FAI Women’s Soccer Team Onside at Cappagh

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Ahead of their final two UEFA Women’s Nations League matches against Hungary and Northern Ireland, the FAI Women’s Soccer Team delighted patients at the National Orthopaedic Hospital Cappagh (NOHC) with a special visit to help launch the hospital’s Christmas Appeal.

The team and their manager, Eileen Gleeson, met patients, shared some soccer skills on the children’s wards, and had gifts of FAI goodies for the fans that certainly hit the back of the net.

Ireland’s women have already won the group in their UEFA Nations League campaign, and earned promotion to League A.

Cappagh Hospital Foundation also introduced Boney Maloney, today, the orthopaedic hospital’s new fundraising mascot.  The fun-loving skeleton, who is happy in his bones, will help raise funds for hospital facilities and patient-care that falls outside of HSE support. 

Boney Moloney & Isabel

Boney Maloney is positioned around the hospital, as a selfie backdrop, and doubles-up as a way to donate, by tapping the QR code on his heart. 

The Foundation supports hospital patients, helping fund newer medical equipment and other needs, such as gaming consoles for children, and iPads and headsets.  For 2024, specifically, funds are being raised for a new Paediatric Emergency Cart for the youngest patients, and a new Tranquillity Garden, as a calming place for patients to relax and recuperate.

Longer-term support for robotics in the operating theatres, will include the purchase of a €1.1 million GPS Robot Navigation System for paediatric surgery.

Commenting on the FAI’s involvement at Cappagh, team manager Eileen Gleeson said “As an orthopaedic hospital, FAI soccer has had a long history of involvement with Cappagh, so it is a real privilege to support the launch of Boney Maloney and the Christmas Appeal.  Players and managers are more confident taking to the field, knowing they can call on hospital expertise, as they need to.  The women’s senior team is delighted to support the hospital, especially in recognition of the support and care they too receive.”

Dr Siobhan Forman, Consultant Physician at NOHC, is team doctor for the Irish Women’s football team.  Her association with the FAI began in 2013, working with the U19s Ireland women’s team, and she supported the National team at the Women’s World Cup in Sydney in August. 

Pain-Free Giving

A former patient, 60-year-old Rosina, is the focus of the 2023 Christmas fundraiser for the National Orthopaedic Hospital.  After years of hip and thigh pain, an MRI in May 2021 showed Rosina had no cartilage left and needed a hip replacement.  After her surgery in Cappagh, she was amazed that her pain was completely gone, and she was mobile again, shortly afterwards.

“I have never had any pain since that day.  I can’t speak highly enough about the doctors, and the care and compassion shown.  I recently celebrated my 60th birthday with a trip away, and I am now back at work.  None of this would be possible without Cappagh, so I am asking the public to please donate to help people become pain-free and get their lives back” Rosina says.

Speaking at the fundraiser launch, Sean O’Neill, Chair of the Cappagh Hospital Foundation said “Rosina’s story is just one of over 30,000 stories that come out of NOHC each year. The team here deliver the best patient outcomes, and it is our goal at the Foundation to help meet their needs, whether that is newer medical equipment, additional patient support or new services.”

Funds raised through the Boney Maloney Christmas Appeal support the delivery of NOHC priorities that fall outside of HSE funding.  To donate, see www.chf.ie.

Pictures Justin Farrelly

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