Sr Martha Hegarty was born in Curriheen, Leap, West Cork, a place which was very dear to her heart and where she spent many wonderful and memorable holidays over many years. She joined the Daughters of Charity in 1951. During her time at St. Vincent’s Sr Martha Hegarty  qualified as an Occupational Therapist in London and also studied Rehabilitation in Michigan State University.

Sr Martha Hegarty was appointed as Director of Respect in 1990. She was an extremely dynamic person. Her mission was in enhancing the lives of those people with intellectual disabilities who were under the care of the Daughters of Charity. Martha worked passionately for these clients and strived to make their lives as normal and fulfilling as possible. She was a visionary regarding developing services in the community for people with intellectual disability. During the 1970s she was instrumental in establishing a number of houses in the local community of the Navan Road, Dublin and transferred some of the service users from St. Vincent’s Centre Navan Road to these new homes. She was truly a woman before her time with great insight and vision into the needs of the more vulnerable in society.

It was clear to all who met her that her heart was in the right place and that the welfare of her special people came first. She was not shy in looking for help for her cause and it was not easy for people to refuse giving that assistance. With generous supporters, Respect has been able to provide much needed funds to improve the living conditions of the service users.

About the program

Our memorial fellowship program was set up at the request of families and friends of some of our patients who have lost their battle with blood disorders. The named fellowship will embody the spirit and outstanding courage these great characters displayed during the course of their blood cancer journey. Each of these individuals were committed to the need for ongoing active research into blood disorders. Their memory will live on as the human faces of our scientific fellowship programs.