Christy dignam invites dubliners to walkfor ARC Cancer support

Photo of Christy Dignam, courtesy of d2 communications

Aslan frontman, Christy Dignam, has called on Dubliners to don their walking shoes and take a socially-distanced walk in their locality as part of ARC Cancer Support Centres’ Torch of Hope event taking place on Sunday November 8.

While the 2020 event will be unlike any other since the Torch of Hope first took place in 2011, organisers are determined to celebrate cancer survivorship and the memory of loved ones lost to cancer.

Members of the public are being encouraged to get involved by organising their own local socially-distanced Torch of Hope walk with family and friends on the day.

However, the event tradition of hundreds of people coming from Dublin’s northside and southside to converge on Seán O’Casey Bridge will this year not be possible.

Instead, the lighting of the Torch of Hope cauldron by ARC ambassadors, Aslan’s Christy Dignam and Today FM’s Mairead Ronan, will be live-streamed on Facebook and Instagram from 4pm, to be followed by exclusive online mu-sic performances by Christy and members of the Dublin Gospel Choir.

Doing the Torch of Hope Your Way

For Christy Dignam, the Torch of Hope is something his family simply wouldn’t miss:

“It was seven years ago when I first reached out to ARC following my own cancer diagnosis and they have been a lifeline of support to me ever since. This will also be my seventh time being involved in the Torch of Hope. I remember in my first year a family member being present who sadly passed away by the time the following year’s event came around. But ever since our family continues to join in the day without fail, to offer support to each other and to keep those beautiful memories alive.

“That’s what’s so powerful about the Torch of Hope. It is about keeping the torch going, and the light of hope in our lives. While this year’s event will be different, it will be no less moving. I would encourage everyone to get involved in whatever way they can so that the work of ARC can go on.”

For Dubliner Rebecca Martin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, ARC has been an oasis of support:

“Cancer consumes your world and with a diagnosis comes a lot of fear and isolation. The ground is taken from under your feet and you feel very anxious all the time. People close to you are shell-shocked and, while friends are very supportive, they too often have no idea what to say or do.

“At ARC, I was able to talk to people who were at the same stage as me, or who were even a bit further down the road of recovery. Whether it was counselling or reflexology, ARC gave me an emotional roadmap to get me through treatment and beyond. It’s a little oasis of beauty that gives you space and permission to take time to mind yourself instead of worrying about others.

“For me, the Torch of Hope is also part of ARC’s healing powers. It’s a really moving and emotional event. You see that you’re part of a community of survivors and it gives you hope. I’m looking for-ward to doing my own DIY Torch of Hope around the Phoenix Park and I would urge others to get involved as well and help raise the funds that mean ARC can go on doing what it does best.”

Mairead Mangan, Head of Fundraising with ARC Cancer Support Centres, adds: “Our annual Torch of Hope event is a cherished opportunity for people with cancer, their families and friends to celebrate life and honour those who have gone before. All around Dublin, we are asking people to organise their own socially-distanced Torch of Hope with family and friends. This can be a favourite walk in a local park, along the canal, or on the beach, but at its centre will be the person in your life touched by cancer. Since COVID-19, we have moved our psychosocial support services online and have been in-undated with requests for care and support. We need the help of Dub-liners to be able to continue this important work.”

Participants in the event are asked to raise a minimum of €50, which will go to fund ARC’s psychological, emotional, educational and practical support, complementary therapies and counselling services. ARC is currently providing a telephone support service for people with cancer and their families, as well as offering remote counselling, classes, talks and programmes online.People can now also have a virtual cuppa and a chat with one of the ARC team. All of these services are provided free of charge to people with cancer and their family members, friends and carers.

To find out more about ARC Cancer Support Centres and its calendar of activities, or to register for the Torch of Hope and receive a free fundraising pack and t-shirt, telephone 01 215 0250, email or visit