2020 Epsom Derby winner Emmet McNamara visits St. Ita’s Hospital

Derby winning jockey Emmet McNamara presenting a cheque to Cora Mullane, Treasurer of Friends of St. Ita’s Hospital. Also in the photo are Fergus Scanlan, Chairman, Helen Galvin, Assistant Director of Nursing at St. Ita’s Hospital and Emmet’s father Eric. – Photo Eddie Guiry

The Friends of St. Ita’s were delighted to welcome Emmet McNamara, the truly talented and now very famous jockey who recently created history when he won the 2020 Epsom Derby after he rode the magnificent ‘Serpen-tine’ to a spectacular win against the enormous odds of 25/1. We congratulate Emmet once again, and indeed his entire family on this historic victory which no doubt will be remembered and talked about for many a long day to come. With Emmet was his Dad, Eric, the very well-known racehorse trainer from Rathkeale. The purpose of their visit, explained Chairman Fergus Scanlan was to present a generous cheque as a contribution to our current fundraiser which is being run in partnership with West Limerick Athletic Club Community Virtual Run 2020 fundraiser. Details in relation to same were covered in our last press release to The Weekly Observer on 17th June.
I should add that the McNamara’s donation was also given in recognition of the fantastic service being provided by management and staff in St. Ita’s and, in particular, for the Trojan work they are doing in keeping the hospital Covid-free. In this regard I’m delighted to say our truly marvellous staff – heroes all – continue to weather the ‘Covid storm’ with enormous success. And as a consequence, management have been able to further ease the visiting restrictions by family and friends with visiting time increased from ½ hour to one hour, which of course represents a very welcome improve-ment for residents and patients. Also, the other forms of patient entertain-ment in which the Friends are involved – such as recording of music sessions etc. – continues apace.
And so it can be said that residents, patients, staff and all of us are beginning to adjust and adapt to living with what is now being described as the ‘new normal’ and realistically we don’t have a whole lot of choice in the matter.
In relation to the West Limerick AC fundraiser, the Friends would like to say again a very special word of thanks to Kevin O’Donoghue and the members of his club for organising the event on our behalf and that of two other local charities. Also, very many thanks to Ide Trant of Newcastle West Camogie Club for their very generous input in raising €3,500 towards the fundraiser. In addition to funding coming from West Limerick AC and the Camogie Club, the Friends of St. Ita’s have been running their own fundraising in parallel, i.e. seeking sponsorship/donations from their regular supporters. And in this regard the Friends would like to say a very special ‘thank you’ to Pat Hartney, Foynes, for the very significant role he has played in the great success of this aspect of the fundraiser, and for that we extremely grateful to Pat! So, all told, the Friends are expecting to raise in the region of €10,000 from this venture, which is really fantastic given the current very depressed state of the fundraising climate. However, notwithstanding this rather gloomy scenario, the Friends recently had a very welcome and, indeed, totally unexpected wind-fall, by way of an enormously generous gift of €10,000 for which, needless to say, we are eternally grateful to this very kind and extremely generous benefactor.
The Friends are truly humbled by the enormity of the generosity and support which they continue to enjoy from the many wonderful people across all sections of this great community. Indeed, they see that support as an ongoing endorsement of their endeavours and those of management and staff to continue to provide the very best possible standard of care, comfort and wellbeing for their residents and patients in the face of all, and every adversity that comes the way such as the current pandemic. The Friends are there, steadfastly, to support them every step of the way! In order to maintain this level of support, we very much depend on your ongoing support and generosity, as, despite their great success with this fundraiser and the €10K gift, they are still very much behind with their normal fundraising income from church gate collect-ions, coffee mornings etc which have ceased due to the Covid-19 restrictions. And so, regretfully, they still have to appeal to your kindness and generosity for your ongoing support as it is that support which helps us to help management and staff to maintain and improve the high standard of care (as already alluded to)which the residents and patients from this community have become accustomed ! And just to note that in the last 18 months alone they have spent a total of over €130,000 on various improvements/refurbish-ments etc which are ever-ongoing – and the sad reality is that, if the Friends don’t fund them, then they won’t happen!
Once again our very grateful thanks to Emmet and his Dad Eric for taking the time out, particularly Emmet who had to come from Tipperary to make this presentation. Once again we thank them for the generous donation, which, needless to say, is hugely appreciated.
Again, on behalf of the Friends and the entire community, we say a huge ‘thank you’ and well done to our brilliant staff – our real heroes – for the fantastic job they are doing in keeping our much-loved residents and patients safe from the Coronavirus – and long may it continue that way, le cunamh De
And finally, and as always, our very grateful thanks and appreciation to the wonderful staff at The Weekly Observer who continue to give us such very positive support which we regard as a major plus to our ongoing success!