Back to the future – Former HSE staff return to Grangegorman

Posted: 6 November, 2014

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin visits Grangegorman campus to celebrate past and present

More than eighty retired staff members of the HSE, who had worked in St. Brendan’s Hospital, returned to Grangegorman on Tuesday (04th November) at the invitation of the DIT Chaplaincy Service.  They were joined by guest of honour, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and welcomed by Professor Brian Norton on behalf of DIT and by Mr. John Monahan, Chair of the Grangegorman Development Agency.   During guided tours of the refurbished buildings on campus they saw familiar spaces completely restored and redesigned for education purposes, and were delighted by the landscaping and the soon-to-be-revealed playing pitches.

Following the walking tours, they returned to St. Laurence Church where Archbishop Martin celebrated a special Mass, assisted by Fr. Alan Hilliard and colleagues in the Chaplaincy Service and by Fr. Piarais O Dúill, who served as Chaplain to St. Brendan’s patients and staff for over 40 years.   Special guests in attendance included representatives of the Islamic and Buddhist faiths in DIT. 

Before Mass began, Professor Norton formally welcomed Archbishop Martin and the retired HSE staff back to Grangegorman, and thanked the Archdioscese for its generosity in supporting the conservation of St. Laurence, which has been transformed not only as a place of prayer but also as a space at the heart of the new campus that is in daily use for lectures, seminars and performances.

In his homily, Archbishop Martin said “ Today, the Church in Ireland finds itself in a more pluralist environment.   This Institute is a pluralist one and one which has a very wide ethnic, social and religious mix.  My hope is that around this building there will emerge a focus for meeting; a space where people of different faiths can meet; a space where believers and non-believers can meet in a constructive way open to being building blocks of a common search for what is good and noble, of a respectful working and thinking together and of together serving.”

The guests moved from St. Laurence to The Courtyard for a reception, where they had an opportunity to catch up with one another and reminisce on their own experiences on the Grangegorman campus.  One observer noted admiringly that the excitement and hilarity at the reception sounded ‘more like teenagers than pensioners!”.

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