€30k raised in 24 hours to bring home Irishman killed in Canada car crash
A fundraiser page set up to help bring home the remains of an Irish father-of-two who was killed in a car crash has raised almost €30,000 in less than 24 hours.
Sean Maher, from Ballinglen, Co Wicklow, tragically died in Calgary, Canada on Sunday after his car slipped on ice and collided with a barrier.
Sean, who was described as a "gentle giant" by friends, emigrated to Canada with his partner Leane years ago but planned to return home to Wicklow so his twin boys could start primary school.
Family friend Eimear O Neill set up a GoFundMe page to support Sean's partner Leane and their four-year-old twin sons as they make arrangements to return back to Ireland for his funeral.
"Sean was a loving partner and father of twin boys. The money will go directly to the family and will help them cover costs such as flights to and from Ireland, wage loss and funeral costs," she said.
"Your donations are overwhelmingly generous. I cannot thank you enough."
So far, the page has raised $39,530 (€28,546).
Speaking to Independent.ie on Monday, Sean's sister Sandra said her family were devastated by the loss.
"We don't have many family members, there's just a few of us. Sean meant the world to us all.
"He was having breakfast with Leane and the boys and he went out to get more milk. He told Leane he would be back in a few minutes but his car slipped on ice and his car collided with a barrier. It was devastating, absolutely devastating," she added.
Tributes have been pouring in for the 39-year-old since the news of his death broke.
PRO of his local GAA club in Wicklow, Adam Nolan, praised him for being "unbelievably nice and witty".
"He was always the heart and soul of any craic. He was always up for a good session after a football match.
"He had a mighty big long kick, as some of the old characters in the club would say," he added.
The family are hoping to raise $45,000 in total.