'She shaped me as a young woman' - Miriam O’Callaghan pays tribute to founder of Irish Hospice Foundation
Miriam O’Callaghan has paid tribute to the founder of the Irish Hospice Foundation, her former lecturer, as the woman she most wanted to be like when she was a teenage girl.
Dr Mary Redmond, a lawyer, author and social entrepreneur, died on Easter Monday last year at the age of 64 having founded the Irish Hospice Foundation 30 years ago.
Miriam O’Callaghan, RTÉ Prime Time presenter, last Friday said: “I was a law student in UCD and I always remember the first day in my lectures, this exquisitely beautiful woman walked into the room.
“I was 16 and she was probably no more than 24 or 25, it was Mary Redmond, she was lecturing in UCD in law and she wasn’t just the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, she was the most intelligent, she was the most brilliant and at that moment, I thought; ‘I want to be like Mary Redmond.’”
“I could never be that, but she was one extraordinary woman. She shaped me as a young woman, as a 16 year old.”
Miriam O’Callaghan made her tribute at a gala dinner honouring Dr Redmond and 30 years of the IHF, of which she is now an ambassador.
Miriam’s own sister Anne died of caner at the age of 33. She said: “In a way death has touched us all. That’s why the Irish Hospice Foundation and what Mary Redmond did matters so much.”
Dr Redmond’s son Patrick Ussher also spoke at the event, saying: “She said there were three important things in life; to love, to live and to leave a legacy.
“Of these, love for her father from whom this advice originally came drove her to found the Irish Hospice Foundation.”
Dr Redmond set up the IHF in 1985 after the death of her father. At the time, there were only three hospices in Ireland.
Dr Redmond taught law at UCD from the age of 19, and also studied at Oxford and Cambridge. She published extensively on the subject of labour law.