TWO years after his tragic death in Canada, David Gavin’s memory was honoured at the new Mayo Roscommon Hospice building in Castlebar.
Pods on the grounds dedicated to his memory were unveiled and blessed by Fr. John McCormack after David's second anniversary Mass, celebrated at the unit.
The pods were purchased with remaining monies from David’s search and recovery fund, which the Gavin family passed on to the hospice. The fund was the result of a phenomenal response around Ireland and beyond to an appeal for assistance for the search for David in Canada.
The 26-year-old Breaffy and Mayo footballer died in British Colombia after diving off a bridge while travelling with friends on June 30, 2017. A huge response facilitated a lengthy search and David’s body was brought home to rest in Breaffy Cemetery.
“Without the support and generosity of so many people, we would not have found David, we would not be able to bring him home. We will be eternally grateful to everyone for giving us that opportunity,” said David’s father, Michael.
It was then a question of what to do with the left over funds, and, he explained: “We always wanted to do something positive with the money and because the wider community generously supported us, we felt it important to give back to something everyone could benefit from.
“Very few people will be untouched by cancer. We felt supporting the hospice was the best way to channel the money.”
Hospice CEO Martina Jennings suggested three pods be bought as a ‘refuge’ for family and friends of people in the hospice to go and get out without leaving the grounds.
"People have got emotional when they were there, seeing the pods and knowing they are in David’s memory. It is the loveliest way to remember him,” said Martina.
Further monies will help provide facilities for visiting teenagers and children.
At the Mass, David’s partner Ciara O’Malley spoke of how important the day was. “Today means so much to us all, being able to celebrate something good in David’s honour and seeing his legacy live on,” she said.
The hospice is expected to be open to patients before the end of the year.
The new €9 million hospice building is open for viewing from July 15 to 19. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (094) 9388666 to view it.