lanlih Keane has received over €480k in donations.

Munster rugby player Billy and his wife Lanlih are fundraising for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin and the children's wards at Cork University Hospital to remember their brave little girl, Emmeline, who passed away last May.

Emmeline, who was born in November 2018, was diagnosed with a heart defect soon after her birth and her parents were given a devastating diagnosis when she was just three weeks old. She underwent heart surgery and sadly died a short time later in her mother's arms.

Host Ryan Tubridy said that The Late Late Show team were overwhelmed by the generous response.

"There was a sadness and there was a goodness and there was a kindness that happened to us on The Late Late Show on Friday night," he said on RTÉ Radio 1.

"It just felt like there was a spontaneous sense of something beautiful happening in terms of the viewers and guests alike, particularly when we got to Billy Holland and his wife Lanlih and they told us about their daughter Emmeline.

There was just an extraordinary amount of goodwill. It's touching half a million euro. There's something about Irish people when asked and when they believe in a cause, they respond.

"I'm glad to say that Crumlin hospital itself also raised a lot of money on the night. We spoke to families and we spoke to staff and it was just an outpouring of gratitude and a sense of community on the island and I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for being so generous."

In an update on social media, Billy said he and Lanlih are "blown away" by the amount of money they have raised.

"Lanlih and I are truly blown away by the incredible support we have received. The people of this country have shown phenomenal generosity and we cannot thank you enough," he said.

"This money will much such a difference and we are so proud that it is all because of our brave Emmeline."

The GoFundMe appeal is available to donate to here or donations can be made by texting Crumlin to 50300.