Sunday 8 December 2019

Woman who left €8m to charity also left €1.5m to children

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

A woman who left €500,000 to two animal charities and another €7m to a camp for sick children also named her own children as beneficiaries in her will.

Elizabeth Burke, of Ailesbury Road, Dublin, who died in 2011, left her children Nigel and Orla €750,000 each in the will she made in December 2007.

The beneficiaries of Ms Burke's estate of €12.3m were the focus of renewed interest this week after it emerged that the Commissioners for Charitable Donations and Bequests decided that €500,000 would be split between two animal charities in Limerick, after she had left the sum to a non-existent branch of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW) and the Limerick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LSPCA) were the lucky recipients of the funds following the commissioners' decision.

Ms Burke was the former owner of Stackallan Stud in Co Meath and in her death notice in 2011 her family requested that any donations be made to the ISPCA.

She sold the 18th Century house and farm – which she ran for 30 years – in 1992 for £1.6m (€2m) in a sale hailed at the time as "the largest ever single residential property deal".


Ms Burke's will, made on December 19, 2007, showed that she also donated €500,000 to the Irish Georgian Society and left sums of €750,000 to both of her children.

Nigel Burke, who runs an internet cafe in Dublin, declined to comment on his mother's generous donations yesterday.

Orla Burke also declined to comment.

Their mother's will showed that after the bequests to her children, funeral costs and a combined donation of €1m to the animal and architecture charities, the rest of her estate was to go to Barretstown House, a charity that provides recreation activities for sick children.

It was subsequently reported that the charity – founded by Hollywood actor Paul Newman in 1994 – received €7m.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News