Our leadership

The Irish Cancer Society is the national cancer charity (charity registration number CHY5863).

The Society is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors made up of leading medical experts, scientists and business people. The Board is advised by a number of expert committees and is responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of the charity.

Board of Directors

  • Dermot Breen (Chairman)
    Dermot has been a Director of the Irish Cancer Society since 2008. He has had an extensive career in public affairs management including 17 years as Corporate Affairs Director at Tesco Ireland. He is also a member of the Governing Body of University College Cork.
  • Fergus Brennan
    Fergus is a retired Chartered Accountant with a career in finance and senior management in Clondalkin Paper Mills, Jones Group PLC and Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland. He holds a number of directorships across the aviation sector.
  • Dr Sinead Brennan
    Sinead is a Radiation Oncologist in St Luke’s hospital, Rathgar and in St James hospital, Dublin. She is Chair of the Head and Neck DSSG at Cancer Trials Ireland.
  • Geraldine Clarke
    Geraldine Clarke is a practising solicitor, and is head of Gleeson McGrath Baldwin Solicitors’ Litigation Department. She has extensive experience in all aspects of commercial and general litigation practicing in the areas of banking, intellectual property, employment, EU law, product liability and general contract disputes. Geraldine is a past President of the Law Society and is the Founding Director of the Irish Centre for European Law.
  • Kieran Crowley
    Kieran Crowley is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Director. He is a Business Consultant advising boards and business owners on change, risk management, strategy and governance, with experience as a board member in many companies.
  • Sean Dorgan MRIA
    Sean was formerly Secretary General of two Government Departments, Chief Executive of Chartered Accountants Ireland and CEO of IDA Ireland. He holds a number of directorships currently.
  • Professor Liam Grogan
    Liam is a Consultant Medical Oncologist in Beaumont Hospital and is an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
  • Cormac G. Kilty PH.D
    Cormac is a Biotech Entrepreneur retired from executive functions; managing a biotech investment portfolio and involved with two Angel Investment groups in Ireland. He was voted one of the top 100 influential Ireland-US business leaders by 'Business and Finance' in 2007 and 2008 and was awarded the U.S.-Ireland Biolink award for contribution to Irish Life Sciences in 2007.
  • Dr Helen McAvoy
    Helen is Director of Policy with the Institute of Public Health in Ireland focussing on progressing the government’s health inequality agenda in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Helen has a primary medical degree and a Masters in Health Promotion and worked for several years in both hospital and general practice.
  • Willie O Reilly
    Willie O'Reilly is Group Commercial Director at RTÉ. He was formerly Chief Executive of Today FM and a former President of the Institute of Directors.
  • Prof Ray Stallings
    Ray is Director of Research and Professor of Cancer Genetics at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Ray has held a number of academic and professional positions both in Ireland and the US.

Our CEO and senior management team (SMT)

The SMT assists the Chief Executive, John McCormack, in managing the Irish Cancer Society's day-to-day business. The current SMT is:

  • John McCormack - Chief Executive
  • Donal Buggy - Head of Services & Advocacy
  • Noeleen Donnelly - Head of Human Resources
  • Mark Mellett - Head of Fundraising
  • Niamh Ní Chonghaile - Head of Finance
  • Dr Robert O’Connor, Head of Research
  • Gráinne O'Rourke, Head of Communications

Finance and Audit Committee

  • Mr Fergus Brennan (Chair)
  • Mr Sean Dorgan
  • Ms Jane Neill 
  • Mr Ger Penny

The Finance Committee membership includes skills in the area of financial control, pension, risk and investments. The Committee meets between ten and twelve times a year overseeing monthly financial reports and maintains oversight of risk, treasury control, lease commitments, payroll and pension. It also oversees the annual budget, audit and statutory accounts.

The Committee has a membership minimum of four, two of whom must be directors. New appointments are based on skills needed.

The Society is in the process of setting up a new Audit & Risk Committee which will take over these specific areas of responsibility from the Finance & Audit Committee.

Fundraising Advisory Committee

  • Mr Dermot Breen (Chair)
  • Mr Kieran Crowley
  • Mr Ivor Fitzpatrick
  • Ms Marie O'Connor

Governance and Nominating Committee

  • Mr Willie O’Reilly (Chair)
  • Mr Kieran Crowley
  • Prof Liam Grogan 

The Governance & Nominating Committee is made up of three existing directors. The Committee was set-up to oversee the Society’s compliance with legislation, regulation and the Society’s own policies. Legislation includes company law and the Charities Act 2009. Regulation includes the voluntary Governance Code. The Society’s policies include the Conflict of Interest policy and Nomination and Induction process.

The Committee oversees Board and director performance evaluation, including oversight of external evaluation.

The Society’s nomination and induction process is the means by which the Society appoints new Board members. New directors are based on annual Board profile reviews which establish critical skills for good governance of the Board and the organisation.

Governance code

A code of practice for good governance of community, voluntary and charitable organisations in Ireland has been developed by the sector, for the sector (see www.governancecode.ie). It is a voluntary code designed to help organisations adhere to the highest possible standards. The Irish Cancer Society has adopted this code.

Statement of principles

Summary of legislation and regulation compliance

The Society is obliged to comply with certain legislation and has chosen to adhere to various guidelines as best practice. 

View summary

Date Last Reviewed: 
Tuesday, May 2, 2017