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Members of the Raheen Hospital Support Group, hospital staff, county councillors and representatives of the builders and the HSE pictured at the hospital. Photograph by John Kelly

William’s role remembered as Clare hospital expansion continues

WARM tributes have been paid to the late William McLysaght, co-founder of the Raheen Hospital Support Group, as preparations get underway for the official launch of a new extension. 

Last Wednesday, support group members, politicians and staff of Raheen Community Hospital were briefed on a Phase 2 extension, which contains six new bedrooms and other facilities. Contracts were also signed for works to upgrade kitchen facilities. These are set to get underway shortly. 

Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Joe Cooney said that Mr McLysaght, from Raheen, Tuamgraney, had been instrumental in developments at the community nursing unit. 

“William did Trojan work for the support group and for the hospital,” he said. “All of the improvements couldn’t have been achieved without the support group or without William. He did fantastic work and was dedicated and generous with his time and energy.”

With the second phase of expansion of the hospital due to be launched officially, Councillor Cooney paid tribute to all involved. “It’s simply fantastic to have the new six-bed unit,” he said.

“It will give residents access to external courtyards and the new rooms are state of the art. Credit is due to everyone involved, to the support group, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the staff. The work has really brought the hospital up to standard and it’s a wonderful facility now for the community. The works on the kitchen will now get underway and that will be another marvellous improvement.”

The Acting Chairperson of Raheen Hospital Support Group said the ceremony to sign the contracts for the kitchen works and get an update on Phase 2 of the expansion, had been a great opportunity to remember Mr McLysaght.

“It’s all a great tribute to William,” Eddie Ginivan said. “Without him, things wouldn’t have gone in the direction that they did. It’s an absolutely gorgeous extension. We have raised €320,000 for the kitchen works and great thanks is due to the people of East Clare and also to the JP McManus Benevolent Fund who provided around €120,000. William initiated the connection through golf outings in East Clare.”

Mr Ginivan said the support group is already beginning to look ahead to a Phase 3 expansion of the hospital.

“We will be rolling up our sleeves again soon,” he pledged. “We would like to see a third phase of development for the hospital. For now, we’re looking forward to the official opening of Phase 2 and that will be an opportunity to pay tribute to all of our great committee and Mary Cassidy. Along with William, she laid the foundation for what we have today.”

Mary Cassidy added: “On behalf of Raheen Hospital Support Group, I wish to pay tribute to our dear friend and Chairman William McLysaght who passed away suddenly on May 6.

“We are shocked and saddened by William’s passing. His contribution and dedicate to Raheen Community Hospital and Day Centre was immense, he worked tirelessly to promote and provide services for the elderly of East and South East Clare for over 35 years.

“We also remember William’s predecessors who have gone before him, a wonderful group of people who worked so hard to improve services at Raheen Hospital and Day Centre.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at or telephone 065 6864146.

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