Laois woman helms Irish Hospice

Ballylinan native Sharon Foley has landed the top job in a high profile Irish charity.

Ballylinan native Sharon Foley has landed the top job in a high profile Irish charity.

She will take up her position as Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Hospice Foundation next month, succeeding Eugene Murray who is retiring after seven years in the post.

Ms Foley, 42, who lives in The Heath with her husband, auctioneer Patrick O’Farrell and their three young children, is looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s a wonderful organisation, the staff are bright and innovative with good ideas and a whole bank of experience. I hope to continue on the great work already underway,” she told the Leinster Express.

She brings with her a wealth of experience and two Masters degrees in nutrition research and in health promotion. The first CEO of the Crisis Pregnancy Agency, she also has 15 years senior management experience as Director of Health Promotion in both the East Coast and Midlands Health Boards. More recently she has advised a range of voluntary and state agencies through her management consultancy One2One Solutions.

Laois is in one of three regions in Ireland that doesn’t have a specialist hospice unit and the new CEO is acutely aware of the need, while acknowledging the great work done by Laois Hospice.

“Laois has a very good history of hospice support. We have level 2 hospice beds in Mountmellick and a lot of work was done to develop those, but there is a need for a hospice service, not just for cancer but all life limiting conditions,” she says.

The IHF are enthusiastic about the appointment of their new chief.

“We are delighted that Sharon has agreed to lead the foundation into the future. We will need her energy and drive to fulfil our vision that no-one should face death or bereavement without appropriate care and support,” said Chairman Michael O’Reilly.