At a wonderful evening at the atmospheric Tramore Inn in Downings on Sunday, December 1st, a community donation was made to St. James’s Hospital. The fundraising organisers, led by Sarah McBride, of Gortnabrade, Carrigart, presented a cheque for €17,300 to Edwina Hogan, Chief Executive of St. James’s Hospital Foundation. The community fundraising effort was motivated following a period during which Sarah’s brother, Edward, had been a cancer patient. Edward’s mother, many of her other children and many extended members of this well-known and popular family were present for what was a very special occasion.
The extraordinarily generous donation was raised primarily on Friday, November 1st; a 25 card drive and auction and raffle were held at The Tramore Inn; €7,000 was raised by the auction alone with €6,700 generated by the 25 card drive and the balance made up by the raffle, personal donations, the proceeds of another 25 card drive held the same night at Oliver Dempsey’s Bar, River Street in Boston, and fundraising carried out by friends in London at Ealing Hospital. Sarah said: “This was all Edward’s idea so all credit goes to him and his unbelievable number of friends”. She said they were overwhelmed by peoples’ support: “A special thank you has to go to all the sponsors but they are too many to mention – everyone from local farmers to small businesses from the parishes of Mevagh to Fanad and Milford and surrounding areas; Dominic Shields is the proprietor of The Tramore Inn and we are so grateful to him for all his help and generosity.”
St. James’s is the largest single provider of cancer treatment in Ireland and is the largest national centre for radiotherapy service. A major government funded Cancer Care Centre and Radiation Oncology Centre is based on the site and a facility for PET imaging for advanced patient diagnosis is open – the first such facility within a public hospital in Ireland.