Archive for May, 2015

Best-selling American author to bring one-woman play “The God Box: A Daughter’s Story” to Ireland in aid of IHF and Milford Care Centre

Posted on: May 26th, 2015
Best-selling American author and successful businesswoman Mary Lou Quinlan is bringing her emotional one-woman play “The God Box: A Daughter’s Story” to Ireland in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation and Milford Care Centre in Limerick.
Based on her powerful New York Times bestselling memoir of the same name, Quinlan shares her personal journey exploring the laughter and tears of a family in love, in loss and in triumph.This heart wrenching play tells how after her mother’s death Mary Lou discovered "God Boxes", small containers stuffed with tiny notes sharing her mother’s innermost thoughts as she battled cancer. They revealed her concerns about her kids’ demanding careers, to private wishes for people she’d never even met, to concerns about her own health and everything in between.Scribbled in supermarket queues, restaurants, and at home, the notes were the ultimate expression of letting go. Through the journey, Mary Lou discovers her own more empathetic, more engaged self -- the woman her mother had believed in all along. The play will be performed in The Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, on Wednesday June 17th and The Limetree Theatre, Limerick, on Saturday June 20th. First presented as a workshop in New York City’s Irish Repertory Theatre in November 2011, the show has been performed all over the USA and packed out 24 performances at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014. Along the way the God Box Project has helped communities, raising over $250,000 for cancer, hospice, education, family and community causes. Sharon Foley, CEO of The Irish Hospice Foundation, said she was a absolutely thrilled that Mary Lou Quinlan was bringing this special one-woman performance to Ireland, and that proceeds will go to The hospice Foundation and Milford Care Centre. “This is a very powerful and moving account of how a woman prepared for her end of life in a unique way – writing down her innermost thoughts as they arose. We all let go in different ways and this was Mary Lou’s mothers way of coping and setting out her inner most thoughts. With the notes she left a wonde3rful lasting legacy for her family.” “We thank Mary Lou for her generosity in agreeing to donate the proceeds from the performances to the hospice movement. Her support is very much appreciated and we hope people take the opportunity to see this emotional performance.” Mary Lou is a longtime advertising executive and women’s marketing consultant and founder and CEO of the marketing consultancy Just Ask a Woman and Mary Lou Quinlan & Co. Booking for  “The God Box, A Daughter’s Story” are now open: The Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, Wednesday June 17th. Book at call 01 2312929 and The Limetree Theatre, Limerick, Saturday June 20th Book or call 061 774774 See more about the play here:

First edition of ehospice Ireland goes live

Posted on: May 18th, 2015
Palliative services in Ireland are desperately in need of investment and too often patients are “disempowered” at the point of death, according to leading oncologist and Independent Senator Professor John Crown. Writing for the inaugural issue of the Irish edition of, a global online end-of-life news and information resource, Professor Crown says patients with certain conditions don’t have the same access to palliative services as patients with cancer. Read the full article now at  The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has the license to run the Irish site. It will publish news, commentary and analysis from the hospice, palliative, and end of life care sector. Ehospice is aimed at anyone with a professional or personal interest in palliative care, offering a single point of access to intelligence and good practice. There are ehospice editions around the world including the UK, South Africa, the USA, India, Australia and Canada. The launch editor of ehospice Ireland is well known journalist and former editor of the Irish Independent, Claire Grady. Also working on the project is former Irish Times journalist Miriam Donohoe, Head of Communications and Advocacy with the IHF and Mary Ellen Breen, former editor of the Waterford News & Star and Communications Officer with the IHF. Today’s inaugural edition of ehospice Ireland also includes an exclusive story about the launch later this week of the first tool kit for Irish primary school teachers to guide them on supporting pupils who have suffer bereavement. There is also news from the voluntary hospice movement in Ireland and details on conferences, workshops and events relevant to the sector. ehospice launched in October 2012 and has had almost half a million users and over 2.5 million page views. It is available on mobile and desktop websites as well as an iPad and iPhone app. An Android app is currently in development. David Praill, Chair of ehospice and CEO of Hospice UK, said today: "We are delighted that the Irish Hospice Foundation is launching an Ireland edition of ehospice. The vision of ehospice is to improve patient care by ensuring everyone working in palliative care is part of a networked world. “ehospice will provide those working in the sector an opportunity to share their news and good practice with colleagues in Ireland and globally, leading to better care for more people and greater awareness of hospice and palliative care.” Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation, said ehospice Ireland is an important development for the entire hospice movement here. “It will provide a dedicated online platform - not in existence in Ireland at the moment - for health professionals, policy makers and service users to share news, views and analysis on hospice and palliative care, bereavement and end-of-life issues. “ehospice Ireland will offer a single point of access to intelligence and good practice from around the world and will help professionals here keep up to date.  It will also give a voice to those receiving care and an opportunity to tell their individual stories and will help creative awareness of what palliative care is, and dispel some of the myths. “I believe ehospice Ireland will increase the profile of the sector here, thereby helping raise awareness around the important issues.” ehospice Ireland can be contacted by emailing or calling 01 6793188

