Knitting up a storm
Betty Fogarty, Pauline McDonnell, Una McArdle, Liz Norris, Liz Dodd and Ann Carthy holding the Cuddly Toys outside Tallaght University Hospital

Knitting up a storm

WOMEN from a local group have been knitting up a storm in recent weeks making a series of cuddly toys that are now available for purchase – with all proceeds going to the age-related healthcare and stroke departments of Tallaght University Hospital (TUH).

The women from the Easter Chick Ladies group have been a mainstay of the hospital over the years, where they’re well known for their sale of knitted Easter chicks every year in the hospital atrium.

However, the pandemic meant that they weren’t able to sell their items in the hospital last Easter or Christmas, so this year they’re selling their handmade toys online.

The founder of the group, Ann Carthy, told The Echo: “We let the women in the group do what they like, so it’s a pleasant surprise when we see what they produce.”

This year’s creations include sparkly hedgehogs, bears in dungarees or wearing scarves, and penguins – all of which have been hand-knitted by women from the local area and are now available to purchase online.

“In normal times, we’d sell these in the hospital atrium,” explained Ann. “People looked forward to seeing us there at Easter and Christmas.”

The group has raised over €50k for the hospital over the years through the sale of their knitted creations.

Ann set up the group over a decade ago to raise funds for the children’s hospital in Tallaght, but in recent years the group has focused on raising funds for age-related and stroke services in the hospital.

Roisin Clancy from Tallaght University Hospital Foundation holding the Cuddly Toys

Róisín Carthy from the Tallaght University Hospital Foundation told The Echo: “Over the past couple of years the group has been doing it for age-related and stroke services and the money they raise goes straight into the pot for those departments.

“When money is raised for one particular department, it means we can go there and see what their urgent needs are. It’s a great way to target the needs of a specific department.”

In tandem with helping their local hospital, the women in the group also get great satisfaction from seeing how well received their handmade items are, as they sell out every year.

“We’re mostly retired, so doing this gives us an impetus to be doing something,” explained Ann.

“It means a lot to the women who create these toys to know that they’ll be going to children in the local area and that they can enjoy them for a lifetime – and also to know that they’re supporting their local hospital’s age-related and stroke units.”

The collection of 41 hand-knitted items range in price from €5 to €35, and are available for purchase now on the Tallaght University Hospital Foundation’s website at

Delivery is not available for the items.

They will instead be available for collection from the Betelnut Café in the Civic Theatre in Tallaght within two days of the order being placed.

Share This