A CHARITY which has raised millions for hospitals in Limerick and the region has lost somebody “irreplaceable” in the shape of Dan Gallery, who passed away over the weekend.
Mr Gallery, former regional manager of the Bank of Ireland in Limerick, will also be sorely missed at Old Crescent RFC, where he served two terms as president, and at Lahinch Golf Club. He was laid to rest in Ennistymon the day after his native County Clare were crowned All-Ireland champions.
It was after his retirement from the bank that Dan Gallery made his mark with the Mid-Western Hospitals Development Trust, where he went on to replace the late Louis Creaven as chairman in 2011.
Since the 1980s, the trust has in conjunction with the JP McManus Pro-Am been responsible for €18 million worth of projects at hospitals across the region. Its work is responsible for the radiotherapy centre at University Hospital Limerick and Dan Gallery was a key figure in advancing two major ongoing projects - a six-storey block that will accommodate new breast cancer and dermatology units and a dialysis unit which will be provided next to the critical care block in Dooradoyle.
Fintan Wallis, consultant radiologist and trustee director of the trust, said Dan Gallery was “a fantastic guy who devoted so much of his time for free to the work of the trust”.
“He was instrumental for us in getting over financial hurdles and building issues as they arose. But apart from all of that he was an unbelievably well-liked guy throughout the hospital. He was very humble about what he did. He never looked for any praise; he never looked for anything in return,” said Mr Wallis.
While many of the members of the trust were senior medical professionals who identified gaps in the health service in Limerick, “we really didn’t have a clue as doctors when it came to dealing with contracts or talking to developers”.
Dan Gallery’s experience in banking and business “brought a skills base none of us had; he was a great man to have at a negotiating table and we think he will prove irreplaceable”.
Anne Doherty, chief executive of the University of Limerick Hospitals Group, said Mr Gallery was “a man of great vision, a practical patriot who made an enormous contribution to the health service in the Mid-West and it will be some time before his achievements are fully appreciated with the completion of campus development at University Hospital Limerick in Dooradoyle”.
“He was a man of great kindness and charm. He was also an exceptional diplomat and possessed the ability of being able to achieve consensus among people of conflicting views and bringing them forward in unity,” Ms Doherty said.
Outside of his professional life and charitable work, Mr Gallery will be remembered as a man of warmth and with a very sharp wit.
So involved was he with Old Crescent, particularly in the club’s fundraising efforts, that he was known by members as “the owner”.
Dan Gallery, late of Castletroy and Ennistymon, passed away on Friday in the care of Milford Care Centre and is survived by his wife Eileen, children Aidan, Kieran, Niamh and Donal, relatives and a wide circle of friends.