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Day-Lewis support helps hospice to hit €3m target


Daniel Day-Lewis. Picture: Mark Condren

Daniel Day-Lewis. Picture: Mark Condren

Daniel Day-Lewis. Picture: Mark Condren

THE Wicklow Hospice Foundation will reach its €3m target in the coming weeks, thanks to the Daniel Day-Lewis effect.

The Hollywood actor held the European premiere of his Oscar-winning film Lincoln in Dublin last January and as a result the hospice has almost reached the necessary amount to fund the new centre at Magheramore beach in Co Wicklow.

Day-Lewis is patron of the hospice, a similar facility to the cottage hospital where his mother died in the UK after she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

The hospice is hoping to be in the HSE divisional service plan for 2014, in turn seeing the start of the build in 2015.

More than €250,000 was raised from the star-studded banquet held at the Burlington Hotel last year, which was attended by Day-Lewis, fellow actor Sally Field and director Steven Spielberg.

"The premiere gave us a real shot in the arm and boosted our profile, putting a county organisation on to the national stage," Dr Brendan Cuddihy, chairman of the Wicklow Hospice Foundation, said.

"It's had a galvanising effect and a number of positive have come our way from that event.

"The American-Ireland Fund have taken an interest in what we're doing and have since made a generous donation, as did a number of others.

"We regularly receive anonymous donations too, so without doubt 2013 was our best year," he said.

"People thought we'd never raise any money in a recession and looked at us strangely in 2009 when we set out our plans, but now we're on the verge of reaching our target."

Dr Cuddihy said the My Left Foot and Gangs of New York star, who owns a home in Roundwood but is largely based in the US, remains very committed to seeing the progression of the project at Magheramore and is in regular contact with them.