A KILLARNEY businesswoman who lost her partner after he contracted Covid-19 has appealed to everybody to get vaccinated against the virus as it’s the only way the disease can be beaten.
Eileen Finucane set up the busy Kitty Ó Sé’s restaurant on College Street with her 59-year-old partner Seamus O’Connor and it became a great success. But her world changed forever in April of last year when Seamus contracted the virus.
He battled for several days before he passed away in Cork University Hospital on April 7.
“Tragically, more than 7,000 people have lost their lives to this terrible virus and my partner was one of them. I urge everyone to get vaccinated, as that’s the only way we will beat this disease and prevent more loss,” Eileen said.
She has gone public to support a campaign to remember lives lost to Covid-19 which also aims to raise €150,000 for those impacted by the pandemic.
ICU doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, hospice staff, paramedics and gardai throughout the country will partake in a Covid-19 cycle of remembrance to honour the lives lost to the virus on September 2-3.
The organisers hope to raise €150,000 for older people’s organisation ALONE, mental health support group Aware and Breakthrough Cancer Research which finances new treatments for cancer patients.
“The ICU team were incredible during Seamus’ time in Cork University Hospital and it’s so moving that they are yet again there for family members by remembering our loved ones and by raising much needed funds for those who now need our help,” Eileen said.
To generate sponsorship and donations, frontline medical staff will cycle in six locations in Cork, Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford.
At the end of the cycle on Friday, September 3, a brief commemoration ceremony will be held in line with public health restrictions at the Memorial Gardens Islandbridge. The memorial will remember the victims of Covid-19 with over 7,000 white roses displayed at the gardens for the weekend.
On Saturday, September 4 members of the public will be invited to visit the commemoration site to take a rose and remember a loved one and make a charitable donation if they so wish.
More than half of the fundraising target has already been reached through corporate sponsorship.
To donate to the cause see icu4u.ie.