Irish Cancer Society under fire for use of 'Hope' slogan in Wexford

By David Tucker

Published 29/01/2016 | 00:00

At the launch of Relay for life in The Talbot Hotel were Sarah Kavanagh, Marie Breen, Shirley Roche, Matt Lewis (Irish Cancer Society), Gay Murphy, Japa Murphy and Maria Rice.
At the launch of Relay for life in The Talbot Hotel were Sarah Kavanagh, Marie Breen, Shirley Roche, Matt Lewis (Irish Cancer Society), Gay Murphy, Japa Murphy and Maria Rice.

the IRISH Cancer Society have come under fire from some cancer sufferers in Wexford who have accused it of trading on the name of the Hope centre in Enniscorthy to raise national funds.

Several people walked out of the cancer society's 'Relay for Life' meeting at the Talbot Hotel on Wednesday night because of complaints about the word 'Hope' on T-shirts promoting the event.

One of them, Paddy Keogh, from Wexford, accused the society of trying to fool people into making donations they believed were going to the Hope Cancer Support Centre, when in fact the money would go to the Irish Cancer Society's own coffers.

'The word Hope is there in big letters.. I told them at the meeting that they were creating confusion and were trading on the name of the Hope Centre locally because it is so successful.

'I told them people would think they were giving money to the Hope Centre,' said Mr Keogh, a cancer survivor who had attended the Hope Centre, and one of three people who walked out of the meeting.

Michael Jordan, one of the Hope centre's directors and race director for its own fund raising event 'Hope and Dream 10', spoke at the meeting to make sure everyone understood that the cancer society's 'Relay for Life' and Hope's own fund raiser were different events and that the money raised at the cancer society event would go into its national coffers and would not stay in Wexford.

He said the Hope Centre had no monopoly on the use of the word 'Hope' and while it was part of the Hope centre's logo and brand, he didn't want a situation where there was ambiguity around the branding.

'All we wanted to do was to clarify where we are in relation to the people of Wexford and for the people to understand that money raised by the 'Relay for Life' will not stay in Wexford,' said Mr Jordan, adding that the Hope centre worked closely with the cancer society.

Mr Jordan said he could not comment on the motivation of the people who walked out of the meeting.

Mr Keogh said he had challenged an cancer society official whom he said had fund raising targets to meet to cover his costs and his own salary.

'The Hope Centre is managed on a voluntary basis whereas the cancer society has paid officials and fund raisers,' said Mr Keogh.

The cancer society describes 'Relay For Life' as a 24-hour event that brings the whole community together to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors,

Spokesman for the Irish Cancer Society Matt Lewis said the word 'Hope' was decided upon as a 'catchphrase' in the society's campaign in Wexford and was not intended to trade on the name of the Hope Centre, or to take funds away from it.

'We have an excellent relationship with the Hope Centre and would do nothing to damage that. We are both passionate about fighting cancer,' he said.

Wexford People

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