Remembering Mary Jones, our wonderful friend and former CCRT colleague. May she rest in peace x


Mary was the founder clinical research oncology data manager in St. Vincent’s University Hospital. She defined the top end of the scale of excellence for this crucial job. The quality of her work was the subject of rave reviews by international trial monitors and auditors over the years. Above all she was a dear friend to us all on the CCRT team. She will be deeply missed.

Our sincerest sympathies to her daughter Annie, her granddaughters Isabel and Mollie, her son-in-law Rob and her family and friends x

‘Taking Stock’ Book Launch, October 11th @ 8pm, Matt Molloy’s Yard Bar, Westport


Join Michael O’Donnell and the Molloy family and friends on Thursday October 11th @ 8pm in Matt Molloy’s Yard Bar, Westport for the launch of ‘Taking Stock’ – A Collection of Poetry by Michael O’Donnell. All proceeds of the sale of this book go directly to The Cancer Clinical Research Trust’s triple negative breast cancer research programme, in memory of two beautiful young women, Catherine and Claire.

Huge thanks to Michael O’Donnell, Kate O’Malley and the Molloy family for their wonderful fundraising efforts. Join them on October 11th for an evening of music, song and hope. For those who cannot make it on the night but wish to support this cause ‘Taking Stock’ is available to purchase online on the Achill Tourism website

Motivational Diaries – Be Inspired to Beat Cancer

CCRT, The Caroline Foundation l

Buy your unique motivational diary TODAY and support Cancer Research. The compact A6 diaries feature a motivational quote for each day of the year and beautiful paintings from Irish artists.

These timeless diaries are not year specific and so can be used for 2019.

Diaries cost 8 euro and are available to buy from 50% of all profits go to The Caroline Foundation.

The Inspirational Diary was created by Mary Heeran White to support the work of Professor John Crown and the The Caroline Foundation.

Taking Stock – A Collection of Poetry by Michael O’Donnell – On Sale Now


To order your copy of the book please click here

We are very grateful to Michael O’Donnell the author of Taking Stock – A collection of Poetry. All proceeds of the sale of this book will go towards the Cancer Clinical Research Trust’s triple negative breast cancer research programme in memory of his daughter Catherine, RIP.

About the book:

Prologue by Dr. Naoise Synott

Foreword by Dr. Lucy O’Donnell

  • The Friends
  • The Window
  • Adopted
  • Achill Henge
  • Dooagh Beach
  • Cillin na Leanai
  • Cutting the Grass
  • Dom Allum
  • Fishing Sandeels
  • If You Will Only Have Me
  • Chroniclers of Old
  • Loneliness
  • Kilbane’s Tractor
  • Remembering the Bog
  • Colour Plates, scenes of Achill
  • On Slievenamon
  • Ol’ Seamus’ Car
  • Trial and Error
  • She Means Business
  • Sleet and Snow
  • Is There Anyone Here I Can Trust
  • Ancient Achill Tombs
  • Stolen
  • The Magpie
  • Spring to Life
  • The Road That Leads to Keem
  • The Seasons
  • The Weaver
  • The Big Wash
  • The Deserted Village
  • The Old Seadog
  • The Tatie Hokers
  • Train Station 1961
  • Ode to Catherine

CCRT Brighter Future Ball, April 28th, 2018

CCRT, Events l

Dear Friends,

We are delighted to announce the return of The CCRT “Brighter Future Ball” which will be held on Saturday, 28th April 2018 in the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin 4, from 7pm co-hosted by Professor John Crown and Barry Gilmartin.

Yvonne and Barry Gilmartin started the ‘Ball’ rolling in 2010 and a few years later passed the baton to Ms. Elaine Kelly.  This spectacular event has always been one of our key fundraisers and to date has raised in excess of €300,000 which went directly to the CCRT’s most valuable research projects and trials.

This year’s ball is very special as Barry will once again take the lead as we celebrate Yvonne’s life and her significant contribution to cancer research. (Please see below Yvonne’s story as written by Barry).

The Cancer Clinical Research Trust (CCRT) CHY12210 is a registered cancer research charity. The primary focus of our work is “translational research”. This term refers to the “translation” of scientific findings in a laboratory setting into potential treatments for patients with cancer, therefore, improving cancer care.

In the translational approach, all of the new treatments which are tested in patients are derived from solid scientific observations which were made in the laboratory. Similarly, information about the effects of new treatments on the patient and on their cancer, is fed back to the laboratory scientists in order to enhance their care.

This world-wide clinical-laboratory partnership has resulted in revolutionary new treatments for many types of cancer. Your support of CCRT enables our researchers to participate in and to contribute to the world-wide war on cancer.

The Brighter Future Ball is a wonderful opportunity for people to come together, including cancer survivors, those living with cancer and those whose lives have been impacted by cancer to enjoy an evening of great food, fun and entertainment.

We are hoping that you would be in a position to do one or more of the following:

  • Join us for a fabulous evening by taking a table or alternatively a couple of seats
    •  – 10 people to a table at €125 per person.
  • Be one of our sponsors for the evening by contributing to the running costs of the event.
  • Donate an item for our raffle, spot prize or auction?

To purchase tickets online please click here. For further information please contact Naoise Kelly, Tel: 01 2213445. or please email:

Kind regards,

Professor John Crown                                          Barry Gilmartin

Director CCRT                                                 Brighter Future Ball Co-Host

******************************         OUR STORY      *******************************

In November 2010 my wife Yvonne founded the Brighter Future Ball to raise funds for the Cancer Clinical Research Trust.  She wanted to give back to those who had helped her.  Patients, families, nurses and Doctors got a night off, an escape, with a reassurance that there was more being done.

