An Irish couple who is raffling their holiday home in Foxford, Co Mayo to raise money for frontline staff is delighted to have raised more than €800k ahead of the drawing that is set to take place on Friday, August 28.

The couple, known only by their first names Patrick and Joan, launched the raffle back in June as a way to raise money for frontline staff after they both overcame COVID-19. Each entry is only €10, and the couple recently told the Irish Independent that they have so far raised more than €800,000.

Read More: COVID-19 survivors put a dream Irish cottage up for auction

On the site for the raffle, the couple said: “The cottage is up for raffle for the people who brought Ireland through the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

“Both of us had the virus and we were extremely lucky to have survived. It took enormous courage to do what these front-liners did every day, going into work, knowing they could be infected at any time. We want to acknowledge what they did and the money raised is simply a gesture, they can never be thanked enough for supporting the people and the country in its time of need. Other people in other countries did similar work.”

Joan, who worked in healthcare throughout her career but is now retired, told the Irish Independent that she "can only marvel" at the "strength and conviction" of the frontline staff who "kept the hospital ticking over."

"I admire them so much, turning in every day, knowing the risks that they were taking for themselves and their families," Joan said. "These are the people we are raffling the cottage for."

Of the property in Co Mayo, Patrick says: "It's a magical place. It's peaceful and relaxing, and I hope whoever gets it will experience the same kind of joy we did while there."

He added: "We had hoped to raise about €100,000 before the raffle on Friday (August 28th), but to have done this well is wonderful.

"And it has been hugely moving to hear from the workers themselves. We have received emails and good wishes from people all over Ireland."

The couple says that the funds raised will be managed and administered by a Dublin-based accountant, John O’Sullivan. 

“We expect the monies to be distributed to reward hospital kitchen staff, porters, orderlies, and cleaners,” the couple says.

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About the cottage

Patrick and Joan say their Irish holiday cottage is nestled under the Ox Mountains on the banks of the Yellow River near Foxford in Co Mayo in an area that's world-famous for its fishing.

The cottage is perfect for remote working as it has Internet and satellite TV, as well as mains water and electricity. As for the neighbors, Patrick and Joan say they're "the kind of people you would want for neighbours wherever you live."

The couple notes that there is a stove in the cottage and the winner of the raffle will have the rights to go and cut their own turf, also known as peat, in the communal bogland. 

"When you are burning peat, it scents the air outside with an aroma that is distinctly Irish," Patrick and Joan say, who say there is also background heating to keep the cottage warm and dry throughout the winter.

There are several newly-roofed outhouses and the property has two paved patio areas to the front and rear.

The property also features a meditation pod, that was transformed after the pump house was no longer needed. "It can fit two, if you know each other well," the couple says. "The only sound is occasional birdsong sitting on the hum of the river passing by."

The cottage is move-in ready with basic furniture, an electric stove, a fridge, and a complete range of cooking implements and tableware.

The nearby area "is wonderful and full of history." 

The winner of the raffle will be drawn on Friday, August 28. Learn more here.

Read More: Irish cottage raffle in support of healthcare workers raises more than €500k so far