Daffodil Day 2017: The 30th year of the The Irish Cancer Society’s nationwide fundraiser

Fiona McCluskey

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On Friday, March 24th, volunteers across Ireland gathered to fundraise for the annual Daffodil Day event in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.

The Irish Cancer Society was founded  in 1963 by Professor Austin Darragh. Prof. Darragh was inspired into action after learning that 100 people were dying each year from skin cancer that would have been curable, had they known to seek treatment.  As well as increasing awareness and supporting research, the society also work to provide support and advocacy services for cancer care in Ireland.

This year marked the 30th Daffodil Day. The daffodil is a symbol of hope and renewal. In a happy coincidence, it is also the national flower of Wales. Welsh fans visiting the capital on Friday, to support their team in the World Cup qualifier match against Ireland, were delighted to find their iconic bloom on display and available for purchase in aid of a worthy cause.

Dubliners will be familiar with Daffodil Day fixture, Daff Man. Daff Man was stationed at his usual daffodil selling spot on O’Connell Street, in spite of the ongoing Luas construction works.

Daff Man (James Gilleran) selling daffodils on O'Connell Street, Dublin in aid of The Irish Cancer Society - photo credit Fiona McCluskey
Daff Man (James Gilleran) selling daffodils on O’Connell Street, Dublin in aid of The Irish Cancer Society – photo credit Fiona McCluskey

Daff Man is known as James Gilleran when not wearing his daffodil suit and has been volunteering for almost 25 years. His dedication has been documented throughout the media, including a story by RTÉ news.

Who is the 'Daffodil Man'?Every year James Gilleran dons a special costume for the Irish Cancer Society. The charity launches its annual appeal tomorrow.

Posted by RTÉ News on Thursday, February 9, 2017

 

Outside the capital city, teams of volunteers ensure that Daffodil Day has a vibrant presence in every county of Ireland. In Monaghan for example, a team of roughly thirty people, comprising school children and volunteers, sell pins, flowers and arrangements throughout the town.

Daffodil Day 2017 volunteers in Monaghan town - photo credit Maeve Quinn
Daffodil Day 2017 volunteers in Monaghan town – photo credit Maeve Quinn

This year the Irish Cancer Society aim to raise over €3 million. Donations can still be made online.

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Fiona McCluskey