RTE’s Mary Kennedy launches Sunflower Days 2015

Posted on: May 8th, 2015
Fourteen dedicated local volunteers were honoured at a special ceremony in The Mansion House in Dublin for their outstanding contribution to hospice care in Ireland.   RTE’s Mary Kennedy made a special presentation to local “Sunflower Heroes” who give tirelessly of their time to bring vital hospice services to communities all over the country.   Ms Kennedy also announced details of national Hospice Sunflower Days, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and takes place on Friday, June 5th and Saturday, June 6th.  This is one of the biggest annual fundraisers for the hospice movement in Ireland and it is hoped that €1 million will be raised. The event is coordinated on behalf of the hospice movement by the Irish Hospice Foundation and all of the funds raised locally, stay locally.   People are being encouraged to support their local hospice service on June 5th and 6th by purchasing various pieces of Sunflower merchandise - including sunflower pins for €2 each from collectors on the streets of cities, towns and villages across Ireland.   Amongst the “Sunflower Heroes” honoured today were:  
  • Mother and daughter, Debby and Chloe MacNamara, both volunteers with Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Dublin. Debby got involved in the hospice in 2009 after her husband Gerry died in the Extended Care Unit of Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross.  Debby is also a keen gardener and helped Our Lady’s Hospice bring a new garden to the Bloom Festival. She also helps maintain the garden of the hospice itself.
  • Nora Gahan, St Francis Hospice volunteer, who was nominated for her dedication to raising funds for the St Francis Hospice since 1989. Nora began working with the hospice as she wanted to help in her local community. Her sister also passed away under hospice care and Nora continued her fundraising efforts in her memory.
  • Poet and artist Olive Murray-Power, a longstanding supporter of Wicklow Hospice Foundation, who has used her talents to create a book of her paintings and poems, with all proceeds in aid of her local hospice. Olive’s first husband Martin passed away from cancer so hospice is a cause very close to her heart.
  A recent national survey commissioned by the Irish Hospice Foundation revealed that 75 per cent of Irish people want to die at home – however only 25 per cent will get to do so partly due to lack of services.   Launching Hospice Sunflower Days Mary Kennedy commented: “There is probably not a family in Ireland that has not been touched by the amazing work carried out by hospice services across the country. The care and support afforded to families in need, at a very difficult time, is so important and I am encouraging members of the public to show their support for Sunflower Days once again this year. By simply buying a pin you are helping to bring comfort and dignity to people at the end-of-life.”   She added: “It is so inspiring to meet the “Sunflower Heroes” and the dedicated volunteers from all over the country who do so much to secure hospice services locally. Without them there are many patients and their families whose end of life would be so much harder. They are all heroes in the true sense and need to be acknowledged. I am honoured to be here with them today.”   Pat Quinlan, Chief Executive Officer of Milford Care Centre and Chair of the Voluntary Hospices Group, commented:  “Across the country, the number of people seeking hospice care services continues to increase at a time when funding resources, both public and voluntary, have become more scarce. We are more reliant than ever on the generosity and goodwill of our supporters and volunteers.”   “We appeal to people to support their local service so patients and families can get help at a time of greatest need.  Sunflower Days is a vital source of funding for local hospice services so please donate on June 5th & 6th and if you have a few hours to spare please consider volunteering.”   Hospice or palliative care involves the total care of patients and their families at the stage in a serious illness, where the focus has switched from treatment aimed at cure to ensuring quality of life.  About 29,000 people die annually in Ireland and over 6,000 people use hospice services every year.   For more information and to volunteer with your local hospice service for Hospice Sunflower Days visit   -Ends-   For more information, please contact:       Mary Ellen Breen on or 083 4257674.