The first hospice for Wicklow, which has 15 in-patient public beds and will provide specialist palliative care for the county, has been officially opened in Magheramore.

Staff recruitment has begun and the first residents are expected in April.

The hospice's location - on a three-and-a-half acre site donated by the Columban Sisters - will allow residents a view of Brittas Bay.

It cost around €10 million to build and follows a ten year campaign by locals and supporters.

Local resident and multi-Oscar winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis, is one of the Wicklow Hospice Foundation's patrons.

Half of the total cost came from fundraising via the foundation, while the State provided €2m towards the building and fitting-out of the facility.

A bank loan of €3m was also organised.

Day-to-day funding of the hospice is being provided by the Health Service Executive as a Section 38 facility, and it will be managed by Our Lady's Hospice and Care Services.