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Paul Newman fan leaves €7 million to Barretstown

The Kildare charity, founded by the Hollywood legend, provides fun camps to children with serious illnesses.

A still from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
A still from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Image: AP/Press Association Images

A WEALTHY FAN of the late Hollywood actor Paul Newman has left a bequest of more than €7 million to Barretstown, an Irish charity that provides therapeutic recreation programmes for children with serious illnesses.

The organisation, founded by Newman in 1994, aims to rebuild the lives of the children who enter its Kildare campus. Its stated mission is that every child with serious illness should enjoy their childhood.

Chairman Maurice Pratt announced the major bequest yesterday, adding that the family of the “late supporter” wanted to remain anonymous.

“This is a magnificent act of generosity,” he said, “and we cannot express our gratitude strongly enough.”

Barretstown was first notified of the money earlier this year but only made the news public this weekend. The board said it will ensure the money is invested widely, saying it will go towards upgrading facilities and introducing new activities for campers.

The annual running costs of the camps are about €5 million and the interest income from the bequest “will be of great help in this regard”, said Pratt. However, he added they they will still need the help of “our many dedicated and generous supporters to raise our annual running costs to ensure that we can serve as many children affected by serious illness and their families far into the future”.

Newman modelled Barretstown on his renowned Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut.

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