MILFORD Care Centre CEO Pat Quinlan said a €40,000 donation from Donal Walsh’s #LiveLife foundation was a “real affirmation” for the facility.
Speaking after the presentation by Elma Walsh - mother of the late Donal, who passed away in 2013 from cancer and whose father Fionnbar, hails from Knocklong - he said the donation was “a huge amount of money”.
It will be put toward a new teenage room to be included in plans for a new state-of-the-art hospice at Milford, to serve the Limerick area and wider region, which will be configured entirely for single occupancy and cost more than €8m.
While some €3.4m of that will come from the JP McManus Benevolent Fund, Milford must fundraise for the balance.
“It is a magnificent contribution and we are very appreciative to the Donal Walsh foundation for first of all thinking of us, and secondly such a huge level of support - it will make a difference,” said Mr Quinlan.
“The plan is we are going to use that to support the new hospice development here in Milford, so that we can make sure that the facilities are such that they can respond to a whole range of needs into the future, which we haven’t been able to do in the past.
“We have set ourselves a fundraising target of €500,000 each year for the next four years, but that is on top of the €1.5m we need to fundraise anyway. So it means, over the next four years, Milford Hospice has to raise €2m each year,” he said.
Donal’s Mum Elma, who was present at the cheque handover along with then Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh, who has raised money for the foundation, said it was “Milford’s turn”.
“We try and keep the money in the area where it has been collected and where we know it is needed as well,” she said of the funds raised through events organised by local schools and community groups, name checking Olive Foley - wife of Munster coach Anthony - in particular for her efforts.
“Donal spoke about the condition in hospitals and hospices and while we can’t do anything for hospitals, because there are so many of them, we will try and do it for hospices. We try and target an area and try and give back the money from where people are collecting from,” she said.
Mrs Walsh said her son was always on her mind.
“He never leaves, he is constantly there and reminds me too - even when you get the post every morning, people taken by the message,” she said.
“He just wanted people to go out and appreciate life a bit more and to do something they hadn’t done before - a challenge they hadn’t done before. The support (for the foundation) is massive, unbelievable. It is great the support is still out there, they are still talking about him and the message is still going, even two years later.”