'We have to get over this county boundary thing' says veteran campaigner

Egis Paulikas

Reporter:

Egis Paulikas

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egis@alphanewspapers.com

A VETERAN champion of hospice care in Offaly has said the provision of a regional hospice in the Midlands will be “the last piece of the jigsaw.”

Lusmagh based Edward Delahunt, who has been the public face of Offaly Hospice for decades, suggested a Midlands Hospice committee be formed and “our name taken out of the equation.”

“We need this for the Midlands and someone has to start . . we have put our foot out there but we need all the help we can get,’ he stressed.

Continued Mr Delahunt: “We are a small committee but we are prepared to shoulder in but we need help to make this happen from the political side and all you folk here.”

“We have to get over this county boundary thing and I’m not being disrespectful to anyone,” he outlined.

Asked to clarify his remarks by Fidelma Gallagher, Mr Delahunt said the whole project “would be made a lot simpler if we could hope to embrace the different hospice committees” in the region.

He said Tullamore had been designated as the preferred location and “we had no hand, act or part in it.”

“I think if we start a Midlands Hospice group it would take the parochialism out of it,” he added.

Mr Delahunt said the project would be modelled on the “Kerry vision” where a 16 bed unit costing €7 million had been developed.

Cllr Danny Owens, Cathaoirleach, Offaly County Council, said the body would not be found wanting when the fund-raising campaign commences.

Stressing “we all have been touched by cancer”, Cllr Owens said it was important that all four counties in the Midlands supported the plan.

Sean O’Brien, an independent candidate in the Tullamore Electoral Area in this month’s local elections, said it “wasn’t every day you will attend a meeting and see €500,000 being handed over by a charity.”

He said the rally positive thing that had come out of the meeting was that the foundation had been laid for the development.

Offaly Hospice Administrator Mary Murphy confirmed that the name of the bank account for the project will be the Midlands Hospice Building Fund.

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