GAA aces sign up to boost blood donations
The GAA and the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) have teamed up in a partnership that they hope will lead to 15,000 extra donations each year.
The 'It's In Your Blood' initiative was agreed in 2012 but was officially rolled out at the National Blood Centre on the grounds of St James's Hospital in Dublin yesterday.
The aim is to make it more convenient for GAA members to donate blood through their local clubs.
To date there are 20 clubs across the country who are hosting clinics.
Now the GAA and the IBTS are hoping to double that by the end of this year.
In addition they want 400 clubs to sign up to promote and support existing clinics to help reach the 15,000 extra donations target.
GAA president Liam O'Neill formally launched the initiative along with IBTS chief executive Andy Kelly.
They were joined by Clare's hurler of the year Tony Kelly, Dublin footballer Eoghan O'Gara, Cork camogie player Anna Geary and Monaghan ladies' footballer Laura McEnaney.
"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," said Mr Kelly.