‘I wanted to help. Hopefully, the money will help them out’

Great gesture: Ian O’Connell with his dad, Mike, presenting the cheque for €19,366 to University Hospital Kerry ICU staff, from left, Betty Murphy, Deputy General Manager, Helena Behan, Acting Director of Nursing for Critical Care and Margaret Griffin, Critical Care Nurse.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

INDOMITABLE Killarney teenager Ian O’Connell had donated close on €20,000 to help the team in the intensive care unit at University Hospital Kerry to continue their remarkable work.

Ian set up a GoFundMe page last April as a gesture of appreciation for the unit that helped save his life on two separate occasions.

He spent 10 nights in intensive care in 2017 after suffering devastating injuries in a fall from his bicycle which left him paralysed from the shoulders down when he was just age of 16-years-old.

And the gritty teenager was rushed back into the unit last October when he went into cardiac arrest due to a clot in his lung.

Ian O’Connell with Conor McGregor

“If it wasn’t for the professionalism of the nurses in ICU things could have been a lot worse. I am forever grateful for the care they gave me,” Ian told

“The care and treatment I received from all the nurses and doctors in ICU was unbelievable and they are a credit to themselves,” he added

“While we are all going through these unprecedented times, I wanted to help. Hopefully, the money raised will go into something beneficial for the unit and will help them out in some way or another”.

He has presented a cheque for an impressive €19,366 to help purchase vital equipment for the ICU.

McGregor’s generous €10,000 donation

Ian’s pal, MMA star Conor McGregor, had donated a whopping €10,000 to the fundraiser, much to the delight of the popular Killarney teenager.

Ian was chuffed to bits when he heard that the high-profile sportsman had made such a huge donation and other well-known names to contribute included model and cookbook author Rozanna Purcell and blogger Erika Fox.

Ian met McGregor in May 2018 at a fight night in Dublin and they watched the main event side by side.

The previous night Ian was on the Late Late Show and he told host Ryan Tubridy that McGregor was his hero, not knowing that he was to have such a personal encounter with the multi-millionaire star less than 24 hours later.

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