The Chernobyl Greater Cause

The Greater Chernobyl Cause

News Archive

The Greater Chernobyl Cause and its work has featured prominently in both regional, national and international publications over recent years.

Kremlin award for Irish charity worker Fiona Corcoran

Greater Chernobyl Cause was set up to help victims of 1986 nuclear incident in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has presented an award to Fiona Corcoran, the Irish charity worker, in acknowledgement of the work of her Greater Chernobyl Cause in Russia.

Isabel Gorst

Vladimir Putin has presented an award to Irish charity worker Fiona Corcoran in acknowledgement of the work of her Greater Chernobyl Cause in Russia.

The Russian president handed Ms Corcoran the Order of Friendship medal at a ceremony in the Kremlin today to thank her for her “outstanding humanitarian work in Russia.”

The Greater Chernobyl Cause was originally founded to help victims of the 1986 incident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine that was then part of theSoviet Union.

The Cork-based charity has since broadened its mission to work with children, the homeless and the elderly in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

Mr Putin was accompanied by Patriarch Kirill, the Primate of the Russian Christian Orthodox Church at the award ceremony in the Kremlin’s gilded Saint George’s Hall.

In a speech of thanks, Ms Corcoran told the Russian president she was accepting the award “on behalf of the people of Ireland and other supporters who have helped us in our very long journey.”

Ireland, like the countries where the Greater Chernobyl Cause works, had endured terrible tragedies in the past. Historic memories of the Great Famine of 1845 have fostered a tradition of charitable giving in Ireland, she said.

“The award which you have bestowed on us today will bring our work forward for the very needy. As we say in Ireland ‘go raibh mine maith agat,” she said.

Supported by Oscar winning actor Jeremy Irons, among others, the Greater Chernobyl Cause works on projects such as rebuilding dilapidated orphanages and hospices, shipping humanitarian aid, organizing food programs and supplying medical equipment.

In Russia the charity runs a hospice in the remote village of Ivanskoye, 200 miles north east of Moscow and organizes a soup kitchen for the poor and homeless.

Charitable giving was frowned upon in Russia during the Soviet era when the communist authorities took responsibility for citizens’ needs. Many Russians have grown fabulously wealthy since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and a culture of philanthropy is beginning to take hold.

Ms Corcoran becomes the first Irish citizen to be decorated with the Russian Order of Friendship which is bestowed on individuals for their “outstanding contributions to strengthening friendship and co-operation between nations.”