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Freedom of Derry for Donegal doctor 30.04.14

THE freedom of Derry has been conferred on Foyle Hospice founder Dr Tom McGinley at a private ceremony in the Guildhall.
Derry Mayor Cllr Martin Reilly who officiated at the ceremony said he felt "privileged" to present the special honour in recognition of Dr McGinley's contribution to helping the people of the city and wider North West for many years.
“Dr Tom McGinley has over the years made a huge contribution to the lives of many people in this city across the wider North West area.
"The establishment of the Foyle Hospice and his contribution to patients with cancer and other illnesses and their families has been phenomenal and I think it is a fitting tribute to him that he has been honoured in this way.
"I would like to extend my congratulations to him on behalf of the people of the city.”
Derry Mayor Cllr Martin Reilly pictured with Dr Tom McGinley and members of Dr McGinley’s family at a private reception earlier this week in the Guildhall.
The ceremony was attended by members of Dr McGinley's family.
Dr McGinley was born in New York but returned to Ireland at a young age and was raised in West Donegal.
It was while visiting an 18-year old man in the city who was dying of cancer that the idea for a hospice was triggered in Dr McGinley. A steering group was formed in 1984 and intense fundraising began soon after. The hospice opened its doors in 1991 and has been caring for terminally ill patients from Derry and Donegal ever since.
This week's honour is the first time the freedom of Derry has been bestowed since Nobel peace laureate John Hume received the honour fourteen years ago. The decision to recognise Dr McGinley was made at a special council meeting last September when members unanimously agreed to confer the honour upon the hospice founder.
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