Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement

Engagement with Core Working Group for the All-Island Cancer Research Institute

Professor Mark Lawler:

The big opportunity here is the all-island opportunity and the opportunity to build on the Good Friday Agreement and what we have done in the past 20 or 21 years. One aspect of this that is really important is the fact that we are now judged internationally as being at that top table. Bill Dahut, who is the clinical director of the National Cancer Institute in Washington, which is one of the best cancer institutes in the world, based on what Professor Gallagher's presentation about the activities that came out of the Good Friday Agreement, has now said that Ireland and Northern Ireland are part of that and are embedded within the global cancer research map. We want to build on that and go to the next level. This is why we were working together. Cancer does not know any borders so we should not know borders either. The fact that ten different institutions are involved means that we are not competing against each other; we are competing against cancer, which is our common enemy.