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HSE: 'Wicklow Hospice will require additional capital funding'

The HSE said the hospice has only been included “for mention” in submissions for the 2014 Service Plan and that several sites are being considered.

Day Lewis at the site yesterday with Kieran McLoughlin of the American Ireland Fund and Evanne Cahill of the Wicklow Hospice Foundation.
Day Lewis at the site yesterday with Kieran McLoughlin of the American Ireland Fund and Evanne Cahill of the Wicklow Hospice Foundation.
Image: Mick Kelly

YESTERDAY THERE WAS  good news and celebrations as the Wicklow Hospice Foundation announced that it was ready to proceed with its development at the Magheramore site in County Wicklow.

However, it seems the HSE have taken a step back from their commitment to the Magheramore site overlooking the sea near Brittas Bay.

Hospice patron

The Wicklow Hospice Foundation and Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day Lewis, the hospice’s patron, announced yesterday that they had almost reached its fundraising target of €3 million. This is 50 per cent of the building costs required for construction of the building.

Speaking to RTE yesterday at the Maghermore site, Day Lewis said that the HSE had made a commitment to come on board to build and fund the hospice if they could raise half the money. He said they were very confident that the full amount will be in place in time to proceed with the building.

The American Ireland Fund, who assisted the foundation with reaching the €3 million fundraising target for the hospice expressed their delight at the news that everything is in place for the HSE to now build the new facility.

Included “for mention”

However, in a statement today the HSE said that the hospice had only been included “for mention” in submissions made for the 2014 Service Plan. They stated that they support the development of a hospice facility for Wicklow but that they are evaluating several options including the site at Magheramore.

They stated that the project would need additional capital revenue funding for the development to take place and added that Magheramore was only one of the sites being evaluated.

Wicklow County Council confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the Wicklow Hospice Foundation had been in contact with the planning department on a pre-planning basis, but that “no formal planning application has been subitted for the Magheramore site”.

Evanne Cahill, Chair of Fundraising at The Wicklow Hospice Foundation said the people of Wicklow had “put their hearts and souls into this Magheramore Hospice facility as many of them had seen close family die in acute hospitals, miles from home”.

Perfect site

Daniel Day-Lewis told RTE that the Magheramore site was the perfect site for the long-awaited 12-bed facility because of the “great natural beauty” of the environment which he said is very important for such a facility.

He added that the the HSE confirmed that once the target was met, they would meet the €6 million and that there was  a “full understanding that they were going to come on board and this is where we are going to build it”. He said the “site at Magheramore gave far and away the greatest approval rating”.

He added that every county should have their own hospice and that Wicklow was an example as to what could be achieved.

Read: Hospice “ready to proceed”, after a little help from a local Oscar-winner>

Pics: ‘Lincoln’ props to be auctioned following Day-Lewis Oscar win>

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