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Laois Woman Leaves €30m To Cha...

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Laois Woman Leaves €30m To Charity

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The Irish Cancer Society says it is 'deeply grateful' after it received a €6m donation in a 93-year-old woman's will.

Elizabeth O'Kelly from Stradbally in Co Laois left a total of €30m euro to five charities after she died in December 2016.

Mrs O'Kelly was a shareholder in Clylim Properties, she also made million from the sale of the Leinster Leader newspaper in 2005.

The Irish Cancer Society says it's the single largest donation they've ever received and is the equivalent of two annual Daffodil Days.

In a statement it said: "We are deeply grateful to Mrs Elizabeth O’Kelly for generously remembering people with cancer in her will. Her generosity will provide hope to so many people affected by cancer and deliver improvements in cancer care that would have been impossible otherwise.

"Mrs O’Kelly, who most recently lived in Stradbally, Co. Laois, was known for displaying great kindness towards her friends and being charitable in supporting those in need. This tremendous kindness and generosity is reflected in her decision to leave equal amounts in her will to five charities."

They added that Mrs O’Kelly successfully battled cancer in the 1980s.

"She knew first-hand the challenges cancer patients face and the positive difference the Irish Cancer Society makes to them in their time of need."

"A major impact"

The Irish Society for Autism also said it was the largest single donation it received to date.

Deputy executive director Tara Matthews said: "We are greatly appreciative of Mrs O’Kelly’s enormously generous donation. A contribution of this size will have a major impact on the society’s work and help to progress the understanding of autism within Ireland.

"Equipped with knowledge and training, we can all make a significant impact in helping improve the lives of those with autism and their families."

The society said the money will be used to promote awareness of autism, assist research efforts and train those in contact with people with autism.

Meanwhile, Mark Murphy, CEO of the Irish Kidney Association, said its donation was 25-times the group's previous biggest donation.

He said: "In our wildest dreams we never expected that such generosity would come our way - it represents about four years turnover to us.

"We have a great responsibility now to spend it on behalf of kidney patients throughout the country... It advances the plight of kidney patients tremendously."

RNLI file photo

And the RNLI said it was "deeply grateful and humbled" by the generosity of Mrs O'Kelly.

The charity said: "Mrs O'Kelly... was a long-standing supporter of the RNLI.

"She held a high regard for the volunteer work carried out by the charity which appealed to her ethos and she herself for many years, volunteered her time to help out at an RNLI stall at the RDS in Dublin.

"Throughout her life, she displayed great kindness towards her many friends and was most charitable in supporting those in need.

"This has been reflected in her generous decision to bequest the funds to five charities."

Additional reporting: Stephen McNeice and Jack Quann


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