Sunday 4 December 2016

Irish Cancer Society CEO takes €10,000 salary cut in wake of funding controversy

Published 15/01/2016 | 10:37

Irish Cancer Society executives Credit: Kyran O'Brien
Irish Cancer Society executives Credit: Kyran O'Brien
Irish Cancer Society CEO John McCormack Credit: Kyran O'Brien

The chief executive of The Irish Cancer Society John McCormack has decided to take a salary cut as part of the charity’s effort to find the funds necessary to maintain its financial support programme for the families of children with cancer, it was announced today.

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Mr McCormack said he made the personal decision to reduce his salary by €10,000, from €145,000 to €135,000, effective from January 1 last.

The charity caused major upset and anger earlier this week when it announced it was closing the fund which paid out over €1.5m in to cancer patients and their families to help meet the additional expenses which they face due to the disease.

It later decided to re-open the fund but for children only.

Irish Cancer Society CEO John McCormack Credit: Kyran O'Brien
Irish Cancer Society CEO John McCormack Credit: Kyran O'Brien

The charity’s €7.4m payroll costs came under scrutiny. Ten staff are paid over €70,000.

The charity said it had already cut costs including salaries after suffering a fall in fundraising income.

The charity said today that it decided to maintain the fund for the 200 children who get cancer every year, and their families, out of a recognition that the burden can be significant given that the duration of treatment for a child with cancer can be up to three years.

The Society now needs to find €200,000 in 2016, either through savings or fundraised income, to maintain the fund for the families of children with cancer.

Mr. McCormack said he has made the decision to take a pay cut as a personal contribution to the efforts by the Society to maintain the fund for children with cancer. His move will make €10,000 immediately available for the fund.

“I greatly regret that it has become necessary to close the Financial Support Programme for adults with cancer, and I sincerely apologise for the upset that this decision has caused, but considering that we are not funded by the state, and that we run a number of really important and free services for people with cancer, unfortunately it was necessary to do so”, Mr. McCormack said.

“Now more than ever the Irish Cancer Society needs the support of the people of Ireland if we are to maintain the free services for cancer patients, which are run only by us. These include our night nursing service, our Volunteer Driving Scheme, our free Cancer Nurseline, our Daffodil Centres in 13 hospitals, as well as the funds we spend on cancer research in Ireland”, he added.

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