Family Raises €7,000 For Kerry Hospice In Memory Of Donal

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Aoife, Paula and Siobhan McSweeney presenting a cheque to Maura Sullivan and Mary Shanahan of Kerry Hospice on Friday. Photo by Dermot Crean

A KILCUMMIN family raised thousands of euro for the Palliative Care Unit at University Hospital Kerry in memory of Donal McSweeney.

The McSweeneys set up a gofundme page last month to thank Kerry Hospice for the amazing care Donal received during his illness and they eventually realised €7,000 which was presented on Friday.

Donal Mc Sweeney, affectionately known as Dodo, passed away just over a month ago after a long battle with oesophageal cancer.

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The McSweeney family penned the following tribute to Donal…

“He was the best father and husband we could ever ask for. We always felt like his number one. We will always have very fond memories of him especially music sessions and “sing songs”.

He played with country music for most of his life. Music was his passion and he always brought families together with his guitar.

He was at home during most of his illness, however, the last couple of weeks we were unable to manage his symptoms at home. Dad always said he is happy he got ill rather than us. This was an example of his selfless personality.

It was a hard journey to go through with dad. However, it was made a little easier with the fantastic services he received from Dr. Margaret Clifford and the palliative team in Killarney and Tralee.

His room in Tralee was like a “home from home” and we are so grateful we were with him during his final peaceful moments.  Dad always said about the nurses that visited him and the staff in the palliative care team that they were “tops”.

I got to play the piano for him one last time at the centre.  Dad was able to open and close windows with the touch of a button from his bed, adjust the temperature of the room and  listen to music.

It was so nice to be able to visit dad and know he was receiving the very best of care. He was always treated with respect and dignity. He had his first jacuzzi here and really enjoyed it. We are so lucky to have such fantastic people working here and a fantastic facility in Kerry.

As a family we are after having a very strange year. Dads sister passed away in Boston after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

We know our family in Boston would love to be here with us. Moms brother Seamus O Connor from Kitty O Shes  passed away with Covid.

We will be having a very strange Christmas indeed. Our two men will be missing but they will be with us in spirit. We would like to say thank you so much to everyone for their very generous donations for this fantastic facility built by the Kerry Hospice Foundation especially during these hard times.

We would also like to say a big thank you to dads work colleagues at the Department of Justice for their support to dad during his illness from sending letters, cards and a blanket that was knitted by them (this was actually with him when he passed away). We received so much support from his colleagues and still are helping us deal with paperwork.

On a personal note we would also like to thank our fantastic families and our amazing neighbours for their friendships and bringing endless amounts of food and buns.

We would also like to thank Eileen from Kittys (Seamus’ soulmate) who provided us with so much support as close friends and provided lots of food and treats during the funeral.  We always feel close to Seamus when we are with her and lucky to have her in our lives.

It has been a hard year, however, we have a lot to be grateful for also and are so grateful for the wonderful people we have in our lives. We would like to wish everyone a Happy and safe Christmas.

Dodo you will always be lovingly remembered.

From Siobhan, Paula & Aoife”

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