Roy Keane flicks on Christmas lights at Cork hospice

Consultant says Marymount hospice indebted to many for Liam Miller fundraising match


A hospice consultant has paid tribute to Roy Keane and organisers of a special benefit game which raised some €250,000 for the hospice as Keane showed his support by switching on Christmas lights at the Cork facility.

Specialist consultant in palliative care, Dr Marie Murphy, said the Marymount hospice was indebted to Keane and others involved in organising the Liam Miller benefit match, and to the people of Cork, for their support in ensuring it was such a success – not just for soccer star Liam Miller’s family but for the hospice and other charities.

Speaking just before Keane turned on the lights on a huge Christmas Tree in the grounds of Marymount, near Bishopstown in Cork, Dr Murphy told the crowd of over 500 patients, families, friends and supporters that they had all been moved by the generosity of the people of Cork and beyond.

“In September, the city came out in force to honour the memory of Liam Miller – it was a truly a special day for Cork people and those from further afield. We are grateful for the support we received on that occasion and it was on that day, Roy Keane generously agreed to give Marymount his support.

“We are delighted to have Roy here today to switch on the Christmas Tree lights and we are so grateful to you, the people of Cork for your support – without you, we could not continue to provide our service. We are the custodians of a service that belongs to you – thank you for your dedication.”

There were loud cheers as Keane took to the podium and, following a countdown led by Marymount Hospice chief executive Dr Sarah McCloskey, the recently departed Republic of Ireland assistant manager flicked the switch to illuminate the hulking fir tree with a necklace of lights.

Dr McCloskey said Marymount’s service levels had more than doubled over the last decade and in the year to date it had cared for 3,000 patients and their families. She urged people to support its Light Up a Life fundraising drive, where people make a donation to dedicate a light on the tree to a loved one.

“Marymount needs a minimum of €3 million each year just to maintain current services… Trying to meet the ever-increasing demands and care complexity with diminished resources is more of a challenge now than ever,” said Dr McCloskey.

Among those in attendance at tonight’s Light Up a Life Ceremony was Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn, Minister of State Jim Daly, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Senator Jerry Buttimer, Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross Dr John Buckley and his niece, record All-Ireland medal winner Rena Buckley.

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