The Chernobyl Greater Cause

The Greater Chernobyl Cause

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

The Greater Chernobyl Cause Charity to meet the victims of Chernobyl


As the 25th anniversary of world’s worst nuclear disaster approaches …


The Greater Chernobyl Cause Charity to meet the victims of Chernobyl


Twenty five years ago next month, the world held its breath as news of a botched safety test caused a deadly explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in Ukraine sending a plume of radioactive fallout drifting over large parts of the Soviet Union and Western Europe.

The exact casualty figures are disputed but it’s estimated that five million people were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation and that there may ultimately be as many as 4,000 deaths attributable to the accident.

Fiona Corcoran, felt compelled to help as she saw nuclear power wreak havoc on such a massive scale. The charity she formed, The Greater Chernobyl Cause, has been working tirelessly to help ease the suffering of victims.

Yet as the 25th anniversary of the world’s largest nuclear disaster approaches, she insists “this is still just the beginning. The after-effects of the explosion will continue for generations and we must continue to fight for these forgotten people. I can never forget the suffering of four little children who were airlifted to the Mercy Hospital in Cork and others brought more recently to Ireland suffering from thyroid cancer linked scientifically to the disaster. It’s amazing the difference even a short holiday, fresh air and respite care can make to their lives.”

Next week, Fiona and her colleague Mandy Bermingham and former BBC producer/ cameraman Brian Staveley will be returning to Ukraine on a humanitarian mission and making a documentary.

They will visit the ruined reactor No.4 and to reflect on the disaster. They will see the dangerous work being carried out to the sarcophagus that protects the leaking reactor and where workers’ shifts are limited to just twenty minutes a day. An international drive is now underway to replace the unstable structure with a 23-storey high concrete shell built on rails which will become the world’s largest moveable structure.

They will be shown the poisoned land in the exclusion zone around the reactor and will talk to some of the elderly villagers who still live there despite the dangers of contamination. She will also visit the ghostly ruins of Pripyat, the abandoned city two miles from the nuclear plant which was built to house the staff at the power station and from where 50,000 residents were evacuated the day after the catastrophe which occurred on 26 April, 1986. Soviet-era signs still hang from buildings near a rusting fun park and children’s dolls and toys sit forlornly on window sills gazing out across the deserted streets.

There’ll be meetings too with some of the casualties including fireman Boris Alishaev who was one of the first on the scene and with his colleagues struggled against impossible odds to try to contain the disaster.

The team will also be going to the thyroid cancer clinic in the Ukranian capital, Kiev where she’ll be meeting doctors and another generation of children who were born many years after the explosion but have contracted the illness as a result of the contamination that is the dreadful legacy of the Eighties disaster.

“Supporters of the Greater Chernobyl Cause are continuing to help in such wonderful ways,” Fiona says. “Donations that have arrived from all over Ireland, from Cork to Donegal, have enabled us to purchase life saving medical equipment as well as a mobile ultra scan that can be taken in ambulances to outlying villages where people have no transport and no means to get to the capital.”

On the last day of their visit, they will visit a children’s home in Ovruch, just a few miles from Chernobyl, to meet some more younger victims of the disaster. Young lives overshadowed by an appalling event that unfolded long before they were born.


For all press details please call Fiona Corcoran on 087 9536133

If you would like to help The Greater Chernobyl Cause’s work in Ukraine then please send your donation to:

The Greater Chernobyl Cause Unit 4, Southside Industrial Estate Pouladuff Road, Togher, Cork 

PH 021 4323276  Mob 087 9536133
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