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Michael Hickey - A lifetime of service to charity

Michael Hickey, Chairman CF South Tipperary & Professor Jim Egam, MMUH at the

Michael Hickey, Chairman CF South Tipperary & Professor Jim Egam, MMUH at the "Better Together" conference in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill over the weekend which launched Cystic Fibrosis Ireland's 65 Roses Week across the country, its national awareness week and fundraising appeal. The conference aimed to highlight the latest developments in cystic fibrosis care, from lung transplantation to new drug therapies, with attendees also hearing from a number of people with cystic fibrosis, some of whom have benefited directly from exciting new therapies. Volunteers will be selling pins as part of 65 Roses Week to raise much-needed funds. For more information, LoCall 1890 311 211 or visit www.cfireland.ie Photo: Joe Travers.

A Clonmel man who has worked tirelessly for families of cystic fibrosis sufferers has been given a special recognition award by Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.

A Clonmel man who has worked tirelessly for families of cystic fibrosis sufferers has been given a special recognition award by Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.

Michael Hickey lost three of his own children to CF and is father to a fourth adult child who also suffers from the condition - and he is appealing to people not to stop their generous support of the charity.

Even while coping with difficulty in his own family, Michael has been a support to other families, serving as the chairman of the Tipperary Branch of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland since 1984. In all Michael and his wife Bridie have been involved with the Tipperary branch of CFI for 47 years.

Last weekend, at Cystic Fibrosis Ireland’s ‘Better Together’ conference in Galway, Michael was honoured with the special recognition award as his friends and colleagues marked his retirement as the local branch chairman, a role he held for 27 years.

Michael was also honoured by the local regional group TLC4CF, who are fundraising for a specialised CF unit at Limerick Regional Hospital, in thanks for all his support for the project.

The awards were a special thank you to a man who has dedicated most of his life to helping and supporting others in his community and were presented by CFI ambassador and GAA pundit Joe Brolly. In all Michael was presented with three awards - two beautiful pieces of Galway crystal to mark his retirement as chairman and also in recognition of his long service, and a certificate for his achievements in fundraising with TLC4CF.

Michael modestly told The Nationalist that the awards are shared with his wife, Bridie, who has done “as much work as me if not more!” While Michael knew he was to be presented with one award it came as a surprise to receive three, he said. “I only did what any father would do, I didn’t expect it and I didn’t feel I deserved it,” he described his work with the charity over the last three decades. “If you feel you can do a bit of good for someone at least do no harm.”

Michael lives with his wife, Bridie, and their adult son, in Kilmacomma, Clonmel. The couple had five children, four of whom suffered from CF, three of them have passed away because of the condition.

While he might be retiring as chairman Michael says he will remain “very much involved” with the local CF group, under the new chairman

“I figured it was time for a younger person with new ideas,” said Michael, who will be 76 in July. The new chairman is Eddie Tuohy from Templemore.

Still supporting the charity, Michael has appealed for people not to be affected by recent scandals and to continue being as generous in their financial support for CFI as they always have been. Next month the charity will hold two fund rising events - their annual church gate collection will take place in the Clonmel area on the weekend of May 24 and 25. Also in May the charity will again join with Clonmel AC for the 10k run and walk on Sunday, May 11. Michael explained that entry fees from the run go to the athletic club while entry fees for the walk go to the charity. “I appeal to people to be generous,” Michael said.

The CF Ireland conference aimed to highlight the latest developments in cystic fibrosis care, from lung transplantation to new drug therapies, with attendees also hearing from a number of people with cystic fibrosis, some of whom have benefited directly from exciting new therapies.

The new CF unit at Limerick Regional Hospital is now under construction and fundraising is continuing to fit out the facility. It is hoped the first patients will use the specialised rooms by this time next year.

 

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