Pictured above (left to right): Geraldine Foley, Pat Irwin, Seán Dalton, Nuala Gaffney and Ger McNamara
By I love Limerick Correspondent Ethan Glavin
Limerick florists Ring O’Roses donated €10,000 to Milford Hospice this month. Shop owner Pat Irwin decided to set up an automatic donation of ten percent from the proceeds of every funeral flower arrangement to Milford Hospice – at no cost to her customers.
Ring O’Roses set up shop in Melrose Court on Mungret Street over a decade ago, and is an established part of the community. When a close friend of Pat’s passed away four years ago, she made a donation to Milford Hospice, and decided then to set up the donation system to give back to the community.
“It has become a custom for many people to request donations to charity in lieu of funeral flowers,” Pat explained. “So when people buy funeral flowers, we inform them that the donation is going to be made to Milford Hospice. This way they get flowers and a donation at the same time.”
Milford Hospice Volunteer Seán Dalton who accepted the check on behalf of the charity, was thrilled and said, “It’s an incredible amount of money and an amazing, novel way of fundraising.”
Many customers appreciated the initiative, and have supported Ring O’Roses’ charitable actions, and at times suggested donations to other charities. Thus Pat decided to open the system up, and give her customers a choice of charities they wish their donation to go to, adding Pieta House and the children’s ambulance service Bumbleance as her chosen charities.
To explain her reasons for picking the different charities, Pat pointed out that Milford Hospice was a charity that affected everyone in Limerick, and that the work Pieta House does in terms of suicide prevention was also vital to the city.
“Pieta House is very grateful for the generosity of Ring O’Roses.” Pieta House Limerick representative, Annette Cahill said. “This money will go toward our local Pieta House in Mungret, which provides support for people dealing with self-harm and suicide ideation.
Regarding her choice of Bumbleance, Pat said “You’d have to be made of stone not to want to support them.”
Eileen O’Donovan thanked Pat on behalf of Bumbleance, saying: “Bumbleance are thrilled with the generosity shown by Ring O’Roses, and we are looking forward to working with them in the future.