ARC History

In 1994, Professor Des Carney, a leading oncologist in the Mater Hospital, identified a gap in cancer service provision for patients and their loved ones. He recognised a need for complementary, holistic and psychological support during and after hospital treatment. The goal was to offer a holistic approach to cancer that would complement and work in tandem with patients' medical treatment. A small group of caring and committed volunteers worked tirelessly to open the first ARC Cancer Support Centre near the Mater Hospital in Dublin 7.

Much time and attention was spent in making ARC a home-from-home, a sanctuary for those affected by cancer, providing a safe space where the individual is cared for according to their needs. The supportive atmosphere and incredible warmth radiates from the instant a person walks through the door. Over the years the service has developed significantly and the range of supports offered has increased.

A second centre was opened in November 2009 in close proximity to St. James’s Hospital in Dublin 8 and is well serviced by public transport including the Luas. It offers the same warm and loving ARC experience that has been the hallmark of the service in Eccles Street and makes it accessible to people across the South and West of the city and beyond. Launched by Mary Harney, Minister for Health and Children, the opening of a second centre is testament to the success of the ARC model of care and the respect and recognition gained from Government agencies.


"The reflexology was a great comfort and I really enjoyed the hours for myself in trying times."

Angela - ARC client

"I'm back at work, going running and taking a bit more time for myself. I am just getting on with life."

Gemma - ARC client

"Cancer touches everyone's life and volunteering with ARC creates a positive mindset from which many things are possible."

Edel O'Leary - Head of Marketing, Ulster Bank Ireland Ltd

"ARC supported me and my partner in my hour of need. I now just want to give something back."

Elizabeth - ARC volunteer

"To everyone at ARC - for being the essence of human kindness and compassion; for giving me a sense of sanity in a world that had fallen apart."

Mary - Counselling

"ARC is such a very special, beautiful place and a joy to enter every time. It is a privilege to be met by such wonderful and committed people...this dedication and support and love is not, or could ever be, taken for granted."

Geraldine - Relaxation and Visualisation