| 6.5°C Dublin

Dublin duo in an appeal for Blue Bloods

ONE of the county's most popular characters, 'Dublin Gerry', is urging people to make a New Year Resolution - To Give Blood.

He's joined in the chorus by top referee, Jim Turner.

Next January will be the 27th year that Dublin Gerry has been giving blood. Jim's first donation was in 1969.

The duo now insist that the need has never been greater.

"I was in St James's Hospital last week, and they urgently need donors," reveals Jim.

"I can't stress how vital it is for people to help out. And by doing so, they can help ill people, from the youngest child to the oldest person.

"It only takes one hour every month or six weeks. And it's such a fulfilling thing to do.

"It becomes a habit after a while. Part of the way you live your life."

Dublin Gerry echoes those views.

"The people who are ill are depending on these donations."

Dublin Gerry and Jim are platelet donors at the National Blood Centre, James's Street. A blood donation can be split into three components, platelets being one.

Platelets have a shelf-life of just five to seven days after donation, so it's crucial to maintain a constant supply.

"It's a very simple procedure," explains Jim. "The staff couldn't be nicer. And there's no shortage of tea and cakes!"

More information from the National Blood Centre on 4322833 or www.giveblood.ie

The staff arrange an appointment for an assessment. Donating platelets is very safe.

A full blood count is taken before each donation to ensure you have enough platelets to donate. Your body then replaces all of the platelets that you have given within a few days.

One thing is sure - Gentleman Jim Turner and Dublin Gerry have given plenty of sweat and tears in support of the Dubs. But it's the giving of blood that has turned them into All-Ireland champions.

Liberty beckons!

FRIDAY night will be music night at the Liberty Hall Theatre as 'Christmas Crackers' takes to the stage (8pm).

It will be presented by the Artane School of Music.

The production will feature special guests. Admission is €10. Tickets from the Artane School of Music office on 8318929.