PICS: Dragons' Den star to auction off this dream house on the Aran Islands for two homeless charities 3 years ago

PICS: Dragons' Den star to auction off this dream house on the Aran Islands for two homeless charities

A fantastic gesture.

Barry O’Sullivan, businessman and star of Dragons’ Den on RTÉ, is to auction off his dream house on the Aran Islands to raise money for two homeless charities, Focus Ireland and COPE Galway.

A stunning 6-bed property on Inis Mór which enjoys magnificent views of Kilmurvey beach and the Atlantic Ocean, it will go up for auction on December 16 with O’Donnellan & Joyce Auctioneers in their Wild Atlantic Way Christmas Property Auction at 2pm in the Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway.

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The property is guiding with a minimum value of €300,000 but the charities are hopeful that it will raise even more, given the spirit of generosity associated with this gift, coupled with the highest ever levels of need for housing for people experiencing homelessness in Ireland this Christmas.

News of the gesture by O’Sullivan, who was on the board of management of COPE Galway from 2009 to 2015, comes on the same day that Focus Ireland and COPE Galway announced a campaign to allow high net worth individuals to help with the homelessness crisis.

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Barry O'Sullivan (centre), pictured with Jacquie Horan of COPE Galway (left) and Sr. Stan, founder and Life President of Focus Ireland

The “Home from Home” campaign encourages people who are in a position to do so, to donate properties or funds to support the provision of homes to the homeless. Every €20,000 each organisation receives can be leveraged to purchase or refurbish a home (through borrowing and other government funding schemes).

It is hoped that the sale of O’Sullivan’s property will provide Focus Ireland and COPE Galway with the deposits to purchase at least 15 homes for families who are homeless and possibly even more depending on the final sale of the property.

Family homelessness in Ireland is at record levels with over 1,200 families and 2,400 children facing Christmas in emergency homeless accommodation. Focus Ireland is the lead homeless organisation working with families in Dublin, while COPE Galway works with homeless families and individuals in Galway City & County.

Commenting on his generous gesture, O’Sullivan said: “I know from my work with COPE Galway the terrible trauma families who are homeless go through. I also know charities like Focus Ireland and COPE Galway help many families and individuals to secure a home and escape from being homeless. I am happy to be in a position to sell this house and donate the proceeds to the Home from Home program.”

Anybody wishing to donate to the Home from Home program should contact Focus Ireland or COPE Galway.