A team of creative and caring women have delivered some goodwill to Letterkenny University Hospital and local health facilities in the form of beautiful Christmas wreaths.

Today, the traditional day for Christmas decorating, will see ten impressive wreaths placed in prime positions for healthcare workers, patients and residents of homes to enjoy.

Each wreath was intricately handmade by members of the Letterkenny and District Flower Club, who are celebrating 50 years. Taking hydrangeas from their gardens, sourcing ornaments, and putting their skills to work, the women crafted their gifts with care and pride.

The new Christmas Wreath Display at Letterkenny University Hospital

The club had set themselves a Christmas challenge to make and donate 50 wreaths for 50 friends for the anniversary.

This included a wreath, swags and foliage placed at the main entrance of Letterkenny University Hospital.

The display has been donated as a gift of hope for people working and attending the hospital and in recognition of all that staff have done for the community this year.

Members of the Letterkenny and District Flower Club pictured with Declan Friel, Maintenance Manager Letterkenny University Hospital

A small group of club members are also visiting nine locations in the area to deliver more wreaths and festive cheer:  Donegal Hospice, Cleary House, Hillcrest Nursing Home, St. Eunan’s Nursing Home, Archview Nursing Home, Ramelton Nursing Home, Milford Nursing Home, Larissa Lodge and the Letterkenny Psychiatric Unit. 

Mrs Geraldine Gibbons chairperson of Letterkenny and District Flower club said: “Due to Covid-19 and public health guidelines we have not met since February however, we try to keep up our spirits and stay in touch through our group texts, Facebook and letters.  This year we had ambitious plans to attend Bloom, a 4 day trip to the Keukenh of Tulip Festival in Holland and a June floristry outing to Oakfield Park Raphoe. All unfortunately had to be cancelled but we have all the more to look forward too and plan for when we get to meet up again. 

“The club’s Christmas challenge for our 50 years would not have been possible except for our wonderful members’ goodwill, enthusiasm and time to achieve this.”

Mairead Mangan Clinical Nurse Manager at Cleary House is presented with one of the 50 wreath representing 50 years from Kathleen O Donnell representing Letterkenny and District Flower Club. Photo Brian McDaid.
Deirdre Coady presents a wreath made by Letterkenny and District Flower Club to Mary Mc Laughlin Nurse Manager of Donegal Hospice. The Flow club presented 50 wreaths to celebrate 50 years of the flower club in Letterkenny. Photo Brian Mc Daid.

“When the call went out we had a fantastic response to take part in whatever way possible.  I would really like to thank all of you who trusted us in their gardens to cut foliage, those who gave us a “safe distanced” space to work in and  helped us deliver our wreaths safely to welcoming doors.

“Our wish from Letterkenny and District Flower Club is to remember ‘Where Flowers bloom so does hope'”, Mrs Gibbons said.

A moment at the Donegal Hospice captured when a rainbow appeared briefly as members delivered wreaths. Included are from Left Geraldine Gibbons, Isobel Rodgers, Kathleen O Donnell and Deirdre Coady. Photo Brian McDaid.

The donations are a special source of pride for each member of the Flower Club, in a year when they mourned the loss of a dear friend, Mrs Dorothy Hanley.

The late Dorothy Hanley was a founding member and President of the club who sadly passed earlier this year.

Mrs Gibbons added: “We think of Dorothy and the legacy of love for friendship, flower art and arranging she left us with. She would be very proud of the all club member’s achievements.”

The new Christmas Wreath Display at Letterkenny University Hospital