Irish Charities Decline Fundraising from Topless Model

In a move that is sure to spark debate about how funds are raised for good causes, the Irish glamour model, Claire Tully, has had her offer to raise money for breast cancer research turned down by three leading charities in the area.

As a contestant in the upcoming RTE reality TV series, Failte Towers, Claire would be in a position to raise several thousand euros for her chosen charity. And, as her own mother and grandmother had both suffered from breast cancer, Claire had approached the Marie Keating Foundation with an offer to donate the proceeds of her appearance on the TV show to their work. However, the Foundation – which works to increase awareness and knowledge on cancer and issues related to it to all sectors of the community – decided to decline Claire’s offer. In the following days two further Irish charities – the National Breast Cancer Research Institute and Breast Cancer Ireland - offered polite a “no thank you” to Claire as well.

Speaking on Newstalk Radio last week, Lillian McGovern, Chief Executive of the Marie Keating Foundation, said: “I just think it would be wrong for Claire to do it, raising money for our organisation, in the work that we do. We could be very mercenary and say we will take any money from anybody who will raise it for us, but there has to be a stand taken around certain issues.”

Writing about the story in the Sunday Times, the journalist Brenda Power explained how “Some breast cancer victims have complained that mastectomy survivors, and not agency models, should be used to display lingerie at fashion-show fundraisers.”