Madam — Reading of the death of Mary Lahiff, (Death Notice, Sunday Independent, October 28) brought to mind an era worth reflecting on at a time in our country when we struggle to make sense of what is going on, where hope, gratitude, vision and inspiration appear to be in short supply.

Mary worked as a social worker in the Meath Hospital, one of the small voluntary hospitals in Dublin. She worked in a cramped space without so many of the technical mod-cons we have now become accustomed to.

She worked way beyond the call of duty, ticked all the boxes of care, commitment, compassion and professionalism — not those now ticked to measure performance and success. She sat and listened patiently and was familiar with the environment people came from, not least so many of the people known to us in TRUST, outsiders even in the space they inhabited. People, to her, were individuals with names and a personal history and never just ‘clients’, ‘customers’ or cold statistics. She would have been shocked to hear the latest buzz word — ‘churning’ — in the lexicon of assessment. Time spent with people in need was never time wasted to her.

During her working life Mary brought comfort to so many, who were often unable to express their gratitude. She truly was one of the unsung heroes of public service and has left a wonderful legacy in her wake.

Alice Leahy,

Director & Co-Founder,

TRUST, Dublin 8