Brendan Gleeson has called on coffee lovers in Mayo to get brewing in a bid to raise €1.5 million for ‘life-affirming’ hospice services across Ireland.
The Hollywood star kick-started the Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice yesterday (Thursday). The initiative has raised over €41.5 million since its inception and this year celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Gleeson joined hospice hosts and volunteers at the iconic Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street, Dublin, urging hosts to get creative with their coffee morning social and organise an event on Thursday, September 22.
“While your illness has defined you as a patient, hospice care looks beyond your illness and sees you as a whole person – with wishes, goals, hobbies and interests,” said the legendary actor, whose late parents were cared for in St. Francis’ Hospice in Dublin.
Gleeson (67), whose latest film, The Banshees of Inisherin, is due out in October, insisted patients are ‘so well looked after’, allowing them to live as full and independent lives as possible, for as long as possible.
He added: “It takes great courage for patients and families to avail of hospice services to ensure that their loved ones’ needs are met at this important time in their lives. In my experience, hospice care is life affirming and enriching.
“This year we really want to see people in Mayo get creative with their events and coffee creations and take time together with loved ones to help make this the best year yet.”
Together for Hospice, the National Hospice Movement, represents 26 hospice and specialist palliative home care providers supporting patients and their families nationwide. Funds raised locally stay local and go back into each local hospice service, helping to pay for medical and general staff, palliative care beds, home care visits, specialist equipment and new hospice builds.
Communities right across Mayo are urged to simply gather a group on Thursday, September 22, and do coffee your way to help raise much needed funds to support the work of Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation.
Martina Jennings, CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation, said: “We are delighted Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice is back for another year, raising funds in support of hospice in-patient and community services around Ireland. The ongoing support for this campaign over the last 30 years is a testament to the generosity of our coffee morning hosts, donors, ambassadors, and our long-time sponsor Bewley’s.
“The funds raised each year by the Irish public ensure we continue to provide vital support to individual patients and their families every day. All funds raised locally stay local, and will go towards our two hospices in Mayo and Roscommon and our homecare palliative care services.”
Jason Doyle, managing director at Bewley’s Ireland & UK, described the 30-year partnership with hospice as ‘very special’.
He stated: “After a difficult couple of years for fundraising, we hope people across Ireland will dig deep and make this a landmark year for the Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice. At the heart of our business is a commitment to care for people and communities, so we urge everyone to host a coffee morning social to help support the incredible work hospice carries out every day.”
Register to host a coffee morning on Thursday, September 22, or on a date that suits you, at www.hospicecoffeemorning.ie or Callsave 0818 995 996. Hosts are provided with a free coffee morning pack containing Bewley’s coffee, posters and invitations.
Who is brendan gleeson
Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor. His best-known films include the Harry Potter films, Braveheart, Gangs of New York, 28 Days Later, and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty. He won an Emmy award in 2009 for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the film Into the Storm.
Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland and has described himself as having been an avid reader as a child. After leaving school for a short while, he worked for two years in an office with a health board. He then graduated from University College Dublin and went on to Drama School in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Just after completing the 3 Year Acting Drama Course at RADA, Gleeson built a very respectable CV at the Royal National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Gleeson became known for his tremedous stage presence, particularly while performing in such works of William Shakespeare as King Lear, Richard III, and Hamlet.
Gleeson started his film career at the age of 34. He first came to prominence in Ireland for his role as Michael Collins in The Treaty a television film broadcast on RTÉ One, and for which he won a Jacob’s Award in 1992. Gleeson has subsequently acted in more than 60 films including Braveheart, I Went Down, Michael Collins, Gangs of New York, Cold Mountain, 28 Days Later, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, Lake Placid, Artificial Intelligence: AI and The Village. He won critical acclaim for his performance as Irish gangster Martin Cahill in John Boorman’s 1998 film The General.
Gleeson lives in Malahide, County Dublin. He is a talented fiddle player, with an interest in Irish folklore. He can be found from time to time playing at traditional music seisiúins in Hughes’ pub in Chancery Street in Dublin 7. His brother, Barry Gleeson, is a well-known singer in An Góilín traditional singers’ club, and his son Domhnall is an actor. Gleeson is known for his love of football and recounts tales of attempting to get a clear radio reception so he could listen to how his team, Aston Villa, were faring on a Saturday.