Former Sligo born journalist greets Taoiseach at Dublin’s renovated Blackrock Hospice

Pictured at the official re-opening of Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Blackrock, after a €7 million refurbishment project is An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD meeting patient Mary Kerrigan, from Ballsbridge, originally form Sligo. Pic: Naoise Culhane

Sligo Champion

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited Blackrock Hospice today to officially reopen the facility after a €7 million refurbishment project. Amongst those to greet him was patient, Mary Kerrigan, a native of Sligo. The former journalist and barrister worked with the Evening Press and Sunday Press and was press director of Fianna Fáil in 1992-95. She also worked in the European Commission.

Blackrock Hospice is part of Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Ireland’s largest provider of palliative care, which serves a catchment area of a million people from its bases in Harold’s Cross (1879), Blackrock (2003) and Wicklow (2020).

Having first opened in 2003, this refurbishment of Blackrock Hospice was vital to ensure that it can continue to meet the need of the community now and in the future. Many of the renovations and design features which took place during the 13 month works, were informed by significant research conducted by OLH&CS in advance of a series of recent capital investments across its sites and services.

The renovation would not have been possible without the generosity of the public and businesses who have donated more than €5.58 million.

The catchment area for Blackrock Hospice has the oldest age profile nationally and demand for its services continues to grow. Inpatient admissions increased by 25% between 2007 and 2019, and community palliative care saw an increase of 96% patients cared for between 2007 (248) and 2019 (487).

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said; “It is a pleasure to join patients and staff at Blackrock Hospice today, marking the official reopening of this wonderful facility. As life expectancy increases and people enjoy longer lives, palliative care, and the way it is given, is changing. I am impressed with the physical renovations carried out as part of the refurbishment works at Blackrock Hospice, and also by the way Our Lady's Hospice & Care Services continues to develop and evolve their service to care for people in their homes, and as outpatients. It’s clear that they take a holistic approach to the needs of patients, which is of great benefit to them and their families.”