Home Archive by category "Latest News"

Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Grief in the Workplace Research: Preliminary results released

Posted on: October 22nd, 2019

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has today announced the preliminary results of its Grief in the Workplace Research.

In 2018, the IHF began the two-part research project looking at how bereaved employees are currently supported in the Irish workplace. It was carried out using a sample size of 1000.

The preliminary results (employees’ experiences) will now be used to inform Part 2 of the research, which will examine the experiences of organisations when an employee is bereaved. It will be released in early 2020.  

Grief in the Workplace Research Part 1: Preliminary Results 

  1. Being treated with compassion by an employer was identified as the most important support for employees who are bereaved (75%)
  2. ‘Soft’ supports like compassionate treatment and acknowledgement of loss are more important on the whole than ‘hard’ supports like flexible working hours and extra leave entitlements.
  3. 3 in 10 Irish adults said their employer has a bereavement policy. 3 in 10 said their employer didn’t have a policy and 4 in 10 didn’t know.
  4. 25% of people are not satisfied with the support received from their employer
  5. More than half of respondents would feel less committed to their job if they were not appropriately supported following a bereavement
  6. Inadequate support has implications for absenteeism and morale: 46% would take more sick days if they were not appropriately supported, and 45% feel disgruntled and talk to other employees about it
  7. Almost a third (32%) would think about leaving the job.
  8. Almost a quarter of respondents (24%) would actually leave the job if not appropriately supported.

Training Manager (Bereavement and End-of-Life Care) with the IHF is Breffni McGuinness: “This research has significant implications for best practice in workplaces in supporting employees who are bereaved. Bereavement leave and policies are important but more than these, employees want to be treated with compassion when they are dealing with significant losses.”

“It is their perception of how they are treated by their employer that makes the difference.  When this is done well – it will always be remembered – when it is done badly – it will never be forgotten and this has significant implications for absenteeism and employee morale. Almost one in four employees said that they would actually leave their job if they were not supported around their bereavement.” 

This IHF research on grief in the workplace helps us to understand what is important to employees who are bereaved and what they want from their employer. Along with recent developments in bereavement leave spearheaded by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and the Irish Civil Service it raises awareness of the importance of providing effective support to employees who are bereaved as a workplace issue. 


For over 10 years, the IHF has played a leading role in raising awareness about how grief can impact staff in the workplace and in turn, how organisations, managers and colleagues can provide effective support.

In 2007, based on a survey of 33 Irish workplaces, and in consultation with employee and employer organisations the IHF developed:  Grief at Work – A Guide For Developing a Bereavement Policy which has become a default resource for HR professionals and organisations looking to develop a Bereavement Policy.

The IHF has also worked in partnership with Ibec, Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), the Small Firms Association, the Health and Safety Authority, Government and other organisations to produce a series of helpful factsheets for workplaces. 

What do I Say  

What do I Do   

For more information on Grief in the Workplace contact:  breffni.mcguinness@hospicefoundation.ie

Government funding for proposed IHF research into ‘economics of bereavement’ welcomed

Posted on: October 21st, 2019

Monday 21 October 2019

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has warmly welcomed funding from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection in Budget 2020 for its proposed research project into the ‘Economics of Bereavement’.

Minister Regina Doherty has allocated a once-off contribution of €60,000 to the IHF to examine funeral poverty in Ireland and the wider economic impact of bereavement.

80 people die in Ireland every day and it’s estimated that at least 10 people can be bereaved by each death. This research will seek to trace the dynamics of bereavement in Ireland, identify the immediate and longer-term impacts on families, identify the costs and deficits, and explore ways to mitigate adverse economic impact.

Speaking today CEO of the IHF Sharon Foley said, “One of the key recommendations in the Finite Lives Report (2017) by Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell, which looked at a whole-Government approach to end-of-life issues in Ireland, was to conduct research on the socio-economic impacts of the costs associated with dying, death and bereavement. Through our work at the IHF, we know those grieving the death of a loved one can be further impacted by financial worries and these can have long-term effects on people and their families.”

“This is a major step forward by Government and we strongly welcome Minister Doherty and her Department’s commitment to this vital research project. Over 30,000 people die in Ireland each year, that means over 300,000 people can be newly bereaved. We look forward to further collaborating with Government on this important research area and hope it will, will as a result, help to further inform Government policy in the future.”

The IHF will now liaise with the Department on the methodology and timescale of the project for completion of the research by 2021.

Have Your Say Series launched

Posted on: October 21st, 2019

We are delighted to announce our Have Your Say Series today which takes an-in depth look into the responses to our 2016 Have Your Survey.

