A CLARE community have rallied together to raise funds for a former county councillor whose family home went up in flames last Christmas. The Clarecastle home of former Fianna Fáil representative Bernard ‘Bomber’ Hanrahan was destroyed on the night of December 27. Fortunately Bernard managed to escape the blaze when he was alerted to the danger by his dog Daisy.
However the fire destroyed the house in Barntick which has been in the Hanrahan family for generations. Now in an effort to help rebuild the family home a fundraising appeal has been launched. The United for The Bomber and Daisy campaign is aiming to raise €30,000, with close to €5,000 of that target raised just one day after the GoFundMe page went live.
Organiser of the campaign Seamus Sullivan stated, “While insurance will go some way towards replacing the physical infrastructure, a lifetime of memories and mementos have been lost in the flames. Bernard Hanrahan is known far and wide as a great community man who has given of his time for so many causes. “Bomber” as he is affectionately known was, and is, always there to give to others both as a county councillor and community activist, and now so many have expressed the desire to help him. This appeal will allow all his friends to rally round and show solidarity with a very generous community man. This GoFundMe is being organised to help bridge the inevitable shortfall in the insurance, and to assist him in replacing what was lost, in so far as it is possible to do so.”
He continued, “While our emotional support is a comfort to the Hanrahan family, financial assistance is needed as well to cover the unexpected expenses that will not be covered by insurance.”
Despite the loss of his cherished home, Bernard is conscious of how fortunate he was to have escaped the fire. He told The Clare Champion shortly afterwards, “I was lucky to get out. Daisy is the one who saved me. Only for her I mightn’t have woken up at all and I know that an awful lot of people tragically don’t survive if their house goes on fire.”
Now staying with his daughter Rhona, the long-time community activist, is counting his blessings, while aware of the memories he has lost. “There was lots and lots of memorabilia connected to my mother and father and all of that has been lost,” he said. “My late wife, Margaret, would have helped me to build that up over the years. I was born and raised in that house and it was my home for around 70 years.”
A dedicated United for The Bomber and Daisy Facebook page and a website, www.unitedforbomber.wordpress.com, with details of the fundraiser and links to the GoFundMe page have also been launched by the campaign.