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25 May 2022

Kildare nurses applauded for their work at Punchestown celebration

Ciarán Mather reports on the awards event that recognised the hard work of nurses in the county

Kildare nurses applauded for their work at Punchestown celebration

Nurses and nursing staff were at the Year of the Nurse event, which was held in the La Touche building in Punchestown, Naas

The bravery and dedication of frontline workers during Covid-19 pandemic has been well documented... and these nurses in Kildare are no exception.

Previously delayed by the pandemic, a Kildare event commemorating the Year of the Nurse finally got the green light to go ahead on Wednesday, April 6.

Some 60 attendees were treated to lunch in the La Touche building in Punchestown, Naas.

Host Sheila Geoghegan gave a rousing speech thanking all in attendances for their hard work. The most poignant part of her speech came when she said: "You have really done the country proud… I have a great admiration for you all."

Following this, a talk was given by psychologist Shane Martin, who discussed how the pandemic affected him in a number of both positive and negative ways.

He also talked about the importance of nature in his life, and how it helped to ease his mind.

A reflection on nursing from different eras was also read out by Aideen Heneghan, who read out examples of old medicine ingredients and a work schedule from 1936 to the crowd to highlight the differences between the past compared to today.

Music at the event was provided by violinist Niamh Callan, as well by Jenny Foster, who covered two songs: Something Inside So Strong and The Wind Beneath my Wings, and by Ursula O’ Toole, who sang Ag Críost an Síol.

A poem by the late Brendan Kennelly, Begin, was also read out by Ellen O’ Rourke.

Just before a number of medals and certificates were given to nurses and nursing staff, primary care manager Gillian Farrelly told the crowd: "We really value our frontline colleagues, and although we are a little late for obvious reasons, I hope we will all get a buzz from today’s event."

She also presented a badge made especially for the event, and added that the artist’s mother is a nurse.

REMEMBRANCE AND RECOGNITION

Just before concluding, a Service of Light was held to commemorate colleagues, friends and loved ones who had passed away, followed by a minute of silence, which was led by Ms Geoghegan.

As the event drew to a close, it was clear to see that there was indeed a 'buzz' in the room, and it was clear that everyone was united by their pride in one another.

Indeed, what more could you ask for from the nurses and nursing staff that give it their all in County Kildare?

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