Former US vice President, Joe Biden, was in Mayo on Tuesday for the launch of the first hospice in the area.
Mr Biden was the man to officially turned the first sod at the event, for the new Hospice project yesterday. The €10 million development will see Joe Biden’s late son be forever linked to it, in a touching gesture by organisers.
Biden’s son, Beau, died in 2015 following a two year battle with cancer. Biden described his regret at Beau not being there on the visit, as he has promised they would go before his tragic death.
Mr Biden spoke of the great work carried out by hospice and its many volunteers, while he also spoke of the great support provided to him and his family by the service. Biden’s mother and father both resided in hospice facilities at one point before they died.
The former vice president, who served under Obama, had his brother Jimmy and nephew Jamie along with him on his trip. He also spoke of the other tragic time in his life, where his family were victims of a horrendous car crash. The crash resulted in the death of his one year old daughter Naomi and his wife Neilia, while his two sons were seriously injured.
This was not Biden’s first trip to Mayo, having relatives who hail from the county. His great grandparents came from Ballina, while he also had relatives from Louth. Mr. Biden received a Mayo jersey to say thank you for making the journey over.
Planning permission was granted recently for the multi million euro development in Mayo, it will be a 14 bed inpatient care unit. There are also more plans afoot to build another hospice centre in Roscommon.