'I would love to be able to donate – but I can't yet'
JOHN Joe Culloty is one of an estimated 20,000 Irish people who have been diagnosed with hereditary haemochromatosis.
It is thought that the same number of people again may have the condition but are not even aware of it.
Mr Culloty keeps his haemochromatosis in check with regular check-ups with his GP and venesections – or bloodletting – where his doctor draws blood from his body, which is then disposed of.
"It just galls me when I hear the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) appealing for people to give blood when perfectly good blood is being destroyed every week, probably at an enormous cost," he said.
"I feel we're being discriminated against. I would love to be able to donate blood but I'm excluded from doing so because the Haemochromatosis Programme that was put in place in 2007 has not been rolled out outside of Dublin."