Friday 18 October 2019

'A really special place' - Dublin ladies football champions visit Crumlin Children's Hospital

Dublin Ladies football team with James Ryan (6 months)
Dublin Ladies football team with James Ryan (6 months)
Alex Daly (6) with the Dublin ladies football team
Rachel Ruddy (centre) is a physiotherapist in Crumlin Hospital
Dublin Ladies football team visit Crumlin Children’s Hospital
Rachel Ruddy with staff from Crumlin Children's Hospital

Aoife Walsh

Dublin ladies football champions made a special visit to Crumlin Children's Hospital today.

Just a day after claiming a successive All-Ireland win in front of a record crowd of 56,114, the Dublin team took the Brendan Martin cup to the wards of Children's Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin.

The visit was particularly special for player Rachel Ruddy, who will be returning to work as a physiotherapist in the hospital in a few days time.

She told, "I’m a physio here, so it’s lovely to come back to work and bring the cup back and show it to all the patients and my colleagues, it’s lovely. I’m here six years now, it’s lovely working in Crumlin. It’s a really special place."

Ruddy said the win was the result of putting "the work in", and balancing working with training.

"You never really know what’s going to happen. Galway are such a good team. We knew if we put the work in we’d have a good chance, but you never know really what way it’s going to go. Especially with those conditions. Yesterday was so, so messy," she said.

"I guess you’re doing it all your life. Football has always been a part of what I do, so I’m just used to working work around football and football around work. You just get used to it," she said.

As the team made their way to each room, the eyes of excited children lit up.

Alex Daly (6) with the Dublin ladies football team
Alex Daly (6) with the Dublin ladies football team

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Among them was 6-year-old Alex Daly. Alex was admitted to CHI on Friday night after suffering a serious asthma attack.

His mother, Lisa Daly said both the ladies and men's visit to the hospital has been very exciting for Alex.

"He’s just so excited with it. The boys were here yesterday, so he got some great pictures with the cup. When he heard the girls were coming, he’s a real girly kind of boy, so he was delighted when he saw them," she said.

Tracey Wall, Director of Nursing at CHI said: "It’s very exciting, yesterday we had the men champions, and today we have the ladies. It’s really important here, these visits. It’s a tradition that’s been happening for a number of years now. The children who are here, regardless of who they support, it’s a fantastic opportunity for them when they’re in hospital to see their GAA hero’s.

"Some of these children are on very difficult journeys. They will recover, they will get better but today is about seeing their heroes, changing the focus, changing the conversation and lifting their spirits. We’re all about that here in Crumlin, and we’re delighted to have the ladies champions here today."

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