Durkan praises Farren’s ‘heroism’ and calls for increased brain tumour research funding

Mark Farren and his wife Terri-Louise before the Glenavon and Derry City select fundraising match at Mournview Park last year. (�William Cherry/Presseye)
Mark Farren and his wife Terri-Louise before the Glenavon and Derry City select fundraising match at Mournview Park last year. (�William Cherry/Presseye)

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has praised the spirit and determination shown by the late Derry City footballer Mark Farren during a Westminster Hall debate on brain tumours.

Mark Farren passed away in February after a long battle with cancer.

Mr Durkan has issued a call to the government to provide much-needed additional funding for brain tumour research.

Mr Durkan, a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours, speaking during the debate at Westminster on Monday, said:

“This is a welcome debate which gives us the chance to follow up on the work done by so many other people to point out exactly how little funding goes into research into brain tumours compared ​with other cancers.

“No matter how many times the statistics are quoted they do not become cliché-worn. Brain tumours represent 1% of cancer diagnoses and 3% of cancer deaths. They also represent 2% of all deaths under 60.

“It is shocking that the government persist in committing relatively little to specifically support research into brain tumours. That is why I want to thank Brain Tumour Research for its work in Parliament and so many other places to raise awareness and funds, and then to have those funds applied to excellent work that hopefully can transform prospects for many people.”

Speaking specifically about Mark Farren, Mr Durkan added: “One of the reasons why my constituents (in Derry) are so aware of brain tumours at the moment is that the top-class footballer Mark Farren, a young man of 33, died in February.

“He was a record-setting and record-breaking goal scorer who played for Derry City and Glenavon. He tragically lost his battle, even though the football family – not just those in Ireland, but people here such as Wayne Rooney, Roy Keane and others – raised money to help to get innovative treatment for him. He lost his battle, but the fight goes on.”