AN Irish couple raffling their holiday home and donating all proceeds to frontline healthcare workers have sold over €250,000 in tickets.
In an extraordinary gesture of goodwill, the retirees decided to donate their adored rural escape after both battling the coronavirus.
The cottage, nestled under the Ox Mountains and lying along the banks of the Yellow River, in Askillaun, Foxford, Co Mayo, could be yours for just €10.
The couple, Patrick - a retired businessman - and Joan - a doctor – who wish to remain anonymous, say they are thrilled with the response.
“People are entering from all over the world. It’s phenomenal. Already €250,000 worth of tickets were bought.
"Lots of people are buying 25 sets of tickets in one go.
“We have been contacted from Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, North Carolina, France, Italy and the UK, “ said Patrick.
“We had hoped to raise about €100,000 before the raffle on August 28th but to have done so well at this stage is wonderful."
Patrick, who is still recovering from the lingering effects of the virus, says they are now spending up to ten hours a day answering emails and queries from all over the world.
“We knew there would certainly be interest but we couldn’t have even hoped for this.
“There is a lot of administration involved so we might hire an assistant to help us through all the queries.”
All of the funds raised by the raffle will go to non-professional hospital workers -porters, cleaners and kitchen staff- at the front line of the pandemic, who took the same risk as doctors and nurses.
Joan, who throughout her career worked in Irish hospitals, explained why the couple came to the decision.
"Having seen what the virus was like with my husband, who is very lucky to be alive, I can only marvel at their strength and conviction.
“Having worked in hospitals most of my working life I always thought the support staff should get more.
"They were always cheerful, hard-working and reliable and kept the hospital ticking over," she added.
"I admire them so much, turning in every day, knowing the risks that they were taking for themselves and their families.
"These are the people we are raffling the cottage for."
Joan and Patrick believe their rural retreat located in a picturesque corner of Mayo has something to offer everyone.
"We used to go to the cottage in Mayo, for holidays. It is a beautiful, peaceful place and once you go there, it is hard to leave.
"We did a lot of work on it in 2015, 2016 and made it more comfortable and modern.
“It lies on the raised bank of the Yellow River that flows down and joins the River Moy which is world-famous for Salmon fishing.
“And the neighbours are the kind of people you would want for neighbours wherever you live.
“ And if you need to work remotely the cottage is fully services with for internet and satellite TV.”
To be in with a chance to win the enter here: https://rafflecreator.com/pages/38253/a-cottage-in-ireland-for-%E2%82%AC10