What is Play in Pink?

Play in Pink is the golf fundraising arm of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute and the initiative was set up 20 years ago to help fun a comprehensive research programme at the University of Galway.

The initiative has grown significantly since then and there were over 200 Play in Pink days in 2023 raising over €550,000 for the charity.

A Play in Pink day is quite simply that, a day where members and visitors (if an open day) come together to support the NBCRI Charity, Play in Pink. They organise a golf day and participants are encouraged to “Play in Pink” with funds raised from the day being donated to the charity. 

The days themselves are organised and coordinated by the golf clubs (Lady Vice Captain or some other designated Play in Pink coordinator) and they can be open days or members only days.

Clubs run the days with entry fees typically forming the bulk of the donation. Players are encouraged to Play in Pink on the days and many clubs go to great lengths to increase their donations where they have incorporated new initiatives such as breakfasts / coffee mornings / auctions / sales and locally produced product sales as well as on course initiatives such as ‘buying mulligans’ etc. The days are meant to be fun but all in the spirit of the game and all aimed at generating donations for the charity.

For 2024 Play in Pink and the NBCRI has been designated as the Official Charity Partner of the KPMG Women’s Irish Open. 

Patient-focused Breast Cancer Research

Currently, 1 in 7 Irish women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before 75 years of age and there are 3,507 cases diagnosed annually which is set to continue to increase.

These women are our mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, friends and neighbours. We know these women, they play major roles in our lives.

The National Breast Cancer Research Institute is a national charity that funds a comprehensive research programme at the University of Galway. We know that breast cancer research has improved the diagnosis, treatment options, and outcomes for those who develop the disease. We want to fund these research programmes to continue to impact the outcomes for those who develop the disease in the future.

The research team, in collaboration with universities and hospitals across the globe, focuses on the development and improvement of diagnostic techniques and treatment strategies, to drive real and measurable improvement in clinical outcomes for breast cancer patients.

With your help, we can positively impact the future for women in Ireland.


With your support Play in Pink days raised over €500,000 in 2023 and in 2024 we hope to break this record.

Patient-focused Breast Cancer Research

Translational Research

Translational research is research that has the potential to translate, or convert, knowledge from laboratory science into solutions that have clinical relevance, e.g clinical trials of drugs, medical technologies, diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers.

Our translational research programme, led by scientific and clinical investigators at the Lambe Institute, University of Galway, includes projects into cancer genetic risk, metastatic breast cancer, biomarker detection, and cell communication. We also have a national research partnership with Precision Oncology Ireland.

Research Publications and Outreach

Clinical Research and Trials

Clinical research is patient-facing research carried out by clinical scientists, doctors, nurses, and health and social care professionals. 

How patients live after breast cancer treatment is important to us. Our cancer survivorship Women’s Health Initiative research is studying health supports available to patients, including cardiac health and exercise. We have patient and public participants involved in developing the research.

We also support the development of clinical trials in breast cancer diagnosis (Wavelia breast imaging) and treatment (surgery, chemotherapy)

Research Publications and Outreach

Developing Breast Cancer Research and Clinical Care

Cancer Biobank

The Cancer Biobank is a collection of clinical samples vital for researchers to investigate how cancer develops, is diagnosed and treated.  

The National Breast Cancer Research Institute has supported the development of our Cancer Biobank for many years which has supported our own research and collaborations with research institutes in Ireland and internationally. 

Watch our videos below or visit the Cancer Biobank webpage to learn more.

Research Publications and Outreach

Cancer Centre Development

One of the strategic objectives of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute is to support the development of a European-accredited comprehensive cancer centre through high impact breast cancer research and advocacy for better cancer services in the west and northwest of Ireland.

With better patient outcomes always in mind, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute have lobbied for, and enabled, the successful development of the Symptomatic Breast Clinic at University Hospital Galway (opened in 2008) and the Lambe Institute for Translational Research (opened in 2015).

National Breast Cancer Research Institute are currently supporting the development of a fit-for-purpose cancer hospital at University Hospital Galway and improvement of regional cancer care infrastructure in the Saolta-University of Galway Cancer Network

Patient-focused Breast Cancer Research

Research Partners