Christine McDonnell, Katherine Kenny, Fr Phil Gaffney, Emma O'Sullivan, Kay Slevin, Marie Corbett, Rev Alastair Graham, Barry Lucy and Eilish O'Connor.

Memorial bench unveiled in Belvedere by MRH Mullingar

During November healthcare workers across Ireland mark Remembrance Month. This allows staff and families to organise events and ceremonies to remember those who have passed away over the course of the previous twelve months.

This year Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar is marking Remembrance Month in a unique way. Today a memorial bench was unveiled in Belvedere House and Gardens. The memorial bench will overlook the lake in the park. Belvedere also kindly arranged to plant a tree beside the bench.

Emma O’Sullivan, bereavement nurse specialist, in Mullingar hospital said, “The past 18 months or two years have been incredibly hard on families who have lost loved ones. People have been unable to mourn in a traditional way. We hope this bench will signify to the community that the staff of Mullingar hospital are always thinking of those who have died in the hospital. Plus, we hope this beautiful location will allow people the space and connection with nature which can be so helpful when grieving.

"The memorial bench is sponsored by the hospital. The hospital hopes this gesture will bring comfort to bereaved families and provide them with a scenic quiet place for reflection."

Members of hospital management, clinical staff and local clergy met to unveil the bench and there was a tree planting ceremony. They were joined by Barry Lucy and members of his family, who represented all bereaved families. They honoured the memory of their parents Sean and Clare (RIP).

Barry Lucy said, “This bench is a physical reminder to all of us who have lost someone that the doctors, nurses and staff at Mullingar Regional Hospital care deeply for the welfare of their patients and that the work they do is more than just a job to them. I can never adequately express my family's gratitude for the dignity and consideration with which they treated my parents in their last days.”

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the hospital hosted remembrance services for all bereaved families. These services brought great comfort to families and staff alike.

A spokesperson for the hospital said, "This memorial bench is the hospital’s way of reaching out to the community and letting all those who are bereaved know that they, and their loved ones who have died, are in our thoughts."