The Beginnings

History of Friends of St. Brigid's Hospice

Teresa O’Doherty, ably assisted by Dr. Rosaleen Corcoran, initiated the hospice movement in Kildare/West Wicklow. Teresa was inspired by Dr. Mary Redmond, founder of the Irish Hospice Foundation. She and Dr. Rosaleen Corcoran, Programme Manager of the then Eastern Health Board, planned to provide palliative care for the community of Kildare and West Wicklow.

The first support group was set up in Clane. The first palliative care bed was opened in the Drogheda Memorial Hospital on the Curragh in 1991. A Palliative Home Care nurse appointment followed soon afterwards.

A governing body called the Friends of St Brigid’s Hospice was formed and a unique voluntary statutory partnership with the Eastern Health Board and governors of the Drogheda Memorial Hospital came into being. The steering committee included the late Captain Larry Furlong who played a pivotal role in creating this partnership. They worked enthusiastically and tirelessly to advance the project, i.e. to provide a consultant led purpose built unit which opened at the Curragh in 2004.

The first Chairperson of The Friends was Captain Larry Furlong, followed by Teresa O’Doherty, who retired in 2007. Eileen McDonald, has been Chairperson since that time.