Oldest hospice reveals its secrets in TV tribute

A fly-on-the-wall documentary is to take a look behind the scenes at the country’s oldest hospice in Cork city prior to its move to new premises.

The two-part TV3 documentary on St Patrick’s Marymount Hospital at Wellington Rd will portray the ups and downs of day-to-day life at the 145-year-old facility.

Airing at 10pm on Tuesday, Marymount will include memories of the much-loved Cork institution before its move to a new hospital, which will make it Ireland’s most advanced palliative care facility and a centre of excellence for the Irish hospice movement.

The new, purpose-built hospice and hospital was built on a greenfield site at Curraheen, just outside Cork city, at a cost of €60m, €9m of which needs to be raised locally over three years.

The 75-bed hospital and 44-bed hospice overlooks Curraheen interchange on the Ballincollig bypass, with the main entrance at Ballinaspig More, Waterfall Rd.

St Patrick’s Hospital owes its origins to the inspiration of Dr Patrick Murphy, who, from his own experiences living and working in Cork, appreciated the medical needs of the sick and poor of the city.

Impressed with the work of the Sisters of Charity in Cork, especially during the Famine, he bequeathed to them whatever remained of his estate on condition that they provide a hospital or room for incurable cancer patients. St Patrick’s first opened its doors in Sept 1870 and, over the years, established itself as a key element of the health services in Cork, caring mainly for patients with cancer or TB.

The palliative care programme at the specialist unit, Marymount, was established in 1980.

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