Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2024
maddie and shane

A Kerry lad has set up a fundraising page so he can visit his American girlfriend

This is the romance of the decade. We’re not even joking.

MEET YOUNG LOVES Shane Leahy and Maddie Walsh.


Shane (17) is from Dingle and Maddie (18) is from Boston – they met “over the ice cream freezer in Garvey’s Supervalu” while Maddie was visiting family in Kerry last year, and spent four days exploring Dingle and getting to know each other.

When Maddie left they thought they would never see each other again, but they kept in touch, and Shane ended up flying out to Boston in February.

Speaking to Radio Kerry, Maddie said that the time they spent together there made her “fall even more in love with him” and saying goodbye was extremely hard.


However, pricey airfares and the thousands of miles between them means that seeing each other is very difficult – so they’ve decided to appeal to the public to help keep their love alive.

Maddie has set up a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of Shane’s flight over to her this summer, saying:

Shane and I both work a lot during the school year and the summer, so we understand the value of hard work and earning money, but between this and saving before we leave for college, it seems near impossible that we can make this summer work.

“We’ve already talked about what will happen when we both go to college next year,” Maddie told Radio Kerry’s Deirdre Walsh. “Shane is talking about getting a J1 visa so he can come and work here.”

The fundraising page has raised a whopping $1,050 in just four days, exceeding their target and securing Shane a flight to Boston in the summer.


Donors have been leaving messages of support for the couple on the page, with this particular note catching our eye:

I’m 61 and in love with a new lady in my life! I know how you guys feel! Good luck!!

Hear that? That was the sound of hearts all over the world melting. Good luck, you crazy kids.

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