19/12/2001

NI Hospice votes in completely new ruling council

Members of the Northern Ireland Hospice have voted in a new seven-strong ruling council at their Annual General Meeting.

The outgoing seven-member council, which sacked former director Tom Hill in October 2000 and subsequently stood down, were not re-elected to the self-titled “alternative management” council.

The new council includes Mr Hill’s wife Lilian and Sister Frances Dominica – who founded the first children’s hospice at Helen House in Oxford almost 20 years ago.

More than 1,500 members packed into the Ulster Hall on Tuesday, December 18, to make their voices heard on the controversial sacking of Mr Hill and to vote on a new hospice management team.

Members also voted against enlarging the size of the council from seven to 13.

The new children’s hospice building at Valley Park in Newtownabbey, which was built with more than £5 million of public money opened in October this year and provides care for some of the 800 children in Northern Ireland with life limiting illnesses.

Mr Hill, who was a leading fundraiser in the hospice’s campaign to build the new centre was suspended last year and dismissed from his post earlier this year. His dismissal led to a year of period of bitter acrimony and dispute within the charity organisation. (AMcE)

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