The GoFundMe page set up in the aftermath of local man Brendan ‘Benny’ Reilly’s shock death in September is to close – having raised almost €90,000, over four times it’s initial €20,000 target.
In a message to contributors today, fund creators and Benny’s Naomh Mairtin teammates Patrick Sullivan and Carl Courtney wrote they were “blown away by the response.” The fund – still open here – will close within 24 hours. It was set up to provide support to Benny’s wife Lisa and children Saoirse, Amy and Harry.
The GoFundMe online fund was set up on September 20th and within two hours of it going live, it had raised €4,000 from 62 different donators. Now, 1,187 people have contributed to the total of €89,180 total, with the ceiling constantly being raised over the six week period of it’s duration.
Brendan, 38, died suddenly on after falling ill shortly after playing a match for club Naomh Mairtin in Ardee. The Jocks beat Ardee St Marys 5-09 to 1-10 in the Cardinal O’Donnell Cup semi-final at Pairc Muire, with Reilly playing the entire game in the half back line. He died en route home after the game.
He was laid to rest at Monasterboice Cemetery, with his funeral attended by teammates, friends, opposition players and representatives from clubs all across Louth. A former senior inter-county player, Benny turned out for local side John Mitchels before joining Naomh Mairtin. He was known as a steely and combative competitor on the field, but a true gentleman off it.
Also today, a video tribute to Benny has gone live, featuring images of him in action on the pitch as well as with family and friends. You can view the video below.