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exclusive Claire Byrne interview: ‘I knew he wasn’t going to live forever but I felt I was losing a real champion’

The death of her beloved father Tom has made RTÉ’s Claire Byrne an advocate for end-of-life care, writes Catherine Fegan

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Claire Byrne with her late father Tom who died in the family home. This was facilitated by the local palliative care team. Byrne is now patron of the Midlands Hospice Foundation which campaigns for a hospice for the region. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Claire Byrne with her late father Tom who died in the family home. This was facilitated by the local palliative care team. Byrne is now patron of the Midlands Hospice Foundation which campaigns for a hospice for the region. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Broadcaster Claire Byrne who is Patron of a fundraising campaign for an in patient palliative care unit facility at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore. Photo by Steve Humphreys 10th December 2021.

Broadcaster Claire Byrne who is Patron of a fundraising campaign for an in patient palliative care unit facility at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore. Photo by Steve Humphreys 10th December 2021.

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Claire Byrne with her late father Tom who died in the family home. This was facilitated by the local palliative care team. Byrne is now patron of the Midlands Hospice Foundation which campaigns for a hospice for the region. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Claire Byrne knew her father Tom didn’t have long left.

Together with her mother Breda and five siblings, she was at his bedside, each of them taking it in turn to hold his hand while he slowly began to slip away.


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