A Co. Galway farmer whose sister received tender care from Galway Hospice has donated a heifer to Tuam Mart for sale on Monday, with the proceeds going to the charity.

JP Shaughnessy – who farms with his son, John, at Lackaghmore, Turloughmore – was so appreciative of the care given to his late sister Norita that he decided to donate a two-year-old Hereford for the online auction.

Norita had been living in Dublin when she was diagnosed with cancer. She moved back to Galway where she was looked after by the hospice until she died in April 2020.

John said that many people have fond memories of his aunt and her generous spirit.

She lived in Dublin for 50 years, working for a doctor, and she helped a lot of young people from the area who were going to college by putting them up before they got going with accommodation themselves. She also put up families who needed to be near hospitals. If the family told her about anyone needing help, she would always step in.

Norita battled her illness with real courage, John said. “She fought it so well. Every time she went in, we thought it would be the last time but she came back out so many times.

“With the pandemic putting a lot of charities under pressure on fundraising, my father said he would sell a heifer.

“Tuam Mart is helping the effort and the full cheque will go straight to the hospice where she benefited from outstanding care,” said John.

Galway Hospice chief executive Mary Nash expressed her gratitude to the family for its effort.

Thank you to JP Shaughnessy, his family and the farming community for their support of Galway Hospice during these challenging times. We simply could not provide our specialist palliative care services to patients and families across Galway without the support of the public.

“Last year, we cared for over 1,000 patients at home and in the hospice, thanks to the support that we receive each day.

“We wish Tuam Mart the best of luck with this wonderful auction in support of our care,” said Mary.