Mary McAleese opens new hospital facility


Former President of Ireland, Professor Mary McAleese visited Roscommon University Hospital on Monday to officially open the Design and Dignity Family Room and refurbished mortuary viewing room.

  The refurbishment of the family room and mortuary viewing room were funded under the Design and Dignity Grant Fund which is operated and co-funded by the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) and the Health Service Executive (HSE). 

  Roscommon University Hospital is one of over 48 hospitals in Ireland linked to the Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HFH) Programme. 

  Geraldine Keane, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Palliative Care, Roscommon University Hospital explains: “The family room was initially part of a palliative care room funded by the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice Foundation. The Design and Dignity Grant Funding has now enabled us to develop a purpose-designed family room, which provides family members with a peaceful and restful space. The room can accommodate up to eight people comfortably and can facilitate overnight stays. It has a recessed kitchenette, private shower and bathroom facilities.

  “The refurbishment of the mortuary ensures that relatives have space and dignity during a very difficult time in their lives.”

  Mary Garvey, General Manager, Roscommon University Hospital added: “Families need a private dignified space during this most critical time. Today we are pleased to open two new facilities that will offer some comfort to families when they need it most. The completion of both projects, along with ongoing support from Mayo/Roscommon Hospice Foundation and the Irish Hospice Foundation, ensure that a culture of care and respect for the dying and their families is embedded in Roscommon University Hospital.”

  Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation said: “We hope that this new beautiful family room and mortuary will be sanctuaries for families to be together in private at extremely difficult times in their lives and that these Design and Dignity projects will convey a sense of reverence and respect for life, death and bereavement.”

  Former President of Ireland, Professor Mary McAleese had high praise for the facilities and staff at Roscommon University Hospital.

  “It’s a wonderful thing to be in a place where people have looked beyond the person into the interior, looked beyond the patient, looked beyond the immediate medical need and ask what can we do? What is missing here? You have done that here with such care and dignity,” she said.