We invited people to complete the survey in their own words about their concerns, and their wishes for themselves and those closest to them, when they thought of death and grieving. 

After the collection and analysis of responses, The People’s Charter on Dying, Death and Bereavement was drawn up, reflecting the main themes and trends, and highlighting what was of real importance to people.

Our Have Your Say Series includes four Research Papers which focus on themes including talking about death, planning ahead and pain and were compiled by our Research Manager, Dr. Paul O’Mahoney. 

Living with Loss 2019

Posted on: October 1st, 2019

The Irish Hospice Foundation will host two ‘Living with Loss’ public information evenings on bereavement in November.
Our annual Living with Loss Dublin event will be held on Thursday, 7th November 2019 at The Alex Hotel.  This year’s guest speaker is writer Emma Hayes. For more information go here. 
On November 14, we will host our first ever Living with Loss Galway event. Author, journalist and radio presenter Meghann Scully will speak about the deaths of her father and brother and her own journey through loss and grief. More details here. 
Both events are free to the public. No booking required. 

Vacancy: Development Officer (Healthcare)

Posted on: September 23rd, 2019

Time for a change? We are looking to fill the role of:



For more information, please contact Deirdre Shanagher Deirdre.shanagher@hospicefoundation.ie
Closing date is Friday 18 October. 

Culture Night: A Potted History of our home Morrison Chambers

Posted on: September 19th, 2019


A prime corner site opposite the side entrance to Trinity College on Nassau Street, this fine early 20th century building is finished in an austere limestone – constructed for North British & Mercantile Insurance Co. (1900-1905) on the site of the Morrison Hotel. The main entrance to the former commercial office contained within is on the corner underneath the copper dome.

The entrance porch still contains ornate decoration.

Above the Costa Coffee door are the coats of arms of the four provinces carved in limestone. Unlike Morrison’s, the present occupants probably do not draw their water from St Patrick’s Well, their skinny lattes sadly untouched by the holy waters.

The hotel was a highly fashionable spot in Regency and Victorian Dublin, stood almost opposite the Provost’s Garden. The Geraldine or possibly the Fitzgerald arms are said to have hung above the door. 

The building currently on the site at No. 1 Dawson Street, Morrison Chambers, is not the original hotel, the site having been cleared for the erection of the headquarters of an insurance company during the Edwardian period. Charles Stewart Parnell was a regular visitor to Morrison’s and Charles Dickens also stayed here on his visits to Dublin.

Proprietor, Arthur Morrison, Lord Mayor of Dublin 1835 (died 1837)

Proprietor, Arthur Morrison, Lord Mayor of Dublin 1835 (died 1837).  Morrison, who lived from 1765 until 1837, was a well-known hotel owner and had many roles in public life, serving the people of Donnybrook.

He was an overseer of many of the developments that took place in Donnybrook such as the new roads and pathways, particularly around Simmonscourt, and the wall surrounding the Sacred Heart Church. He also played a part in the construction of Anglesea Bridge over the Dodder, just beside the obelisk, in 1832 and he supported other local developments such as the foundation of St Vincents’ Hospital by Mother Mary Aikenhead and her later establishment of St Mary’s Magdalene Asylum.

In the centre of the traffic island at the junction of Anglesea Road and Ailesbury Road near the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook stands an obelisk in memory of Arthur Morrison, Lord Mayor of Dublin from 1835-36. The monument praises him and claims that he was ‘respected and esteemed’ and that there were ‘few to equal, none to surpass him’ and yet we hardly know anything about him. We do not even have a picture.  He was appointed Alderman (a member of local government, literally meaning ‘elder man’) in 1808 and acted on the Grand Jury (a local government council) of the County and City of Dublin from 1823.

Arrest of Charles Stewart Parnell, 22nd October 1881

Charles Stewart Parnell based himself in and did much of his political business from Morrison’s when he was in Dublin and it was there he was arrested in 1881. That event, of course, was to turn out to be just a mild misfortune compared to the bad luck he was later to encounter.

Parnell was a regular visitor to Morrison’s and in October 1881 he was arrested at Morrison’s Hotel, at the corner of Dawson street and Nassau Street. Parnell was allowed to pack and breakfast before being taken to the jail at Kilmainham, where he was given special treatment. There was rioting in Dublin in response to the arrest of Parnell and other Land League leaders. A brigade of infantry was brought to Ireland to deal with this, in addition to it the 5000 soldiers already billeted in Dublin. It was the passing of the Coercion Act, Protection of Life and Property, which allowed the government to arrest and imprison individuals without trial.

