Sunday 18 March 2018

Mother Teresa letter features in hospice archive

Mother Teresa. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
Mother Teresa. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Alan O'Keeffe

Care of the dying has been hugely improved by the Irish Hospice Foundation - and now a new, online archive celebrating 30 years of vital change is going live today.

The archive charts the beginning of a movement to ease the suffering of patients and to support their families with improvements in palliative care.

When the foundation was set up by Dr Mary Redmond and others back in 1986, there was just one hospice in Dublin and very few hospice beds outside of the capital.

Now there are hospices on three sites in Dublin and a number of hospices in many parts of the country.

Laura Rooney Ferris, information and library manager at the foundation, said is being launched today to tell the story of the development of hospice care in Ireland.

It shows the growing involvement of many well-known figures in the development of hospice services. Several archive items deal with Dr Redmond highlighting the lack of adequate care for terminally ill children in the 1980s.

Mother Teresa's letter
Mother Teresa's letter

Famous people who feature in the archive as supporters and backers include Maeve Binchy, Seamus Heaney, Gabriel Byrne, Bono and Miriam O'Callaghan. It includes letters from Mother Teresa of Calcutta to Dr Redmond dealing with a proposal that her nuns might set up an Aids hospice in Dublin.

Irish Independent

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