Video: Rory McIlroy pledges £1 million to charity helping children with cancer

The Cancer Fund for Children as today announced plans to open a new therapeutic short break centre in Co Mayo similar to the facility in Newcastle Co. Down

RORY McIlroy has pledged more than £1 million towards a new therapeutic short break centre for children with cancer.

The four-time Major winner has donated the money to the Cancer Fund for Children to help build the facility in Co Mayo.

The purpose-built complex, which will cost €13.5m (£11.9m) to build and run over three years, will be modelled upon and named after the charity’s existing therapeutic centre, Daisy Lodge in Newcastle, Co Down.

It is part of the charity's plans to roll out its specialist services across Ireland to support more families facing a devastating diagnosis of childhood cancer.

Since opening in 2014, Daisy Lodge has accommodated more than 1,000 families from across Ireland living with a diagnosis of childhood cancer, providing them with specialist therapeutic support and a chance to relax and spend quality time together in a unique, purpose-built, peaceful environment.

But there is a waiting list of more than 50 families from the Republic waiting to use the service.

The creation of a centre in Cong, Co Mayo will reduce that pressure with plans already underway to purchase a site in an area of outstanding natural beauty in line with the charity’s therapeutic remit, with hopes it will open by 2020.

The Rory Foundation, the charitable foundation of the Holywood golfer, has pledged €1.2m as part of a major donor strategy to "help turn this long-term vision into a reality".

"Having seen Daisy Lodge in Newcastle, Co Down being developed from its foundations to what it is today is amazing," said McIlroy.

"I've been back a couple of times since it opened and the facilities are exceptional.

"I have no doubt it will be the same in Co Mayo. I am honoured to be able to support a second project."

Gillian Creevy from the Cancer Fund for Children, said: "Our research shows that aside from essential medical care, support for families facing a diagnosis of childhood cancer in Ireland is scarce and fragmented.

"It has also informed our decision to locate in the province of Connacht first because it highlights an increased level of isolation experienced by families living there with parents and children having among the furthest distances to travel to their Dublin treatment hospitals and very limited access to community based specialist support services."

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