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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 10 August, 2020

Corrie debt storyline 'all too real' for Irish families with sick children

Many families are trying to make their child’s last Christmas special.

Fiz Stape and Tyrone Dobbs on Coronation Street
Fiz Stape and Tyrone Dobbs on Coronation Street
Image: ITV

AN IRISH CHARITY has warned that a storyline currently being played out on Coronation Street is a reality for many Irish families.

Character Tyrone Dobbs recently took out payday loans to cope with his family’s spiralling debt after his daughter Hope was diagnosed with cancer.

Brendan Ring is the founder of Irish charity Cliona’s Foundation, which helps families of seriously ill children with non-medical costs.

Ring said “thousands of families all over Ireland” are facing the same issue as Dobbs.

“This is not fiction, it’s fact.

If you were told that this Christmas is going to be the last Christmas you’ll spend with your child, as you’ve been given the horrendous diagnosis that ‘There’s no more we can do for your child’, well then there’s no doubt you’d do everything humanly possible to ensure that the last Christmas would be the most memorable and enjoyable – if possible – that anybody could ask for.

Cliona’s Foundation helps families with costs like travel and living expenses, and childcare.

Source: Evoke Today/YouTube

Ring said he received a call from a mother yesterday who has spent months in hospital caring for her 13-year-old daughter.

Her husband died by suicide two years ago and her daughter, unable to cope with losing her father, also tried to kill herself. She has brain damage as a result.

This lady now cares for her daughter by visiting her every single day. She is destitute and relies on prayer to get her through every day. She told me she prays for a miracle. She has no money and the bills have got out of hand, she has nowhere to turn.

“We have encountered numerous families struggling with their everyday bills and costs.”

Terry and Brendan Ring, Cliona's Foundation Terry and Brendan Ring Source: Sasko Lazarov/

Ring said some families are struggling to pay for things like food, car parking and phone credit. Recently a family used money received from Cliona’s Foundation to buy fuel to heat their home for winter.

Cliona’s Foundation was set up in 2007 by Ring and his wife Terry, following the death of their daughter Cliona from a brain tumour.

More information about the charity can be found here. You can make a donation online or by texting CLIONA to 50300 (€2 will go to the charity’s Christmas appeal. VAT may apply on some mobile networks, in which case a minimum of €1.63 goes to Cliona’s Foundation).

Read: ‘She gives the best kisses’: Temple Street kids tell us why they love their mums

Read: Balancing work and children is a constant juggle of guilt

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Órla Ryan

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