39 years of service to Gorey District Hospital marked at retirement occasion

HSE/SECH Media Statement: 15th October, 2019

A milestone in the history of Gorey District Hospital was marked last week, with the retirement of Ann Coakley as its Director Nursing.

There have been many changes at the Co. Wexford care facility since Ann Coakley began working there in 1980. Gorey District still featured a maternity facility in those days and last Friday afternoon’s gathering held at the hospital to wish Ann and her family well, included staff born in the hospital they now work in and current residents who gave birth in it.

Since her appointment in 1995 as its Director of Nursing, Ann Coakley has led an excellent staff at Gorey District, appreciated for their dedicated care to patients and their families from communities in North County Wexford. The 23 bed Gorey District Hospital provides 24 hour residential nursing care for short stay patients – who, in the main are elderly. Palliative care services in Gorey (accessible through Wexford General Hospital and local GPs), however, are open to all adults in need. 

Ann Coakley, through her close working relationship with the Friends of Gorey District Hospital Committee, is credited with positive developments at Gorey District in recent years – particularly the addition in 2015 of two new palliative care bedrooms and a family room. Donations from the Friends group have also subsequently made possible the development of a beautiful garden that takes pride of place at the heart of the hospital.  

The profile of patients at Gorey District changed in 2012, when extended care beds were reconfigured to accommodate step-down patients awaiting long-term care. The maternity unit closed in 1986. The South Eastern Health Board took over the running of the hospital in 1971, it having been under the stewardship of the St. John of God Order since Wexford County Council built Gorey District Hospital on the site of an old workhouse. A health centre and ambulance station remain as active part of today’s campus in Gorey.

Among several speakers at Friday’s retirement occasion were fellow staff members of Ann Coakley, Patricia Masterson (Chair, Friends of Gorey District Hospital Committee), Barbara Murphy (General Manager, Older Persons Services, HSE/South East Community Healthcare), Minister for Defence and Wexford TD Paul Kehoe and the hospital’s long serving Medical Officer Dr. Michael O’ Doherty (whose father Dr. Conal O’ Doherty, also a local GP, also had decades long association with Gorey District).

The Chief Officer of South East Community Healthcare, Kate Killeen White was present to pay particular tribute to Ann:

“Every day of the year in Ireland, there are people working in our public health services to ensure communities that depend on them get the best possible service within the available resources. That combined effort, where the patient/client is prioritised, is epitomised by people like Ann Coakley and her team in places like Gorey District Hospital.”

“Ann Coakley’s name is one that is associated with all that’s good in community healthcare in North County Wexford and she leaves at a time when plans for upgrading works to the hospital are being progressed. I look forward to working with the fine team Ann leaves in place in Gorey and district, who are doing their best in that corner of the South East to ensure that everyone counts. I would like to thank Ann Coakley for her outstanding service and wish her and her family well.”


Last updated on: 15 / 10 / 2019