Dr Mary Redmond Gala dinner Speeches by Patrick Ussher and Jean Mc Kiernan

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Dr Mary Redmond Gala dinner Speeches by Patrick Ussher and Jean Mc Kiernan


Audio of speeches from Dr Mary Redmond Gala dinner by Patrick Ussher and Jean Mc Kiernan


Audio of speeches from the Mary Redmond gala dinner by Patrick Ussher, son of Mary Redmond and Jean Mc Kiernan, chair of Irish Hospice Foundation board


Irish Hospice Foundation


Irish Hospice Foundation


Irish Hospice Foundation


October 21 2016


Patrick Ussher.
Jean McKiernan
Irish Hospice Foundation


All Rights Reserved


File format: mp3




Audio: Digital Recordings

Sound Item Type Metadata

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Mp4 file



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62 Kbps


When I was a child I asked my mom, what the meaning of life was. Her response has always stuck with me; she said there were three important things in life; to love, to live and to leave a legacy.
Of these love for her father from whom this advice originally came drove her to found the Irish Hospice
Foundation. And this act left its legacy,a legacy that we all value and celebrate here tonight. But it is about how she lived, something of which very few people know that I wish to speak.

For it is in this that I find her greatest love and legacy. When she was diagnosed in 2009 with a form of cancer that carried a very short life expectancy she made a very courageous decision, to surrender her fears to God and to live. The side effects from chemotherapy were often completely debilitating despite those difficulties I witnessed a powerful transformation in her at that time. Everyone has their own way of dealing with terminal illness and these must be respected. But hers was to give the illness no time, to give it no power or control over her in any way. She did not discuss it with others, and she was determined to be something much more than a diagnosis and this was a decision that took enormous bravery. She focused her energies instead on doing things that were meaningful to her spending time with her family and friends, writing books and deepening her faith and especially practising Christian meditation something that she learned about shortly after her diagnosis.

Nearly every day without fail she would spend an hour in silent meditation. This practice gave her an internal strength but also a simple spirit of joy in the sheer fact of being alive. I could see the resolution develop in her that no matter how hard life was both physically and emotionally being alive was nevertheless worth every second. She would often say every moment is so previous.

One of the blessings of her illness, and I know she would have used that paradoxical word was the book she wrote under her married name Ussher of prayers reflections and meditations for those with breast cancer called The Pink Ribbon Path.

There is a short poem of the same name in that book which I would like to share with you all tonight.
Her words are:
The Pink Ribbon Path is the Path of the heart.
Where the cry of the heart is heard
I will stay on this Path,
Walk straight in its curves,
I will not be afraid,
I will not be perturbed,
The Pink Ribbon path is the Path of the heart where the ear of the heart hears you.

She walked that heart filled path right until the end with the spirit of courage and love of life despite all of its hardships. And it is that, the way she lived which will always stay with me and which for me will always be her greatest love and legacy.



Irish Hospice Foundation , “Dr Mary Redmond Gala dinner Speeches by Patrick Ussher and Jean Mc Kiernan,” Archives Hospice Foundation, accessed September 21, 2023, https://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/1873.