Today was the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Marymount Hospice, some members of the family have attended each year since my late Mother was a patient there.Sadly this is the last year as the hospice is moving to the other side of the city to a large new greenfield site.
The hospital has been on this site overlooking the city for 140 years in the charge of the Sisters of Charity. The hospice has been in operation for a number of years but was only on one floor of the building as the remainder is St Patrick's hospital for older people.It is another northside institution moving to the other side of the city and the northside will soon be bereft of hospitals, a battle is ongoing at the moment to prevent St Mary's Orthopaedic hospital from the same fate.Its all part of the HSE 'centres of Excellence' moving all services to one location.Most of the staff of this hospital are from the locality and may not be in a position to commute across the city to work
The city in the gathering dusk, the blue spike is on top of a huge apartment block and shopping area which was finished just in time for the recession and so by all accounts remains empty!
D.Michelle and Kevin well wrapped up against the bitter cold.
The army band of the Southern Command and the Garda choir provided the music and singing.
A tradition which we will miss up here is the provision of Irish Coffee and mince pies in the canteen once the lighting ceremony is over, Michelle waiting patiently for our Irish coffees!
The lights on the Christmas Tree are paid for by donations and everyone on the day and for weeks beforehand 'buys' lights to remember loved ones who have passed on.I took the photo of the tree from the hospital grounds it is much higher to see it from the lower ground level as it is a very old tree which has weathered many a storm over our city.
The Lord Mayor Michael O Connell was in attendance and Kevin was very proud when he agreed to have a photo taken with him.
Scott stayed home warm and cosy!