HEALTH: Twins raise €30,000 for Mercy Cancer Appeal

21 September 2020
By Elaine Murphy

Whether personally or through a loved one, most of us have been affected by cancer at some point in our lives. Patrick Cotter’s family lost their late father, Paddy Cotter, one of Cork’s best known and much-loved comedians (“Josie Mac” in the “Swans”) back in 1989 through cancer. The family recently experienced the difficult reality of receiving further cancer diagnoses, when both Patrick’s twin brother, Finbarr, and their sister, Mary, were diagnosed at the Mercy Hospital – within just weeks of one another.

Inspired by what they described as “outstanding, world-class care from staff at the Mercy University Hospital”, the Cotter family decided to turn this difficult time into an opportunity to raise funds for the Mercy Cancer Appeal.

On behalf of the whole family, Patrick and Finbarr took on a head shave, hoping to raise €2,000. Two months and two haircuts later, they presented a cheque for an incredible €30,014 to Mícheál Sheridan, CEO of the Mercy University Hospital Foundation.

Brian Dunphy, Board Member of the Foundation, also attended the cheque presentation and said, “We are incredibly grateful to the entire Cotter family, particularly to Patrick and Finbarr. We would also like to thank all those who have supported them along the way. These much-needed funds will go towards the Mercy Cancer Appeal, particularly towards the development of the Mercy Cancer CARE Centre. This centre will ensure that cancer patients will receive all the support they need, from providing a safe haven at the time of their initial diagnosis to one-to-one counselling and patient support groups through every stage of their cancer journey.”

Since the official cheque presentation, a further €495 has been donated through the online GoFundMe page which was set up by Patrick. This brings their current total to a phenomenal €30,509. If you would like add to this and support the Mercy Cancer Appeal, visit

“We are delighted to express our appreciation to the Mercy Hospital in a tangible way”, said Patrick. “As a family, we have a great deal to be thankful for. None of this would have been possible without the wonderful solidarity, goodwill and generosity of so many kind friends, neighbours, colleagues and wider family members. We are deeply indebted to them and to all the outstanding professionals and support staff at the Mercy who have looked after Fin and Mary like one of their own. As my Dad was fond of saying, when celebrating any achievement on the part of our family.

Pictured at the official cheque presentation were, from left, Brian Dunphy, Board Member, Mercy Hospital Foundation, Patrick Cotter, Finbarr Cotter and Mícheál Sheridan, CEO, Mercy Hospital Foundation. All funds raised will go towards the Mercy Cancer Appeal, particularly, the Mercy Cancer CARE Centre to support patients and their families through their cancer journey.

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