Charles Dickens

In  August 1858, he sailed from Holyhead to Dublin and spent an evening at Morrison’s, a first-class establishment on Nassau Street.

 A man who knew the value of a strong personal brand, and was one of the first authors to take this work directly to the people.He would read, and often enact, his best-loved stories, bringing the characters to life and ratcheting up the tension with his delivery.

In Dublin, he played at the Rotunda Rooms on Parnell Square. There were queues down O’Connell Street. Mounted police were called out to control the crowd. There is also reason to believe the country exerted a subtle yet crucial influence on his work.The inspiration for Miss Havisham, the reclusive old lady in ‘Great Expectations’, is said to have been one Augusta Magan, the eccentric descendant of an Anglo-Irish family who lived in decadent isolation at Shankill, Dublin.

RTÉ documentary Death; Don’t Leave it to the Last Minute

Posted on: September 11th, 2019


“Why don’t you make a documentary on how I am preparing for my death?” is the question Gray Cahill posed to the team behind RTÉ’s Documentary on One last year.

Death; Don’t Leave it to the Last Minute, which will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio One, this Saturday 14 September, 1pm and again on Sunday 15 September at 7pm will follow her journey as she explores ‘end-of-life matters’ using the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Think Ahead form as her guide.

In the documentary, the 81 year old talks to her solicitor, visits her bank, an undertaker and gathers her friends to talk about the items she has earmarked for them and more. 

You can find out more about Death; Don’t Leave it to the Last Minute here.

For more information about our advance planning tool, Think Ahead, go here

David McWilliams for IHF Never Forgotten Lunch

Posted on: September 11th, 2019
We are delighted to announce that David McWilliams is our very special guest speaker at our annual Never Forgotten Lunch.  Join us, and him,  for a 3 course lunch, with drinks reception and entertainment at Dublin’s Intercontinental Hotel on Thursday 28th November. 

Tables of 10 are €1500 and other numbers can be easily accommodated.  Call us on 01 679 3188 to book your table or pay via our donation page here


Posted on: September 9th, 2019


Tickets for our major conference on dying, death and bereavement FORUM 2019 are selling fast. It takes place on Thursday 24 October in Dublin Castle.
As with previous Forum Gatherings, tickets are expected to sell out in advance of the event, so please book as soon as you can.
For more details, please go here.
This year’s theme is “Dying is everyone’s business” and we are thrilled Dr. Kathryn Mannix, author of the best-selling book “With the End in Mind” will give our keynote address. 
There will be an exciting panel discussion, questions and answers from the audience, as well as workshops which will include developments in bereavement, exploring the key questions for healthcare arising from the Assisted Decision Making Capacity Act 2015 (ADMA), funerals past and present, nursing home issues and the ever popular (and newly-named) Café Conversation, Bás, Cáca agus Cupán Tae – (Death, cake and a cup of tea) – and much more!
We very much look forward to welcoming you to FORUM 2019.

IHF Statement on HSE establishing Children’s Palliative Care Advisory Group

Posted on: August 30th, 2019


Dr Fiona McElligott with Sharon Foley, IHF CEO

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) is today welcoming the news the HSE is in the process of establishing a Children’s Palliative Care Advisory Group to replace the former National Advisory Committee on Children’s Palliative Care.The main purpose of the group will be to advise and assist the HSE in the development of children’s palliative care in line with national policy.

The IHF has funded 85% of the first phase of the Children’s Palliative Care Programme to date and also currently funds the post of Consultant Paediatrician with a special interest in Palliative Care at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital. Dr Fiona McElligott was appointed to the position last year.

The IHF Is part of a coalition of children’s palliative care service providers and consultants in specialist paediatric palliative care who have been calling for further action on children’s palliative care.

One of the coalition’s key priorities in their Pre-Budget Submission 2019 was the re-establishment of a National Development Committee to drive the implementation of national policy.

Speaking today, CEO of the IHF, Sharon Foley, who has been invited to be part of the Advisory Group said: “This is very welcome news and is a positive step towards ensuring action in providing appropriate palliative care for the 4000 children living with life-limiting illnesses and their families in Ireland today.  The Irish Hospice Foundation has a long record of proactive intervention to support policy implementation in Children’s Palliative Care.  I very much look forward to continuing in partnership with my fellow group members, the HSE, Department of Health and others.  Together we can enable the provision of excellent services for these children and their families and the care that they both need and deserve.’

For more information on the IHF’s work on Children’s Palliative Care, go here.