Wicklow hospice nears fundraising target of €3 million

Thursday 22 August 2013 09.38
Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis is a patron of the Wicklow Hospice Foundation
Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis is a patron of the Wicklow Hospice Foundation

The Wicklow Hospice Foundation says it has almost reached its €3 million fundraising target and is ready to proceed with plans to build a long-awaited 12-bed hospice at a site at Magheramore, overlooking the sea near Brittas Bay.

The foundation needs the HSE to cover the balance of 50% of the building cost and to fund the day-to-day operation of the hospice, which it says was a commitment given.

The funds have been raised through local charitable donations and a contribution from The American Ireland Fund and pre-planning has been submitted to Wicklow County Council.

Local resident and multi-Oscar winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the foundation's patrons.

During a visit to the site, he said that the location is ideal and "a place of great natural beauty and peace."

He said the people of Wicklow had contributed in the full understanding that the HSE would honour its commitment and also said a HSE site assessment had given Magheramore the highest rating.

The land has been donated by the Columban Sisters and St John of God, the healthcare provider, has agreed to operate the facility.

Architects have been selected following tender.

Chairperson of fundraising at the Wicklow Hospice Foundation Evanne Cahill said it would like to see building next year and patients in the facility by the end of 2015.

The HSE said today it was evaluating several site options, including Magheramore and a palliative care consultative committee would report early next month on the preferred option.

The executive said that it would need extra funding to enable the development to proceed but it may be possible to redeploy some existing resources for the project.

The hospice will also be included for mention in the 2014 HSE National Service Plan.

The HSE palliative care services plan 2009-2012 identified the need for an inpatient hospice unit for Wicklow, along with staffing and revenue.

The hospice was initially included in the HSE plans for completion in 2012.

In 1999, a Department of Health needs assessment highlighted the lack of hospice beds in Wicklow.