The Hospital of the Assumption in Thurles had some good news on Friday as their multi-sensory garden was finally finished and available for their residents and patients to enjoy. A multi sensory garden embraces the five senses: touch, taste, sight, sound and smell.
This beautiful space has pathways running through and a stunning gazebo as a centrepiece. There are many beautiful plants and trees throughout the garden and lots of comfortable seating for those who want to sit and take in the beauty of the garden. Retired staff Helen Galvin, Kitty Coke, Anna Kennedy and Bridget Power thought the garden was fabulous and were very happy be present at the official opening.
At the official opening, Ms Mairead Greene, Acting Director of Nursing, welcomed everybody to the official opening including his Grace Bishop Clifford, local councillors and Government Ministers, patients, residents, staff members and retired staff members.
Ms Greene went on to describe how it was a dream six years ago to build a sensory garden at the hospital and that it was now a reality. She expressed sincere gratitude to all those involved in bringing the garden to life especially the fundraising committee, Architect Donal Ryan, landscape gardener Colm Young and John O’Dwyer and Seamus Heaney who designed the beautiful gazebo which is the focal point in the garden.
His Grace Dr Clifford said that it was great to be at an opening rather than a closing at the hospital. He praised the work that went into the garden and how it was going to be a place for people at the hospital to be able to chill out and relax and how the garden represented God’s paradise. Readings and a gospel along with prayers of the faithful were chosen to reflect the importance of the garden.
After the prayers Ms Greene called upon Tom Higgins, Chairman of the Friends of the Hospital of the Assumption, to officially open the garden. She thanked Tom and the committee for all of their hard work in fundraising for the garden and all they have done for the hospital. Mr Higgins said that he felt both honoured and humbled to be asked to officially open the garden. He spoke of his history with the hospital and how he got involved with the committee. He was approached in 2001 by Mary Burke and Mary Shortt who asked him to join a committee to raise funds that would go towards activities for the patients such as art classes and outings to matches. After the success of that fundraising drive he was then asked to join the committee of the Friends of the Hospital of the Assumption. He took the opportunity to thank all of the individuals, families, clubs and anybody who contributed to the fundraising for the garden. He thanked the architect, the builders, the HSE and the staff at the hospital for helping to make the garden possible.
Mr Higgins along with Ms Greene and His Grace Dr Clifford then proceeded to cut the ribbons of blue and gold and blue and white. The garden was declared officially opened and a plaque was unveiled to mark this very special occasion for the Hospital of the Assumption.
Bernard Gloster of the HSE said how delighted he was to be at the official opening of the garden. He said that the garden would be a wonderful benefit to residents and staff at the hospital as a multi-sensory garden has therapeutic values for those who use it. He praised the staff at the hospital and their hard work which was reflected in the HIQUA report. Mr Gloster said it was a lovely gesture to have Tom Higgins officially open the garden as the Friends of the Hospital of the Assumption committee were very important to the hospital and it was a fitting tribute to them. Mr Gloster said it was a great achievement in challenging times and that it was important to recognise good news. He wished everybody the best of luck in using the garden and congratulated all involved with its building and development.
Ms Greene once again thanked everybody for attending the official opening and she invited everybody to join in the celebrations prepared by the Hospital of the Assumption to officially mark this wonderful occasion for the hospital.