The family of Patrick and Ciera Grimley – who died after a collision near Markethill – have expressed their heartfelt gratitude after an appeal to raise money for their three children topped £230,000.
The GoFundMe page – originally with a target of £10,000 – has exceeded all expectations.
And donations are continuing to flood in just 48 hours after it was launched.
Patrick Grimley and his wife, Ciera, passed away seven days apart following a crash which occurred on the Gosford Road in Markethill in the early hours of Saturday, November 4.
Their close friend, Ciara McElvanna, who had also been out with the couple celebrating Patrick’s 40th birthday in Dundalk earlier that evening, passed away several days after the collision.
The extended Grimley family set up the GoFundMe to help support Patrick and Ciera’s three children; Tadhg, Mya and Cadhla.
Lorraine Grimley, whose husband is Patrick’s uncle, posted the fundraiser on Sunday evening.
By tonight (Tuesday), the figure was standing at in excess of £234,000.
Lorraine has taken to social media to thank everyone.
And to those who are not in a position to contribute, she is asking that they remember all affected by this tragedy as they continue to grieve.
Said Lorraine: “On behalf of the family can I thank each and everyone of you for your donations to this fund. The response has been amazing and your generosity will not be forgotten.
“We can never replace what we have lost but knowing that people care really eases the burden.
“Some people don’t like to use go fund me so please contact me if you wish to donate in another way. If you’re not in a position to donate please pray and remember all the people affected by this tragedy xo”.
Lorraine had earlier spoken to Armagh I of the impact the devastating collision had had on the family.
And she praised all in the local Madden community for coming together to show their support – a support which has extended far beyond given the generous outpouring of funding to help the family at this time.
Lorraine told us: “It’s going to to take a village to raise these children now.”
“We all live in Kilcreevy here in Madden but I don’t think the impact of what has happened has really hit us,” she said.
“People were approaching me to see what we could do for the children and that’s where the GoFundMe has come from; people just want to help as much as they can.”
The devastation of the crash has been unimaginable and, while the families come to terms and begin to process it all, Lorraine says there will never be any words that will describe the pain they’ve had to endure.
“We’ll never forget getting that phone call,” recalled Lorraine, who spoke of the grief which had been mixed with hope, that those fighting for their lives, would pull through, only for that flicker to fade.
“As adults we can’t comprehend what has happened, so how are these children meant to comprehend this?”
The online fundraiser carries a poignant last family photograph; one of a smiling family – Ciera and Patrick, delighted at a surprise visit from their three children that evening; the pair equally as chuffed – just hours before their lives would change forever.
Said Lorraine: “There are no words. They did everything right that night. They went for a night out and got a taxi home. They sent the children home early to be safe and they got a taxi bus with their friends. It was the right thing to do but, all of a sudden, they’re gone!
“The three wee children without their parents; that photograph was taken that night of the accident. That was a photograph they took in Dundalk and the smiling faces. The children were so happy because they had surprised Patrick; he didn’t know they would be going. The six friends were out and the children gathered around Patrick to surprise him,; it’s just so unfair how it ended.”
The GoFundMe has been magnificently supported in such a short time and Lorraine says it has been overwhelming.
There will be more fundraisers ahead with the Madden club at the centre.
“It’s going to take the village to get these children up. Madden is a brilliant community anyway, no matter what, they will be on hand to help.”
You can support the Grimley family by visiting the GoFundMe page here.