On a night when the funding resources for the Oncology Unit at Letterkenny General Hospital and the Donegal Hospice were added to, two stories stood out.
There was the revelation by Town Mayor, Tadhg Culbert, the chief organiser for Friday’s night birthday bash, that he was three years in remission from the cancer which had necessitated urgent medical treatment.
“If it hadn’t been for the 0ncology unit, I’d have been in the Hospice across the road. The staff there helped keep me alive,” he insisted, praising the two charities which were close to his heart.
Earlier on the night, former T.D., Dr. James McDaid referred to a young patient of his who had been on holidays in Bulgaria two weeks ago and was now facing death. The young man in question subsequently passed away over the weekend.
In his address to the fund-raising function in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Dr. McDaid spoke of the huge importance of the Oncology Unit and the Donegal Hospice with which he was involved. “I see so many people here tonight who have lost people to this illness,” he maintained.
The Donegal Hospice belonged to the people of the county and it didn’t matter whether they were rich or poor, he added. It made sure of an existence of dignity for its patients.
The Oncology unit, meanwhile, was involved in research aimed at reducing the incidence of cancer. “They are the real life safers,” he pointed out.
Dr. McDaid thanked all who had contributed to the ongoing fund-raising efforts over the years and also acknowledged his friendship with clr. Culbert.
Describing himself as “overwhelmed” by the support for the birthday bash, the Mayor said his biggest fear was that nobody would turn up on the night.
Paying tribute to those who had helped in the organisation and hosting of it, including Brian Kelly and Anthony Arthur, he thanked his fellow councillors who had voted him into the position of Mayor last year which he described as the most singular honour of his life.
Referring to all those families who had been touched by cancer, he highlighted his own battle with the disease. “I’m three years in remission last month,” he disclosed.
“Our health is the most important think we can have,” the Mayor insisted.
Also among the attendance at Friday night’s fund-raising event were Deputies Charlie McConalogue and Senator Jimmy Harte.