D4 Woman Makes Good-Will Gesture

D4 woman makes good will gesture

Founded in 1994 by the late movie star Paul Newman, Barretstown is a non-profit camp aimed at improving the lives of children who suffer from life-threatening illnesses.

Situated at Barretstown Castle in Co. Kildare, the camp provides state of the art care and recreational facilities for its visitors. The philosophy of the organisation is known as ‘Therapeutic Recreation’, a process allowing children to engage in the sort of activities any healthy child would enjoy, all under professional supervision. The camp has grown from strength to strength over the past two decades with children from over twenty countries enjoying its facilities.

To cover costs, Barretstown must raise an annual sum of almost €5million and so rely heavily on fundraising and charitable donations. Last year they received a windfall of €7million from an undisclosed donor; enough to cover a year’s costs in one fell swoop. The money had been left in a will with the family of the deceased wishing to remain anonymous. Barretstown Chairman Maurice Pratt called it “a magnificent act of generosity” and said he planned to use the money to upgrade existing facilities and introduce new activities for visitors.

When Barretstown received this donation, €500,000 was left to the RSPCA in Limerick by the same donor. There was one major problem with this bequest: no such organisation exists. Faced with this issue, the solicitor of the donor passed the matter on to the Commissioners for Charitable Donations and Bequests who decided to split the money between Limerick Animal Welfare and the Limerick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Section 21 of the Charities Act states that, should a charity no longer operate, the money shall instead be passed on to the closest and most similar organisation. As there are two animal welfare charities operating in Limerick, it was considered only fair to divide the money between them.

Although the name of the donor was revealed in the mainstream media recently, we at NewsFour want to respect the deceased’s wish and will only reveal that she was a native of Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4. Thanks to her enormous gesture, the lives of many children (and animals) have been, and will continue to be, greatly improved.

By: Eric Hillis