Our dear colleague, and friend Donal Hollywood...
Our dear colleague, and friend Donal Hollywood, passed away at St Luke’s Hospital on May 10th 2013 surrounded by his family and close friends.
From his diagnosis it was an all too short few months before his untimely and tragic death. That period was profoundly distressing for everybody who knew and worked with Donal over the years. His desire to be cared for in St Luke’s Hospital during his last weeks was a source of pride amidst the feelings of sadness and loss. The exceptional care, sensitivity and professionalism demonstrated by hospital staff, the Palliative Care team, his senior colleagues, the nurses on the Day Ward and importantly the exemplary care on D Ward was sincerely appreciated by Donal and his family. It was a source of comfort to friends and colleagues to see him sitting out enjoying the lovely late spring weather in the beautiful gardens and in the foyer chatting to passersby.
Professionally Donal made an enormous contribution to Radiation Oncology in Ireland. He significantly helped improve the care of Irish patients with cancer. His chairmanship of the National Expert Group on Radiation Oncology (1999-2003) resulted in the development of the Saint Luke's Radiation Oncology Network. In the past two years we have witnessed his vision transcribed into new technology and increased treatment capacity across the three Network centres. His personal vision, interpersonal & political skills coupled with the tenacity that he brought to very senior roles in Trinity College, the Faculty of Radiologists and the NCCP were fundamental in shaping the training programmes and careers of an entire generation of Radiation Oncologists, Physicists, Therapists and Nursing staff in Ireland and across Europe. He took great pride in the new generation of multidisciplinary radiation specialists whose education and training he guided during his time as Chair of Radiotherapy, National Training Co-ordinator and with the National Cancer Control Program.
This extraordinary leadership role was recognised internationally by his colleagues in European Radiation Oncology and he was central to their core organisation in ESTRO. This culminated with his election to the Presidency of ESTRO in 2012. Tragically his time to bring his vision of leadership in shaping European Radiotherapy was curtailed by his illness.
Our deepest sympathy goes to his family, to Brid, Aoife, Niamh and Patrick, his parents and brothers. He will always remain in our thoughts and memories. We miss his warmth, his humour and wit. We miss his wisdom, knowledge, good counsel and guidance.
We have not forgotten our promise to honour his legacy. We decided to wait until emotions had settled in order to determine how best to remember him. We are collecting remembrances, expressions of sympathy and photographs and will write a booklet in his memory from his “professional family”. We will honour his academic brilliance in a format that will carry his name. We have taken time to decide how best to do this, but will do so in the near future.