Working life: Eilin Ni Mhurchu, nurse, Jack and Jill Foundation

Monday, April 24, 2017


I’m a bit of a newshound so I browse the online news and check Twitter over coffee. My youngest, Sinéad, is in Leaving Cert, so I pack lunch for her and drop her to school. I have two other adult children, Róisín, 20, and Joe, 22, who lives in Paris.


I return home to do some admin work before heading out to pick up a cheque from a school that fundraised for the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation. 

It’s not part of my job description, but our service is pretty flexible.


I head to Cork city suburbs to visit a family newly referred to our service. 

Their child has a significant neurological condition and recently came home from hospital. My role is to support them as much as possible so listening to their concerns is paramount. 

I guide them through filling out forms to claim entitlements and I organise for two of our nurses to link in with them. They will need ongoing respite care and home support.


Back at the car, I return any missed phone calls including to head office where there’s much excitement about our latest fundraiser, Incognito. 

It’s a fantastic idea — the Foundation will offer 1,500 original miniature art pieces for €50 each in the Solomon Gallery in Dublin from April 21 to 25. 

The individual identities of the artists is secret so buyers won’t know until afterwards if they’ve picked up a valuable piece of art!


I indulge in dashboard dining while heading to East Cork to see a family where a child has a life-limiting condition. 

They have issues around feeding so I help out with that. They are also in need of emotional support and a bit of cheering up. That’s a big part of what I do.


The next family I visit has lost a child. I can’t fix anything but I can try and empower them to get through the day. 

I touch base with my line manager on the way home — peer support is invaluable and I need to offload every now and again to preserve myself.


I head home. If my husband is home before me, he’ll have dinner on. Later, I FaceTime Joe. 

Then it’s a walk around the block with the dog, some TV, and a catch-up with family.


Eilín Ní Mhurchú, specialist children’s liaison nurse, Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation.

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