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Saturday 20 January 2018

PJ has the gift of giving in his blood

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

OVER the past 32 years, PJ Boyle has saved countless lives.

The 52-year-old taxi-driver from Artane in Dublin reached a massive milestone yesterday when he donated his 100th pint of blood -- and now his 19-year-old daughter, Laura, has embarked on her own marathon.

Father and daughter attended the Blood Donation Clinic on D'Olier Street in Dublin city centre yesterday to each donate a pint of blood.

Asked, after giving her fifth donation, whether she will be emulating her father, Laura laughed and said: "It's a long way away yet, I'm just aiming for my 10th."

PJ was motivated to start giving blood by his father who lived in Cavan and donated blood when the mobile blood donation clinic visited his area each year.

"I started in 1980 and it took me 19 years to do the first 50 and then 13 years to make it to 100," he said.

"I'm O negative which is the blood type you can give to anyone so it's in demand.

"Over 1,000 people are getting blood transfusions every week. I know people who have had to get transfusions so I've seen it from both sides," he added.

Hospitals need some 3,000 donations of blood each week but only around 3pc of the population are donors.

Ideally the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) likes to have an eight-day supply, however this is currently running at just five days and, as the bank holiday weekend approaches, it is urging more people to donate.

Details of clinics around the country and their opening times are available at www.giveblood.ie or by calling 1850 731 137.

Editorial Comment

Irish Independent

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