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Big-hearted Tina truly is one in a million

Tina O'Gorman with Stephen Custy Price, who had a life-saving heart operation.

A MOTHER of six is within touching distance of collecting €1m for charity after 34 years spent fundraising.

Tina O'Gorman from Pineview Gardens, Moyross, Limerick, is just €18,000 shy of the landmark seven-figure sum.

Speaking from her home on the northside of Limerick, Ms O'Gorman said she is hoping to break the €1m barrier within her next three fundraisers.

And she has plans to ask one of the country's most generous philanthropists to match her achievement.

"Somebody asked me would I ask JP McManus for the €18,000. I said no -- when I raise the million, I'll ask him to match it," Ms O'Gorman said.

Ms O'Gorman has six children aged from 22 to 32 and seven grandchildren.

Asked where she finds the time for the fundraising outside of her family life, she replied: "I think I'm running on Duracell batteries at this stage."

Over the coming months, Ms O'Gorman will be fundraising in Limerick for 'Friends of the Elderly', the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes and the oncology unit at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital.

Each time she begins a collection, Ms O'Gorman applies for a permit from gardai, who have a record of all of her collections.

"What gives me the greatest satisfaction is the joy on the people's faces that you have just helped. It is very heart-warming," Ms O'Gorman said.

"The biggest highlight for me was little Stephen Custy Price, who had holes in his heart and we helped him out for an operation.

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"He survived, grew up and years later came to me with a chocolate heart and said 'this is for the heart you gave me'. It was very emotional," Ms O'Gorman said.

Jude Meaney, who has known Ms O'Gorman for 18 years, said: "She is to Moyross what Mother Teresa was to Calcutta."

"This lady has made such a difference to people's lives, as well as being instrumental in saving people's lives."

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