Dooley fundraising appeal surpasses €80k in just five days

A major fundraising drive to help the family of an inspirational Offaly father of four young children who passed away in October has raised over €80k in just five days.

The organiser of the GoFundMe appeal which was set up earlier this week to help the family of much-loved Birr father and husband, James Dooley, who sadly passed away from cancer on October 20 last, has said she is “overwhelmed” at the support.

Orla O'Malley, who set up the fundraiser, called 'Let's do it for the Dooley's” has expressed her heartfelt thanks to “each and every person” who has contributed to the fundraising appeal to date, which is well on its ways to achieving the €100,000 fundraising target set.

Since it was launched earlier this week, the fundraiser for the family of the hugely-popular stonemason has already attracted over 1.3k donations and amassed €80,000 in funding.

James Dooley, who was aged 37 when he died, and the father of four young children aged between four and nine years old, battled a rare and aggressive form of cancer over the past year before his untimely passing in October. His decision to document his brave cancer journey on his Instagram page won him legions of followers both at home and overseas, who praised him for his “openness and honestly” in the face of his devastating diagnosis.

A self-employed stonemason, he was forced to down tools when he became ill, and the GoFundMe appeal outlines how his wife, Sharon, “exhausted all of her available leave as a primary school teacher” in prioritising the care of her husband.

“This Go Fund Me was set up by friends and family and will hopefully allow Sharon to take additional time off work to help their beautiful children navigate their live without James,” the appeal states.

James and Sharon's four children, Niadh, Culann, Saoirse and Iarliath, range in age from just three years old to nine, and poignantly the family moved into their new home at Cloghanmore, Kinnitty, in recent months, which was the culmination of James's lifelong dream to build his own family home.