Hollywood actor Brendan Gleeson has appealed to the public to donate to hospices during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dublin-born star knows first hand what great work they do in making the final few hours of people’s live as comfortable as they can be.
Gleeson saw both his parents pass away in St Francis Hospice in Raheny, Dublin and is full of praise and thanks to the staff who took care of them until the end.
The In Bruges star said: “My mam and dad died in St Francis Hospice and they were treated with extraordinary kindness.
“It was a massive gift for the family and the people who were left behind to have a peaceful bereavement.
“It more or less restored my faith in human kindness in a way, seeing those people working on the frontline.
“The people at the hospice, they dedicate their life to helping people and it sounds like such an odd thing but a peaceful death can enhance life in such a way.”
Gleeson has spoken in the past about how close he was with both his parents. His mother Pat died in 2007, and his father Frank passed away in 2010.
He revealed it took him years to process the fact that they are no longer around.
He said: “They had been ill for quite a while so it was a certain relief to know that there was no more suffering.
“It takes a couple of years, maybe two or three years in my case, before you begin to remember them as they were before they were sick.
“On Mother’s Day, I did a very early morning skedaddle up to the grave and it’s really now that you can settle into missing them as the fun people that they were.
“But there is something beautiful in knowing they left in peace. I feel lucky about that.”
The 64-year-old then urged the public to donate to hospices such as St Francis so that the staff there can continue their great work.
He said: “The nurses and the doctors and the guards, we have to listen to those people now, but it’s important not to forget the people working on the frontline in the hospice.
“If we can get together, maybe we can throw them a few bob and get together online and do what we can because to lose this service at this point, it just can’t happen.”
The popular actor also spoke about how he and his family are dealing with the lockdown brought in to limit the spread of coronavirus.
He insisted: “I feel lucky that I am virus free and that my family appears to be. I’m working hard to
stay lucky but I’m just listening to what I’m being told.
“People are being great in how they are responding to it. It’s really about being disciplined, which is not as easy as it sounds.
“When it hits us we will know all about it, but when you can’t see something and it’s a beautiful day, it’s difficult to know the spectre that may be coming.
“It’s hard to feel it in our bones yet and hopefully we may never feel it.
“It would just be great if we could stave it off, so I just hope for the best.
“For now, I’m burrowing, nesting into life at home. I’m lucky in the sense that I was mad busy for the last while and I was coming into a period where I was going to kick back a small bit anyway.
“So I’m starting to do bits that I kept saying for 30 years that I’m going to do. I’m only at the beginning of it.
“There are boxes that are getting sorted. I’m watching my DVDs once before I throw them out, and all that kind of stuff.
“Trying to get the machinery to play the DVDs is a bit of a challenge. I’m actually playing cassette tapes as well.
“Those things just rot, so that’s been a challenge as well. I’ve heard a lot of people saying they’re bored, I haven’t had time to be bored yet.
“I’m just trying to do what I’m told and stay kind under pressure. That’s all I can do and that’s all anyone can do.”
If you would like to make a donation to St Francis Hospice in Dublin then visit sfh.ie.