Speaking at the launch of Waterford’s Daffodil Day 2016 at Waterford Health Park last week, Mark Mellett addressed recent controversies involving the charity.
In January, the Irish Cancer Society was forced to partly reverse its decision to cut financial support for children battling cancer and their families following a public outcry.
The salary of CEO John McCormack also came in for criticism which resulted in Mr McCormack agreeing to take a pay cut.
“Your commitment has been tested over the past month,” Mr Mellett told volunteers.
He outlined how the proposal to cut financial support had come about.
“We have limited funds and each year we have to make difficult decisions about where to allocate those funds,” he said.
“We had a deficit at the end of 2015. We knew, going into 2016, that we were going to have to make some really difficult decisions about how to ensure we could deliver our vital services. We knew we would have to look at scaling back or stopping one of our services.”
He continued: “Our financial aid was one service which we had always struggled to meet. We had to make the tough decision of not offering the financial aid programme in 2016 and beyond.”
Mr Mellett also addressed media reports concerning the salary of Mr McCormack.
He said he believed the salary to be “commensurate with the level of responsibility” and outlined some of the key activities expected of the CEO.
“We’ve always looked to provide the best quality service. To ensure we do that we need qualified, professional staff,” he said.
Mr Mellett highlighted the importance of the work of volunteers.
“98 per cent of the money we raise comes from individuals like yourselves and our campaigns,” he said.