Dundalk family with big hearts

A Dundalk family is paying tribute to the memory of their late father with a generous donation to the Lourdes Hospital.

The generous gesture by the Doyle family has seen them provide the hospital with five reclining chairs so that families can enjoy greater comfort when they stay close to loved ones as they get treatment.

Noel Doyle, and his brothers Patrick, Damien and David as well as sister Jacqueline Grant raised funds to buy the hospital five comfortable chairs after spending long periods of time there with their late father, Thomas Doyle.

Mr Doyle was hospitalised in March last year after a fall that brought about a stroke. His family stayed close to him day and night in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. But at night they found that there were no facilities for families who wanted to stay with their loved one.

“We stayed with him round the clock, but we were sleeping on the ground. It was a place where people were very ill but there were no facilities for the family,” said Noel.

Sadly, Mr Doyle, who was originally from O’Hanlon park, passed away last year. He was well regarded for his talent for building model boats. Since the 1960s Thomas crafted model boats freehand using only pictures of the vessels and raw materials he gathered himself. Among his collection is the first he constructed in 1960. As is the most recent one, the largest he ever made at 8ft long was the Titanic.

His children resolved that other families who will go through a similar difficult experience will do so in more comfort.

“It took a lot out of us and we thought it would be good for people to have somewhere to sleep when they were staying there. It was also a thank you, the staff there were very good and did whatever they could for daddy,” said Noel.

In April last year with the help of Brendan Marmion and the Lisdoo, a night was arranged in conjunction with the over 40s event.  A night on the dance floor was a fitting way to raise the money said son Noel as both his father and mother were very good dancers.

Thomas and his wife Agnes, who passed away in 1995, taught many Co Louth natives how to glide across the dancefloor. Both were teachers of the Waltz and the couple regularly entered competitions. They were also annual visitors to Blackpool in the UK for their season of competitions.

All the funds raised and the ticket cover charge went to the family’s effort to give comfort for those supporting ill loved ones.

Their aim was to provide a chair for each of the rooms in Unit 2 in Our Lady of Lourdes.

The family officially handed the comfortable reclining chairs over to the hospital over the Christmas season. Margaret Swords, Group General Manager, Louth/Meath Hospital Group, welcomed the donation and the generosity of the family.

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