What is Relay For Life?

Relay for Life is the biggest cancer fundraising initiative across the world. It sees communities across the globe coming together to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer, and stand shoulder to shoulder with those battling cancer. Relay For Life is a celebration of solidarity and helps to raise awareness of the services provided by the Irish Cancer Society locally and nationally.

Relay For Life brings the whole community together to Celebrate the lives of cancer survivors, to Remember those lost to the disease, and to Fight Back by increasing our knowledge of cancer and by raising money to fund life-saving cancer research and free services for cancer patients and their loved ones. 

Relay has something to offer everyone, so please do join us. It is a free event and everyone is welcome.

What happens at Relay

Cancer never sleeps, so nor do our Relay teams. In this 24 hour event teams join together to walk through the day and night. Members of teams take it in turns to walk a designated distance or time, with someone from the team being on the move at all times in the 24 hour period.

When not walking, members of the teams, and their friends, families and colleagues are free to socialise, enjoy live entertainment and take part in activities arranged by their committee.

There is also a Candle of Hope ceremony, where hundreds of candle bags that have been personalised with messages of hope and remembrance are lit during a moving ceremony involving music and speeches. Anyone can purchase a Candle of Hope bag for a small donation, see your local Relay Page to find out more

Our Survivors’ Lap


Opens relay, a lap of purple t-shirts, where we celebrate cancer survivorship, an emotional reminder that survivors are beacons of hope to us all. 

The Carers lap


Where we acknowledge and thank family and friends who stood strong and supported a cancer patient, a gentle reminder that cancer impacts not just the patient but the entire family and circle of friends. 

The Candle of Hope Ceremony

The Candle of Hope Ceremony at dusk where the flickering lights of the candles light up the night, candles representing names of loved ones lost or candles of hope representing those who have survived or are still fighting the disease. 

How can I get involved?

Bring Relay to your community

Unable to find a Relay in your area? Why not reach out to our team to find out how you can start up Relay in your area?

Visit your local Relay

Everyone is welcome to come along to their local Relay for a few hours.  You can visit the teams around the course where they have fun, games and food for sale to raise funds.

Become a Team Captain

Bring your friends, family or colleagues together to create a team. Register with your local Relay. Set a team target to fundraise and then join other teams in the 24 hour Relay event. 

Join as a survivor


Anyone who has ever lived or is living with cancer is welcome to join as a survivor and to invite someone that has supported them. Reach out to your local Relay to find out more