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Family first thought new house win was ‘a joke’

January 26th, 2022 7:10 AM

By Brian Moore

Joe and Eleanor Hayes from Ardfield with their children Lily and Críostóir at the three-bedroomed house in Amber Way, The Miles, Clonakilty, with Kieran O’Donovan of the #WinaGaff West Cork committee and Niall O’Sullivan, chairperson, St James’ GAA club. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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THE Hayes family from Ardfield are still not sure if they are dreaming, after they discovered this week that they have won the top prize of a new home in the ‘Win A Gaff’ draw.

Dad Joe said he thought it was ‘a joke’ when he got a call from an unknown number on his phone to tell him he had won an entire house in his local town.

Joe and his wife Eleanor are the lucky owners of the brand new, architecturally designed, family home at The Miles, in Clonakilty, worth over €300,000 after they bought a ticket from their local GAA club, St James’, for  the popular draw.

‘It’s just unbelievable,’ Joe told The Southern Star.

‘This is life-changing and the whole situation hasn’t sunk in yet, but we are just over the moon.’

Joe, who works with Daytona building contractors and Eleanor, a dairy manager with Lisavaird Co-op, bought their ticket just before Christmas.

Over the busy holiday period, the couple promptly forgot about it.

‘We actually missed the draw and when we got a call from a number I didn’t recognise, I thought it was a joke,’ Joe said.

‘Then we got a call from St James’ GAA Club and we just couldn’t believe it.’

The Win A Gaff competition was part of a fundraising initiative on behalf of three Cork clubs: Douglas GAA, St James’ GAA and Fermoy GAA.

The funds raised will go to develop facilities at each club for all age levels.

Joe, Eleanor, their sons Conor (21), Críostóir (19) and daughter Lily (11) are all delighted with their new property.

‘The number of goodwill calls and texts we’ve gotten has been incredible, the crew from Win A Gaff and from St James’ have all been fantastic,’ said Joe.

‘ We are only now beginning to come down to earth again.’

‘This is a life-changing prize and we of course want to hang on to it for the future, so we’ll be getting expert advice and then deciding what we will do.

‘We would also really like to thank everybody for all their good wishes and of course the crew at St James’. It’s just incredible,’ added a delighted Joe.

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