Cancer Care in the COVID-19 pandemic

CPD Credits2

Cancer Care in the COVID-19 pandemic: What the data tells us and how best to move forward

2 December | 5pm - 7pm  WEBINAR

Join us for the publication of a new report on cancer care in 2020 and a discussion about the priorities and actions necessary to sustain these essential services going forward.

Cancer is a leading cause of death in Ireland and globally and managing cancer care has remained a priority and a challenge for the health system throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is timely to examine the data around the cancer care that has been delivered in 2020 which is captured in a new report Cancer care in 2020 – The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, compiled by the RCPI Faculty of Pathology, in partnership with the National Cancer Control Programme, the National Specialty Quality Improvement Programmes, the National Cancer Registry Ireland, DATA-CAN, the UK’s Health Data Research Hub for Cancer, Queen’s University Belfast, and the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. The report is based on data provided by these sources and covers presentation, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in 2020.


President Prof Mary Horgan will open this event and welcome all speakers and panellists.

Prof Louise Burke, Dean of the RCPI Faculty of Pathology and co-author of the report will chair this event. She will be joined by:

  • Prof Risteárd Ó Laoide, National Director of the National Cancer Control Programme
  • Prof Deirdre Murray, Director of the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI) and Professor of Cancer Epidemiology at UCC
  • Prof Mark Lawler, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Digital Health, Queen’s University Belfast; Scientific Director, DATA-CAN, the UK’s Health Data Research Hub for Cancer

The speakers will discuss the report’s findings.

This will be followed by a panel discussion focussing on the priorities and issues in providing cancer care in the future looking at it from the perspective of patients, GPs and the health service with:

  • Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE
  • Dr Robert O’Connor, Director of Research for the Irish Cancer Society
  • Dr Diarmuid Quinlan, Medical Director for the Irish College of General Practitioners
  • Prof Seamus O’Reilly, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Cork, Mercy & South Infirmary University Hospitals; Principal Investigator of the Clinical Trials Unit; Vice-Clinical Lead, Clinical Trials Ireland.

This online discussion will be of interest to doctors, physicians and healthcare professionals working across primary and hospital care.

This event is aimed at all healthcare professionals and is free for all attendees.

Book your place at this session using the booking links below.


Prof Louise Burke

Dean of the Faculty of Pathology, RCPI

Professor Louise Burke is Professor of Pathology / Consultant Histopathologist at University College Cork / Cork University Hospital. A medical graduate of National University of Ireland, Galway, Professor Burke completed her Pathology training at Cork University Hospital. She completed further residency and fellowship training at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), Washington, DC; National Institutes of Health (NIH), Maryland; University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD and Caen, France. Professor Burke presently leads the Cardiothoracic Histopathology Service at Cork University Hospital and is Head of the Academic Pathology Department, UCC.

Prof Risteárd Ó Laoide

National Director of the National Cancer Control Programme

National Director of the National Cancer Control Programme, Professor Risteárd Ó Laoide is a Consultant Radiologist at Dublin’s St Vincent’s University Hospital. He is also a former Executive Director of the Cancer Clinical Academic Directorate at IEHG.

Prof Mark Lawler

Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor of Digital Health, and Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics, Queen's University Belfast (QUB)

Mark is an internationally renowned scientist with over 240 papers and recipient of numerous national and international awards. He is Scientific Director of DATA-CAN, the UK’s National Health Data Research Hub for Cancer. Mark is committed to patient-centred research/care and to addressing cancer inequalities. He was architect of the European Cancer Patient's Bill of Rights, which received The prestigious 2018 European Health Award. Mark’s work on inequalities formed the centrepiece in the European Cancer Organisation (E.C.O) development of the European Code of Cancer Practice. Mark is an E.C.O board member and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Cancer Patient Coalition.

He co-chairs E.C.O’s Special Focussed Network on Covid-19 and cancer, which launched its 7-Point plan to Build Back Smarter from Covid and launched E.C.O’s pan-European Time To Act Campaign. This work received the prestigious Royal College of Physicians Excellence in Patient Care Award. Mark received the Irish Association for Cancer Research’s Outstanding Contribution to cancer research award. He chairs the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership, a collaborative employing data-driven approaches to improve outcomes for cancer patients

Prof Deirdre Murray

Director of the National Cancer Registry of Ireland

Professor Deirdre Murray was appointed Director of the National Cancer Registry of Ireland in 2021. A fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Professor Murray is a medical graduate of University College Cork (UCC), and has a Masters in Public Health from University College Dublin. She undertook her clinical training in Ireland and the UK and has almost two decades of experience as a Specialist in Public Health Medicine. She has worked in the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) since its inception, is a founding member of its Executive Management team and she set up and led the NCCP’s Cancer Intelligence function.

