'The benefits of her legacy will be felt' – Irish Kidney Association thanks Elizabeth O’Kelly for €6m donation

The Board of the Irish Kidney Association has expressed its gratitude to the late Ms Elizabeth O’Kelly for the largest single bequest in the 40 year history of the Association.

Ms O’Kelly died in December 2016, but left €30m in her will to five different charities, each receiving €6m.

She was a shareholder in Clylim Properties, which has extensive property interests in Dublin, and it was reported she made around €30m from the sale of the ‘Leinster Leader’ Ltd in 2005.

The five charities are the Irish Cancer Society; Irish Heart Foundation; Irish Kidney Association; the Irish Society for Autistic Children; and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute Ireland in Airside, Swords, Dublin.

“Ms O’Kelly’s bequest will enable the Association to pursue new projects that have previously been out of reach and to fund further developments into renal disease and treatments. Her generosity will make a huge difference to those living with and affected by kidney disease in Ireland”, the Irish Kidney Association said in a statement this evening.

This year the Irish Kidney Association is marking 40 years since its establishment. It serves people living with, and affected by, kidney failure.

“With the extremely generous bequest received from the late Ms Elizabeth O’Kelly she has given us the opportunity to consider delivering projects that were previously aspirational. It is our responsibility to ensure that the benefits of her legacy will be felt by people living with, and affected by, kidney failure for many years to come.”

“The Board of the IKA has been discussing how to make a real difference with the unprecedented opportunity afforded to us through Ms O’Kelly’s bequest. This has involved reviewing what we do now and what are the needs going forward.”

The association currently offers services such as advocacy, counselling, patient aid, facilitating holidays for people on dialysis, promoting positive health through sport and providing the Renal Support Centre in the grounds of Beaumont hospital.

“With the continued support of our members and supporters in funding the delivery of existing services, the Association will be able to use Mrs. O’Kelly’s bequest to deliver on plans for new and enhanced services. For example, we have already purchased a house next to Cork University Hospital that we will convert to an accommodation facility for patients and family members when they have appointments or admissions – similar to the services currently provided through our Renal Support Centre in Dublin for people attending Beaumont Hospital.

“We are also now in a position to deliver a dialysis unit next to our holiday facility in Tramore which, with HSE cooperation, will open up the opportunity for increased holiday dialysis. Most dialysis patients are totally restricted to their local dialysis treatment centre making it difficult for them travel due to shortage of national dialysis capacity.”

“We have also agreed to financially support research through the Irish Nephrology Society – as aspect of the work of the Association that we have not be able to fund for a considerable period.

“Through Ms. O’Kelly’s thoughtfulness we can look forward to being able to deliver enhanced services to our members and the wider renal community. Her legacy will greatly ease the burden on those affected by renal illness for years to come. For this we express our deepest gratitude.”

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