COLERAINE'S Caring Caretaker has collected his largest amount ever despite suffering his most difficult sit-out since his fundraising began.
Davy Boyle began his Christmas sit-out at the beginning of December with just over 19,000 in the bank and finished on Christmas Eve with 49, 235.
On the very first day of his sit-out, he was forced to abandon his hut as the first of the "big snow" descended.
After that, Davy had to carry out with his sit-out in the most se-
vere temperatures witnessed.
"This year I was on the edge mentally and physically. This was
definitely the hardest year ever," he said.
"There were days when I just couldn't see, I was never dry and
my drinks kept freezing in their bottles.
"The weather was just dreadful and there was far less people in shopping in the town so I thought I would bring in a lot less money than other years.
"Also people are finding it hard these days so I was just hoping to maybe make 48,000.
"I couldn't believe it when I finished at 5pm on Christmas Eve and the total came to over 49,000.
"Over the last few days of the sit-out, people were throwing in 20s and 10s where they would normally give a fiver. Maybe it was a sympathy vote but it is much appreciated.
"At around 3.30pm on Christmas Eve, I had to leave the hut and nip into the Town Hall. I cleared the churn of money before I went in and when I came out someone had left a white envelope with a sum of money inside
and the words 'God bless you' written on it.
"If that person is reading this, I would love them to get in contact with me as I would like to thank them in person."
And the good news on Christmas Eve didn't stop there for Davy for his daughter Joanna gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 9.20pm
"She was in our house at 8.30pm leaving her other son with us before arriving at the hospital at 9pm and baby Henry Harrison Hoy was both as 9.20pm.
"That's a new brother for Rowan and a cousin for Oliver.
"I was hoping the baby would wait until I had finished my sit-out because I didn't want to have to abandon the charity sit-out."
As usual, Davy is always quick to thank everyone who helped him achieve sucn a fantastic charity total.
"I would like to thank everyone who donated money and gave me the will power to get through it, my wife Teresa, my family, Davy's Angels, The Coleraine Times, all who brought me food and tea and coffee - which
I drank by the gallon - the young people who came over to talk to me and encouraged me greatly, the PSNI for their protection, Isobel and Hamilston Houston, Lorna Wilmot, Adeline Farr, all the counters, the manager and staff of the Northern Bank for the use of the facilities, Rev Robert McMullan, Adrian and Ruth Cochrane, Una Laverty, the cafes
who donated food Pieces of Eight, Martha's House, Moores, Riverview Cafe, CT Sport for my jacket, Lynas for the freezer suit and anyone who helped in any way."
Davy's marvellous 49,000 brings his total fundraising over the years to almost 300,000.
His chosen charities - NI Chest, Heart and Stroke, Samaritans, Motor Neurone Disease, Age Concern, Cystic Fibrosis, Antrim Area Neo Natal Unit and Parkinsons Disease - will receive their cheques at a special presentation in the New Year