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Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Harold’s Cross has officially opened the most ambitious project in its 139-year history, a €15 million 36 single, en-suite bedroom specialist Palliative Care Unit.

The new facility, has been developed on the 22-acre campus in Harold’s Cross to ensure that patients in the care of the Hospice receive the best possible privacy, dignity, comfort and excellence of care at end of life.  Many of the aspects of the design were informed by the views of staff, patients and their families to ensure that the new facility best meets their individual needs.

Operating in Harold’s Cross since 1879 and in Blackrock Hospice since 2003, the organisation is Ireland’s largest palliative care facility and serves a population of around a million people across south Dublin and north Wicklow.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD commented on the importance of such facilities, in light of Ireland’s ageing population: “At a time when we are all living longer it is vital that we provide the best support to people as they become frail or face illness. The Hospice supports people during these times and works with patients and their families to celebrate life and ensure their dignity and comfort”.

Pictured: L-R An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Sean Benton, Chairman of Our Ladys Hospice and Care services and Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photographer: Bryan Brophy

Chief Executive Officer, Ms Audrey Houlihan expressed her pride at this redevelopment, which is the culmination of seven year’s work: “This is a real community effort to provide an essential service.  From those who provided financial support to those who shared thoughts and ideas and volunteered their time, to our staff who brought this vision to life through their commitment to palliative care and patient needs.

“This modern facility will transform the quality of life for our patients and their families, as well as meeting the changing care needs of this, and future generations, something that has become crucially important with our ageing population”.

The hospice includes features such as in-room sofa-beds for families, a heated garden pod, jacuzzi therapy baths, and technology to help those with specific requirements to remain as independent and safe as possible.