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Rory McIlroy donates Dubai Duty Free Irish Open winnings to children's charities through The Rory Foundation

By Jill Goligher

Rory McIlroy's charity - The Rory Foundation - has raised a total of €951,000 throughout the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, with every cent to be given to children's charities.

Barretstown, the Jack and Jill Foundation and LauraLynn Children's Hospice have all benefited from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, held at The K Club during May of this year.  Each charity will receive €317,000 to go towards specific projects.

McIlroy said: "While winning the Irish Open this year meant a lot to me, being able to give my prize money to three local charities made it all feel much more special. 

"I can think of no charities as worthy or deserving of support than Barretstown, the Jack and Jill Foundation and LauraLynn Children's Hospice.  I'm so proud of how much my Foundation raised and I'm already looking forward to new projects in 2017."

In 2015, The Rory Foundation donated £250,000 to Mencap NI, a charity that works alongside children and young people with a learning disability and their families.

Barry Funston, Chief Executive of the Rory Foundation said: "Thanks to the events and initiatives that took place during the week of the Irish Open we were able to raise a huge amount of money for three very worthy charities.  Our hosting of the event really is creating a platform for positive change, raising not only money but awareness of the incredible work being done in the community. 

"It was a spectacular week and I am delighted with the amount raised.  It definitely exceeded our expectations."

Barretstown, located in Co Kildare, offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness.  The camp is supported by donations and fundraising efforts.  Thanks to the Rory Foundation, Barretstown will direct their funding towards a new dining hall at their Naas campus. 

Dee Ahearne, CEO of Barretstown praised the foundation.

She said: "Barretstown is absolutely thrilled with the amazing amount being donated by the Rory Foundation from the Irish Open.  On behalf of those children and their families, we would like to say a huge Barretstown 'Thank you' to Rory and all the team in the Foundation whose hard work behind the scenes made the Irish Open and the other events surrounding it such a success. 

"The impact this funding will have on the lives of the children with serious illness we serve will be huge.  We will be directing the funding towards Barretstown's new dining hall which is the single largest new project on site since we opened over 20 years ago.  Our dining hall is the heart of the camp and serves over 2,500 campers annually."

The Jack and Jill Foundation, also based in County Kildare, provides nursing care and support for children with severe neurological development issues.  They offer respite to the parents and families.  The money raised by the Rory Foundation will be put towards more than 19,800 hours of home nursing care. 

CEO of the Jack and Jill Foundation Jonathan Irwin said: "This €317,000 donation from the Rory Foundation is literally a gift of time to the families under our wing, with every cent being spent directly on the 280 families under our wing and funding 19,813 hours of home nursing care at €16 per hour.  This money will make a big difference. 

"What this golf and charity champion has gifted to families is time to do the 'normal' things that others take for granted, like a full night's sleep, safe in the knowledge that their sick child is being well cared for at home by one of our nurses.  Furthermore, in choosing Jack and Jill, Rory has extended a hand of friendship to our families which gives them a real boost knowing that a golf and charity champion like this is on their side." 

LauraLynn Children's Hospice, situated in Dublin, is a hospice for children with life-limiting conditions and residential care for young adults with disabilities.  They will now have enough money to provide two Clinical Nurse Specialist Salaries, auxiliary expenses and administration for over two years. 

LauraLynn Children's Hospice CEO, Sharon Morrow said: "We are so grateful to be a beneficiary of the Rory Foundation, Irish Open initiative and for the awareness it has enabled us raise about the services we provide to children with life-limiting conditions and their families.  The €317,000 donation we are receiving is beyond generous.  It will go towards the development of the LauraLynn@HOME programme, offering hands-on clinical care to children and their families in the home.  From the Board and team at LauraLynn, as well as the children and their families, we would like to wish our sincerest thanks to Rory and the Rory Foundation team, as well as those who donated during the Irish Open."

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2017 will take place at Portstewart Golf Club from July 6-9.

Tickets for the event are now on sale with a percentage of ticket sales going to the Rory Foundation.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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