Meeting the women who work in St Francis Hospice


PODCAST: Getting a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of St Francis Hospice Dublin through the voices of some of the incredible women who work there.

The programme briefly journeys back to how St Francis Hospice came into existence over thirty years ago and learns the many reasons that it has grown into the community since then plus how palliative care has evolved over the intervening years.

Many of the staff have been working within the organisation for decades. Hear stories of what it’s like – from palliative nursing (including Martina O’Dowd and Betty McDonnell pictured) to social work, chaplaincy, reception, volunteering and community outreach. How do they cope with the inevitable grief that can surround them?

St Francis Hospice has been helping the people of Dublin’s north side for over thirty years. All of its services are provided free of charge to patients and their families. About 90 per cent of its staff and 70 percent of its volunteers are women.

I’d like to sincerely thank the many incredible people who made this documentary possible and shared their story for it – Sr Bernadette MacMahon, Martina O’Dowd, Betty McDonnell, Barbara Kilbride, Pat Breslin, Alison Barker, Barbara Sweeney, Sr Anna Kennedy, Margaret Winters, Anne Brennan, Mary Condon and Niamh Finucane. Plus, many thanks to others within St Francis Hospice who were so important to this being made including Donna Reddy education & publications officer and CEO Fintan Fagan. I have so much respect for all the dedicated people who come together each day to support patients and their families to live the best quality of life they can.