Barretstown offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness – supported behind the scenes by 24 hour on site medical and nursing care.

All of the children and families come to Barretstown free of charge. Everything, including accommodation, food and medical assistance are provided at no cost to the family.

Barretstown is supported by donations and the fundraising efforts of corporate supporters, individuals and community groups.

Barretstown is recognised as a centre of excellence in childhood cancer care and other serious illnesses. Children are referred to Barretstown based on their medical needs.

Since we first opened our gates in 1994 we have brought the magic of Barretstown to over 60,000 campers.

Our Mission

To rebuild the lives of children affected by serious illness, and their families, through a life changing Therapeutic Recreation programme in a safe, fun, and supportive environment.

Barretstown is a registered charity (CHY10715) in Ireland and is also a registered charity in the UK (Charity No. 1046648) and a registered charity in Spain (Registration No. 28-1373 and NIF G84459064).

Our History

More than two decades ago, Paul Newman had a vision: imagine if children living with serious illness had the chance to simply be children. To just have fun. So he started a camp where kids could, in his words,“raise a little hell.”

Today, we continue Paul’s legacy as an independently financed and managed camp. Barretstown is a proud member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network, a growing global community of independently managed and financed camps and programs, Paul’s legacy.

Established in 1994, with the generous donation of our 500 acre estate by the Irish Government, Barretstown was the first camp of its kind to be opened outside the USA and the third camp founded by Paul.

Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic Recreation

We remain the leading provider of Therapeutic Recreation in Europe for children with cancer and other serious illnesses.

Since then we have continued to develop our wonderful site at Barretstown Castle in Co Kildare to become a state of the art, world-class centre for Therapeutic Recreation or as the kids say – “a place where some Serious Fun happens”.
The Therapeutic Recreation programme brings campers through a fun, activity-based process of challenge, success, reflection and discovery.

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Be part of Paul Newman’s legacy for future generations

Be part of Paul Newman’s legacy for future generations

Leave a gift in your will
One of the most powerful and lasting ways a person can support Barretstown is by considering leaving a gift in their will.

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Hospitals treat the illness, Barretstown treats the child

Check out our impact facts and figures ...


In 2019, we served 9,675 campers, a record-breaking year for Barretstown and by early 2020, we passed 60,000 campers served since opening our gates in 1994.

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Have Questions? Email Barretstown