Dragons’ Den star to sell Aran Islands home to help people escape homelessness

Dragons’ Den star to sell Aran Islands home to help people escape homelessness

Dragons’ Den businessman Barry O’Sullivan is selling a dream home on the Aran Islands and donating the proceeds to help families escape homelessness.

The sale will provide Focus Ireland and COPE Galway with the deposits to purchase at least 15 homes for families who are homeless.

Focus Ireland and COPE Galway announced a campaign to allow high net worth individuals to help with the homelessness crisis.

The ‘Home from Home’ campaign encourages people who are in a position to do so, to donate properties or funds to support the provision of homes to the homeless.

Every €20,000 each organisation receives can be leveraged to purchase or refurbish a home (through borrowing and other government funding schemes).

The result will be that O’Sullivan’s very generous gift from the proceeds of one house will help to deliver homes for up to 15 families or individuals who are currently homeless.

This could be even more depending on the final sale value of O’Sullivan’s property. The house he is putting up for auction is a stunning six bed property which enjoys magnificent views of Kilmurvey beach and the wild Atlantic on Inishmore.

The house is going to auction on December 16 with O’Donnellan & Joyce Auctioneers in their Wild Atlantic Way Christmas Property Auction at 2pm in the Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway.

The property is guiding with a minimum value of €300,000 however both charities are hopeful that it will raise even more.

“I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Barry and his family for this really lovely gift,” says Focus Ireland’s Life President and Founder Sr. Stan. “I thank him not only on behalf of Focus Ireland but on behalf of the families who will have a place to call home because of this great act.”

She added: “It is vital that both Focus Ireland and COPE Galway have programs like “Home from Home” in place that enable donations such as this to be leveraged with other funds to provide much needed housing. Large donors often want to get involved but may be thinking: ‘What can I do to really help?’ Well this is a perfect example of how such a donation will help both our charities to deliver homes for families and their children to escape the trauma of being homeless.”

CEO of COPE Galway Jacquie Horan says that the numbers of people facing homelessness in Galway is the worst she can remember in her 20 years with COPE Galway – and the biggest challenge now is getting access to housing.

“So the value of this house in providing a further 15 or more houses for homeless people is amazing,” she said. Maybe it might even plant a seed for other such donations.”

It is for this reason that both charities encouraged O’Sullivan to go public with his donation. It is hoped that this will raise the profile of the property, and encourage others who may be in a similar position to consider doing something similar.

The generous act by the international businessman comes as family homelessness is at record levels with over 1,200 families and 2,400 children facing Christmas in emergency homeless accommodation.

Barry O’Sullivan has been on the board of management of COPE Galway from 2009 to 2015.

“I know from my work with COPE Galway the terrible trauma families who are homeless go through,” he said.

“I also know charities like Focus Ireland and COPE Galway help many families and individuals to secure a home and escape from being homeless. I am happy to be in a position to sell this house and donate the proceeds to the Home from Home program.”

You can view the property here.

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