Picture Special: Special celebration to mark two decades of the Donegal Hospice

THE love, compassion and care shown to patients of Donegal Hospice and their loved ones was celebrated at a special event marking the facility’s 20th year in Letterkenny.

Staff and volunteers past and present gathered at Knocknamona for a special celebration to mark the two decades of the palliative care unit.

The eight-bed unit opened in 2003, having expanded from a home care service in 1988. The office was originally situated at 86a Upper Main Street.


From its humble beginning to the present day, Donegal Hospice has been rooted in the heart of the community, where support and fundraising have remained key to the ongoing development and operation of palliative care services within the county.

Since its inception, Donegal Hospice has provided dignified end-of-life care to thousands of patients, while also supporting their nearest and dearest ensuring that their loved-one’s end-of-life journey was respectful, sensitive and understanding.

As well as providing end-of-life care, Donegal Hospice has also supported thousands more to receive specialist support in their own homes.

Fifty-three staff are currently employed in Donegal Hospice, including seven home nurses working under the leadership of Director of Nursing Catherine Regan.

Consultants Dr Jessica Sui and Dr Averil Fountain were welcomed by the hospice in 2021.

The 20th anniversary was marked with cake and refreshments.

Blessings were offered by Rev Jim Lamont, Fr. Shane Gallagher and Rev Heather Houlton.


The special event also afforded the committee the opportunity to reminisce over the last two decades as well as look to the exciting plans for the future.

Donegal County Council is tomorrow due to give its decision on extension plans at the facility.

The Hospice wants to add a single-storey extension comprising of four patient wards to its building at Knocknamona.

If successful, the plans will add to the care facility’s existing six single rooms and two apartments, all of which have a balcony overlooking gardens and grounds.

The Hospice also has a family day room, prayer room and a day care service to support patients and families.

Meanwhile, fundraising continues with a ball set to take place in June to coincide with the hugely successful ‘Jive for June’ fundraiser, which, to date, has raised over €120,000. More details on this are to follow.

Rev Jim Lamount, Fr. Shane Gallagher and Rev Heather Houlton at the Donegal Hospice for the 20th anniversary.

Theresa McDaid and Anne Marie Bonner.

Bernie Kelly and Rev. Jim Lamont at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Donegal Hospice.

Managers Lucia, Olivia ,Catherine and Mary at the celebration.

Rev. Heather Houlton and the Rev. Jim Lamont arriving at the Donegal Hospice on Friday.

Hospice Director Catherine Regan with consultants Dr. Jesica Sui and Dr Averil Fountain.

Some of the the original staff of the Donegal Hospice including from left, Helena Doherty, Shanon O’Donnell, Mary McLaughlin, Katherine Sweeney, Lucia Mc Gettigan, Catherine Mc Devitt, Jean Alcorn and Noreen Lynagh.

Staff past and present and guests pictured arriving for a special service to make the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Donegal Hospice in Knocknamona. Photos Brian McDaid.

Jennifer Mulcahy, Lucia McGettigan, Grace Boyle, Isobel Rodgers sand Mary Collins.

Isobel Rodgers and Grace Boyle with the cake to make the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Donegal Hospice.

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