A wild salmon caught in Cork Harbour last week ended up netting a tasty chunk of cash for charity.
The Burren Smokehouse in Clare put the fish up for auction to raise funds to help equip the new cystic fibrosis isolation unit at University Hospital Limerick.
Within hours, the bids had tipped the €1,000 mark.
Smokehouse owner Birgitta Hedin-Curtin said: “The salmon was caught in Cork Harbour by local fishermen Anthony and Simon Quilligan.
“As the bids are streaming in on eBay, we extended the sale to Monday next, May 23.”
The salmon has a regular retail value of €350.
Last year, at the age of 23, Katie Drennan, whose father Eugene is a personal friend of Birgitta, lost her life to cystic fibrosis.
The remarkable young Ennis girl and her family had been among the flag-bearers in a campaign to raise €5.2m in order to develop the state-of-the-art, purpose-built unit at University Hospital Limerick for cystic fibrosis sufferers.
Now they have established a charity in Katie’s name, Truck Run 4 Katie, which is raising the money needed for kitting out the new facility.
The charity’s first major event was a truck run last year, when more than 500 trucks travelled in convoy around North Clare.
Katie’s brother Jordan also has cystic fibrosis and lives day-by-day with oxygen support as he awaits a lung transplant.
Birgitta said: “Everyone who met Katie or knew of her was struck by her courage and spark.
“She was a remarkable young woman and made an unforgettable and instant impact.
“It is so hard to believe that a girl so brave and so fantastic has passed.
“It is so hard on her family but they are carrying on her work.
“Katie touched a lot of people and many are doing fundraisers in her honour to support her charity.”
“We came up with this idea to auction the first smoked salmon of the season from our smokehouse and we are getting a great response.
“With €1,000 already bid, we believe there’s a lot more in it. By the time we’re finished, it will be a very expensive piece of wild salmon, but the most special one we’ve ever had, because of the cause.”
“Last year we gave our first smoked salmon to Prince Charles when he visited the region, and that was a privilege.
“But this year tops that because Katie was and still is a real star.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved