A kind-hearted star of business show Dragon’s Den has donated his house to be sold in order to help the homeless in time for the winter months.
Barry O’Sullivan had used his wealth to buy his dream home on the Aran Islands.
However, he decided to give up the mansion and allow the money raised to be spent by Focus Ireland and COPE Galway. The charity organisations will use the money to fund deposits for purchases of at least 15 homes for homeless families.
It comes as Focus Ireland and COPE Galway announce the ‘Home from Home’ campaign which encourages people with net wealth to donate property or funds to help the homeless.
Every €20,000 raised can be used to purchase or refurbish a home using borrowing and other government funding schemes.
O’Sullivan’s house, on Inishmore, has magnificent views of Kilmurvey beach and the Wild Atlantic.
It is expected that the sale will raise funds for at least 15 houses, but the number could increase further still, depending on the final price.
It will be auctioned – with a minimum sale price of €300,000 – with O’Donnellan & Joyce Auctioneers in their Wild Atlantic Way Christmas Property Auction.
The auction takes place at 2pm on December 16, in the Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway.
O’Sullivan was a board member of COPE Galway for six years between 2009-15. He said: “I know from my work with COPE Galway the terrible trauma families who are homeless go through.
“I also know charities like Focus Ireland and COPE Galway help many families and individuals to secure a home and escape from being homeless. I am happy to be in a position to sell this house and donate the proceeds to the Home from Home program.”
Focus Ireland’s Life President and Founder Sr. Stan said: “I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Barry and his family for this really lovely gift.
“I thank him not only on behalf of Focus Ireland but on behalf of the families who will have a place to call home because of this great act.”
She added that she hopes other wealthy donors will be inspired by the campaign: “Large donors often want to get involved but may be thinking: ‘What can I do to really help?’ Well this is a perfect example of how such a donation will help both our charities to deliver homes for families and their children to escape the trauma of being homeless.”
If you would like to donate to the Home from Home program please visit Focus Ireland or COPE Galway.
Take a look inside the Aran Islands mansion
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling