US President Joe Biden has congratulated the team at the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation after it opened a new hospice on the Athlone Road in Co Roscommon.
Biden congratulated the hospice team on the facility's opening in a video message shared on November 5. He has been a long-time supporter of the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation where his distant cousin Laurita Blewitt works.
In his video message, Biden says: "When my cousin Laurita invited me to turn the sod in September 2017, it was a deeply moving experience.
"I got to meet so many of you - doctors, nurses, counselors, and volunteers - and in each of you, I saw the values of your community - love, selflessness, compassion. That's what hospice represents; a place where dignity, empathy, and support are shown to all.
"I know this special place will bring comfort to the proud people of County Mayo and Roscommon, and for me, it will always have a special place in my heart.
"As many of you know, when my family traveled to Ireland in 2016, we felt so much love and joy. It was also bittersweet since it was a trip I had hoped to share with our son Beau, to come here together and to touch the soil of our Irish roots and our family's history and heritage.
"The fact you have etched Beau's name and memory into the tapestry of this hospice is something my family and I, his children in particular, will never, ever forget.
"In the words of Yeats in The Lake Isle of Innisfree, 'I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree ... And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow.'
"For all those who have come to this hospice in the future, I pray that they and their families find peace here. For peace comes dropping slowly, but it comes, it comes.
"God bless you all, and I'm anxious to visit. Thank you."
Founded in 1992, the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation works to fund palliative care services to people with life-limiting illnesses in Mayo and Roscommon.
In September 2017, Biden, who frequently touts his Irish roots, was in Castlebar, Co Mayo to turn the first sod as construction began on the new Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation center. You can watch his remarks from the ceremony here:
Yesterday former US vice-president #JoeBiden gave a touching, funny and inspiring speech at the turning of the sod for the new Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation Centre in Castlebar. Listen back now to his speech in full.Posted by Midwest Radio on Wednesday, September 13, 2017