News at the weekend that work is due to begin this week on a 20 bed inpatient respiratory ward at Cork University Hospital was music to the ears of Cystic Fibrosis campaigners throughout the area.
A report by Catherine Shanahan in Saturday’s issue of the Irish Examiner divulged that work is due to get underway on the construction of the long-awaited 20-bed inpatient respiratory ward at Cork University Hospital, funded by Munster-based cystic fibrosis (CF) charity Build4Life.
“Building work should have been completed last year, had the project remained on track, but a row over the ring-fencing of beds for CF patients delayed the transfer of €2.3m from the charity,” she reported.
“Build4Life had repeatedly sought a contract to protect its investment and to guarantee CF patients access to beds, but this was resisted by hospital management.
Although the hospital had originally supported the development of 10 protected inpatient isolation rooms for CF patients, this was watered down over time to offering “priority access” — an offer Build4Life refused,” according to the report.
The news was particularly welcome for Castleisland native and tireless CF campaigner and fundraiser, Joe Browne – whose son Pádraig has CF.
Joe’s Build4Life campaign, which was launched in early 2007 after the death of CF patient, Mary Hand in Dingle in September 2006, has raised funds from every imaginable idea and source possible.
The auction of two newly built houses at the Clonough complex here in Castleisland in 2008 was, probably the pinacle of the massive effort. The houses were built the previous year by Mr. Browne. As part of the effort he recruited voluntary and willing labour and it was provided by a host of all the tradesmen necessary to complete the project.
Commenting on the building news and on the suggestion that the campaigners were delighted at the outcome, Joe Browne said that they were “far more relieved than delighted.”
“It’s been a very long campaign and what’s being put in place was our primary objective and in our mission statement all those years ago. There were hurdles and diversions but we now have a service in place not only for CF patients but for people from these areas who suffer from any chronic respiratory ailment and that will be great news for those people and their families,” said Joe.