Comedian Tara Flynn 'can't accept' €8k raised to fund holiday following repeal campaign
Comedian and Repeal the Eighth campaigner Tara Flynn says nearly €8,000 in donations to an online campaign to fund a holiday will be refunded as she “can’t accept” the money.
Twitter user Shauna Scott set up a GoFundMe drive to pay for a holiday for Ms Flynn because "she’s worked so hard so that Irish women can stay in Ireland".
The campaign raised €7,812 before it was deactivated following criticism and is no longer receiving donations.
Ms Flynn responded to the backlash on Twitter, saying: "Someone tried to do something nice for me. Thanks for trying. But because other people need it more - and they should - I think, I’m not going to be able to accept.
"It has broken my heart that the lovely and well-intentioned GoFundMe has been attacked. I want to thank everyone who donated but I definitely can’t accept it now. As it’s not my money and never was, I can’t in reality redistribute it to one charity without donors’ permission."
Ms Flynn asked for people to instead give their donations to Abortion Support Network or the Alzheimer’s Society.
"So here’s what I’ve asked the organisers to do. They will refund the money. Then they are free to donate to that other crowdfund if they choose. I always try to support @AbortionSupport or @alzheimerssoc if I have spare coins. It’s not money and is up to them," she wrote.
The Irish comedian has been a strong leader of the Repeal the Eighth movement since 2006 when she wrote a play on the tolling experience of travelling for an abortion. It was titled 'Not a Funny Word'.
In 2015, she shared her personal story at Electric Picnic of her travels to the Netherlands for an abortion after a crisis pregnancy.
Ms Flynn said she was "touched" by the donations and “gutted” for the backlash of donators' good intentions.
"If they still want to hold on to a few quid and buy me a drink when they see me, I certainly won’t say no. I was really touched by all the generosity and I’m gutted to see it dragged like this.”
The campaigner and playwright said while the past few years have been “huge” she will be taking some time out to herself.
"I’m not very well at the moment, it’s been a huge three years, to be honest. Now I have to try and take some time and rebuild my work and my life. Again, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. But I’m not in a position to say any more on this. Thank you."