Donations secure boys’ home after parents die of cancer just months apart

Four siblings whose parents died of cancer within months of each other will now be able to buy their homes thanks to an overwhelming public response at home and abroad.

Patrick (21), Jack (14), Andrew (8) and Conor Clifford (5) lost both parents to cancer in the space of five months.

The heartbreaking story left the community of Milltown, Co Kerry in disbelief that it could happen to a family in such a short time.

In May 2021, the boys’ mother, Elaine Clifford, was diagnosed with stage four cancer and died shortly after on August 28, 2021. She was just 41 and left behind her husband, Padraig Clifford, and his boys.

Then, in January this year, Padraig (46) died of cancer. The self-employed who ran a pressure washing business was well known for his charity fundraising tractor races and his love of machines.

The Clifford boys’ aunt, Mary Hayes, and their grandfather, James Clifford, launched a GoFundMe page on April 27 to raise money for the boys to buy their rented house in Milltown.

On Saturday, a statement on behalf of Ms Hayes announced that the fund had now met the target.

The family was “humbled and sincerely grateful” for the phenomenal generosity their fundraiser had received, the statement said.

The Clifford brothers: Patrick (21), Andrew (8), Jack (14) and Conor (5)

“In the space of a month, the GoFundMe page raised €379,085 thanks to donations from around the world. She exceeded all expectations and it’s hard to put the Clifford family’s gratitude into words.

“The past few months have been extremely difficult for the boys at Clifford and they could not have coped without the tremendous support of their extended family, friends and neighbours,” he said.

“They want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their comfort, support, kindness and generosity. The money raised has been put into a trust fund for the boys, this will allow Patrick, Jack, Andrew and Conor to purchase their home in Milltown and help defray future living and education costs.

“Thank you all sincerely for your generosity and kindness, this will never be forgotten,” the statement read.

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