Unveiling of “The Feeney Way” at St James’s Hospital

Over €20 million donated to support the building of the Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing

by Alison O'Hanlon
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St James’s Hospital and its fundraising arm, the St James’s Hospital Foundation, are today naming a walkway in honour of its greatest benefactor, the philanthropist Chuck Feeney on what would have been his 93rd birthday.

In recognition of his contributions to healthcare and society, St James’s Hospital is naming and creating “The Feeney Way,” a walkway leading to the Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA), a pioneering institution in ageing research and care, which Chuck Feeney generously funded.

Mr Feeney, founder of Atlantic Philanthropies who passed away in October 2023, dedicated his life to “Giving while Living”.

This philosophy saw him donate his fortune to good causes through the foundation while he was alive, with Atlantic Philanthropies closing its doors in 2020, having supported many issues particularly in health and education across eight regions. 

“Pictured at the opening of the “Feeney Way” in St James’s Hospital are Regius Professor and Director of MISA Rose Anne Kenny, Professor Mary Day, CEO of St James’s Hospital and Aisling Nolan, Director of Development, St James’s Hospital Foundation.
Photo: Justin Farrelly.

His vision and generosity have transformed countless lives, including those at St James’s Hospital and the patients at MISA. Through the creation of “The Feeney Way,” the hospital is ensuring his legacy will be commemorated and celebrated for generations to come.

Regius Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Director of MISA, said, “Chuck Feeney was an exceptional man who was a staunch advocate for advancing research on ageing and the care of older people. I had the honour to meet him on several occasions and I was always struck by his dedication to improving the lives of others. Naming this walkway in MISA The Feeney Way is a reminder of his philosophy and example and a fitting celebration of his life.” 

Atlantic Philanthropies, the foundation set up by the late Chuck Feeney, donated some €20.5 million towards the creation and the building of MISA.  First opened in 2016, the institute is a state-of-the-art facility for integrated clinical services and a hub for world-leading research in ageing.  Its focus on transforming the delivery of services for older people was a key theme of the work of Atlantic Philanthropies and a passion of Mr Feeney’s. 

Aisling Nolan, Director of Development at St James’s Hospital Foundation, reflected on Chuck Feeney’s philanthropic philosophy, stating, “Chuck Feeney exemplified the power of giving while living. His extraordinary generosity has paved the way for transformative change, not only at St James’s Hospital but across Irish society.

The naming of “The Feeney Way” is a fitting tribute to his exemplary life and serves as an inspiration for others to follow in his footsteps. Chuck’s giving while living has not only transformed St. James’s Hospital but has also set a powerful example for others to follow. Philanthropy, as exemplified by Chuck Feeney, remains critical in enabling institutions like St. James’s to continue their vital work in serving the needs of our community.”

“Pictured at the opening of the “Feeney Way” in St James’s Hospital, are Regius Professor and Director of MISA Rose Anne Kenny and Professor Mary Day, CEO of St James’s Hospital.
Photo: Justin Farrelly.

Mr Feeney never sought publicity or thanks for his generosity or that of Atlantic Philanthropies, which donated some $8 billion  throughout the 38 years of its existence.  The central theme of “Giving While Living” saw these billions invested in eight regions across the world, including across the island of Ireland.  As well as the contributions from Atlantic Philanthropies, funding for the establishment of MISA was also received from the Department of Health. 

CEO of St James’s Hospital, Prof Mary Day said, “We were delighted that the family of the late Chuck Feeney agreed to the naming of this walkway after him.  While he was an intensely private individual, who never sought recognition for his unparalleled generosity, he was a passionate advocate for improving the care of our older citizens.  MISA does exactly that, thanks to his vision and his generosity. Now all our patients who use these services will pass through the Feeney Way.” 

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