Actor Brendan Gleeson with Diane Magee and Assumpta Roche of Marymount University Hospital and Hospice at the launch of Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice, one of Ireland’s biggest fundraisers, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Photo: Conor McCabe

Brend-ing a helping hand

An Irish Hollywood star has called on coffee lovers in Cork to get brewing in a bid to raise €1.5 million for “life-affirming” hospice services across Ireland.

Launching the Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice last week, cinema legend Brendan Gleeson urged communities across Cork to gather on 22 September and “do coffee their way” to raise much needed funds Marymount Hospice in Cork.

The annual event has raised over €41.5 million over the past 30 years for hospices across the country.

“While your illness has defined you as a patient, hospice care looks beyond your illness and sees you as a whole person - with wishes, goals, hobbies and interests,” said Mr Gleeson, whose late parents were cared for in St Francis’ Hospice in Dublin.

Gleeson, 67, whose latest film, ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’, is due out in October, said that hospice patients are so well looked after, allowing them to live as full and independent lives as possible, for as long as possible

“It takes great courage for patients and families to avail of hospice services to ensure that their loved ones’ needs are met at this important time in their lives. In my experience, hospice care is life affirming and enriching,” said Mr Gleeson.

He added: “This year we really want to see people in Cork get creative with their events and coffee creations and take time together with loved ones to help make this the best year yet.”

The event or organised by Together for Hospice, Ireland’s national hospice movement which represents 26 hospice and specialist palliative home care providers nationwide.

Funds raised locally will stay local and go back into each local hospice service, helping to pay for medical and general staff, palliative care beds, home care visits, specialist equipment and new hospice builds.

Sarah McCloskey, CEO of Marymount Hospice, said the funds raised each year by the Irish public ensure the hospice can continue to provide vital support to individual patients and their families every day.

She said: “The ongoing support for this campaign over the last 30 years is a testament to the generosity of our coffee morning hosts, donors, ambassadors, and our long-time sponsor Bewley’s.”

To register to host a coffee morning on 22 September or on a more suitable date, visit, or call 0818-995996. Hosts are provided with a free Coffee Morning Pack containing Bewley’s coffee, posters and invitations.