Royal London Ireland announces new charity partnership with Breakthrough Cancer Research tackling cancer inequalities


Published  15 April 2023
   3 min read

Royal London Ireland, one of the leading life insurance and pensions companies in Ireland, has announced a new €115k charity partnership with Breakthrough Cancer Research tackling cancer inequalities.1

The partnership will primarily fund research projects, in the Breakthrough Cancer Research innovation fund, which focus on the cancers that have the lowest survival rates in Ireland. It will also fund the creation of evidence-based subject matter, training and resources to create more awareness, break down barriers around health education and dispel some of the myths around cancer.

Aligned to its purpose2, Royal London Ireland’s existing social impact strategy is focused on how it helps drive meaningful change for wider society by helping people to build financial resilience and move fairly to a sustainable world. This is executed by supporting Irish social enterprise through its Changemakers programme and its existing financial resilience partnership with Irish charity, Family Carers Ireland. The new partnership with Breakthrough Cancer Research will help the provider to support the protection of its customers, and wider society, against future life shocks, such as a cancer diagnosis.

One in two people in Ireland will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime and one person dies from cancer in Ireland every hour.3 Cancer inequalities, because of socioeconomic status, education, gender, ethnicity, age, and even where someone lives, can impact health and, more specifically, cancer outcomes.

Noel Freeley, Chief Executive Officer at Royal London Ireland, said:

“As a company which provides protection through life insurance to our customers, we understand the devastating impact of cancer, which is the biggest cause of death in Ireland. Proudly, we were fully involved in the creation of the ‘Insurance Ireland Code of Practice for Underwriting Mortgage Protection Insurance for Cancer Survivors’ introduced last December. We are firmly committed to complying with this industry-led Code of Practice, which provides easier and quicker access to Mortgage Protection insurance for many consumers who have suffered from cancer in the past, particularly those who may otherwise have been declined for cover or accepted at a significant additional premium.

“Now, Royal London Ireland is very proud to announce its new partnership with Breakthrough Cancer Research, aimed at supporting the lifesaving work the charity does through their ongoing research into the disease. This partnership will focus on funding research, while increasing awareness, of cancers with the lowest survival rates. Aligned with Royal London Ireland’s purpose, 'Protecting today, investing in tomorrow. Together we are mutually responsible', the outcome of this partnership is to help reduce cancer inequalities, which have a significant impact on the outcome for those affected, for this and future generations.”

Breakthrough Cancer Research’s CEO, Orla Dolan, said:

“Research plays a pivotal role in making more survivors of cancer. Today, many more individuals are surviving a cancer diagnosis than ever before, a testament to the transformative power of research. Just 50 years ago, the five-year survival rates for breast and prostate cancer were below 50pc, but through dedicated research, these rates now exceed 88pc and 93pc respectively.3

“By channelling more funding into targeted and impactful research, we can pave the way for even more success stories. The partnership with Royal London Ireland and the funding that it provides is crucial in enabling us to continue our research goals of addressing cancer inequalities and ultimately improving cancer survival rates for all. 

“This new partnership will help fund programmes spanning early diagnosis, screening, and groundbreaking innovations for hard-to-treat cancers. Ultimately, our collective efforts in this crucial area will ensure that everyone affected by cancer has access to the comprehensive care they need to save more lives."


Notes to the editor:

1 Inequalities can impact the risk of getting or surviving cancer due to differences in peoples’ health and opportunities to lead a healthy life, their access to care and the quality of care they receive. Breakthrough Cancer Research’s five-year research strategy is aimed at targeting those cancers whose five-year survival rates remain significantly low and currently cause almost 50% of cancer deaths in Ireland. Through their research and this strategy, their objective is to make more survivors of the low survival cancers.

2 Royal London Ireland’s purpose, ‘Protecting today, investing in tomorrow. Together we are mutually responsible’, was conceived in 2020 and defines the impact it wants to have on the world, for its customers and for society.

3 NCRI Annual Statistical Report 2023

4 Breakthrough Cancer Research, Research Strategy 2022-2027

Pictured left to right: Caroline Marion PhD Researcher, Noel Freeley (CEO - Royal London Ireland), Dr Melissa Conroy (Assistant Professor of Anatomy Trinity College Dublin), Orla Dolan (CEO - Breakthrough Cancer Research), Joyce Barry (PhD Researcher), Eoghan O'Sullivan (Fundraising Manager - Breakthrough Cancer Research)

About Royal London Ireland

Royal London Ireland has a history of protecting its policyholders and their families in Ireland, and recently launched a new Pensions business in Ireland. Our business heritage in Ireland is nearly 200 years. The Caledonian Insurance Company's first office outside Edinburgh opened on Dame Street, Dublin 2 in 1824.

Today, Royal London Ireland is owned by The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited – the largest mutual life insurance, pensions, and investment company in the UK, and in the top 25 mutuals globally, with assets under management of €178 billion, 8.6 million policies in force, and 4,100 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2023.

Royal London Ireland’s office is based at 47-49 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.