Des Bishop calls on Cork to take action and help stop cancer on 30th Daffodil Day

Since 1988 people of Cork have helped raise €66m on Daffodil Day, funding vital cancer research and support for people affected by cancer

Daffodil Day volunteers from Cork helped launch the Irish Cancer Society’s 30th Daffodil Day, the longest running national collection day in the country, before hundreds of daffodil volunteers at an event in Croke Park on Friday.

Daffodil Day supporters have raised over €66million for people affected by cancer in Ireland since the inaugural Daffodil Day in 1988. Since then Daffodil Day has become a vital fundraiser involving communities across Ireland who come together to support cancer patients and their families.

RTE’s Dancing with the Stars contestant, testicular cancer survivor Des Bishop, was on hand to launch the day which takes place on Friday, 24 March 2017. The comedian, who lost his father to lung cancer, urged members of the public to show their support for the growing number of people being diagnosed with cancer.

Incidence of cancer is rising and 150 people are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland every day. Most recent data from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland shows that 4,509 people in Cork were diagnosed with cancer over a 12 month period*.

Des, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2000 said, “Cancer has knocked on every door in Ireland, it is affecting lives every single day of the year. I’ve faced it myself, my mother has been treated for cancer and my father unfortunately died from the disease. Daffodil Day is an amazing day where the people of Ireland unite to fight back against cancer. This countrywide show of support will help fund important cancer research and care for all those affected by this terrible disease. March 24th, the 30th anniversary of Daffodil Day, is our day to take action against cancer and hopefully, one day, stop it.”

Led by the late Charles Cully in 1988, hundreds of volunteers took to the streets to sell daffodils on the first ever Daffodil Day. The day was set up to raise money for home care services and volunteers smashed their fundraising target of £50,000 and went on to raise £320,000.



Now the annual event sees hundreds of passionate volunteers in every county in Ireland take to the streets to help to fund services including the Society’s Night Nursing service, which in 2016 delivered over 8,000 nights of care to cancer patients in their homes. 163 cancer patients in Cork received 536 nights of care through the Society’s Night Nursing service last year.

Daffodil Day also helps to fund other services for people affected by cancer. The two Daffodil Centre’s based in Cork University Hospital and Bon Secours Hospital in Cork received 6,518 contacts from members of the public during 2016. The service, available in 13 hospitals around the country, allows people affected by cancer to speak directly to a Cancer Nurse and to avail of information about cancer.

Last year the Society distributed 29,324 cancer information booklets and leaflets free of charge to Cork. 576 journeys were facilitated for 64 patients from Cork who used the Volunteer Driver Service. The Service currently operates in 21 hospitals around the country and transports patients to and from their chemotherapy treatment.

Grants totalling €31,900 were provided to 48 families in Cork through the Society’s Financial Support Programme which supports parents of children who are undergoing cancer treatment and experiencing financial hardship.

Money raised also funds innovative cancer research projects, with €20m invested into lifesaving research since 2010. This investment has supported more than 150 cancer researchers to work on a diverse range of individual or collaborative projects that will ultimately lead to better ways of diagnosing and treating cancer.

Doctor, broadcaster and columnist Ciara Kelly, said, “Unfortunately more people are being diagnosed with cancer in Ireland than ever before. A cancer diagnosis can be very difficult. There’s a lot of fear around the disease so practical supports offered by the Irish Cancer Society are very useful to those on that cancer journey. The other powerful tool we have in the fight against cancer is research, which is continuing to improve ways of detecting and treating this disease. Daffodil Day is our opportunity to continue the fight against cancer and I for one will be proud to wear the Daffodil on March 24th.”

Mark Mellett, Head of Fundraising at the Irish Cancer Society, said the support of the public on Daffodil Day is crucial. “Every three minutes in Ireland a person receives a cancer diagnosis. Without our enthusiastic Daffodil Day volunteers in Cork who take to the streets each year, and the generosity of members of the public, we would not be able to help these people on their cancer journey. Daffodil Day has allowed us to provide thousands of nights of nursing care, funded much needed supports for cancer patients over three decades, and enabled us to invest in innovative cancer research projects. We want to continue to be there for people on every step of their cancer journey, but we can’t deliver these services or fund lifesaving research without the public’s help.

“Daffodil Day is an extraordinary day, one that showcases the tremendous goodwill of the Irish people as they stand up and show the thousands of people affected by cancer that they care. Please continue to show your support for all those on that tough cancer journey on Daffodil Day, on 24 March.”

This year the Society needs to raise over €3m on Daffodil Day to fund vital services and important cancer research. The public can support Daffodil Day on 24 March by:


  • Holding a coffee morning or event at home, in school or in their workplace
  • Registering as a volunteer to help sell daffodil pins
  • Buying a daffodil from one of our volunteers in their community
  • Donating online at

For more information on Daffodil Day visit

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