KERRY’S RED BLOODED LIFE SAVERS

BLOOD DONORS ARE IN­CREAS­INGLY IN SHORT SUP­PLY BUT TH­ESE KERRY DONORS ARE CER­TAINLY BUCK­ING THE TREND

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By TADHG EVANS

“I STARTED do­nat­ing around 37 or 38 years ago, and it came about by ac­ci­dent re­ally. I was vis­it­ing my late sis­ter in Rath­more and as I was leav­ing for home she said to me ‘Where are you go­ing? The blood trans­fu­sion crowd are in the com­mu­nity hall across the way, so we might as well go in and do­nate.’ I thought for a minute and then I said: ‘Sure why not?’”

Over 100 do­na­tions later, Noel Dennehy of Bar­raduff couldn’t speak more highly of the gift of giv­ing blood.

On Sun­day night at the Rochestown Park Ho­tel in Cork, he and an­other Kil­lar­ney man called James Dennehy (no re­la­tion) were both hon­oured by the Mun­ster Re­gional Cen­tre of the Ir­ish Blood Trans­fu­sion Ser­vice for hav­ing given more than 100 do­na­tions each.

The event cel­e­brated over 135 pro­lific blood donors from across the prov­ince, in­clud­ing 18 Kerry donors from Abbey­dor­ney, Beau­fort, Cahir- siveen, Kil­lar­ney, Killorglin, Mill­town, and Tralee.

Most of those gen­er­ous re­cip­i­ents have do­nated over 50 times, but the Dennehy men from Kil­lar­ney have set a par­tic­u­larly in­cred­i­ble stan­dard.

“I’ve given 102 do­na­tions now, and you give a bit less than a pint each time,” Noel told The Ker­ry­man. “I’d ac­tu­ally know James, the other man who got an award for giv­ing more than the hun­dred, just from meet­ing him at blood drives; you get to know peo­ple through it all!

“I sup­pose it’s worth re­mem­ber­ing that you’d never know what dif­fer­ence it could make to some­one’s life and for that rea­son, I will keep do­nat­ing,” he added.

That’s a point worth re­mem­ber­ing. It’s es­ti­mated that one in four peo­ple will need a trans­fu­sion at some point, so it’s hard to think of a more pre­cious gift than the kind do­nated by James and Noel on more than 100 oc­ca­sions.

“All I’d like to say to the young peo­ple is to start go­ing, be­cause once you start you’ll keep it up and it can make a mighty dif­fer­ence,” Noel added. “My wife Eileen also has over 80 do­na­tions given, and we’ll keep do­nat­ing for as long as we’ll be able to!”

Photo by John Shee­han

MAIN: Noel Dennehy, Kil­lar­ney, who has made over 100 blood do­na­tions.

IN­SET: James Dennehy, Kil­lar­ney, 100 do­na­tions; Noel Dennehy, Kil­lar­ney, 100 do­na­tions; Cather­ine Bros­nan, Kil­lar­ney, 50 do­na­tions; and Brian O’Shea, Kilor­glin, 50 do­na­tions.

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