Margaret Prendergast at the launch of the Mercy Hospital Foundation’s Wall of Gratitude. The wall has been created to honour and remember all those who have received treatment and care at the Mercy University Hospital, including Gene and Margaret’s son, Mark, who passed away in 2012 from testicular cancer. Photo: Darragh Kane

Remember a loved one

A Wall of Gratitude has been created on Leeside to honour and remember all those who have received treatment and care at the Mercy University Hospital.

The recently erected mural, funded by the Mercy University Hospital Foundation and in the new St Therese’s Oncology Day Unit in the Lee Road Clinic, is a set to be decorated with bespoke Mercy Butterflies bearing the name of an individual or family to be remembered.

The delicate porcelain butterflies are all different and are designed and made by Cork ceramic artist Siobháin Steele using plants from her garden and finished in a unique green glaze.

Siobháin mindfully embosses each butterfly with the name of a loved one creating a personalized piece of art for the wall.

One of the first butterflies to be created remembers Mark Prendergast who passed away in 2012 from testicular cancer.

The popular Make Your Mark on Cancer charity walk was set up in his memory and has since raised close to €350,000 for the Mercy Cancer Appeal.

Speaking about commemorating his brother, Eoin Prendergast said: “We initially set up the Make Your Mark on Cancer walk as a way to remember Mark and to give back to the Mercy. We could never have imagined how much it would go on to raise or how many people would take part each year to also remember their loved ones. The Wall of Gratitude has given us another opportunity as a family to remember Mark and reflect on how much has been achieved in his honour.”

This initiative will not only commemorate all those who have come through the Mercy Hospital in the past but will also help to fund projects, research and equipment that will support the many patients and families who will come through the Mercy in the future.

Speaking about this newest addition to the unit, Oncology Clinical Nurse Manager, Valerie O’Mahony said: “We are delighted with the new Wall of Gratitude on the unit. It has really brightened the place up and brought a great sense of calm and hope during what can be such a difficult time for our patients.”

Mercy University Hospital currently delivers 29 per cent of all new systemic drug therapies for oncology in the Cork/Kerry region and it is expected that demand for cancer services will continue to increase over the coming years.

Dr Derek Power, Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Mercy, said: “The new St Therese’s unit includes 16 private treatment spaces with separate triage and isolation areas, offering patients more privacy and space. Its location away from the main hospital, but virtually connected to it, mirrors how some of the top international oncology services are run. We are so grateful to be in a position to establish a facility like this right here in Cork. The increased capacity along with specialised oncology nursing staff and access to the latest drug therapies will massively benefit cancer patients at the Mercy and is a big step forward for Cork cancer services.”

Launching the Wall of Gratitude, Deirdre Finn, Head of Fundraising at the Mercy Hospital Foundation said: “Even with the difficulty of the last 18 months, our donors have continued to support our various appeals from the Mercy Cancer Appeal to the Kids & Teens Appeal. We look forward to seeing our Wall of Gratitude filled with the names of some of those who have helped us along the way. We hope it will also inspire others and show how much of a difference they can help to make.”

Each butterfly costs €300 and can be ordered through the Foundation by contacting 021-4274076 or email or go to to find out more information on how to purchase a butterfly.