Sean O’Laoghaire, a storyteller from Portmagee, Co Kerry who kept many of his friends and former neighbours in Beara entertained during lockdown, said he is overwhelmed after a GoFundMe page set up to help him purchase a new home raised €9,000.
Sean moved to Beara in 2007 to take up the position of Artist in Residence for the Beara Peninsula, making the area his home for nearly 10 years. He ran community arts projects for a number of local groups and worked with patients of St Joseph’s Hospital, Castletownbere.
Returning to his native Portmagee, Sean moved into his old family home, but the property had no running water or electricity. Sean explains how he had managed to sell the house, but the sale couldn’t be completed until he had moved out, however, he had nowhere to move to.
‘I saw a mobile home for sale for €800, but when I applied for a bank loan I was turned down, so a friend suggested I start a GoFundMe page,’ he said.
Sean had originally hoped to raise €4,200 which would also enable him to install a concrete base for the mobile home and to have it connected to electricity and running water, but he was amazed when the final amount raised was €9,000.
‘I am so grateful to everyone who donated,’ he said.
Sean continues to work on a number of community arts projects. He also has a herd of 20 goats and throughout lockdown made daily videos about his life and his goats, called ‘Isn’t it Great.’
‘It was really me just talking about my life and the goats which is really just an ordinary life, but I always see the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Sean has now applied for planning permission, and hopes to install the mobile early in the new year.