A WEST Cork family who buried their son last month have thanked the people of Clonakilty and beyond for contributing to a GoFundMe appeal to bring his body home from Australia.
The ‘Bring Jason Home’ appeal was set up by family friend Timothea Corcoran, following the death of Jason O’Donovan, who died suddenly in Sydney at the end of October.
Over €63,000 was raised in just a few short weeks as friends, neighbours and even strangers rallied round and contributed to the fund to bring Darrara native’s body home to his devastated family.
Speaking on behalf of O’Donovan family, Jason’s sister Elaine O’Leary told The Southern Star that while it will be a difficult Christmas for them, they would still like to thank everyone who donated to the fund and to all those who contacted them with well wishes and condolences.
‘We were overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone and we didn’t expect it to go that high so we really appreciate it that people reached out to help bring our dear brother home,’ said Elaine.
‘It certainly gave us comfort at such a difficult time and we also want to thank all our neighbours, friends and relations who called to us and dropped in cakes and food during the funeral,’ she added.
Jason, who was 36-years- old, had been living in Australia since 2007, and had only recently acquired Australian citizenship. He hadn’t been home in two years and the pandemic put paid to his plans to come home last Christmas.
‘He was living in Sydney and enjoying life there and loved his sport and was playing with a local football team, Cooks Rivers Titans FC, who not only raised €1,500 to go towards the GoFundMe appeal but have also erected a memorial to him on their grounds, which is a wonderful tribute to him.’
The fact that his dad John Joe and mum Ann along with his six siblings – Elaine, Shirley, Stephen, Alan, Christopher, Megan – were able to bring Jason back to Darrara to be buried there was of huge relief to them at such a difficult time.
‘This was all made possible with the help of Colin Bell from the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust and Dean from Manning’s Funeral Home in Sydney and Charles O’Sullivan’s funeral home here in Clonakilty who were all great and organised bringing Jason home.’
Elaine added that the funds not used in the GoFundMe appeal will be going to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust which helps to alleviate the financial hardship for bereaved families repatriating the body of loved ones who have died abroad in sudden or tragic circumstances.
‘This will help other families who find themselves in that awful situation and it will help the legacy of Jason. The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust have been amazing to us and the work they do is incredible.’
Elaine also thanked Timothea Corcoran for her help with the appeal.
‘This was something new to us, but she lead it and looked after it for us, and kept people updated on the progress of the appeal, which is now closed after raising an incredible €63,715. All we can say is thank you for your generosity.’