Launch of Irish Hospice Foundation Design & Dignity Fund in New York
New York-based Gabriel Byrne has appealed for support for “the simple and transformational changes” taking place in Irish hospitals aimed at making death more bearable for those at end of life and for family and friends left behind. The work is being spearheaded by the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), the national charity which is dedicated to all matters related to dying, death and bereavement in Ireland
The award-winning actor, who is also a Patron of the IHF, was launching the charity’s Design and Dignity Fund in the United States at an event in New York (Tuesday 12 November 2013). The Fund is being used to redesign rooms in Irish hospitals to make them more sympathetic to the needs of people who are dying. The launch was attended by other high-profile New York-based Irish supporters of the charity, including top-selling author Colum McCann.
The event in the 320 Park* venue was hosted by prominent Irish Americans, Loretta Brennan Glucksman and Tom Moran, President and CEO of Mutual of America.
Design and Dignity project already making a difference
Gabriel Byrne said that the IHF had recognised that while nearly half of Irish people die in acute hospitals, the clinical culture and physical surroundings often add to the trauma for those at end of life and for their loved ones. He was speaking from personal experience. “I attended the bedside of a friend who was dying in a Dublin hospital. She lived her last hours in a public ward with a television blaring out a football match, all but drowning our final conversation”, he said.
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