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Hospice Unit in Castlebar is truly special


CLUB STARS PRESENTATION Pictured at the presentation of the proceeds from the Club Stars awards (which were organised in association with AIB, O’Neill Sports and The Mayo News) were, left to right: Trevor Watson (O’Neills), Seán Deane (AIB), Martina Jennings (CEO, Mayo Roscommon Hospice) and Mike Finnerty and Kevin Loftus (The Mayo News). Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Mike Finnerty

LAST Wednesday morning was not like most mornings.
Because after you spend some time looking around the new Mayo Roscommon Hospice Unit in Castlebar, you tend to see the world from a slightly different perspective afterwards.
A group of us who were involved in the running and organising of the very successful Club Stars awards recently were there to present a cheque for the proceeds to Martina Jennings, the CEO of the Mayo Roscommon Hospice, and the most recent ‘Mayo Person of the Year’ who is deservedly being presented with the prestigious award this Friday evening in Dublin.
It turns out that not alone is Martina a very impressive CEO (she was the driving force behind the Hospice Unit in Castlebar coming in ahead of schedule and below budget), but she is also a dab hand at being a tour guide. . . She offered a couple of us a tour of the new facility — which is due to open to patients later this year — and we gratefully accepted.
Because apart from anything else, as everybody from her husband, Jarlath (the former Mayo footballer) to Michael Ring TD will tell you, nobody says ‘no’ to Martina!
The subsequent walk-through of the state-of-the-art facility was enough to take your breath away...
As Martina says, ‘We want it to be a home away from home for people and families’.
Well, if that was the intention then it has definitely been achieved.
There is no doubt that the Hospice Unit is going to make difficult times for countless men, women, children and families that little bit easier, more enjoyable and more bearable.
In fact, the plan is that the unit will be filled with as much laughter, joy, happiness and special moments as is humanly possible for all who step through its doors.
So many people played a part in turning the dream of a Hospice Unit in Mayo into a reality, including all of those who supported the Club Stars awards and made donations over the last two years when the Mayo Roscommon Hospice were our charity partners.
As Martina reminded us last week, every single penny that is fund-raised for the Hospice goes into Hospice services. It goes to help the people who use their services every day.
The sod was turned on the Hospice Unit site in Roscommon recently, and that is where Martina Jennings’ energies will be focussed mainly in the months ahead.
‘The people of Roscommon got behind us when we were building the unit in Mayo, and I’ve no doubt that the people of Mayo will get behind the Roscommon one now,” she told us last week.
For something so important, something that affects every family, there is no doubt they will.

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