THE IRISH BLOOD Transfusion Service (IBTS) and the GAA today announced details of a partnership to raise awareness of blood donation and access to the service for GAA clubs and their members throughout the country.
To date, 20 GAA clubs around Ireland host blood donation clinics on the grounds of their club. The IBTS is hoping by the end of 2014 to create an additional 20 GAA hosted clinics.
In addition they are seeking 400 clubs to sign up to promote and support existing community clinics, with the overall aim that this will lead to 15,000 donations annually through the ‘It’s In Your Blood’ partnership.
The partnership was formally agreed in June 2012 with presentations to provincial councils and county boards across the country.
At the IBTS National Blood Centre today, the partnership was formally launched by GAA President Liam O’Neill and the Chief Executive of the IBTS, Andy Kelly.
A key aim of the campaign is to make it convenient for GAA members to give blood through interaction and promotion at local GAA club level, including hosting blood donation clinics at GAA clubhouses.
Monaghan’s Laura McEnaney and Cork’s Anna Geary
Pic: INPHO/James Crombie
“We are extremely grateful to the GAA for partnering with us”, said IBTS Chief Executive Andy Kelly. “This will allow us to raise awareness of the 70,000 patients that need a blood transfusion each year, help us to facilitate people to give blood more regularly and inform new donors about giving blood.”
GAA President Liam O’Neill shared those views.
“We are delighted to lend our support. The provision of blood is hugely important. To those who already donate on a regular basis, I hope they continue to do so.
“To those who don’t I would draw their attention to the crucial role they have to play, especially at this time of the year when the requirement is at its most acute.”