About HERO

What is HERO?

HERO is an organisation set up to provide funding for research and education in the discipline of haematology in University College Cork and any of its affiliated teaching hospitals and institutions. HERO is a registered charity entirely funded by donations. HERO works in partnership with nurses, doctors and research scientists to advance patient care in haematology.

Milestones and objectives

HERO funding enabled the first research project set up between CancerResearch@UCC (previously Cork Cancer Research Centre)  and the world’s 14th ranked university, Weill Cornell in New York.

The charity supports the ongoing education of haematology nurses by funding specialist courses and postgraduate degrees where other funding is not available and where the additional knowledge will directly improve the care of patients with blood disorders.

Examples of research supported by HERO

So far HERO has supported scientific research on the origins and destruction of leukaemia cells.

HERO has funded the specialised training of several nurses in the areas of blood cancers and clotting problems. Clotting problems and blood cancer often go together. HERO has also supported nurses to present their work at Haematology Scientific Conferences.

We support Biobanking of blood cancer samples as a means of accelerating research. We have done this by contributing support to the Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) Biobank (bloodcancers.ie).

We have a funding application process. Applications for smaller sums (less than €200) may be vetted and granted by two board members outside of board meetings. Applications for sums greater than €200 are considered during board meetings. Larger applications (for sums in excess of €10,000) are reviewed by an additional outside expert. This ensures that funds are allocated to provide maximum positive impact on care of patients with blood disorders. Expert review also serves to ensure that any proposed project is of a high standard academically and in line with or ahead of current advances in the proposed area of study.


The board of HERO meet 4 times per year. However the work of HERO is carried out on a daily basis by our board the nurses, doctors, researchers and fundraisers working with us.

If the board receives an application for funding that requires a descision before the next meeting, an early meeting may be called.

HERO Directors

– Noel O’Regan (Chair)

– Dr. Cleona Duggan (Secretary 2017-)

– Dr. Oonagh Gilligan,

-Ms Pam Brice

-Dr Maeve Crowley

– Ms Joan Burke

Prof Mary Cahill

Former board Members include

Dr Mary Cahill ( Secretary 2016/2017)

Dr Clodagh Ryan (Former Secetary)

Dr Joan Power

Mr Peter Franklin – retired 2016 and

Ms Eileen O’Riordan -retired treasurer 2016 and

Ms Maura Twohig retired 2015

Remuneration of HERO Directors

The board of HERO gives their time freely. HERO would like to thanks our auditors O’Brien Cahill and Company for their work in setting up HERO as a Charity and the initial years’ accounts pro bono.

HERO pays for secretarial, accounting and website services – see our annual audited accounts.