Andrew Porter and Josh van der Flier Discuss UCD Daffodil Day 2024

Image Credit: Inpho Photography

UCD Daffodil Day takes place on March 7th to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society. Sports Editor Oisín Gaffey spoke to Leinster and Ireland’s Andrew Porter and Josh van der Flier about what the charity means to them.

UCD Daffodil Day 2024 is right around the corner and is set to take place on March 7th, just before we all take a two-week break from our studies. Whilst Daffodil Day is officially March 22nd, UCD Rugby Football Club is running the event prior to the two-week break so as to ensure maximum engagement. 

UCD Daffodil Day 2024 is set to take place on March 7th.

Daffodil Day is the Irish Cancer Society’s most significant day of the year, as thousands across the country don the symbolic daffodil pin to showcase their support for the charity. The ICS provide free cancer information, care and support to all those affected by the disease, yet they typically receive just 5% funding from the Irish Government, emphasising the importance of Daffodil Day as their main fundraiser. 

They typically receive just 5% funding from the Irish Government. 

According to their annual report in 2022, the Society’s total income was €21.9 million, with their total expenditure registering at €20.4 million. This is a tight margin for such such an important charity, proving the real value of each donation. Last year’s event raised €5.7 million for the charity, which goes towards the funding of cancer research and support services for those affected by cancer throughout Ireland. Specifically, ‘every cent’ of the money raised from last year’s event went towards the running and expansion of the Society’s services, most notably ‘research, counselling, night nursing and childhood cancers.’

Every cent’ of the money raised from last year’s event went towards the running and expansion of the Society’s services.

By 2025, the ICS calculates that ‘three out of four Irish cancer patients will survive their diagnosis and everyone affected by the disease will have access to world-class treatment, care and support’, before stating, ‘In the future, no one in Ireland will die of cancer.’

The University Observer was invited to attend a photoshoot with UCD RFC players, past and present, for the launch of this year’s Daffodil Campaign. We were delighted to have had the opportunity to talk with Leinster and Ireland’s Andrew Porter and Josh van der Flier about their time at UCD and what Daffodil day means to them. The likes of Hugo Keenan and Gary Ringrose were also in attendance, but managed to evade questioning from The Observer. 

Porter recently starred in the new Netflix series, Six Nations: Full Contact, where he gained popularity for his openness on his mental health struggles following the death of his mother to cancer when he was just 12 years old. The Irish Cancer Society is very personal for Porter, who has been an ambassador for the charity since his time in the Ireland Under 20’s. 

Now 28-years-old, Porter thoroughly enjoys coming back to UCD each year to raise awareness and funds for the society. The Ireland prop referenced the lack of funding the ICS received from the government, and called for all current UCD students to get involved in any way possible. Volunteers will be walking around campus taking collections over the coming weeks; individual fundraisers are welcomed; and anybody can donate via the Irish Cancer Society’s website.

Porter and van der Flier both reference good memories they had during their time with UCD, earning more than 50 caps between them. The pair also highlighted the important work of UCD Rugby’s John Hammond behind the scenes in organising UCD’s Daffodil day each year. Over the course of the past eight years, Hammond has helped raise €80,000 for the Irish Cancer Society, and was subsequently awarded a Value In Action Award in November 2023. 

Every year in Ireland, almost 45,000 people are diagnosed with cancer, 9,000 people sadly don’t survive. Please donate any way you can this Daffodil Day, all proceeds go directly to the running and extension of the Irish Cancer Society’s services, and will make a difference.