Irish Cancer Society has €8.4m cash reserves

The under-fire Irish Cancer Society, which partially reversed its decision to scrap its hardship fund, is sitting on cash reserves of €8.4m, the Irish Examiner can reveal.

The charity is the subject of much criticism despite partly reversing its decision to stop its hardship grants for cancer patients.

It said it will maintain the grants for the families of children suffering the disease — a move which it has said will cost it around €200,000 a year.

However, as of January 31, it will cease providing the aid to adult cancer patients — who made up 2,488 of the 2,714 cases it supported financially last year.

On Tuesday, the charity said it would have to stop paying the €1,000 grants to patients because it no longer had the resources to do so.

Despite claiming it needs public donations “more than ever” to fund its services, figures obtained from the charity show that at the end of 2014, it had more than €12.2m in hard cash and emergency reserves.

This, it said, was approximately seven months of expenditure.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, the ICS said its cash reserves have fallen to €8.4m, which is said to be less than five months expenditure.

“At the end of 2014 the society has €12.2m between operating cash (€6.4m) and emergency reserves (€5.8m).

“This is approximately seven months’ worth of expenditure.

“This total is now estimated to be less than five months (€8.4m) but our 2015 accounts are not yet finalised.

“Charities that fundraise for the majority of their income are recommended under best practice to keep six months in reserves to cover expenditure in case of income declines,” a spokeswoman said.

The charity also made a significant change to the level of its pension fund liability in 2014, in order to eliminate the deficit in the fund.

According to the latest figures from the society, in 2013 the pension liabilities amounted to €2.6m but in 2014 that jumped to €4.4m.

“The Irish Pensions Authority requires that the liabilities be valued on the minimum funding standard basis.

“The minimum funding standard actuarial review carried out at 1 January 2014 indicated that the fund was no longer in deficit and therefore met the minimum funding standard.

“The update at 1 January 2015 is under way and indications are that the fund will continue to meet the minimum funding standard,” the accounts stated.

More on this topic

Ovarian cancer drug offers hope for men with advanced prostate cancerOvarian cancer drug offers hope for men with advanced prostate cancer

Immersive Read: Open your eyes to cancer and #ExamineYourself. It could save your lifeImmersive Read: Open your eyes to cancer and #ExamineYourself. It could save your life

Examine Yourself: Key fundraising event for Breast Cancer IrelandExamine Yourself: Key fundraising event for Breast Cancer Ireland

Examine Yourself: Why superfoods do not prevent or cure cancerExamine Yourself: Why superfoods do not prevent or cure cancer