Wednesday 23 August 2017

Irish record-breaking 'three twin' family mourn loss of dad Chris

Community rallying around to support mum Michelle and her brood of seven

Chris and Michelle Doyle pictured with their children in 2012 at their home in Portlaoise, Co. Laois.
Chris and Michelle Doyle pictured with their children in 2012 at their home in Portlaoise, Co. Laois.
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A LOCAL community has rallied around a grieving mum and her seven children who have recently lost their dad.

Chris and Michelle Doyle made headlines when they welcomed a third set of twins in 2012, as they beat odds of 500,000-to-one to welcome three sets of twins.

The couple were already parents to two sets of twins They were also proud parents to a big brother.

Tragically Chris (37) passed away suddenly earlier this month and a group of parents in Portlaoise have now come together to raise funds to purchase a 9-seater car for Michelle so she can easily transport her brood.

On July 15 local bands, Blessed and Soulset, will play in Kavanagh’s Pub in the town and organisers are hoping to sell 5,000 tickets.

Tickets for the event cost €5 and can be purchased in school offices, the Portlaoise Parish Centre shop or from PJ Kavanagh, owner of Kavanagh’s pub.

A bank account has also been opened for people to donate to Michelle and her family.

  • Donations can be made to any Bank of Ireland branch or online using the IBAN number IE17BOFI90188882269627.

A letter penned by organisers of the fundraiser says that Chris was “a proud and devoted father”.

“Chris did as every loving Dad does: he kissed sore knees, sat up with them when they were sick, played and laughed, helped his children navigate life’s difficulties,” the letter reads.

“He was an ever-present hands-on support: grocery shopping, school runs, helping with the bedtime routine.”

"When his eldest sons were diagnosed as having special needs, acute learning difficulties and multiple disabilities, Chris gave up work to become a full-time carer," the letter reads.

His devotion as a dad earned him the title of Ireland’s Dad of the Year in 2013.

Chris and his wife Michelle were due to renew their wedding vows in August. 

“The news of Chris’s passing sent a ripple of shock and sadness through our close-knit community. The people of Laois will rally to support this family, these children,” the group said.

“There is nothing we can do that will replace all that this family has lost, but there is so much we can do to make their lives a little easier.”

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