30 years at Galway Hospice

We are delighted to congratulate Judy Tierney, Colette Dodd, and Mary Tierney, who have all recently celebrated the wonderful achievement of 30 years of service at Galway Hospice.

Through three decades of dedication, these staff members have showcased immense loyalty and commitment to the hospice. Their work has been hugely instrumental in the long-term growth of the organisation, joining just four years after the establishment of Galway Hospice in 1990. Back then, it was a small team with big dreams. In the first hospice building on Prospect Hill, all three women worked in the same single office, which was shared with two other colleagues.

At the time, the need for hospice care in the community was evident, and something each staff member recognised the demand for long before their roles began. The father of our Finance Manager, Colette had attended the very first meeting of the Galway Hospice Weekly Draw in Loughrea. Her parents had both passed before hospice care in Galway was available. The ability to contribute to the facilitation of hospice care then became a driving factor for Colette to join the hospice, so she could aid in the provision of homecare for other families.

Judy, our HR Business Advisor, also has a personal connection to Galway Hospice. Her father in-law, Des Tierney, was a well-respected staff member of Galway Hospice. Des was the first employee who would avail of our services following his retirement, being taken care of by his previous colleagues at the hospice during his final days. With most of his family residing in the United States, both them and Judy were extremely grateful that she could be close by to support him at the hospice. Upon their visits during the spring, his American relatives would purchase handfuls of hand-knitted chicks for his windowsill, a product generously gifted to the hospice each year that still reminds Judy of special times spent with him every Easter.

Mary Tierney has worked with the fundraising department since 1994, building strong relationships with hundreds of dedicated hospice supporters over the years, assisting with thousands of local fundraisers in the community and helping to organise popular annual hospice events like the Croagh Patrick Climb and the Galway Memorial Walk.

Seeing the significant growth and development of Galway Hospice over the three decades has been hugely fulfilling for them all.

An early milestone was the opening of the current building on Old Dublin Road in 1995, which was a result of years of consistent lobbying and community support. Now on a path to develop a new hospice building, their passion to increase the accessibility and quality of palliative care for patients and their families is equally strong as it was before. “If anything, it’s a new beginning. It’s so exciting. There is always something to be striving for,” says Colette.

The most recent achievement which they highlighted was in becoming a Section 38 agency in late 2023, something which they have all been “fighting for since day one”. This extra financial support from the state only drives their ambitions further, exciting them about the future opportunities that it can help to create as we strive to expand and improve our services for the community.

Throughout the 30 years they have spent together, they have watched the growth of not only the hospice, but also of themselves and their families. Judy recalls Colette’s children being too short to see above the hatch of the old hospice. Now they are in their forties with children of their own.

However, many things have stayed the same. The mission, values, and ethos of Galway Hospice are just as they were when they began. They fondly recall the moment when the team had collectively decided on the motto ‘Every Moment Matters’, which remains the same guiding words of Galway Hospice to this day.

All three women have always had a steadfast passion to support the hospice, which is evidenced by their long-term attendance at our yearly fundraisers. This also provides them the opportunity to hear heartfelt stories from those who have availed of our services, which they say further strengthens their sense of fulfilment in the important work they do. They have also witnessed many family gatherings at the hospice throughout the years, such as christenings, wedding anniversaries and Christmas dinners, all which serve as reminders for the meaningful memories they help to facilitate.

All the ladies acknowledged that throughout both the shared success and challenges faced, the support, collaboration and positivity from colleagues has always been there.

“It has never been a job, it has always been a pleasure,” says Judy.

We would like to thank them for their incredible contribution over the thirty years. Without the formidable work of Judy, Mary and Colette, Galway Hospice would not be where it is today.

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