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‘Minnie’s Garden’ opened at Tír na nÓg at St John’s Hospital Sligo

 A group of musicians playing musical instruments in a room while an older woman watches and claps her hands.

‘Minnie’s Garden’ at the Tír na nÓg unit at St John’s Community Hospital Sligo was officially opened at the annual barbeque and family fun day there in recent weeks.

The annual Tír na nÓg summer barbeque party is always a key event in the St John's Community Hospital social calendar, and it was particularly significant this year with the official opening of ‘Minnie’s Garden’ which represented the culmination of renovations carried out at the old courtyard at the unit.

The work included the addition of murals and new furniture – all thanks to a donation that was made by the family of the late Minnie Cunningham who was a resident at the unit. The family were present on the day to officially cut the ribbon on the new courtyard which has been named ‘Minnie’s Garden’.

They were joined by the families and friends of the 24 residents at the unit who all partook in the day’s festivities which included a garden party, barbeque and station Mass.

The Tír na nÓg unit provides holistic person-centred care for residents with a formal or informal diagnosis of dementia or cognitive impairment. The unit strives to enhance the quality of life of residents through meaningful activities and alternative methods of communication such as reminiscence, music, pet and Sónas therapy.

Nicola Scanlon Fox, Director of Nursing at St John’s Community Hospital, explained that the annual summer barbeque is “always a big event at the hospital."

"The preparatory efforts from staff, residents and family members are commendable, with pristine attention to detail paid to every aspect of the day. A special event on the day was the official opening of the renovated indoor courtyard, ‘Minnie’s Garden’, to commemorate a special resident. We were delighted to have Minnie’s family cut the ribbon on a fitting tribute to a remarkable lady who loved her gardening and flowers. Without the generous donation of the Cunningham family, this would not have been possible. All present at the party were rewarded with lovely food, a display of musical talents and positive memories of another successful summer event.”

Catherine McDonagh, musican and relative of a former resident, expressed her thanks to all involved for a “lovely afternoon. It was a chance to see old friends and meet new ones. The unit is truly a home-from-home and it comes across as a wonderful workplace.”