KT

The people open their hearts to the Clifford boys

Making a house a home: Patrick, Jack, Andrew and Conor Clifford

There has been an absolutely phenomenal response to an online appeal set up to help four young Kerry brothers who lost both their parents to cancer in a matter of months.

Up to 8.30pm this Friday night, over quarter of a million euro had been donated to the cause.

The GoFundMe appeal was launched to help the Clifford boys from Milltown to purchase the house the family had been renting prior to the devastating deaths of their mum and dad.

In May 2021 mum, Elaine, was diagnosed with stage four cancer and she passed away just three months later, two days before her 41st birthday.

Their devastated dad, Padraig (46) found it very difficult to come to terms with the loss of his soulmate and mother of his four sons and, heartbreakingly, he too was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in December of that year.

Padraig fought hard to keep his promise Elaine to look after their boys but, unfortunately, he too succumbed to the illness last January.

The late Padraig and Elaine Clifford with their four sons

It was an unthinkable double blow – in just five months – for their sons, Patrick (21), Jack (14), Andrew (eight) and five-year-old Conor who are now been cared for by relations with the support of great friends and neighbours.
The community rallied round by organising a fundraising coffee morning and other supports were put in place before a decision was taken to launch an appeal to give the boys a helping hand in life by raising funds to help them to buy the home they have been living in.

In just over a week there has been a truly astonishing reaction to the GoFundMe appeal with a whopping €256,219 already pledged, in over 8,200 donations, up to his Friday night.

People all over the country have opened their hearts to the cause and their remarkable generosity has helped to secure a place for the Clifford boys to call home as they try to get on with their lives in the house, at An Tuairín Lin in Milltown, that they shared with their beloved mum and dad.

There were harrowing scenes in Milltown last January when eldest son, Patrick, paid an emotion-charged tribute to his parents at his dad’s funeral Mass.

The late Padraig Clifford

The 21-year-old told the packed congregation in the Sacred Heart Church that he didn’t think he’d be standing on the altar again after just five months and that no words could explain the heartbreak and pain the family was experiencing.

“This all seems to be like a bad dream that we just can’t get away from,” he said.

Patrick said that in May 2021 his dad got the worst news that any husband and father could receive when Elaine was diagnosed but they were all determined to get her on the road to recovery.

“Little did we know that, five months later, he would be struck with the same news himself. He was as determined as mom to go on his own road to recovery but the road was short and he didn’t get that opportunity,” Patrick remarked.

Parish Priest, Fr Danny Broderick, assured the four Clifford brothers that they would have wonderful people around them to take care of them.

“Mind yourselves and they will mind you too,” he said.

And so it came to pass.

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