Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Bay South has said that the State must move to provide increased financial assistance to the 218 bed hospice and hospital where specialist care is provided for people with a range of needs.

Deputy O’Callaghan raised his concerns during a special Topical Issue debate in Dáil Éireann this week following confirmation that the HSE have refused an application that was submitted by Our Lady’s Hospice for funding.

“The staff and volunteers at Our Lady’s provide and invaluable service and is an institution that is loved by very many people throughout Dublin,” he said.

“It is important that the State recognises the role of the hospice in our community, not simply by talking about it, but by making some active financial contribution. The hospice needs to be assisted financially in respect of the work that is on-going.

“Ireland’s over-65 population is growing rapidly and is expected to triple to 1.4 million over the next 30 years. We need to prepare for that. Fortunately, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services has designed and commenced the construction of a new palliative care centre and are also expanding their home care service.

“The HSE did not provide any funding to the first phase of the build. Fundraising income must therefore be generated to fund this major capital redevelopment project. Furthermore, almost 300 volunteers are committed to keeping all services and beds open in the hospice and wider locality.

“This Government must recognise the service provided in Harold’s Cross and which continues to save the State millions of euro, while providing the best, most professional care to patients.

“I ask the Minister of State to provide some practical support financially and urge the HSE to consider the next funding stage positively,” concluded Deputy O’Callaghan.