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IHF launches annual Never Forgotten appeal

Posted on: November 19th, 2020

Never Forgotten 2020

This November, the month traditionally associated with remembering those we have loved and lost, we are a nation united in grief more than ever before.

IHF CEO, Sharon Foley commented:

“This has been a very difficult time for families and friends of people who have died. They may have been COVID-19 related deaths or deaths from other causes. We also know many are finding a previous loss more difficult right now.”

“We want to pause and remember those who have died and also show our support for those grieving. Grief is difficult all year round but this Christmas it will be particularly hard. Through Never Forgotten we want to open up a space to remember while at the same time giving people an opportunity to make a real difference to those facing the end of their lives and the many people all over Ireland preparing for the festive season without that special person.”

Make a donation to the #NeverForgotten appeal on our donation page

Show your support for #NeverForgotten by updating your Facebook profile picture with a picture of someone you have loved and lost, using our #NeverForgotten frame

Encourage others to take part by adding the hashtag #NeverForgotten and tagging @irishhospice in your post.

Sample post:
>> Share your memory of your loved one >>

I’m supporting the @IrishHospiceFoundation #NeverForgotten Appeal. You can also remember someone you have loved and lost and donate to their vital services including Bereavement Support Line. Donate: www.neverforgotten.ie

Visit Never Forgotten 2020 appeal for more information.

Grief is the price we pay for love

IHF is a leader in the development of bereavement care in Ireland but relies heavily on donations from the public to support our services. Our work in bereavement includes Ireland’s first national Bereavement Support Line, bereaved.ie which is home to practical information and resources on grief and coordinating the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network.

Bereavement support line Mon to Fri 10am to 1pm

Posted on: November 18th, 2020

Many people have experienced and will experience the death of someone they love during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may have been a COVID-related death or a death from other causes. People may also be finding a previous bereavement more difficult at this time.

While we may be seeing reductions in the number of deaths connected to COVID-19, we know that people’s pain and grief does not diminish as quickly. 

In the face of such loss and trauma, the Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line, in partnership with the HSE, has been launched to provide connection, comfort and support, in these exceptional times.

COVID-19 restrictions have changed the traditional ways we mark our grief. For the moment, it is not possible to come together like we did traditionally. This means many people are facing bereavement in isolation.

What is the IHF Bereavement Support line?

It is a national freephone service 1800 80 70 77 which will be available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.

  • We aim to provide a confidential space for people to speak about their experience or to ask questions relating to the death of someone during the COVID-19 pandemic or a previous bereavement that is more difficult at this time
  • We will listen to what a person says about what has happened
  • We will do our best to provide comfort and emotional support
  • We will provide any information that might help the caller, including information on practical supports.
  • We will provide support for employers or professionals who want to inform the care their organisation can offer to bereaved colleagues


The service is confidential. What you tell us will not be shared except in certain circumstances where, for safeguarding reasons, we may need to share your information with the emergency services. On the call, we might ask your first name, because it’s a natural question to ask in a conversation, but you don’t have to tell us if you prefer not to.

Further Information

Visit our FAQ section here

Can you help spread the word?

We would like as many people as possible in Ireland to know about this new free service. We have prepared a Bereavement Support Line information pack Please feel free to view/download/print out or forward this to anyone who may need it. Thank you.

The Irish Hospice Foundation is the national charity dedicated to death, dying and bereavement. For over 30 years, we have been working towards the best end-of-life and bereavement care, for all in Ireland. Bereavement affects us all and up to 300,000 Irish people can be bereaved each year. We offer an excellent source of information and services in bereavement as well as high-quality training for professionals and volunteers.

In response to COVID-19, we have set up our new Care & Inform hub on the Irish Hospice Foundation website which includes a new series of resources on grief and loss to support those who are bereaved in these exceptional times.

Please help the Irish Hospice Foundation to continue to support those facing end of life at this unprecedented time of need. Text IHF to 50300 to donate €4. Text costs €4. The Irish Hospice Foundation will receive a minimum of €3.60.
Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278

IHF launch the Never Forgotten night run

Posted on: November 13th, 2020


Posted on: November 11th, 2020

Time for NPHET to look at visiting rules for nursing and care homes.

Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has written to NPHET urging them to relook at visiting in nursing and care homes at all levels of the 5 Level Framework for Public Health Restrictive Measures.

Sharon Foley, CEO of IHF says:

“The current restrictions of limiting visits to critical and compassionate grounds is having untold impact on a large portion of our most vulnerable people. Our work with nursing homes and residential care homes all over Ireland is revealing very distressed and difficult situations whereby families are deeply worried and saddened by lack of visits to their elderly loved relatives and those elderly relatives are also saddened and distressed at the lack of family contact. Ultimately it is having a negative impact on their quality of life as they have less social interaction than before.”

Restrictions on visiting nursing and care home facilities have been in place since March and while they eased somewhat over the summer when Level 3 restrictions were introduced all visiting was curtailed again.

“In the guidance on restrictions there is no difference between Level 3 and Level 5 as set out by the government”

Sharon Foley stated,

“This means that even if we go back to nationwide Level 3 over 25,000 of our most vulnerable citizens will still not be able to see their loved ones. Nursing and care homes are where people live, they are their homes and they need to be able to see their families and loved ones for at least a short while. We know from working with people in the facilities that there are many ideas and initiatives that can be put in place to enable safe and vital visiting. We’re now calling on NPHET to look at the restrictions across the different levels and in consultation with the sector, set out clear guidance for all levels.”

Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week 2020

Posted on: November 9th, 2020

Every November, the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN) organises a series of events across Ireland to highlight bereaved children’s needs and provide a voice for them to be heard.

Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week (BCAW) is to help raise awareness of the fact that children express grief differently; they feel the impact but may not have words to express it so it often shows in their behaviour.

We are asking the adults to help bereaved children find their way to express grief by:

  • Understanding what to expect from children and young people
  • Having open and honest conversations
  • Being patient and compassionate
  • Acknowledge their feelings and respect choice and difference

Public webinar

On Nov 23rd ICBN are hosting a webinar: ‘Understand and support bereaved children and young people’. This session will explore different ways to talk to children about grief and those hard to express emotions. More here

Other events

Find out about all the events happening for BCAW on the ICBN bereaved Children’s Awareness Week web page.

Can you help spread the word?

We would like as many people as possible in Ireland to know about Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week 2020. ICBN have prepared a promo pack and promotional assets page with posters and graphics for web and social media. Please feel free to view/download/share/print/forward these documents and graphics. Thank you.

Masters in Loss & Bereavement to move online. Applications closing Nov 16th

Posted on: November 4th, 2020

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the RCSI MSc Loss & Bereavement and MSc Loss & Bereavement (Counselling) in conjunction with IHF will be delivered online via Zoom for the upcoming academic year. The course commences in December and applications close on Nov 16th.

This post-graduate course aims to promote critical inquiry into the place of loss, death and bereavement in Irish society and in health and social care systems. Through this process, the goal is to equip practitioners and managers to promote and provide a range of appropriate supports in their communities, work places and professional practices.

Read more about the RCSI MSc Loss & Bereavement and MSc Loss & Bereavement (Counselling) and application procedure here

CEO of IHF Sharon Foley commented:

“2020 is a year which has presented many challenges to our health, mental health and social services due to the sudden Covid-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions. At Irish Hospice Foundation, our concern is with those facing death and those who are left behind – people who are bereaved.

With respect to bereavement, we are anxious to ensure that our systems are prepared to support and to provide the expert care that will be required in the months and years to come.   

To this end the RCSI MSc Loss & Bereavement (Counselling) and the MSc Loss & Bereavement programmes run in association with IHF have been converted to online programmes to begin this December.

These programmes are aimed at two cohorts; one programme is for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists who work directly with clients; the second programme aims to equip others to develop bereavement care services and pathways in their locality or service”

Read more about the RCSI MSc Loss & Bereavement and MSc Loss & Bereavement (Counselling)

Latest Covid-19 Restrictions Will Impact The Elderly in Nursing & Care Homes

Posted on: October 20th, 2020

Tuesday 20 October 2020

Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has today welcomed the updated guidance from Government and NPHET on attending funerals but is calling on the Government to relook at visiting restrictions in nursing and care homes announced last night.

From midnight tomorrow night, nursing and care home visits will cease, except in critical and compassionate circumstances.

Sharon Foley, CEO of IHF says “We fully appreciate the need for social distancing and minimising the spread of Covid-19. Restrictions on visiting nursing and care home facilities have been in place since March and while they eased somewhat over the summer, going back to a point where the elderly, many of whom suffer cognitive impairment, are reduced to no visits will see a further decline in their quality of life and is a distressing development for families left to wonder how they are coping.”

“I would urge the Taoiseach and the Chief Medical Officer to look again at these particular measures and assist families and loved ones at a deeply distressing time.”


Helping children grieve during COVID-19 restrictions

Posted on: October 18th, 2020

Irish Hospice Foundation Statement on Dignity with Dying Bill, October 2020

Posted on: October 9th, 2020

Dublin, 9th October, 2020.

Irish Hospice Foundation Statement on Dignity with Dying Bill, October 2020

On Wednesday, the Dáil voted to progress the Dying with Dignity Bill to Committee stage, that work will begin to refine the proposed Bill.  

Irish Hospice Foundation believes all potential perspectives on the Bill need to be considered. There is a multiplicity of issues, and range of viewpoints regarding the Bill, and its implications for our society.  

We believe there has not yet been a sufficiently detailed and diverse debate in Ireland.  There are many national and international voices yet to be heard. We urge the Committee to seek out these voices, relevant case studies and international research, ensuring the debate is open, non-exclusionary, and further, that the Committee is a safe and effective space, for a wide range of views to be heard. 

Irish Hospice Foundation believes every person deserves a ‘good death,’ including that their pain and suffering is managed to the best extent possible. Every person facing dying, death and bereavement has to deal with many personal challenges. We want to ensure that they receive the optimal services, empathy and care. In the end, we all desire a solution which meets the needs of the Irish public, and which reflects the society we now live in.



Media Contacts:

Lynn Murtagh, Irish Hospice Foundation–  lynnmurtagh@hospicefoundation.ie or 085 1052058


Páraic Gallagher, Q4PR – paraic@q4pr.ie or 086 7749 300

Note to Editors:

Irish Hospice Foundation is a national charity that addresses dying, death and bereavement in Ireland. Our vision is an Ireland where people facing end of life or bereavement, and those who care for them, are provided with the care and support that they need. From advocacy and education, to services such as Nurses for Night Care and our Bereavement Support Line, Irish Hospice Foundation believes in the importance of dying well and grieving well wherever the place.

Visit our Covid-19 Care & Inform hub on end-of-life and bereavement care

Posted on: October 1st, 2020

We at the Irish Hospice Foundation want to keep you, the Irish public, as informed and supported as possible in matters relating to end-of-life and bereavement care in these exceptional times.

The need to provide reliable and up-to-date information for you, the public, and healthcare professionals is vital. With our many years of experience, we are responding with our depth of expertise, to respond to your needs at this critical time.

As Ireland’s only national charity dedicated to death, dying and bereavement, we have developed our Care & Inform information hub to respond to the COVID-19 emergency in an informative and compassionate way.

You can visit our Care & Inform hub here