Dr Colm Henry

Chief Clinical Officer, HSE

Dr Colm Henry was appointed as Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE in April 2018. He previously served as the National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead for Acute Hospitals from 2014 – 2018, National Lead for the Clinical Director Programme from 2012 to 2014 and Clinical Director of the Mercy University Hospital Cork from 2009 to 2012. Following medical qualification in UCD, he underwent training initially in Ireland and completed higher specialty training in Scotland. He returned to Ireland following his appointment to the Mercy University Hospital as Consultant Geriatrician in 2002.

Dr Robert O’Connor

Director of Research for the Irish Cancer Society

Dr Robert O’Connor is Director of Research for the Irish Cancer Society a role that sees him drive implementation of research strategy of the charity to improve outcome for people affected by cancer. Robert graduated with a Ph.D. in 1995 and subsequently worked as an academic and translational cancer researcher in Dublin City University before joining the Society in 2015.

Dr Diarmuid Quinlan

Medical Director for the Irish College of General Practitioners

Dr Diarmuid Quinlan is Medical Director for the Irish College of General Practitioners. He works as a GP in Cork. He was ICGP-HSE Clinical Lead for diabetes in primary care from 2018-2020. He was appointed ICGP Medical Director in 2020. He graduated from UCC, undertook GP training in England, and worked in Australia before returning to Cork. He is passionate about clinical quality improvement and patient safety. He participates in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.

Prof Seamus O’Reilly

Consultant Medical Oncologist at Cork-Mercy and South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital

Prof Seamus O’Reilly BSc MD PhD FRCPI- is consultant medical oncologist at Cork-Mercy and South Infirmary Victoria University Hospitals. A graduate of University College Galway he completed medical oncology training at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD where he was subsequently Assistant Professor in Medical Oncology. During fellowship training there he completed a PhD in Clinical Investigation. He is vice clinical lead at Cancer Trials Ireland and co Chairperson Cork ARC Cancer Support House.

How to join this webinar

First, you must book your place at the webinar on this web page. On the day, you must sign into our virtual learning environment RCPI Brightspace.

On the day of the event, the steps are:

  • Log in to with your username and password (the same credentials used to book this event)
  • Click on the link for RCPI Brightspace
  • In your list of courses you will see Hot Topics for Acute Physicians: Dermatology - Click on this.
  • Click on "Join the Live Webinar" - This will launch Zoom, the system we are using for live webinars

Note, the webinar will only become available to watch at 5pm on the day, but we recommend logging in ten minutes ahead of time.

To join this webinar on Zoom you will need a computer (Windows or Apple) or mobile device with internet access and speakers.


If you're joining on a computer

If you're joining the webinar on a computer you can use the Zoom desktop website. You do not need to download the Zoom app - if you see a pop up message about the app, you can dismiss this.

The Zoom website functions best on Google Chrome.

When you click on the link for "Join the Live Webinar" you will see a message asking you to open Zoom. Click on “Open Zoom”.

You will then be asked for your name and email address. Once you’ve entered these details, click on “Join Webinar”.


If you’re joining on a mobile device

If you're watching the webinar on a mobile device you will need to download the Zoom app. To save time on the day, we recommend downloading the app in advance:

Click here for the iOS Zoom app

Click here for the Android Zoom app

When you open the Zoom app click on “Join a Meeting”. You will need to enter the meeting ID number. The ID number for this week's event will be sent to you via email beforehand.

You can find additional help with joining Zoom webinars here.


How to submit questions to the panel

Before the event

If you have any questions for our panel please email them to and we will endeavour to have these answered as part of the event. Alternatively, you can submit questions via Twitter @RCPI_news.

During the event

We are now using Zoom to broadcast our live webinars. When you open Zoom to watch the live webinar you will be able to submit questions to the panel during the event.


To submit questions to the panel:

  • Open the Q&A window in Zoom while you are watching the live event
  • Type your question into the Q&A box and click Send
  • Check Send Anonymously if you do not want your name attached to your question in the Q&A

It may not be possible to answer all questions we receive.


Can't attend? Recordings will be available to watch online afterwards

There are limited places available for the live webinar. If you are unable to book a place, you will be able to watch videos of all of the talks on Panopto, our video sharing platform.

No options available at the moment