Organ donor charity's thanks as heartbroken Clarkes pledge help
RESTAURATEURS Sallyanne and Derry Clarke will use their son's death to highlight a little known organ donation charity.
The family and friends of Andrew Clarke (16) will gather this evening to remember the young car fanatic, who was killed in a Christmas accident while working at his home.
Instead of funeral flowers his parents have asked mourners to make a donation to Strange Boat Donor Foundation, a charity set up to support the families of organ donors.
Andrew died when a car he was working underneath in the driveway of the family home collapsed on him.
His family donated his heart, lungs, liver and kidneys for life-saving transplant operations.
Andrew's removal takes place tonight to The Boys' Chapel at Clongowes Wood College and his funeral takes place to Mount Jerome Cemetery after 11am Mass tomorrow.
Martina Goggins of the Strange Boat foundation said of the Clarke's gesture: "It was lovely that they contacted us".
Martina and her husband Denis set up the foundation after their son Eamonn died in a road crash in 2006 and the family donated his organs.
"We set up the organisation to promote organ donation and to give support to families of organ donors.
"In our experience organ donation is often the one ray of light for families at the time. It's the only thing that helps you make any sense of anything."
At the moment, all donations to Strange Boat are going towards a commemorative garden for all organ donors which is being set up in Galway and which the foundation hopes to open by the end of this year.
"We have been allocated a spot in a beautiful part of the park on the seafront at Salthill for the garden," said Martina.
"Called Circle of Life, this garden, the first of its kind in Ireland, will reflect the spirit of giving; the enduring legacy which defines the lives of all donors.
"It will be a place of sanctuary and reflection and will extend a welcome to everyone. It will not have names but instead a stone from every county will be incorporated into the garden to represent donors from all over the country."
Martina said the garden, which is being created in consultation with Galway City Council, would also have many sculptural pieces and uplifting inscriptions.
Andrew, a student at Clongowes Wood College, was a car enthusiast and often attended race meetings with his father, the Michelin star-winning chef who runs the L'Ecrivain restaurant on Dublin's Baggot Street.
The teenager was discovered by his mother Sallyanne when she returned to the family home at Crooksling at the foot of the Dublin Mountains.
Sallyanne in a statement said: "Our darling, wonderful son Andrew has passed on.
"We are very proud to say that Andrew is donating his heart, lungs and liver, and both kidneys to help others."