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Touching tributes for Dr Mary Redmond – IHF Founder

Posted on: October 26th, 2016
“Nationally, we owe a huge debt to Mary Redmond and the Irish Hospice Foundation. Mary's vision was to make hospice care ordinary; not in its quality but in its quantum in Ireland,” - An Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Dr Mary Redmond, 64 died on Easter Monday last year.  The corporate lawyer, academic, social entrepreneur and author founded The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) 30 years ago. Last Friday, The Irish Hospice Foundation’s Evening of Celebration and Remembrance – The Dr Mary Redmond gala Dinner – was held at the 5* Intercontinental Hotel, Dublin. An Taoiseach, who was Guest of Honour, continued his tribute at the gala dinner: “Mary was an intellectual, an author, an artist, a legal mind, a board member, deputy governor of the Bank of Ireland and a Fellow of Cambridge. “All the way through life you meet people who stand out and they make a mark for whatever reason. There’s something about them that makes a difference to you and that’s what I felt about Mary Redmond when I met her for the first time,” the Taoiseach said. RTÉ Prime Time presenter Miriam O'Callaghan also paid tribute to the “extraordinary” founder of the IHF as the woman she most wanted to be like when she was a teenage girl. Miriam is an IHF ambassador and made her tribute at the gala dinner.
"I was a law student in UCD and I always remember the first day in my lectures, this exquisitely beautiful woman walked into the room. I was 16 and she was probably no more than 24 or 25. It was Mary Redmond. She was lecturing in UCD in law and she wasn’t just the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, she was the most intelligent, she was the most brilliant and at that moment, I thought; ‘I want to be like Mary Redmond.’
“I could never be that, but she was one extraordinary woman. She shaped me as a young woman, as a 16 year old.” no fee if The Irish Hospice Foundation mentioned in caption Miriam O'Callaghan at The Irish Hospice Foundation Dr Mary Redmond gala dinner held at the InterContinental Hotel Ballsbridge-photo Kieran Harnett Dublin, October 21, 2016 -- The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) celebrated its 30 year anniversary with a gala dinner honouring its founder Dr Mary Redmond on Friday, 21 October. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was guest of honour for the evening of celebration and remembrance at the 5* InterContinental Hotel in Dublin’s Ballsbridge Miriam lost her own sister Anne, aged 33 to cancer. She said:  “In a way death has touched us all. That’s why the Irish Hospice Foundation and what Mary Redmond did matters so much.” Dr Redmond set up the IHF after the death of her father Sean at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross in 1985. At the time there were only three hospices in Ireland and she felt strongly that hospice care should be available to all that needed it. Dr Redmond’s son Patrick Ussher spoke to guests about his mother’s own philosophy on life and her courage at end-of-life.
“She said there were three important things in life; to love, to live and to leave a legacy.
Of these love for her father from whom this advice originally came drove her to found the Irish Hospice Foundation.”   Mr Ussher said when his mother was diagnosed “with a form of cancer that carried a very short life expectancy she made a very courageous decision, to surrender her fears to God and to live.” He added: “Everyone has their own way of dealing with terminal illness and these must be respected.  But hers was to give the illness no time, to give it no power or control over her in any way. She did not discuss it with others, and she was determined to be something much more than a diagnosis and this was a decision that took enormous bravery.” Mr Ussher  said she focused her energies instead on doing things that were meaningful to her like spending time with her family and friends, writing books and deepening her faith.” no fee if The Irish Hospice Foundation mentioned in caption Jayne McKenna and Caolan Brady at The Irish Hospice Foundation Dr Mary Redmond gala dinner held at the InterContinental Hotel Ballsbridge-photo Kieran Harnett Dublin, October 21, 2016 -- The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) celebrated its 30 year anniversary with a gala dinner honouring its founder Dr Mary Redmond on Friday, 21 October. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was guest of honour for the evening of celebration and remembrance at the 5* InterContinental Hotel in Dublin’s Ballsbridge Mr Ussher added: “Nearly every day without fail she would spend an hour in silent meditation. This practice gave her an internal strength but also a simple spirit of joy in the sheer fact of being alive. I could see the resolution develop in her that no matter how hard life was both physically and emotionally being alive was nevertheless worth every second. She would often say every moment is so precious.” IHF chairperson Jean McKiernan said the organisation remains “loyal” to Dr Redmond’s vision and strives for the best care at end of life for everyone. Dr Redmond began teaching law at University College Dublin at 19 years old. She also studied at Oxford and obtained her Ph.D at Cambridge. She went on to become Fellow and Dean of Studies in Law at Christ’s College Cambridge and was elected an Honorary Fellow. She became the leading academic on Irish labour law and published extensively. She set up her own firm in the mid 1980s in Ireland and subsequently merged her firm with Arthur Cox. She sat on the board of the RTE Authority and served consecutive terms on the Labour Relations Commission. -ENDS-

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald launches Best Will Week 2016

Posted on: October 24th, 2016

Support Best Will Week for The Irish Hospice Foundation

This year The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) joins together with over 70 other charities around Ireland to appeal to the public to leave a legacy gift, large or small, to charity in their will.   
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Fergal O'Sullivan, Chairperson of My Legacy and the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald at the launch of Best Will Week 2016