Rewind to 2007 and we were filled with the anticipation of her pregnancy, our baby was on the way.  And then it got interesting.  At 20 weeks Yvonne was diagnosed with Inflammatory Her2+ breast cancer.  Thanks to research this was not the imminent demise it once was. But no one knew how her body would react to the chemotherapy.  In theory all was positive, but everyone was on tenterhooks that first day. Well, Max made it, at 38 weeks, with a bald, devoted Mum and an awestruck Dad. Two weeks later she had a mastectomy.

In the intervening years cancer was to return on 8 occasions, including her hip, sacrum, lungs and brain. It led to a hip replacement, 2 femur fractures, a femur replacement, 2 hip dislocations, a couple of pulmonary embolisms and a few bouts of pneumonia.  Throw in hundreds of hospital trips and stays for chemotherapy, scans etc, and a record breaking ability to endure some pretty strong treatments and you get some idea of how I realised that I’d married a hero.

She never let her illness tie her down.  She adored being a Mum to Max and filling our home with laughter. She loved travel and organising our family holidays every year.  She loved doing her interior design course. She loved being with family, friends, and returning to her home town of Skibbereen, always giggling and seeking fun.  She also loved going to concerts, and when she secured her ticket for Coldplay at Croke Park she was overjoyed.  She just adored them and their twinkly lights.  And it was on her 42 birthday, 8th July 2017.

This past May she required Stereotactic treatment on renewed activity in her brain.  This is a focused radiation.  She told me if she can’t make the concert that I was to go for her. I just said you’ll never be too sick that we won’t get you there.

She left us  on 19th June 2017, having lived life.  Smiling and laughing, always looking out for those around her. A brilliant, heroic Mum she never recognised her inspiration.

I can’t call the concert a highlight, cathartic perhaps. Watching the bouncing crowd, the music and the lights, oh the twinkly lights, it all made sense. Yvonne had chosen A Sky Full of Stars for her farewell.

I thank you for reading this as I’m sure you get these all the time. I would be so grateful if you can support the Brighter Future Ball in some small way.

My very best,

Barry Gilmartin.

Seemed like a good idea at the time! – Alan’s fundraising challenges for 2017-2018


And what a good idea it was! A huge thanks to Alan who has raised over €3,000 for two charities close to his heart. Cancer Clinical Research Trust are the beneficiaries of over €1,500. Well done, Alan and thank you!

Photo: from the summit of Mount Leinster, which was the culmination of Challenge No. 1, completed on 11th February 2017.

As you may or may not have heard recently on the grapevine, Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere, I’ll be undertaking a series of rigorous personal and physical challenges and events over the coming 12 – 18 months to raise funds for two really great charities:

My chosen charity in Ireland is the Cancer Clinical Research Trust(CCRT), :

To donate to CCRT:

And my selected charity for the UK is the Imperial College Healthcare Charity(ICHC) and specifically the Imperial College HASU (Hyper Acute Stroke Unit) based in Charing Cross Hospital, London:

I have far more than a passing personal interest in the incredible work of both these organisations and charities:

The team at CCRT do amazing work to treat, help, and, hopefully in more and more cases these days, cure those afflicted by cancer, in all its insidious forms: Their fantastic team have treated friends, family, and, right now, they continue to treat very close family members!

The folks at the Hyper Acute Stroke Unit in Charing Cross Hospital successfully treated my father a number of years ago – and their hard work and dedication brought him to a place where his full recovery from a series of debilitating strokes and TIA’s was possible. In other words, and not to put it too strongly, they saved my Dad’s life!

It’s time to give something back to all those engaged in finding new treatments and engaging in new research. It’s time to give something back to those fine people and their facilities – and this is just my own small way of saying a big “thank you”.

Here’s what I’m going to do:

So here we are, in early 2017, and after months of preparation and planning, this is the rough list (in roughly the correct order) of the challenges I have set for myself (gradually increasing in difficulty over the next 12-18 months), culminating in something that will either make or break me:

o   Mount Leinster Endurance Hike

o   5k Run

o   10k Run

o   Sprint Triathlon

o   Abseil

o   Half Marathon

o   Parachute Jump

o   Olympic Triathlon

o   Adventure Race / Gaelforce-type Event

o   Tough Mudder

o   Spartan Race

o   The Pen Y Fan “Fandance”

So….What can YOU do to help?

Please make sure to go to my facebook fundraising and information page and please like, share, follow, and generally tell all your friends and family all about this:

And please make sure to donate, as little as you can spare and as often as you like, to the two charities – all funds go directly and fully to each of the charities: and

Please do spread the word and please support me on this journey – and more importantly support the chosen charities and the causes they work so hard for and make sure to donate all along the way in support of the Cancer Clinical Research Trust, the HASU, and the Imperial College Healthcare Charity!

Thanks to everyone who’s inspired and supported me thus far (oft-times unbeknownst to themselves through their quiet encouragement) – and I’m really looking forward to working hard, training hard, and raising funds and awareness for these great organisations, the CCRT and the HASU.

As I’ll no doubt tell myself many times along the way – it won’t be easy, life isn’t – but it did seem like a good idea at the time!

Photo: from the summit of Mount Leinster, which was the culmination of Challenge No. 1, completed on 11th February 2017.