Dragons' Den star selling his Aran Islands house to help homeless

The sale of Barry O'Sullivan's holiday home should help at least 15 families get a place of their own...

Dragons' Den star selling his Aran Islands house to help homeless

Jacquie Horan, CEO COPE Galway, Barry O’Sullivan CEO of Altocloud and Dragon from Dragons Den , Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, Founder and Life President of Focus Ireland

Irish tech investor and Dragons' Den star Barry O'Sullivan is putting his Inis Mór abode up for auction this festive season, with all of the proceeds going to homeless charities Cope Galway and Focus Ireland. 

The six-bed property will go for a minimum value of €300,000 on December 16th. O'Sullivan is a former Cope Galway board member.

The auction is part of the newly-launched 'Home From Home' campaign, which encourages better-off members of society 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).

The sale will provide Focus Ireland and Cope Galway with the deposits to purchase at least 15 homes for families who are homeless. This figure could rise depending on the final price. Every €20,000 each organisation receives can be leveraged to purchase and refurbish one home. The balance of the purchase price will come through borrowing and government funding schemes.

Commenting on the generous act, Focus Ireland founder Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy said:

“I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Barry and his family for this really lovely gift.  I thank him not only on behalf of Focus Ireland but on behalf of the families who will have a place to call home because of this great act.”

Kennedy added:

“It is vital that both Focus Ireland and Cope Galway have programmes like 'Home From Home' in place that enable donations such as this to be leveraged with other funds to provide much needed housing.  Large donors often want to get involved but may be thinking: ‘What can I do to really help?’

"Well this is a perfect example of how such a donation will help both our charities to deliver homes for families and their children to escape the trauma of being homeless.”

Family homelessness is at record levels with over 1,200 families and 2,400 children facing Christmas in emergency homeless accommodation.

Cope Galway CEO Jacquie Horan has said that the numbers of people facing homelessness in Galway is the worst she can remember in her 20 years with the organisation:

"So the value of this house in providing a further 15 or more houses for homeless people is amazing. Maybe it might even plant a seed for other such donations.”

It is for this reason that both charities encouraged the Altocloud CEO to go public with his donation.

The house is going to auction on December 16th with O’Donnellan & Joyce Auctioneers in their 'Wild Atlantic Way Christmas Property Auction' at 2pm in the Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway.