Galway Photographer Involved With ‘The Shop That Nearly Wasn’t’

Galway photographer Kevin Griffin, from Clifden, Co. Galway is showcasing a unique set of portraits of participants and their products involved with the World’s first shop stocked and staffed by cancer survivors, opening today, on World Cancer Day, 4 February. 

Ireland’s leading cancer research charity, Breakthrough Cancer Research, is opening the world’s first shop and events space entirely stocked and staffed by cancer survivors, in Dublin on World Cancer Day, to raise funds and highlight the urgent need for greater investment in cancer research.
‘The Shop that Nearly Wasn’t’ showcases the many and varied creative contributions those who have survived, or are living with cancer, make to society.  Its name reflects the fact that these achievements have only been made possible due to the result of ground-breaking cancer research.
Youngest contributor, 10 year old Lily Burke
Dancer Michael Flatley, Senator David Norris, writer Emily Hourican, director Stephen Bradley, RTE Supergarden winner Grainne Walsh, Munster rugby legend Tony Ward, and award-winning author Peter Donnelly, all lend their talents to the initiative.
Michael Flatley painting Oscar Wilde with his feet.
The shop will sell art, photography, books, crafts, clothing and even protective sports gear, made by cancer survivors of all ages, from all over the island of Ireland.   
Senator David Norris will open The Shop that Nearly Wasn’t, which is being hosted in partnership with The Library Project, in 4 Temple Bar, at midday on Tuesday, 4 February. 
It will remain open in this premises for one week, February 4 – 11 to mark World Cancer Day, with the hope that a permanent online or offline space for the store will be found.
Over the week, ‘The Shop That Nearly Wasn’t’ will also host a series of events including a Six Nations pre-view with Tony Ward, a hat-making workshop with milliner to the stars Sarah McGahon, a gumshield clinic for teams and schools with two-time cancer survivor Cathy Robinson of Gumshields2Go, an introduction to screen-printing by Molesworth Gallery artist Monika Crowley, a reading from film and tv director Stephen Bradley, floral design workshops, yoga and wellbeing classes and more.
Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, Peter Donnelly
However, contrasting with the colourful, creative shop gallery, one part of the ‘The Shop That Nearly Wasn’t’ will remain empty to highlight the fact that more research is needed in order to help more people survive, sooner. 
The empty space will also highlight the reality that despite the fact there are currently 190,000 cancer survivors living in Ireland (almost 4% of the population), survival rates remain starkly imbalanced with over 90% for some cancers like prostate, but as low as just 9% for others that are currently treatment resistant.
Therefore, as well as celebrating the creativity and contribution that cancer survivors make to our society, ‘The Shop That Nearly Wasn’t’ will highlight the urgent need for increased Government investment and public support for cancer research to address this stark variation in survival rates for different cancers. 
This year, Breakthrough Cancer Research aims to raise €2 million to fund research into new and more effective treatments for poor prognosis or drug resistant cancers, to make more survivors sooner.  The researchers they support currently have a particular focus on ovarian, malignant melanoma, lung, pancreatic and oesophageal cancers. 
If you are interested in getting involved get in touch by calling 021 4226655 or 1890 998 998 or email
For further info on ‘The Shop That Nearly Wasn’t’ click here