Blessed are the cheesemakers as syndicate scoop €3.88 Lotto win

Colm Ward

Reporter:

Colm Ward

Limerick hurler Donal O'Grady holds his daughter Anna, 4, outside his Spar supermarket in Ballingarry where the winning Lotto ticket was sold.  Also in the photograph are his father Donal, Joan Guerin, Ruth O'Grady and Kathleen Kennedy. Pictured below is Seamus Cawley
TEN workers from the Cheestring production line in the Kerry Group’s Charleville plant are celebrating this week after sharing a very tasty €3.88m Lotto win.

TEN workers from the Cheestring production line in the Kerry Group’s Charleville plant are celebrating this week after sharing a very tasty €3.88m Lotto win.

The syndicate, made up of colleagues from Limerick and North Cork, hit the jackpot at the weekend after 12 years of trying.

The group’s members are spread throughout the area in Rathkeale, Newcastle West, Kilmeedy, Knockaderry, Cappamore, Bruree, Athlacca and Dromin. Each stands to get about €380,000.

One member – Seamus Cawley from Rathkeale – found out about the big win as his was on his way to the Ireland-Bosnia soccer match in Dublin on Monday evening.

As he was sitting down to a pre-match meal in the Aisling hotel on Monday afternoon, the call came through to let him know that their numbers had come up.

“I will never forget that fish and chips and the batter and the mushy peas – I was eating them away but there was no taste off them,” he said of his reaction to hearing the news.

Even though the draw was made on Saturday evening, it was Monday before the news that they had won filtered through to all the syndicate members.

The winning ticket was bought in O’Grady’s Spar in Ballingarry last Wednesday but it was only when rumours started circulating that the winning numbers had been sold in the shop that members of the group decided to check their tickets.

“The ticket was inside in Charleville all weekend. One of the lads checked the numbers on Monday and then started ringing around to everybody,” Seamus said.

All the syndicate members are long-standing employees of the Charleville plant. Seamus himself has been there since 1998.

“We are a tight knit group up in Charleville. We have worked together for years and they’re a grand group,” he said. “It’s a nice amount of money but it isn’t a massive thing; it just kind of secures you and pays the bills,” Seamus added.

The group plans to travel together to National Lottery headquarters later this week to collect their winnings. But, Seamus says, they haven’t decided yet how they will be celebrating.

“I don’t know what we will do after – so long as I get the thing in my hands first, I’ll be happy,” he laughed.