Clare Martin, Fundraising Manager, the IHF said: “Leaving a legacy to the IHF will enable Irish people to live well to the end. So all our loved ones can die with dignity and respect in a care setting of their choice. During Best Will Week please support the work of the IHF and give the gift of life with your legacy of kindness.” Fergal O’Sullivan, Chairperson of My Legacy said “The number of Irish people who leave a legacy donation to charity is quite low compared to other countries. Remembering a charity in your will is a very meaningful experience that allows you to support a charity or cause you care about after you are gone. My Legacy charities would encourage everyone to take advantage of Best Will Week by making an appointment to visit your local solicitor for a will consultation to discuss your wishes and your lasting legacy.” Best Will Week this year takes place from Monday, 31st October till Friday, 4th November. You can learn more about leaving a gift to charity and find a local participating solicitor for Best Will Week online at www.mylegacy.ie

Tallaght People Offer End of Life Views at Death Café Conversation

Posted on: October 12th, 2016
Tallaght people turned out in force today (Monday) at Rua Red Arts Centre to speak out about dying, death and bereavement over tea and cake and discuss what matters to them at end of life. The Death Café Conversation was organised by The Irish Hospice Foundation as part of their ‘Have Your Say’ national campaign which was trending last Saturday at #haveyoursayirl. All feedback from the Tallaght conversation will inform the first ever ‘Irish Charter on Dying, Death & Bereavement 2016’. Sharon Foley, CEO of The Irish Hospice Foundation, was in Tallaght this morning to meet people as they arrived.
“The people of Tallaght and its environs embraced this platform and revealed their thoughts on what is priority for end of life. The warm crowd gave personal and valuable insights which will inform our charter and help us strive for adequate supports. Some asked for more open public conversations on the topic so we can normalise talking about death from a younger age. Others said make sure your loved ones know your wishes and you write them down. Many told their own stories of loss and what helped them through or what could be done better.
“It sparked conversations about end of life such as do I want flowers or donations, hymns or songs, who will mind the dog when I’m gone, can I donate my body, and it’s easier to talk to about other people’s death rather than your own. Over 600 people completed our survey in the space of a few weeks including people in Tallaght this morning. It can be completed online https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/haveyoursayirl or by phoning our office for a copy,” continued CEO Sharon Foley. tallaght-rua-red “Every day 80 people die in Ireland; that’s 29,000 people every year. Each of us will only get once chance to die, so it’s important to think about what matters to you and give us your views. We believe best care should support everyone to live well to the end with dignity and comfort, surrounded by loved ones. We want you to #haveyoursayirl based on your experiences, knowledge, hopes and fears. We can then be informed on how to further ensure the best supports are in place for you and your loved ones. We are pleased to be leading such an important public discussion and creating this essential charter for the Irish people,” concluded Ms Foley. The Irish Hospice Foundation is partnered with Limerick Compassionate Communities (part of Milford Hospice) in the project; and working with the support of Dublin City, Fingal and South County Dublin County Councils.

Upcoming Death Café Conversation:

  • Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council Civic Offices, Monday 17th October 11.00am - 1.00pm

Westmeath People Give End of Life View at Death Café Conversation

Posted on: October 7th, 2016

Westmeath people turned out in force at Annebrook House Hotel Mullingar to speak out about dying, death and bereavement

The Death Café Conversation was organised by The Irish Hospice Foundation as part of their ‘Have Your Say’ national campaign and all feedback from the café will inform the first ever ‘Irish Charter on Dying, Death & Bereavement 2016’. Sharon Foley, CEO of The Irish Hospice Foundation was in Mullingar to meet with people and talk about the importance of this campaign. “The café conversation revealed amazing insights into what is priority at end of life and Mullingar surely had their say. Huge thanks to the warm crowd for giving such personal and valuable insights.
It really sparked conversations about end of life such as who will mind the dog when I’m gone, can I donate my body, we need a Last Aid Course to equip us to deal with dying, death and bereavement and it’s easier to talk to about other people’s death rather than your own.
There was a also resonating call for more bereavement services in Mullingar and it was clear that people want to talk openly about death to normalise this life happening. Veronica Larkin of North Westmeath Hospice spoke after the event: “The members of North Westmeath Hospice Fundraising Committee were delighted to have the teams for Milford Limerick and from the National Hospice visit. The feedback from those who took part was so very positive. Participants enjoyed the structured manner in which the event was run while at all times having the freedom to have their say. Thanks also to The Annabrook House Hotel for their attention to detail." “People also completed the Have your Say survey on the day and all feedback will inform our ‘Irish Charter on Dying, Death & Bereavement 2016’ published next year. Anyone can complete the survey online https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/haveyoursayirl and follow the social media movement #haveyoursayirl,” continued CEO Sharon. veronica-larkinEvery day 80 people die in Ireland; that’s 29,000 people every year. Each of us will only get once chance to die, so it’s important to think about what matters to you. We believe best care at end of life is about supporting everyone to live well to the end with dignity and comfort, surrounded by loved ones. “We want you to #haveyoursayirl based on your experiences, knowledge, hopes and fears. We can then be informed on how to further ensure the best supports are in place for you and your loved ones. We are pleased to be leading such an important public discussion and creating this essential charter for the Irish people,” concluded Sharon. The Irish Hospice Foundation is partnered with Limerick Compassionate Communities (part of Milford Hospice) in the project; and working with the support of Dublin City, Fingal and South County Dublin County Councils. Photo: Pictured at the Mullingar Death Café is Veronica Larkin of North Westmeath Hospice