Deluge on Daffodil Day dampens ICS accounts

Majella O’Donnell, the wife of the singer Daniel O’Donnell,  agreed to have her head shaved live on ‘The Late Late Show’ and earned €700,000 for the Irish Cancer Society. Photograph: Andres Poveda

Majella O’Donnell, the wife of the singer Daniel O’Donnell, agreed to have her head shaved live on ‘The Late Late Show’ and earned €700,000 for the Irish Cancer Society. Photograph: Andres Poveda

Tue, Jul 8, 2014, 01:00

The one-day deluge that cost the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) more than €500,000 in fundraising last year contributed to the charity slipping into the red in 2013. According to the society’s accounts for 2013, the ICS recorded a loss of €1.2 million last year, following a surplus of €1.5 million in 2012.

The accounts show that the amount raised on Daffodil Day last year was €2.738million; a drop of €506,000 on the €3.244 million raised in 2012, with the deluge across the country on the day a major factor behind the drop in income.

The society also suffered a sharp drop in money raised through its Shave or Dye campaign in association with Today FM. The accounts show that last year the initiative raised €1.6 million, compared with €2.5 million in 2012.

However, the intervention of Majella O’Donnell, the wife of the singer Daniel O’Donnell, who agreed to have her head shaved live on The Late Late Show made up for the shortfalls in other areas, earning €700,000 for the charity.

An ICS spokeswoman said: “The society is very pleased with performance in 2013, given the economic climate and how the weather affected Daffodil Day.

“We were able to make back much of the Daffodil Day shortfall due to the fantastic support of many volunteers running fundraising events all over the country, and the successful support and appeal by the wonderful Majella O’Donnell.

“However, 2013 was still a difficult year overall and the society’s income was €1.3 million, or 6 per cent, lower than 2012 with a number of income sources affected.”

The spokeswoman said: “During 2013 the society grant- funded the first Collaborative Cancer Research Centre.

“The first-year commitment is €1.6 million, total funding will be €7.5 million over five years. This is largely the reason for the deficit in 2013 and the society is managing this within its reserves.”

The figures show that in spite of the reduced income, the society’s spend increased from €20 million to €21.4 million. The charity’s balance sheet remains strong, with €9.4 million in cash, and total funds of €14.2 million.

Last year its chief executive, John McCormack, received a salary of €145,000 with six colleagues earning €85,000- €100,000.