BY JACKIE KEOGH
SUCH was the response to an appeal to help a student nurse from Bantry â who was injured in a quad bike accident in Thailand on Saturday â that a fundraising website crashed for more than eight hours on Sunday.
Ciara Twomey (20), who is from Glengarriff Road in Bantry, and is a general nursing student at the Tralee Institute of Technology, sustained a serious injury to her eye as a result of the accident, which happened on Saturday.
Friends and relatives responded to the crash on the Fund & Seek website by swiftly opening a GoFundMe page and, by Wednesday, hundreds of people â including a huge number of individuals and business people in Bantry â had donated â¬71,000, almost half of the â¬150,000 target.
Local businesswoman, Jessie Hurley, who set up the accounts with Ciara's brother, Nick, also confirmed that people, who are not in the habit of donating online, have been contributing to donation boxes that have been set up in various local businesses including Jessie's Salon, DeBarra's restaurant, Coen's pharmacy, the Bantry Bay Hotel and the Brick Oven, to mention but a few.
The accident happened on the third day of what should have been the holiday of a lifetime for Ciara and her friends, and her family confirmed that she has already undergone an operation at a remote hospital in Thailand.
Ciara's mother, Taimse, and her uncle, John Cronin, flew out to Thailand on Sunday morning to be with her, said they are hoping that Ciara will be back in Ireland and under the supervision of the Irish medical system within the next four or five days. It is understood that Ciara will require further reconstructive surgery when she returns.
Anyone who would like to make a donation can log onto the GoFundMe or the Fund & Seek website and search under Ciara Twomey's name, or simply make a donation at the businesses in Bantry.
Those who have already pledged money have described Ciara as a âbeautiful, wonderfully kind, and bubbly character' and relatives have said: âWe are devastated that this has happened to our girl.'Â