Belfast Telegraph

NI Hospice heartbreaking video of Philomena Devine praised by Eamonn Holmes

Philomena Devine and husband John - Picture by Michael McKay
Philomena Devine and husband John - Picture by Michael McKay
Philomena with her sisters Maureen and Seana
Eamonn Holmes
The couple in church
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

Eamonn Holmes has praised the Northern Ireland Hospice in an emotional video ahead of Valentine's Day.

The broadcaster introduces the 'love story' of Belfast woman Philomena Devine, who passed away at 31 from cervical cancer.

"It takes place on our own doorstep and its leading stars are a local family, supported by the staff and volunteers of Northern Ireland's Hospice," he said.

"This is the story of love, about making every moment count."

Ms Devine's sister, Seana Gamble, spoke of how the charity helped her make every moment count in her final weeks and days, during which time she got married and also was a bridesmaid for her sister.

A Valentine's Day dinner for two was even arranged at the hospice with her husband John.

Philomena with her sisters Maureen and Seana

"Philomena was told she didn't have long to live and that she should live every day like it was her last. She took those words and she ran with that," Ms Gamble said.

"It was only a few days before Valentine's Day when Philomena had arrived (at the hospice).

"We had a dinner arranged in Belfast for her and her husband but we knew she wouldn't make it.

"The nurses decorated her room that we called the 'love hub'. It was those little things that made the biggest difference - making memories - something we thought we could never do. We can't thank the hospice enough."

The hospice is run at a cost of £40,000 per day, delivering palliative care to adults and children both within its premises and in the community across Northern Ireland.

Eamonn Holmes

Heather Weir, the charity's CEO, said: "Each and every day at the hospice, our staff and volunteers are dedicated to providing specialist care services to local children and adults who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting or terminal condition.

"We focus on delivering excellent clinical care, together with looking after the wider needs of patients and their families."

She thanked Ms Gamble for bravely sharing her sister's story.

"We would encourage everyone to get behind the campaign, spreading this beautiful video far and wide.

"Without the continued support of local people such as Seana, and all those who support the hospice, we simply would not exist.

"We remain thankful for that support and hope that through Philomena's story, the real heart of hospice is demonstrated."

The couple in church

The video is available to view online now through the Northern Ireland Hospice Facebook Page or on The charity is seeking donations up to and including Valentine's Day on February 14. Donations can be made via Facebook or at

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