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Dublin: 10°C Monday 17 May 2021

Daff Man: 'People I loved died from cancer, so if I can help I'm thrilled to do it'

James Gilleran spends every Daffodil Day on O’Connell Street raising funds and awareness for the Irish Cancer Society.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

FOR ONE DAY in Spring, James Gilleran from the Navan Road, Dublin, dons a jumpsuit covered in daffodils and stands on one of Dublin’s busiest streets to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

For the past 24 years, he’s travelled into town and chatted to people, encouraging them to buy flowers, pins, keyrings, or t-shirts from his stand of daffodil paraphernalia.

The reason he does this every year, in all kinds of weather? Because his own family and friends have had the disease.

My own father, my aunts, uncles, lots of people I loved died from cancer.

“I’ve a few friends at the moment who are in remission with cancer, so if I can come out just for a few hours or the day to help them by bringing awareness of the Cancer Society, yeah I’m thrilled to do it!

I love doing it for that reason, and I love meeting people as well, which is what part of it’s about.

He said that earlier today a woman had come up to him and had told him that she had cancer and was in remission. She thanked him for his support and hugged him.

I was nearly in tears.

“You get people with sad stories,” the Daff Man says. “We’re all different, we all have our little bits and pieces, but you can talk to people.”

One of the lovely thing about being here on O’Connell Street is you meet a lot of different people. One year I wrote down every single country, and it works out I nearly got half of the world passing by me on O’Connell Street, and I can say ‘I was nearly all around the world in one day!’

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You can donate to the Irish Cancer Society on their website here, or else text CANCER to 50300.

Video by Andrew Roberts

Pictures: Here’s what’s been happening for Ireland’s 30th Daffodil Day

Read: He lost his parents to cancer – so he turned himself into the ‘Daff Man’

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