Ray Browne, Project Manager Ross Building, Eoin Tobin, Chair of Board Mercy Hospital Foundation and Paschal McCarthy, CEO Mercy Hospital Foundation marking the commencement of building works on the property at 9 Dyke Parade which will be converted into the long awaited, state-of-the-art, Mercy Cancer CARE Centre. Photo: Darragh Kane

Works begin on new cancer care centre

Works begin on new cancer care centreBuilding works have finally begun on the long-awaited Mercy Cancer CARE Centre in Cork city after 7 years of fundraising.

Today, Monday, the Mercy Hospital Foundation confirmed that conversion works have commenced on a previously disused property at 9 Dyke Parade following a detailed tendering process.

The existing 3,000 sq ft building, located just a minute’s walk from both the main entrance to MUH and its outpatient department, will be transformed into a modern non-clinical state of the art facility.

The facility will provide a quiet and safe place for patients and their families to access a range of services supporting those affected both directly and indirectly by a cancer diagnosis.

The centre is to be the home to the flagship psycho-oncology service which will be delivered by clinical psychologists to patients with a cancer diagnosis who attend MUH, and their family members.

The building will house several group and individual counselling rooms, with interactive IT systems and a modern, comfortable environment.

The centre will also feature a sensory garden and a library service which will also be online so that it can be accessed from home.

It is anticipated that the Centre will be complete by September 2023.

MUH Senior Clinical Psychologist, Psycho-oncology, Dr Tara Houlihan said her team will offer psychological support to patients and families at every step of the journey, providing assessment and a range of psychologically-based therapeutic interventions matched to the patient and their family’s emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual needs.

Also commenting was MUH CEO Paschal McCarthy who called the commencement of building works on the new centre a “tremendous milestone” for the foundation, having fundraised since 2015 to get the project off the ground.

He added: “We could not have achieved this without our fantastic team at the foundation and, most importantly, the supporters, donors and volunteers who have run or walked miles, climbed mountains, swum in the sea in the depths of winter, dragged their friends and colleagues out to play golf, and completed many other innovative fundraising activities year after year, all in the effort to raise funds to bring this project to fruition.”

He continued: “We cannot forget either, the families who have lost loved ones and have donated generously in their memory. On behalf of the foundation and the patients and families that will use the services provided by the Mercy Cancer CARE Centre over the coming years, thank you to each and every one that has gone out of their way to raise funds for this amazing venture.”

To date, €1.35 million has been raised for the Cancer CARE Centre. However, the project is expected to cost €2.4 million and the foundation is now focused on raising a further €1 million to run the services.